Grafton Academy launches new course with focus on 'business side of the fashion industry

One of Ireland’s most respected fashion educational institutions is writing an exciting new chapter tailored to the constantly changing needs of the industry.

The Grafton Academy of Fashion Design will deliver its first master of fine arts (MFA) in fashion design in September. The programme is being delivered in partnership with the American College Dublin (ACD).

It is the first new course offered by the Grafton Academy following the change of management last September with the retirement of former principal Suzanne Marr.

The new leadership team of Colin Atkinson and Evelyn Roullier have combined 35 years of fashion design education and a vision for the future of the famous academy.

Its list of alumni reads like a who’s who of Irish fashion and includes Ib Jorgensen, Louise Kennedy, Paul Costelloe and the late Richard Lewis. Former students have gone on to work with designers like Alexander McQueen, Burberry, high street giants Ted Baker, Primark and M&S.

Mr Atkinson, Grafton Academy principal, said the new masters programme has been designed to meet specific fashion-industry needs.

“This collaboration will allow us to prepare students for a career in fashion and will develop students’ expertise in the business side of the fashion industry,” he said.

It is being delivered under ACD’s accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the US agency that accredits Princeton, Columbia and Johns Hopkins universities, along with leading fashion design schools. Entry is a relevant Level 8 honours degree or a Grafton Academy diploma or international/professional equivalent.

The academy will also offer a 20-week fashion buying and merchandising certificate course from September.

Originally called the Grafton Academy of Dress Designing, it was the first fashion design college in Ireland and opened its doors in 1938.

Early graduates of the academy included Neilli Mulcahy and Clodagh Phipps, who both made a significant contribution in promoting Irish fashion culture, both home and abroad.

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