June 14, 2024

Fashion Design

Fashion Designs that Enlighten the Soul.

The Best Fashion Design Schools In The World

6 min read
best fashion design schools

Choosing a fashion design school is a big decision. Getting a good education and making connections in the industry is a great way to ensure a long and successful career in the fashion industry. 

Whether you want your designs to make the runway, or work in marketing the latest trends, here are some top fashion design schools to help you make your decision a little easier. 

Parsons School of Design

Part of The New School, this university was founded in 1919 by a group of creatives frustrated with traditional colleges that weren’t offering programs to study people’s newer interests such as film, history, art, and social sciences. Rated #4 in the world for the best Art and design school, the Parsons School of Design offers over 1,350 internship opportunities, allowing students to pursue various interests related to design in a vibrant community. 

Programs Offered

  • Fashion Design (BFA, AAS)
  • Design History and Practice (BFA)
  • Fashion Design & Society (MFA)
  • Fashion Management (MPS)
  • Fashion Marketing and Communications (AAS)
  • Textiles (MFA)

Tuition

Full-time tuition of $ 27,794 a semester. The full-time credit range is 12-18, and the per credit tuition is $1,837.

Notable Alumni

Tom Ford, Joel Schumacher, Alexander Wang, Issac Mizrahi, Mark Badgley and James Mischka (Badgley Mischka)

Fashion Institute Of Technology

One of the many programs housed by the State University of New York, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) boasts a robust history that’s warranted. Founded in 1944, local tailors and other clothing merchants realized a lack of qualified and talented workers in the fashion and apparel business because careers in law and medicine were being pushed to young students.

FIT is known for groundbreaking ideas, including The Social Justice Center, a first-of-its-kind initiative in higher education. The Social Justice Center addresses systemic issues faced by BIPOC students and professionals in the creative economy. FIT was also recognized on Fast Company’s 2023 World Change Ideas list for their PETE Prize for Entrepreneurs.

Programs And Courses Offered 

  • Fashion Design AAS and BFA
  • International Fashion Design AAS and BFA (one year is spent in Florence or Milan for international credit)

Tuition

NYC Resident AAS $2,645, BFA $3,585 per semester
Non-Resident AAS $7,935 BFA $10,846 per semester

Notable Alumni

Calvin Klien, Michael Kors, Zaldy Goco

Royal College of Art (London, England)

For those more advanced in their fashion journey, The Government School of Design was founded in 1837 for those seeking more art and design experience across all disciplines. Establishing university status after being granted a Royal Charter in 1967, the school changed its name to the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 1967. It remains one of the most influential schools for post-graduate students, offering connections to the most significant fashion houses, such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry.

Programs And Courses Offered

Postgraduate programs and individual classes to gain more experience in their respective fields include: 

  • Fashion
  • Jewelery and Metal
  • Textiles
  • Master of Research
  • Art and Design

Tuition

Tuition is subsidized by the many scholarships available to domestic and international students. Graduate programs start at £15,150 for residents and £35,950* Overseas and EU.

Notable Alumni

Zandra Rhodes (textile prints), Ridley Scott, and Sir James Dyson.

Istituto Marangoni (Milan, Italy)

Known for being the world’s fashion capital, Milan is home to many fashion houses, such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabanna, Versace, Prada, and Missoni. It’s also home to one of the top designer fashion schools in the world, Istituto Marangoni. The first private school in Europe for fashion designers, Istituto Marangoni, is known for the experience students graduate with based upon 80% of their schooling being hands-on learning. Along with fashion, students can also obtain a degree in fragrances and cosmetics. 

Programs And Courses Offered

  • Fashion Design, BA
  • Fashion Design & Accessories BA
  • Fashion Styling & Creative Direction, BA
  • Fashion Product, BA

Tuition

Discussed during private consultation with the school

Notable Alumni

Franco Moschino, Domencio Dolce, Alessandra Sartori

The Importance Of Attending A Fashion Design School

Just like education in any other industry, attending a top fashion design school can mean more connections and opportunities within the industry. Potentially making it easier to get a job after you’ve graduated.

“Highly rated schools tend to attract phenomenal talent and people. This includes instructors, staff, classmates, and peers,” states Ms. Chika, a Scholarship and Gen Z Finance consultant who drops knowledge at Ms. Chika. “With phenomenal talent comes some of the best networking opportunities, including access to notable alumni who can provide guidance, insight, and unique opportunities.”

One of the schools that made our list is known for getting their students into the top fashion houses, such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry. More prestigious schools also traditionally offer more funding opportunities for education and services to stay on track to graduation. 

Things To Consider When Choosing A Fashion Design School

Fashion Design school is a big commitment and it’s not cheap, so you’ll want to make this decision thoughtfully. 

Before committing to any school, knowing what you’re getting into is essential. Chika reminds us that you always want to research your ROI on any program. Critical questions to ask and research are:

What’s The Time Commitment?

School is not only a considerable investment for your financial future, it’s also a massive investment regarding your time. Many professors recommend two to three hours of studying time per week for every one hour of class time.

For example, if you had a three-hour class, you should put 6-9 hours aside for studying. This easily equates to school being a full-time job in terms of hourly commitment. Make sure you’re ready to make this your reality for the next three to four years before you fully commit.

What Is The Graduation Rate?

If a school is marketing that they are top-rated, make sure they have numbers to back it up.

How Long Does It Take Most People To Complete The Program?

Most programs mentioned are marketing as being 2-4 years, depending on your study, but that doesn’t mean a lot of attendees will graduate within that time frame.

What Do Their Salaries Look Like 2 Years After Graduation?

The average fashion designer statistically earns $63,852 per year. Check to see if graduates are on track to do what their peers do. The school may offer fewer internships or connections if the average is lower than initially promised.

What Is The Average Amount Of Debt After Graduation?

While there are affordable fashion schools, the prestigious ones may have a higher price tag. Estimating how much financial assistance you’ll need and what you’ll qualify for is essential.

When I briefly considered fashion school in Los Angeles, I would have had to take a Parent PLUS Loan with my dad. His only condition was that I finished the current certificate program I was in at that time before I could go. The certificate ended up being a forensic crime scene technician, which I used for my bachelor’s in the long term. In criminal justice, of course!

Do You Have A Sound Support System?

Chika admits that school can be a stressful and challenging time for many. That’s why ensuring you have the proper support systems to help you succeed is essential. Along with caring for your mind and body, think of how you will support yourself financially, emotionally, socially, and physically. “Sometimes, people go in without a plan and struggle unnecessarily,” she shares. 

Summary

Attending fashion design school is a great way to connect, gain experience, and dive deep into fashion. Before you decide on a school, be sure to understand the time and financial commitment you’ll be expected to make. 

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