I don’t think I've ever learnt this much about myself or the industry I am due to enter in such a short space of time. I elected to study for a semester abroad at Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) on their Fashion and Editorial Branding Minor. The programme has changed a lot over previous years, but the philosophy of AMFI has always remained the same. AMFI is a reality school. You will be working as you would in industry, at the standard expected of you in industry, for the same time you'd spend at the office or at shoots, throughout the night if necessary. Be prepared, this minor will teach you things about yourself that you’ve not even considered.
The programme is built up of 4 phases.
Phase 1 is to build a brand concept (magazine). Phase 2, build communications strategy and make it more tangible. Phase 3, produce content, acquire advertisers, think critically, and launch online platforms. Phase 4, produce final product, to industry standard reader for production and sale.
MOVING DAY. January 27th 2016.
I eagerly board my city hopper flight full of nervous anticipation for the next 6 months living and studying as an expat at AMFI.
I start as I mean to go on, I enjoy my first Heineken.
I arrive at my new home. Its light, everyone is super friendly - if you don’t say “Hi” immediately after entering a room it’s deemed rude.
Attend course kick-off presentation.
Head of Fashion & Editorial Branding Minor-
“By the end of this minor, you will all have had an emotional breakdown. You will cry.”
Phase 2 begins. march 7th.
My alarm sounds. Early mornings are the new way of life. Coffee is now a necessity.
I set off for AMFI, 25-30 minute cycle dependent on caffeine intake.
I arrive at AMFI straight into lessons. Today we have a digital workshop with Kirsten Jassies - digital marketing expert with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the publishing industry - also our lifeline to help us effectively market our final product.
Group meeting. 100% of this minor is group work. Communication is key and disagreements are inevitable.
We assign tasks reader for the week; I’m part of the marketing department of my concept.
To do: Build communications strategy, acquire advertising, secure interviews with PRs, and confirm approval to shoot at Rijksmuseum.
Note to self: Don’t take criticism personally, compromise is hard sometimes.
Art Direction Session: My personal struggle, there are two types of people, commercial minded and creative minded - if you are both please tell me all of your secrets. One of the biggest challenges of working in this industry is finding the balance between making a creative concept sellable whilst maintaining the talent and creativity of your colleagues. No mindset is best, you both need to nurture each other’s talents, one day one idea and a collaboration could make you a lot of money!
Editorial Meetings: A crucial meeting never to be missed. A chance to discuss how you work as a group, and iron out any creases and disagreements on content, visuals and marketing. Always be prepared to fight your corner; never be afraid to challenge your peers or seniors. If you feel strongly about something and have evidence to back your opinion up, be it statistics, previous experience or even having trailed an idea with success make it known, people can be convinced.
End of the day.
Sunsets, friends and beer are your new lifestyle.
Enjoy every second.
- Sion (nl.linkedin.com/in/sionboylan)