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The Best Colleges for Fashion Designers

by Beth Wenbourne Katz

In a famous 2006 movie, Anne Hathaway's character learned the hard way that working your way up in the fashion industry can be a devil of a time. People who want to break into the world of fashion design without fetching coffee for the Miranda Priestlys of the world may want to attend a top-notch design college. Students can begin by applying to one of the best colleges for fashion designers located throughout the United States and Europe.

Best New York Colleges For Fashion Designers

New York City's Parsons the New School for Design is number one on almost every list of the best fashion design schools. Famous for its role in the television show "Project Runway," Parsons alumni include Tom Ford, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. Parsons offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in fashion design and students in their final year of school create an entire collection. Also in New York City, the Fashion Institute of Technology counts Michael Kors and Nina Garcia among its famous alumni. Fashion design students at FIT can earn undergraduate degrees in accessory and fashion design and graduate degrees in fashion and textile studies.

Best California Colleges For Fashion Designers

The Academy of Art Institute in San Francisco is the premier college for fashion design in California. Students can earn B.F.A. degrees in fashion and fashion styling and M.F.A. degrees in fashion. Additionally, the school puts on a fashion show in May of each year that showcases student work, and select students can show their work during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Also in California is the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, which has campuses in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County. FIDM students can earn an associate of arts degree in fashion design, and students who already hold a bachelor's degree can earn an Associate of Arts, professional designation degree.

Best Colleges For Fashion Designers In Other States

Other top-ranked colleges for fashion designers include Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and Kent State University in Ohio. SCAD offers B.F.A., M.A. and M.F.A. degrees in fashion and holds an annual fashion show to showcase student work. SCAD fashion students also get the rare opportunity to work with professional design mentors. Past mentors included Zac Posen and Rachel Roy. KSU students can earn a B.A. in fashion design and have the opportunity to showcase their work in an annual fashion show. KSU fashion students can also opt to spend a semester studying at the KSU New York City campus, in France at the Paris American Academy or in Italy with the KSU Florence study abroad program.

Best Foreign Colleges For Fashion Designers

Students who wish to study in Europe will find many prestigious colleges for fashion design. University of the Arts Central Saint Martins in London offers B.A. and M.A. degrees in fashion design, and count Stella McCartney and John Galliano among its famous fashion alumni. Finally, no list of good colleges for fashion designers would be complete without a Parisian design school. Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale prepares fashion designers to be professional couturiers. Some of the most famous names in fashion, including Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and Nicole Miller are alumni.

About the Author

Based in Sacramento, Calif., Beth Wenbourne Katz has been writing about education topics since 2006. Katz has taught in the California public schools, working primarily with students with learning, behavioral and emotional challenges. She holds a Master of Arts in special education from San Diego State University.

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