Art / Luxury / Fashion

From the photoshoot to the catwalk, learn about the fascinating history and contemporary relationship between art, luxury, and fashion.


Students enrolled in this online Exploration course will survey both the historical and contemporary relationships between art, luxury, and fashion. Guided by expert educators and leaders in the field, our Explorations courses focus on the intersectionality between topics in a dynamic virtual environment that balances a variety of expert-led live sessions with self-guided modules. This course will cover historical movements from the Bauhaus and Surrealism, as well as postmodern examples such as Pop, Punk, Club Culture and Hip Hop. Students will learn about recent collaborations between celebrity artists and famous labels, such as Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton; KAWS and Kim Jones at Dior Hommes; and Sterling Ruby for Calvin Klein and Raf Simons. Students will learn what defines concepts such as sub or counter culture, as well as luxury and what role both may play in these collaborations. The virtual classroom allows students to explore extraordinary fashion collections and museums worldwide with scholarly guidance from their faculty. In addition to these guided sessions, students will engage in self-paced activities, including designing their own fashion collections, as well as an exercise in branding in which they will critically examine the omnipresence of logos in our society (and in their closets).


A multidisciplinary approach to learning encourages students to sample different fields and employ critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. Designed and led by industry experts with extensive online teaching experience, the virtual learning environment balances live sessions with different types of interactive activities to engage students in an exploration of their passions and help them prepare for college. The Exploration program is curated to give students a newfound sense of direction for their future studies by shedding light on a diverse selection of subject material.


Virtual site visits may include:

  • The Anna Wintour Costume Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
  • The Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York
  • The Victoria & Albert Museum in London
  • Musée Christian Dior in Paris
  • Fashion ateliers of established international designers
  • Luxury brand stores worldwide


Guest speakers may include:

  • Fashion designers and stylists
  • Fashion critics and commentators
  • Fashion photographers and image makers
  • Brand consultants
  • Curators
  • Artists


Projects may include:

  • Analyzing the power of branding and logos with the guidance of an artist
  • Writing fashion reviews of upcoming Fall/Winter preview collections
  • Creating a short digital fashion film for your luxury brand of choice
  • Designing a fashion collection based on the work of an artist or an art historical theme from the past



Tech Fee: $75


Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Term Dates

Term dates and course availability depend heavily on instructors’ schedules.

  • Term 2 June 21 to July 2 Term Closed

All courses are open to rising 10th – 12th graders and graduating seniors. Explore the full online summer schedule.

View Summer Schedule

What is an Exploration?

Explorations are designed to introduce students to three distinct topics in a two-week Institute term. This survey approach to learning enables students to make cross-disciplinary connections and informed decisions about their academic and career choices.

Course Highlights

Summer Institute enables students to dive deep into a course of study, sharpening skills for their academic and professional careers. Each course is carefully designed to suit student interests and encourage intellectual curiosity.

  • 1

    Art: Students will receive a broad overview of the major modern and postmodern movements of art that have most influenced the relationships between art, luxury, and fashion. They will examine the careers of artists who have most famously collaborated with fashion designers and luxury brands: Salvador Dalí, who collaborated with designer Elsa Schiaparelli; Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami, who collaborated with Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton; Judy Chicago, who worked with fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior; and more.

  • 2

    Luxury: Students will explore when the concept of luxury was first articulated, who the consumers were historically, who they are today, and how the digital marketplace has affected the production, sale, and marketing of luxury goods, such as jewelry and handbags. Through virtual tours of private luxury house collections, students will analyze artists as international brands, artists’ partnerships with luxury companies, and the patronage of the arts by luxury companies online.

  • 3

    Fashion: From the atelier to the runway, students will explore the intersecting disciplines of fashion and art. Through virtual studio visits, students will examine how artists use fashion as an element of their practice, from self-portraiture to major collaborations with fashion houses, and how major fashion brands commission artists. How do artists use clichéd tropes from fashion — from the photo shoot to the catwalk — to address contemporary cultural issues?

Summer Institute Faculty

Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders and professional experts in the art world. Each faculty member structures their course around real-time conversations defining their professions and helps students master the unique forces at play in the art world.

Summer Institute Faculty

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