Accessories Design

Master of Arts
in Accessories Design

Aimed at emerging designers interested in specializing in accessory design, specifically leather goods, this one-year program meets the growing demands of an expanding market for accessories, especially in the fashion and luxury industries.

Graduates will be prepared to apply their skills in settings as varied as independent designers and entrepreneurs, designers for international fashion and accessories brands, and makers of leather goods for the luxury industry.

Students focus in leather goods, while also continuing to broaden their knowledge and skills through supporting courses on technical drawing and still life photography.

Studio classes and workshops conducted by professionals emphasize the mastery of traditional handcraft and modern techniques, while theory-based and methodology courses help students develop their personal creative visions. Thanks to the multidisciplinary crossover of this program, students will be well-prepared to enter the professional world of contemporary design.

Students with an undergraduate background in fashion, fine arts or crafts will be particularly suited for this program. A mix of prior disciplinary experiences is a benefit to their overall learning. The program combines technical knowledge and principles of design research and theory.

The structure of the MA is
composed of three types of classes

Studio: Creativity & Inquiry

In studio classes, students master traditional, modern and experimental design and manufacturing techniques. They also use cross-disciplinary technical skills, combining materials, tools and concepts from different industries.

Research: Investigation

Research seminars will teach students to appreciate design theory and a conceptual methodology that will enhance their creative output; develop skills in the written and verbal expression of ideas.

Professional Skills

Professional skills workshops and classes will enable students to enhance their preparedness for the job market.

Faculty

patricio sarmiento

Patricio Sarmiento

Fashion Design Senior Coordinator/ Professor

MA Curriculum

Credits

One-Year Program

fall

Leather Studio I

Code
MACD 0500
Description

Students engage in experimentation through different techniques and materials, with a focus on leather crafts. The studio time is composed of guided exercises and hands-on projects, allowing students in their second semester to start developing their graduation collection. Students are assigned short individual projects every 2-3 weeks that are reviewed in class and critiqued by faculty and peers. At the end of the semester, a jury is convened, composed of PCA faculty (fall) and outside professionals (spring). Students show their emerging (fall) or final (spring) collection and supporting sketchbooks and research notes.

Concept And Development I

Code
MACD 0501
Description

This course aims at stimulating students’ creative skills as well as self-sufficiency capacities. Students are taught that the creative design processes suppose intent, content, methodology and product. Students will complete several projects, progressively building on each other, including a group project in order to develop collaborative work. Contemporary techniques and alternative materials will be encouraged. During the second semester, students will conduct a project in partnership with an external company, in order to experience industry and sub-contracting realities.

Atelier I

Code
MACD 0502
Description

The Atelier is the place for students to work on their individual final projects and graduation collection. Free access to equipped studios with technical support will allow them to complete the production of a series of 4-6 pieces. Upon concepts created in the Concept & Development class, students have the opportunity to use techniques and materials of their choice in a safe and efficient environment, and to eventually sub-contract parts of their projects to external professionals, as needed. This is a two-credit course because the majority of the work is done by students outside direct classroom instruction time.

History Of Fashion & Accessories

Code
MACD 0506
Description

In this course, students will review the history of fashion (including accessories) in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will consider how it is represented in catalogs, newspapers and other visual supports. The Maciet archives at the Bibliothèque du Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Library of the Museum of Decorative Arts), a PCA partner institution, will be an invaluable resource for student research. The main focus will be on Europe in order to take advantage of the resources at hand.

Technical Drawing

Code
MACD 0507
Description

Students will apply the skills gained during their course of study to the design, development and final presentation of an accessories collection of either leather goods or jewellery. They will have to demonstrate their understanding, technical skills, and capacities in all aspects of the accessories design process: research, analysis, innovative and realistic solutions, communication, finances, and management. Students’ graduation collection will be evaluated on specific research, design and outcome criteria by a jury composed of faculty members, external professional designers and company managers. This is a two-credit course because the majority of the work is done by students outside direct classroom instruction time.

