by Jordana Urman | Impressionist
When it comes to colleges and universities that have programs specifically for the fashion industry, the rankings are harder to find than a pair of Louboutin’s at a flea market.
Rankings of the “best colleges” and “best graduate programs” are easy to find. US News & World Report and the Princeton Review provide endless lists for the fashion uneducated. However, schools that offer programs for the fashion industry are rarely compared to each other. Here is my list of the Top Ten Fashion Colleges/Universities in the world!
(In alphabetical order)
Central Saint Martins, or CSM, is a fashion university in London, England. Home to Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Zac Posen, CSM produces seasoned designers like Anna Wintour produces flawless magazine covers. CSM is most known for design so all courses feature a design major in some way (ex: Fashion Design with Marketing). If you are looking for a design school with an amazing reputation and credentials, CSM could be the school for you.
for the McQueens
for the Haute kids
Ecole De La Chambre Syndicale is located in Paris, France (the location itself is a significant statement in the industry). This college offers majors in fashion design and technique as well as “selling luxury products”. Covering the broad spectrum of fashion it leaps from design to business flawlessly. A degree from Ecole De La Chambre Syndicale opens the door to careers in high fashion, luxury companies around the world. Interested in working or showing at Paris Fashion Week? If the answer is oui, then this school is a great first step.
for the Diva
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is located in New York, New York and offers a variety of undergraduate majors ranging from design to merchandising. FIT also offers graduate programs in perfume and museum studies amongst other surprising selections. Among FIT’s impressive list of alumni are big names such as Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Carolina Herrera, and Calvin Klein. FIT is known in the fashion community as an excellent school and offers students not only proper classes and an introduction to the business of fashion but also is great for making contacts in the fashion world.
for the Jet-setter
Istituto Marangoni is a fashion university based in Milan, with campuses in London, Paris, and Shanghai. The mission of this institute is to “develop skills, develop new talent”. This school offers three different types of programs. A three year undergraduate program, a graduate program, as well as a unique intensive program. The intensive program is created for those with “limited time and no prior experience.” While the intensive program does not offer as many majors as the undergraduate program, it still offers the basics including design and fashion management. Istituto Marangoni offers a vast array of graduate degrees including but not limited to: buying, design menswear, design womenswear, fashion luxury and brand management. With locations in virtually every European fashion capital as well as a fashion capital in Asia, Istituto Marangoni is truly an opportunity to enter into the fashion centers of the world.
for the Choo in you
London College of Fashion is located in the heart of London. Offering courses in both design and business, LCF is quite a formidable force. LCF believes they can “fashion the future” and with its heritage and the courses they offer, I believe them. With alumni including famed shoe designer Jimmy Choo and events such as an exhibit featuring Jean Paul Gautlier’s graphic design work, LCF offers students a colorful future. Watch out FIT, London’s calling.
for the Aficionados
Parsons easily makes the cut for the top ten fashion schools in the world, with a powerhouse reputation. Located in Manhattan, the heart of the fashion industry in the United States, it offers undergraduate as well as graduate degrees. The list of notable alumni is so large that it requires it’s own page on the internet. Among the most familiar names are Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, and Prabal Gurung. Offering classes in both design and business Parsons offers a full array of undergraduate majors for a future CEO or designer to choose from. Parsons recently opened a Paris campus allowing students to easily study abroad in one of the most influential fashion capitals in the world. Along with great networking opportunities and great teachers, imagine your name on the “notable alumni list”.
for the Craftsman
Pratt Institute is a fashion school in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt was founded by Charles Pratt as a school where artisans could improve their skills in different craft trades. The institute offers majors in many different creative fields such as architecture, interior design, and fashion. Pratt’s fashion program provides students with impressive internships and competitions for students to compete and create designs to be reviewed by peers, faculty, and the public. Pratt works to help students create concepts as much as it works on students’ design capabilities. Sharpening the hand and the mind, Pratt has locked down its spot on the top ten fashion colleges.
for the Hipster
Rhode Island School of Design, more commonly referred to as RISD (Rhiz-Dee), is a world renowned design university. If you are looking for a college in an artsy town that offers rigorous design courses, RISD is the place for you. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, halfway between Manhattan and Boston, RISD offers a vibrant town to its students. Although nineteen different majors are offered, none of them are business related. RISD does offer masters’ degrees from their graduate school, but again not in business. Although it may be lacking in that aspect of fashion industry studies, RISD makes up for it by offering outstanding classes and networking opportunities. RISD’s design programs are extraordinarily impressive and respected.
for the Fashion Historians
Savannah College of Art and Design, also known as SCAD, is located in Savannah, Georgia. While working with the city of Savannah to preserve architectural heritage, SCAD offers a beautiful campus for students. SCAD is compiled of many different schools including the School of Design as well as the School of Fashion. This college allows students to major in a wide variety of disciplines, from metals and jewelry to luxury and fashion management. Majors prove to be somewhat specific allowing students to really delve into fields they find most appealing. Aside from the school itself offering an amazing campus in an interesting city, their schools and programs are well respected within the industry, securing its spot on the top ten.
for the Perfectionist
Shenkar College of Engineering and Design is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Shenkar offers something somewhat different than the other schools in this list: a fusion of engineering and design. The school believes this combination leads to a deeper understanding of design and fashion. The engineering department of the school hopes to mold leaders in business while the design department promises to promote design and its contribution to society, commerce, and industry. With courses in design and business, a degree from Shenkar is a double threat. Plus, living in an artsy city with a great night life, located on the Mediterranean, can’t hurt.
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