If you are interested in fashion and want to pursue this interest further and develop a career out of it, you need knowledge, and you also need to get a foothold in the industry. There are various programs offered by different universities in the US that prepare you for a career in fashion. Here is a list of the most reputed fashion schools in the US.
In this article I will cover:
- Best Colleges for Fashion eductaion – USA
- 1. Fashion Institute of Technology
- 2. Savannah College of Art & Design
- 3. The New School Parsons
- 4. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
- 5. Pratt Institute
- 6. Drexel University
- 7. Rhode Island School of Design
- 8. Cornell University
- 9. Academy of Art University
- 10. Iowa State University, IA
Best Colleges for Fashion eductaion – USA
1. Fashion Institute of Technology
- Location : Newyork
- Website : https://www.fitnyc.edu/
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a New York City-based premier public institution offering various programs for fashion aspirants. The college is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) and focuses on fashion-related art, business, design, mass communication, and technology. It was established in 1944.
The School of Art and Design offers seventeen majors, and the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology offer ten, all leading to AAS, BFA, or BS degrees. Computer-aided design, sketching, draping, patternmaking, construction, sewing techniques, and textiles are all included in the AAS program. You can apply for a BFA in Fashion Design after earning your AAS. Children’s clothing, intimate apparel, knitwear, special occasion, and sportswear are among the concentrations available in the BFA program. BS degree in art history and museum professions, as well as a BS degree in film and media, are available through the School of Liberal Arts. The Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, or Master of Professional Studies degrees are available through the School of Graduate Studies.
In addition to degree programs, the Center for Professional Studies at FIT provides a diverse range of non-credit courses. According to Wikipedia, the “Sew Like a Pro” series, which teaches basic to intermediate sewing techniques, is one of the most popular.
Students at FIT Fashion Design can study abroad in Florence, London, Milan, Nottingham, England, Melbourne, Australia, or Hong Kong. Students can also intern in local, national, or worldwide businesses, and all students are welcome to attend the Annual FIT Fashion Show.
Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Josie Natori, J. Mendel, Michael Kors, and Victoria’s Secret have all had interns. Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani have all hired graduates. They may work for some of the world’s largest and most influential design firms as assistants, technical designers, or head fashion designers. Other grads own boutiques or start their own fashion lines. You might even pursue an advanced degree, such as a Fashion Design MFA from FIT.
2. Savannah College of Art & Design
- Location : Atlanta, Georgia
- Website : https://www.scad.edu/locations/atlanta
SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) was established in 1978. Nearly 11,000 students from over 100 nations attend the school, which provides undergraduate and graduate studies. SCAD provides a number of programs for aspiring fashion designers, including degree programs in Accessory Design, Fashion, Fashion Marketing and Management, Fibers, Jewelry, Luxury and Fashion Management, and more, with campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Lacoste, France. SCAD has the country’s largest jewelry and fiber programs, as well as the world’s first MFA in accessory design, the first graduate-level luxury and fashion management school, and the first business of beauty and fragrance program.
SCAD eLearning allows students to achieve their MA in Luxury and Fashion Management, as well as their MA and MFA in Fashion, online. “SCAD is the first art and design institution to achieve the Instructional Technology Council’s award for Outstanding Distance Education Program and the Sloan Consortium’s rank of Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning,” according to the school.
Other highlights of the Fashion Program include the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film on the Atlanta campus, the university’s annual shows and events such as SCAD Fashion and SCAD Style, SCAD pro-industry design studios, master class series, and internship opportunities with national and global fashion brands and innovators.
Notable alumni of. Savannah College of Art and Design · India.Arie, Peg Parnevik , Kayli Carter, Bob Bland, Jacen Burrows, Leila Djansi, Ingrid Vanderveldt.
3. The New School Parsons
- Location : Newyork
- Website: https://www.newschool.edu/parsons/
The New School is a private institution founded in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase and is located in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
Predicting the inevitable relationship between art and industry, Parsons created several ground-breaking programs, the first of their kinds in the US:
1904 fashion design (originally Costume Design)
1906, interior design (originally Interior Decoration)
1910, graphic design (originally Advertising and Commercial Illustration)
The School of Art & Design History and Theory, the School of Art, Media, and Technology, the School of Design Strategies, the School of Constructed Environments, the School of Fashion, and Parsons Paris are among the six schools that make up the Parsons School of Design.
Aspiring fashion designers can pursue AAS and BFA degrees in fashion design, as well as an AAS in fashion marketing, a BFA in Integrated Studies, an MA in Fashion Studies, and an MFA in Textiles or Fashion Design and Society. Parsons Paris is also a good option for those pursuing a BFA in fashion.