Still Life Photography

Code
FHOT 0500
Description

The main aim of this class is to provide students with the tools and techniques required to document their work in a professional manner in order to share it with prospective clients. Students in all the new M.A. programs (accessories design, fashion design, fashion photography, interior design) will need to be proficient in photographing objects and/or interiors. Photographing still life is different from portraiture or street photography, and requires mastery of lighting and mise en scène.

Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the elective options bellow.

spring

Studio II

Code
MACD 0503
Description

Students engage in experimentation through different techniques and materials, with a focus on leather crafts or on jewelry. The studio time is composed of guided exercises and hands-on projects, allowing students in their second semester to start developing their graduation collection. Students are assigned short individual projects every 2-3 weeks that are reviewed in class and critiqued by faculty and peers. At the end of the semester, a jury is convened, composed of PCA faculty (fall) and outside professionals (spring). Students show their emerging (fall) or final (spring) collection and supporting sketchbooks and research notes.

Concept And Development II

Code
MACD 0504
Description

This course aims at stimulating students’ creative skills as well as self-sufficiency capacities. Students are taught that the creative design processes suppose intent, content, methodology and product. Students will complete several projects, progressively building on each other, including a group project in order to develop collaborative work. Contemporary techniques and alternative materials will be encouraged. During the second semester, students will conduct a project in partnership with an external company, in order to experience industry and sub-contracting realities.

Atelier II

Code
MACD 0505
Description

Students will apply the skills gained during their course of study to the design, development and final presentation of an accessories collection of leather goods. They will have to demonstrate their understanding, technical skills, and capacities in all aspects of the accessories design process: research, analysis, innovative and realistic solutions, communication, finances, and management. Students’ graduation collection will be evaluated on specific research, design and outcome criteria by a jury composed of faculty members, external professional designers and company managers. This is a two-credit course because the majority of the work is done by students outside direct classroom instruction time.

Professional Practice Workshop Series

Code
MACD 0509
Description

Professionals from the Parisian art and design world will come in to introduce students to their professional practice and engage them in practical exercises preparing them for the job market. Instructors will be drawn from a broad range of fields: photographers and videographers; designer and architects; galleries, museums, auction houses and private collections; art fairs and international exhibitions; art dealers; curators; historians; journalists and iconographers; artists; magazine editors; I.P. and licensing lawyers, etc.

Master's Thesis

Code
MACD 0510
Description

Students will document the research they conduct on the theme of their final project, as well as the research they have done on the cost and means of production of their project. Some of the criteria for evaluating the thesis will be the extent to which the student’s work is situated in a historic and cultural context, the quality of the student’s research, and the appropriate use of documentation, artifacts, and the learning resources available to them in Paris.

Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the elective options bellow.

Elective Options

fall

French

Description

Students take a placement test to be placed into one of three levels of French language: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes meet twice a week for written and oral exercises designed to strengthen vocabulary and grammar. These courses use dialogues, oral exercises, short compositions and literary texts to establish a firm foundation in the language. Students approach everyday life situations in French, while learning the fundamentals of grammar and the complexity of conversation. The intermediate and advanced courses serve as a more sophisticated introduction to French culture and lifestyle and as a means of consolidating grammar and vocabulary.

Concept Development: Storytelling

Code
MFFP 0508
Description

In this semester-long course students learn to quickly develop and research concepts to tell a story in images and words. The aim is to provide them with the tools, skills and processes that they will need to respond to a client’s brief in a professional and convincing manner. It is open as an elective to students from other departments, since the ability to come up with creative ideas, researching them and then “packaging” them in a compelling verbal and visual story is a key skill for any designer, whether it is to develop a story for a fashion editorial, an accessories line, or the concept for a new restaurant interior. The disciplinary mix of students also serves to prepare them to work within interdisciplinary teams, which is what they will be faced with in the professional world.

spring

French

Description

Students take a placement test to be placed into one of three levels of French language: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes meet twice a week for written and oral exercises designed to strengthen vocabulary and grammar. These courses use dialogues, oral exercises, short compositions and literary texts to establish a firm foundation in the language. Students approach everyday life situations in French, while learning the fundamentals of grammar and the complexity of conversation. The intermediate and advanced courses serve as a more sophisticated introduction to French culture and lifestyle and as a means of consolidating grammar and vocabulary.

