Minor Fashion Industry

Broadening minor

Business, history, cultural economics and media

Programme which has the coordinating role for this minor:

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC): History, Arts and Culture Studies, Media and Communication

Other programmes which are contributing to the minor:

Not applicable


See admissions matrix


Fashion has often been studied from a cultural or costume history perspective. This minor aims to highlight other important aspects of fashion and focuses on the fashion industry. The main objective of this minor is to gain insight into the business, historical, cultural economic and media dimensions of the fashion industry and the importance of fashion for the global and local economy. It delves into the history of fashion companies and intermediaries, the economic characteristics of the fashion products and its markets, and fashion media and communication, including new media. Students will thus study past and recent developments in the fashion industry. They will gain a historical, business, economic and media perspective of the fashion industry through a mix of lectures, seminars, guest lecturers and field trips. 

Learning objectives

After completing the minor, students should have a wide-range knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, business, economic and media dimensions of fashion and of the particularities of fashion products, businesses, media and intermediaries in the industry.

Specific characteristics

Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential. We advise a VWO-final examination grade of 7 or higher, a TOEFL-test minimum score of 100 or an IELTS-test minimum score of 7. 


Maximum number of students that can participate in the minor: 30
Minimum number of students that can participate in the minor: 10

The minor is also open to bachelor students from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (BA Geschiedenis, IBHistory, BA ACW, IBACS and IBCOM).

It is not allowed to take individual courses from this minor; students are required to take the entire minor of 15 ECTs.   

Total study load for the minor: 420 hours
Contact hours: 8 weeks, 9 hours per week
Self study hours: 348 hours 

Overview modules

Module 1: Business history of fashion

  • Code: CH9010
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: The main objective of this interactive course is to look into the history of fashion and the industry behind glamorous catwalks and shiny magazines. It aims to analyse fashion from a business history perspective, to look for similarities and differences with other industries. (Guest) lecturers will present historical backgrounds, theories and insights from the world of fashion. Students will discuss and present literature. In addition, students will make a report on a fieldtrip to a fashion intermediary, historical museum, a fashion company, or write a case study based on original sources. The course ends with a written exam based on the historical literature discussed in class.
  • Teaching method: seminars
  • Teaching materials:  Blaszczyk, R. (Ed.) (2008) Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press; articles via the University Library
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week

Module 2: Economics of fashion

  • Code: CC9011
  • ECTS:  5
  • Content: The seminar aims to facilitate students’ knowledge and understanding of how the fashion industry works. The seminar will confront students with the most recent issues and theories linked to the characteristics of fashion products, the demand for fashion products, the intermediaries for fashion products, the production of fashion products, and the distribution of fashion products. We emphasize an analytical approach in understanding the dynamic development of the fashion industry. In doing so, we will discuss relevant literature and specific cases through student presentations, class discussion and field trips. Students will focus on one fashion product/firm/market and carry out research based on scholarly literature, resulting in an individual essay and in a group poster presentation.
  • Teaching method: seminar
  • Teaching materials:  IFM (2014) Mode et Luxe / Fashion and Luxury. Paris: Éditions IFM/Regard; articles via the University Library
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week

Module 3: Fashion media

  • Code: CM9005
  • ECTS:  5
  • Content: This course aims to provide to an in-depth understanding of past and recent developments in the fashion media. Students will explore the shift from printed media to today’s online media platforms and globalized communication networks, as well as changes affecting advertisement and marketing and the use of various fashion communication technologies and outlets. Special attention will be paid to the impact of globalization on the media coverage (formats, content, discourses) given to fashion and the ways in which various media outlets influence processes of reputation building, consecration and valorisation in the fashion world.
  • Teaching method: seminar
  • Teaching materials:  Readings via Blackboard and online resources
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week


Method of examination

Examination Business History of Fashion: assignments and written exam

Examination Economics of Fashion: assignments and paper

Examination Fashion media: assignments and paper

Composition of final grade

Minor students should obtain a pass mark for each of the three modules; it is not possible to compensate for a score below the pass mark.


Feedback will be provided, as students will have the opportunity to review their marked examinations and they receive a justified mark for their assignments.

Contact information

Contact person

Name: Dr. Mariangela Lavanga
E-mail: Lavanga@eshcc.eur.nl 
Phone number: +31 (0)10 4082 459
Room: M7-32

Faculty website

Broadening minor
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
Studiepunten (ECTS)
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


More information follows.