Students pursuing a BFA in Integrated Studies might major in anything from fashion and textiles to urban design. Students pursuing an MA in Fashion Studies might focus on a variety of topics, including branding, fashion, and textiles, as well as materials and fabrication. Fashion, Fashion History, Materials and Fabrication, Physical Computing/Wearable Technology, Sustainable Design, Textiles, Design Research, and more are all covered in the MFA in Fashion Design and Society.
Notable program alumni include Anna Sui, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Mark Badgley, James Mischka, Narciso Rodriguez, and many others.
4. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
- Location : Los Angeles, California
- Website : https://fidm.edu/
In 1969, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) was established. The school’s four Southern California campuses, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Irvine, make it a desirable site to study fashion.
The school offers 26 creative majors leading to an AA, BA, or BS in the areas of fashion, graphics, interior design, or entertainment. Degree programs for aspiring fashion designers include a BA in Design, a BS in Apparel Technical Design, and AA degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Knitwear Design, Jewelry Design, Merchandise Product Development, and Textile Design. Associate of Arts Advanced Study Programs (ADV) programs include Advanced Fashion Design, Film and TV Costume Design, Footwear Design, International Manufacturing & Product Development, Menswear, and Textile Production and Development.
In addition to a wide variety of program offerings, fashion students can collaborate on special ‘Industry Partner Projects’ with brands like Nike, Murad, Athleta, Signal Snowboards, Lacoste, GUESS, and TOMS. There are also annual study tours that will take students to fashion capitals such as New York, Paris, London, Rome, Milan, and more.
Notable alumni of FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising – Los Angeles, Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Nikita Dragun, Stephanie Pratt, Han Go-Eun
5. Pratt Institute
- Location – Brooklyn, New York
- Website : https://www.pratt.edu/
Pratt Institute is a private institution in Brooklyn, New York, with its main campus. It features a satellite campus in Manhattan and a branch campus at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York. The institution was founded in 1887 with a focus on engineering, architecture, and the fine arts.
The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies is also located at Pratt Institute. The School of Design and the School of Art – Department of Fine Art both include programs for budding fashion designers. A BFA in Fashion Design is offered by the School of Design, and the School of Art offers a BFA in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Jewelry. History of Jewelry, Stone Setting, Wax Working and Casting, Raising and Forging, Chasing and Repoussé, Color on Metal, Design and Rendering, and CAD are just a few of the specialized BFA/Jewelry classes available. “Annual design competitions offered by the CFDA and YMA FSF, as well as competitions sponsored by firms such as Cotton Incorporated and Supima Cotton,” are available to Fashion Design students.
Participation in the annual Pratt Institute Fashion Show, access to coveted internship opportunities with major designers such as Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan, and study abroad and international exchange programs in over a dozen locations, including London, Milan, Florence, Copenhagen, and Tokyo are just a few of the highlights of the program.
Famous people went to Pratt Institute -Fred Trump,
Rob Zombie, Martin Landau, George Lincoln
6. Drexel University
- Location – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Website : https://drexel.edu/
Drexel University was founded in 1891 by Philadelphia financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel in the center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry was the school’s original name. The Department of Fashion, Product, and Design & Merchandising is housed at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
To produce the next generation of scholars, professionals, and leaders, Drexel offers a comprehensive graduate education that includes research opportunities and access to cutting-edge facilities and laboratories.
With more than 120 graduate and professional programs to choose from, you can further your career by getting a master’s or doctoral degree, or work to improve your professional standing by receiving a certificate in your field. Many of our programs are available at all three of our Philadelphia-area locations, and many of them allow you to study part-time or online, allowing you to complete your degree while working full-time.
For aspiring fashion designers, the department offers a variety of curricula. A BS and an MS in Fashion Design are available. A minor in retail can be added to a student’s degree to help them advance. The D&M program administers the Minor, which “provides essential foundations in retail operations, procurement and merchandise planning, and e-commerce.” A bachelor’s degree in D&M is also on the table.
Students in fashion design can also use the URBN Center’s “studios and specialized labs,” as well as the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) and the study abroad program, which can take them to places like London (London College of Fashion), England, and Florence. Students may also enter their designs in national and international competitions each year, and after finishing the program, they may display their final collections in the Department’s Annual Fashion Show.
Drexel University’s virtual professional community for alumni and students is called Dragon Network. Violet Oakley, George Campbell Jr., James P. Bagian, and Meinhardt Raabe are among the famous alumni of Drexel University.
7. Rhode Island School of Design
- Location – Providence, Rhode Island
- Website : https://www.risd.edu/
More than 40 years before women in America were granted the right to vote, RISD was formed by a small group of women. That year, Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf lobbied the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission’s 34 members to invest $1,675 in establishing a school of art and design with funds generated for RI’s participation in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. (instead of building a public fountain, one of the other options on the table).
The need to support the state’s burgeoning textiles and jewelry industries drove the creation of the college, with the earliest courses offered at RISD focusing on two key areas: freehand drawing and painting and mechanical drawing and design.
