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Annie McKinnon Fashion MA 2021
Next course starts 24 June 2021

Reimagining and inventing the future fashion system: a short course to inform and inspire creative and interdisciplinary innovators to create a more ethical and sustainable industry

Key details


  • Early bird fee: £1080
  • ends 18 April 2021
  • Regular fee: £1200
  • from 19 April 2021


  • Online

    6 sessions over 4 weeks

    3.5hrs per session

    Session 1: 24 June 2021

    Session 2: 28 June 2021

    Session 3: 2 July 2021

    Session 4: 5 July 2021

    Session 5: 9 July 2021

    Session 6: 12 July 2021

This course is for creative and interdisciplinary innovators from within the fashion industry and beyond who are seeking to disrupt and design a future fashion system – one that is more sustainable and equitable and is led by values not just the creation and capture of value.

You will explore the current fashion system and the ethical, social, economic and environmental challenges that arise in the value chain caused by current industry practices and its values. We will examine the disparities in the creation of value and the actors that capture it, as well as the societal and environmental costs. We will explore the emergence of innovative new business models in the fashion sector, and compare this to other creative sectors in the arts, music and media. 

Together with leading practitioners and academics, we’ll review the technologies that can enable such transformation, such as AI, machine learning, robotics, block chain and smart materials and examine new approaches to manufacturing, distribution and consumption. Designing a Future Fashion Systems means an exploration of the trends that are reshaping societal attitudes to fashion, including sustainability, provenance, gender fluidity, diversity and empowerment, enabling you to not only foresee the future but shape it.

You will not only have the chance to reimagine the possibilities of a future fashion system that is values led, but you will also learn how to initiate that transformation to a more equitable and sustainable industry, starting now.

With both live material and pre-recorded excerpts, the course will be delivered alongside tutorials and workshops with world-leading academics and practitioners at the cutting edge of the industry. In an interactive online format, this unique course offers you unparalleled networking opportunities and lifelong learning.

About the course

This interactive online course is divided into six sessions taken over a four-week period.

Session 1: Values-Led Innovation

How to creatively disrupt the fashion industry to be more ethical and sustainable, delivering greater value with values.

Session 2: Meet the Disruptors

Current disruptive players who are reimagining a fashion system that exploits new digital technologies and a values-led approach.

Session 3: Fast Forward to a Future World

Envisioning a fashion system that not only addresses but helps shape our future world.

Session 4: Digging Deep into Digital Transformation

Harnessing the new technologies that can enable a future fashion system.

Session 5: Translating your Vision into Reality

Including coaching by leading practitioners to help refine the vision through tangible next steps.

Session 6: Playback

Presenting to a panel of experts and becoming part of our Future Fashion Network of Innovators.

Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described course as circumstances dictate.

The benefits to you and your organisation include:

  • identifying compelling opportunities to create sustainable value in the fashion industry
  • addressing the challenge of disrupting a fashion system on the edge of implosion
  • insights into how to effectively exploit new technologies that enable transformation
  • becoming part of a network of creative disruptors and like-minded people who will not only imagine change but initiate future fashion systems.

By the end of this course, participants will have learnt to:

  • understand the importance of values shaping the fashion industry and how to disrupt and change these systems
  • critique the current fashion value chain and the challenges it represents from a social, environmental and economic perspective
  • apply future forecasting techniques to develop scenarios and reconfigure value chains and systems that fit better with those predicted scenarios.
  • examine the impact of new technologies and propose and evaluate innovative new models
  • transform these visions into realities, strategising methods for bringing them into digital and non-digital worlds
  • prototype, validate and formally present disruptive concepts.

Each day will consist of a session of two and a half hours, followed up by a pre-recorded lecture and/or reading material for context. There will be activities to guide your objectives and outcomes, all the time supported by expert tutors.

Learning will vary between sessions with all participants and smaller teams of five participants per group. The sessions will include a combination of keynote lectures from leading academics and industry disruptors as well as a series of practical exercises. They will involve design ‘sprints’, creative workshops and a final review of project presentations by a unique panel of experts. Participants may additionally have an opportunity for a post-masterclass discussion with the course leader (optional).

The course is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations.

Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a range of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.


Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

You will:

  • develop insight into the fashion system as it exists today and identify opportunities for change
  • consider your own future role in a radically transformed system
  • discover and learn about new technologies, as well as the social, cultural and political forces that will reshape the industry, in order to start exploiting them
  • grow a network of fellow disruptors, with other participants, course leaders and faculty
  • Creative disruptors
  • Design professionals in the fashion sector
  • Creative managers from the fashion sector
  • RCA alumni
  • Anyone seeking an opportunity to experiment without professional constraint


  • Future Fashion Systems - Digital well being by Marcela Balterete

    Future Fashion Systems - Digital well being by Marcela Balterete

  • Engraved Algae Leather by Bea Bruker

    Future Fashion Systems - Engraved Algae Leather by Bea Bruker

  • Fashion2.jpg

    Future Fashion Systems

    Illustration: Zongbo Jiang

Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Jo Chounta Executive Education Coordinator