Start a fashion business – MA FEC

Excellent news for the entrepreneurial AMFI community: the Master Fashion Enterprise Creation is now accepting applications to start in September 2016. This two-year programme offers the skills, knowledge and framework needed to start your own fashion business – and it’s much more than just your own label. Kimberly Waldbillig sat down with head of the programme Leslie Holden to discuss the launch.

Leslie Holden - AMFI MA FEC

Leslie Holden, head of the programme.

Why now?

No doubt due to the reach of the internet the ways in which new brands and companies can reach customers has drastically expanded. Many who have been in the industry for over twenty-five years agree that traditional modi operandi of fashion are to a large extent out-dated. Besides being able to introduce revolutionary new products to the market, innovation is brought about in finding new business models. Many consumers are open to and waiting for new experiences. The MA FEC is flexible enough to support people who want to take advantage of an opportunity in the fashion industry, even though that might not be starting up their own label.

Why Amsterdam?

There is a significant fashion scene in Amsterdam and it takes itself pretty seriously. Look at the local concentration of alumni who run small fashion businesses. Our country is a central hub to Paris, London, New York so it’s not surprising we see more and more international students coming to AMFI. A unique part of working with us is that we’re collaborating with the London College of Fashion for the Master. It’s a wonderful springboard for those who want to make professional connections with the fashion industry in London. There’s no other opportunity like this in the Netherlands now.

Why two years?

The cornerstones of the new Master programme at AMFI are research, innovation and entrepreneurship. As a business owner you must continue to adapt to the changing market space. These skills are about being able to work with longevity in mind, to be able to more accurately predict shifts in customer behaviour and proactively interpret trends. The programme is two years for a reason – first we want to ensure that we don’t just provide the framework in which to start a fashion business, but equip professionals with the skills they need to operate and survive. We all know that fashion is heavy. Especially in this industry you need to know how to manage others, and to take a strategic perspective on critical components including finance, branding and production.

Why start a fashion business?

The MA FEC has been several years in the making – not only finding the right staff and putting together a comprehensive course, but also spurring on economic climate change. Now Amsterdam is one of the most attractive cities in which to start a small business, and that’s not just something I say because I want people to join our programme. The government and the European Union are making big strides to make the conditions for starting a business very attractive: tax breaks, subsidies, and shared resources… All that I’ve just said is quite enticing, but now we need to find the right candidates for the programme. The people we want to work with are passionate about their cause and get a thrill from waking up in the morning with a real purpose. We seek people who are willing to work hard to gain new skills and new knowledge, people who are willing to be on the front lines holding together a group of believers. People who at the end of two years see themselves as a fully operational business owner with a Master’s degree from AMFI.

AMFI MA FEC - atelier

Want more information about the Master? Visit for course details and a link to inquire.

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