First-year studios in Experimental and Foundation Studies are required of all undergraduate students at RISD, followed by a major course of study in specific fine arts or design areas beginning sophomore year. Liberal arts courses are rigorous and enhance studio learning. Students receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, as well as extensive disciplinary knowledge, excellent critical thinking abilities, and the ability to solve problems and connect the dots in a variety of professions.
A variety of fashion programs are available through several departments and divisions. Apparel Design offers a BFA, Textiles offers BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles, and the Fine Arts Division offers BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles and Jewelry + Metalsmithing.
Students in Apparel Design can participate in RISD’s Annual Runway Show, which is judged by a panel of guest critics. Students can study abroad in Rome or engage in the World Exchange Program with partner schools in 26 countries.
James Franco, Dale Chihuly, Jenny Holzer, Seth MacFarlane, etc. are some of the famous alumni of RSID
8. Cornell University
- Location – Ithaca, New York
- Website : https://www.cornell.edu/
Cornell Institution, situated in Ithaca, New York, is a private Ivy League and statutory land-grant research university founded in 1865. Across 14 colleges and schools and 100 academic departments, the school offers 80 undergraduate majors, 90 minors, and 108 graduate fields of study.
The Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) at the College of Human Ecology houses a one-of-a-kind collection of fashion programs that combine “design, art, biology, chemistry, engineering, and social science concepts and methods” with the long-term goal of “effecting change in design, materials, people’s health and well-being, manufacturing, economic vitality, and the environment.” Fashion Design, Fiber Science, Fashion Design Management, and a Dual Degree are among the undergraduate options.
Students can receive a BFA and a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences, a BS from the College of Human Ecology, or a BS from the College of Engineering through the Dual Degree Program. There’s also the option of pursuing a minor in Fiber Science. MA and Ph.D. degrees in Apparel Design, MS and Ph.D. degrees in Fiber Science, and an MPS in Human Ecology are available graduate programs. Fiber Science and Apparel Design is a Focus (graduate field) in the MPS program.
The Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, which houses “more than 10,000 items of apparel spanning from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as a major collection of ethnographic textiles and costume,” is maintained by the FSAD Department. The Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation (CIFFI) was founded to “promote knowledge and foster collaborations between academics and industry in fashion design, marketing and culture, fiber science, technology, and materials testing,” according to the department’s website.
FSAD students can compete for the Cornell Design Award and show their collections at the Cornell Fashion Collective Runway Show and have access to the Textile Collection and CIFFI.
9. Academy of Art University
- Location – San Francisco, California
- Website : https://www.academyart.edu/
The Academy of Art University, formerly known as the Academy of Art College and the Richard Stephens Academy of Art, is a for-profit private art school in San Francisco, California. Richard S. Stephens established the Academy of Advertising Art in 1929.
Several programs are available for budding fashion designers at the Academy of Art’s School of Fashion. An AA in Fashion, a BFA in Fashion with an Emphasis in Fashion Design, Textile Design, or Knitwear Design, BFA degrees in Fashion Product Development and Costume Design, a Certificate in Fashion, and an Online Award of Completion in Fashion Design are among the undergraduate options. A Fashion Journalism ABA degree is also available. MFA degrees in Fashion, Costume Design, Fashion Product Development, Knitwear Design, Textile Design & Fashion Merchandising, and Management are among the graduate options
According to the Academy, fashion students have access to facilities with “the same cutting-edge equipment and resources as top fashion businesses.” Internships and opportunities to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and the Annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco are also offered. “The show has been lauded as the ‘Fashion Week of San Francisco’ by both local and national professionals of the fashion industry,” according to the Academy.
Graduates of the Academy of Art University have gone on to work for big brands like Gap, Kate Spade, Levi Strauss & Co., Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, and more.
10. Iowa State University, IA
- Location – Ames, Iowa
- Website : https://www.iastate.edu/
Iowa State University (ISU or Iowa State) began as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm on March 22, 1858. Iowa State Institution is a public land-grant university where students enjoy a strong academic start in learning in communities and stay involved in more than 800 student clubs, undergraduate research, internships, and study abroad.
The university has 100 majors spread over ten colleges and schools. The Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) Department is located in the College of Human Sciences and offers 15 undergraduate degrees. BA, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design are available to aspiring fashion designers. There’s also a Minor on the menu. Highlights of the program include the chance to study in “important market regions” like New York or Chicago, as well as the ability to participate in a range of international study programs in Europe and the chance to assist develop Trend Magazine, a wholly student-run fashion newspaper.
Students can also visit the Textiles and Clothing Museum and apply for internships at Anna Sui, Rag & Bone, Fossil Group, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Elie Tahari, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and BCBG.
Additionally, all students can exhibit their work at the Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt Gallery on campus and participate in ISU’s Annual Fashion Show, one of the nation’s largest student-produced fashion shows.