Have you always dreamed of working in the fashion industry? Do you eat, sleep and breathe for fashion? If so, then you probably have thought of studying fashion at college. Whether your passion is fashion design, fashion management, fashion marketing, fashion photography, garment production, textile design, or are even interested in the beauty and cosmetics industry (which is so closely related to fashion) there’s a school that might be the perfect fit for you and your fashionista aspirations.
However, not everything is glam and fabulous gowns in this demanding field. Fashion might be one of the most competitive, hard-pressing, and rapidly shifting industries in the world. According to McKinsey & Company, the global apparel market is valued at 2.4 trillion dollars and is still growing, encompassing everything from womenswear, menswear, children’s wear, luxury market, sportswear, and bridal wear. So if you have ambitions to work in fashion, you really should know that to make it big, you have to really invest your time, energy and all your passion in it!
As you might know, New York City is the center of fashion. It has more headquarters of fashion designers and fashion retailers than any other city in the United States, employs 180,000 people and accounts for 6% of the city’s workforce (generating $10.9 billion in total wages). According to NYC government, “an estimated 900 fashion companies are headquartered in New York City, which is also home to more than 75 major fashion trade shows and thousands of showrooms.”
With all this fashion work, is not strange that some of the best fashion schools in the US, and in the whole world, are located in this cosmopolitan city. Are you ready to learn more about the top fashion schools in NYC? Then keep reading!
Fashion Institute of Technology
Fashion Design, Fashion Business Management, Accessories Design, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Direct and Interactive Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Fabric Styling, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Photography, Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries, Technical Design, Textile Development and Marketing, Textile/Surface Design, Electives in Fashion Journalism
Undergraduate: $6,470 (New York State residents), $17,810 (out-of-state residents and international students)
Graduate: $10,870 (New York State residents), $22,210 (out-of-state residents and international students)
Famous Alumni: Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Francisco Costa, Ralph Rucci
Currently, FIT is considered the 4th best fashion school in the world and the 2nd in the US. What is great about this school, as its slogan states, is that it really is “Where Creativity Gets Down to Business”. FIT encourages students to really get the foundation to succeed in the “real” world, from SUNY required courses in math, foreign languages, liberal arts and sciences, to mandatory internship placement, network opportunities and free resources such as access to digital Vogue archive, free NYTimes and free admission to the MoMA and other institutions.
The college also has the free to attend Museum at FIT, where regular exhibitions are held to showcase the best in fashion in the past centuries. Students, especially in Fashion Design, are encouraged to attend FIT in Italy, where they can study in Milano or Florence for up to a year for the same tuition they would pay in NYC.
In FIT students don’t get the regular college experience. Since it’s right in the middle of Chelsea, in Midtown (quite literally in Fashion Ave.), the campus bleeds into the city and allows students to explore the city and all the opportunities that are open to them if they make the most of it.
This school is all about making connections and getting to know people in the industry, starting by your own professors, who are all required to have worked a minimum of 10 years in the fashion industry, so you know they actually have real industry experience instead of “textbook knowledge.”
You should know that although being very practical, industrial and business-oriented is good for many, if you are a fashion designer with a taste for the more imaginative or creatively artistic, other schools might be better for you.
However, if you are extremely driven and can handle heavy workloads, this school is really worth it, especially considering the price tag compared to the other schools in this list. What’s more, the job placement rate is 89 percent.
Parsons, the New School for Design
Undergraduate: Fashion Design, Strategic Design and Management.
Graduate: Fashion Studies, Fashion Design and Society.
Famous Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen
Ranked 3rd best fashion school in the world in 2016, and the number 1 in the US, Parsons can definitely be counted as a fashion powerhouse.
Although it has much more limited options in the fashion industry as a whole, if what interests you is fashion design, you can delve right into it, from womenswear, childrenswear, menswear, textiles, accessories, etc.
The school has partnered with many retailers and corporations (like LVMH) with the aim of getting student work seen and critiqued, and there are many opportunities for internships during semesters since its located right in the middle of New York.
This school’s reputation among its students is that it is “tough, a lot of work, exhausting but rewarding”. Parsons is also known for being more interested in creative talent than foundations and business.
Undergraduate: Fashion Design
Famous Alumni: Jeremy Scott (Moschino), Betsey Johnson, Adam Selman, Samantha Pleet, Seokwon Andy Kim and Wonjeong Debbie Yoon (Andy + Debb), Nina Zilka and David J. Krause (Alder New York)
18 in the world, 6th in the US, what’s good about Parsons is that you can study fashion design but also other applied arts.
If what you are looking for is a program that allows for more artistic creative expression, this is your school, since they also have programs in printmaking, painting, jewelry, drawing, photography, and sculpture.
It also offers electives in the fashion publishing business as well, such as fashion editorial and magazine publishing. Although expensive, Pratt currently has a post-graduate employment rate of 89 percent.
Hopefully, now you know the ups and downs of the top fashion schools in NYC! Do you have a favorite? Are you interested in studying fashion? Let us know which other places we should cover by tagging us on Instagram @glamandgowns, and Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY and Twitter @FavianaNY. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more fun vlogs @FavianaNYC!