Intellectual Property Rights

Code
MFMT 0512
Description

The I.P. course covers issues related to copyright, patents, contracts and liabilities as they apply to art and design. Students will learn about international laws related to copyright and patents and understand how to protect their intellectual property and the best strategies to adopt in different circumstances.

Designer's Social & Ethical Responsibility

Code
MFMT 0508
Description

In this course, students are brought to think about the ethical implications of a designer’s choices on the life cycle of an object or built environment (materials, means and conditions of production, recycling, etc.). Each student will select an object or environment and research its life cycle.

Overall Credits Total
30

Frequently Asked Questions

What differentiates the MA in Accessories at PCA from other similar programs?

First of all, there aren’t many accessories programs out there! But, specifically at PCA our program emphasizes the French tradition of great craftsmanship and the artisanal spirit. Working in collaboration with organizations like the Compagnons du Devoir, the oldest guild of artisans in France, and AFEDAP (Association pour la Formation et le Développement des Arts Plastiques), leader in contemporary jewelry-making education in France, we will develop students’ awareness of what is possible in the creation of accessories and provide them with the knowledge of materials and processes as well as the skills to realize their creations.

What are the advantages of studying in Paris?

Paris is one of the most important cities worldwide for accessories design — a huge concentration of the leading companies are located here. We have many corporate partnerships within the industry, through which students participate in real-world projects, gaining experience and developing their professional network. Recent projects include the Mauboussin Young Talent competition and the Compagnons du Devoir bag design project. With our proximity to so many great companies, our students have access to great internship and professional opportunities. The main professional fairs in accessory design are held in Paris at which students are able to see all of the latest designs and meet professionals.

What are the faculty’s credentials?

PCA’s faculty are all working professionals in the industry and bring their knowledge of cutting edge trends, practices and industry standards to the curriculum. Furthermore, as active members of the accessory design field, professors become part of the students’ professional network and their point of entry into the field.

What career prospects do graduates have?

Graduates of this program will be able to take a project from start to finish – from concept development to initial drawings and prototypes through production. Given that approximately 70% of the revenue of luxury ready-to-wear companies comes from accessories, there is an enormous demand for new designers. This combined with the fact that there are not many schools preparing students to enter this field means that there are a lot of jobs available in this industry.

What sort of educational background should students have?

The important thing is that the student have a sense of materials and how to transform them but they can come from a broad range of arts disciplines: Leatherwork, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Product Design, Interior Design, Architecture, etc.

How do you know if the program is right for you?

If you are looking to become an accessories or an independent designer or craftsperson or as part of a team, this program is for you.

What are the prerequisites?

Of course, you have to have an undergraduate degree to enter the program. You need to be able to sketch concepts and explain your ideas visually, as well as have good 3D hand skills. In addition, knowledge of digital design programs like Auto-CAD & Adobe Creative Suite is beneficial.

What kind of concrete design problems or projects can students expect to complete?

The first semester projects will involve materials discovery, design research and manufacturing techniques. Then, in the second semester students will pair with craftspeople to develop their personal projects, which model the real-world work process.

Are there other graduate students at PCA?

PCA launched the MA/MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media in Fall 2015, and two MA programs in Fall 2016 (MA in Fashion Film and Photography and MA in Fashion Design: Haute Couture & Haute Technology.) In addition to this MA in Accessories Design, three new programs will be launched in September 2017: MA in Interior Design, MA/MFA in Photography and Image Making and MA/MFA in Drawing. PCA also collaborates with Toulouse Business School in offering English language MSc degrees in marketing and communication specializing in the fashion and luxury industries; and with the French engineering school École de Ponts in offering English language Master’s degrees in Computational Design These programs draw student from around the world to the PCA campus.

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