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Art Direction For Fashion

Art Direction For Fashion

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Schelay McCarter


An Art Director is a visionary who looks at the big picture across multiple media productions and usages.

On this course the job of an Art Director in the fashion industry will be explored, how to create compelling commercial images to build brands, tell stories, and most importantly how to sell fashion product.

We will look at the career opportunities for Art Directors and how to sell yourself and work.

You will discover how to plan and execute your fashion image ideas to the standards demanded by today's fashion industry in 3 key professional Stages.

At the end of the course your final project will be reviewed by your tutor and a top professional image maker, and you will receive a written review to pair with your project presentation along with your CSM Short course certificate.

See Tutor Bio for more details.


  • Jobs – where to look
  • Visual Literacy - what is your USP as an individual image maker
  • Psychology of commercial image creation
  • Who are key photography/film influencers past and present
  • Fashion Trend research
  • The business of fashion - how it really works
  • Guidance of basic lay-out presentation design and copywriting
  • Time management / lead times
  • Homework and research tasks
  • Planning the three stages of a fashion shoot
  • How to source your fashion shoot team
  • How to set up a test shoot
  • How to ‘pitch’ your ideas
  • Team playing
  • The production - time management, what to consider
  • Reviews and feedback
  • Presentation Guide – persuasive visual sequencing examples

By the end of the course you will have;

  • Developed a good understanding of the role of an Art Director in the Fashion Industry
  • Knowledge of where to look for jobs
  • Fashion shoot realisation from concept to creation ability
  • Understanding of how to market yourself as a successful Art Director
  • Engaged in critical and analytical reviews
  • Applicable research skills for future project work
  • Understanding the needs of the client
  • Understanding of the global fashion industry
  • An understanding of the practical, legal and fiscal elements required in the management of a fashion shoot production
  • Art directors handbook of useful data
  • Knowledge of how to form a creative team with your fellow students to plan a test shoot during or post this course.
  • Excellent networking opportunities, with an invitation to join the ‘Art Direction for Fashion CSM London Facebook’
  • A discretionary Linkedin endorsement from an industry professional
  • Written review of your fashion art direction project to go in your portfolio

Who should take this course:

Stylists, Creative Directors, copywriters, Art Buyers, Designers, Photographers, film makers, fashion brand managers, models, graduate students and fashion retail staff or Creative students wishing to build a portfolio for future affiliated course study at CSM or creative professionals who wish to enhance their skills in art direction for career enhancement.

This is a natural follow on course for students who have completed CSM short courses in Fashion Styling, trend forecasting, fashion marketing, fashion design, or other Photography or Graphic Design courses at Central Saint Martins.

Level: Beginners and Intermediate

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Online short courses

Did you know we offer a similar course online? UAL online short courses are designed to help creative people master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access the UAL learning experience without having to travel to a campus for class.

Art Direction For Fashion (Online Short Course)

More online courses

Tutor Description

Schelay McCarter is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London and has a commercial fashion branding background and career. This includes fashion forecasting, journalism, fashion branding for ecommerce and fashion image realisation project management.

Clients: Burberry, Kering Group, Inditex, British Fashion Council, LVMH, Farfetch, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Jack Wills, H&M Group, All Saints, Arcadia Group,  Amazon and YOOX Net-a-Porter Group

Magazines: Soma, Plastik, B magazine, Status magazine

Photographers worked with: Tim Brett Day, Kim Knott, Sean Knott, Tiffany Mumford, Emma Summerton, James Meakin, Kim Watson, Jean Pierre Mascalet and Nick Knight 

Please check out Schelay's website and fashiontent for more information.


Students should bring the following materials to the first session and thereafter: 

  • An A4 folder for hand out materials and other notes
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • USB

Desirable but not essential:

  • Start collecting and putting aside a selection of fashion/life-style magazines for example Vogue (UK, Italian, French), Marie-Claire, Elle, Red, Wallpaper, ID, Dazed and Confused, plus any other magazines that inspire you. Don't feel you have to buy a huge selection of current ones, one or two will do from this year or last year.
  • A laptop (with cables, USB and MS Powerpoint) - This is not essential but would be preferable and useful - and if you own one, please bring it to class each week
The above materials may be required for some project work, please confirm with your tutor when on the course if they will be required.

Available dates