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Fashion Design Schools

Careers in the competitive world of fashion often attract artists and designers with a love of clothing, textiles and accessories. "Fashion design merges sketching and general visual skills with the power of the imagination," according to a top New York fashion design school.

If you have an artistic eye for details and subtleties coupled with a vision for fashion style and function, you may be thinking about attending fashion design school. Students typically learn how to design clothing, shoes and accessories and may also concentrate their studies to include areas of specialization such as accessories, textiles, fabric patterns and knitwear. Some graduates have gone on to become clothing designers with their own clothing and accessory lines. Others become costume designers for theater and movie productions. Some have found careers as fashion illustrators, merchandisers or buyers. A talented and ambitious graduate could progress from assistant designer to chief designer, design department head, creative director, or a position supervising a fashion line or brand.

Specializations for students who attend fashion design school

When you think "fashion design," you may picture a women's clothing designer sketching a fabulous confection of fabric, or you may envision a model stepping out onto the runway in an outfit that's more fantasy than function. Fashion design is all of that and more. Designing a garment or a line of clothing and accessories involves many steps. You must learn to work as part of a team, the members of which must be highly knowledgeable and skilled at what they do. Each must be able to communicate clearly with another to produce exceptional results on schedule. In addition to learning these skills, you may choose to focus on an area of design specialization, which could include one of the following:

  • Fabric/textile design. Fabric or textile designers create new fabrics or modify existing ones. Part artist and part technician, they specialize in appearance such as color and pattern, and functionality such as warmth or ease of care.
  • Footwear design. Footwear design students learn how the human foot moves. Graduates may create original designs for famous labels or design their own line of footwear -- everything from high-end fashion to athletic shoes.
  • Costume design. Film, TV and theater costume designers must know how to research and analyze their designs in the context of culture and history. Their designs communicate complex concepts and project character traits.

Fashion design school certifications and degrees

As a prospective student of fashion design, you not only have a choice of many concentrations, you also have more than 300 accredited schools available that offer various degrees and certificates to further your career ambitions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), most fashion designers have at least a bachelor's degree in fashion design or merchandising with a concentration in the area they wish to focus. Shorter certificate programs are also available, aimed primarily at students with artistic, design or merchandising experience. Minimum prerequisites for most certificate and degree programs are basic art and design courses and illustration skills. Acceptance into a program may require submission of sketches as proof of artistic ability. All programs should have as the student's final goal the creation of a portfolio to showcase their work. Most programs also have students conceptualize and create designs for the runaway.

Examples of available programs in fashion design, along with sample curricula include the following:

Fashion Design Certificate: Courses include fashion history, design and flat sketching, garment construction techniques, pattern making, color theory, CAD.

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design: Students are taught basic drawing, draping, pattern making; sewing and tailoring; haute couture; knitwear; shoe design; and marketing.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design: The bachelor's degree student studies design fundamentals, 2D and 3D processes, garment construction techniques and marketing. Students may choose an area of concentration. Some programs require a final thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design: At this level coursework emphasizes the business of fashion design -- analyzing trends and markets, product development and line plan production.

Students at the bachelor's and master's level typically benefit from internships as assistant designers.

Salary and career outlook for careers in fashion design

According to the BLS, as of May 2013, the national median salary for fashion designers was $63,760, with the top 10 percent making at least $127,190 and the bottom 10 percent earning up to $33,580. Projections for job growth in this occupation expect a 3 percent decline between 2012 and 2022 due to the off-shoring of US apparel manufacturing, the source for a majority of fashion design jobs. Employment opportunities, however, continue to be most abundant in New York and California; however, in addition to both coasts, some of the highest paid designers also work in Illinois where their national average wage was $93,850 as of May 2013.

Despite lackluster job growth expectations in apparel manufacturing, talented fashion designers may find work in design houses, clothing retailers and movie and TV production companies. Ever-evolving fashion trends continue to require good designers to feed consumer appetites. If fashion is your passion, design school can nurture your ambition.

Sources:

Adult Programs Fashion Certificate, School of the Arts of Chicago, http://www.saic.edu/cs/ace/certificateprograms/fashioncertificate/

Careers in the Arts, Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development, http://www.mica.edu/Documents/Career%20Services/Careers%20for%20Visual%20Artists11.pdf

Costume Design, BFA in Fashion Marketing and Design, American Intercontinental University, http://www.aiuniv.edu/degrees/bachelors/fashion-design/costume

Fashion, Academy of Art University, http://online.academyart.edu/schools/fashion

Fashion Design (BFA), Parsons, http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/bfa-fashion-design/

Fashion Design Certificate Programs, Parsons, http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/fashion-design-certificate-programs/

Fashion Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271022.htm

Fashion Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/fashion-designers.htm

Footwear Design, Career Opportunities after FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, http://fidm.edu/en/Majors/Footwear+Design/Careers

Textile Design, College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University, http://www.philau.edu/careerservices/documents/MAJORSworksheet_TextileDesign.pdf

Fashion Design Schools
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With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs : Fashion Design (AS), Apparel Design (AA), Fashion Design (BA), and more..

Campus Locations :

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Decatur: One West Court Square Suite 110 Decatur, GA 30030

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

San Bernardino: 674 East Brier Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

New York: 218-232 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Philadelphia: 1622 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Charlotte: Three LakePointe Plaza 2110 Water Ridge Parkway Charlotte, NC 28217

Schaumburg: 1000 N. Plaza Drive, Suite 100 Schaumburg, IL 60173

Fort Lauderdale: 1799 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Miami: 1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100 Miami, FL 33132

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Houston: River Oaks Plaza 4140 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Milwaukee: 320 East Buffalo Street Suite 100 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Tucson: 5099 E. Grant Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85712

Sacramento: 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

Troy: 1414 East Maple Road, Suite 150 Troy, MI 48083

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

Fort Worth: 7000 Calmont Avenue Suite 150 Fort Worth, TX 76116

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Sterling: 21000 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166

Novi: 28125 Cabot Drive Suite 120 Novi, MI 48377

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Saint Charles: 1520 South Fifth Street Suite 107 St. Charles Saint Charles, MO 63303

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

Atlanta: 6600 Peach Tree Dunwoody Road, NE 100 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sanford-Brown can help prepare you for a rewarding career in health and dental care, business, paralegal, criminal justice, Design & Media Arts or information technology.

Programs : Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Merchandising, and more..

Campus Locations :

Seattle: 625 Andover Park West Seattle, WA 98188

Tampa: 7702 Woodland Center Blvd., Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33614

Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

Programs : Fashion Marketing & Management (BS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

Programs : Jewelry Design and Repair, and more..

Campus Locations :

Norcross: Norcross, GA

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. At AIU, the Serious U, you can get in, get moving, and get ahead.

Programs : Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Marketing and Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts Fashion Marketing, and more..

Campus Locations :

Atlanta: 6600 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd. 500 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

Programs : AAS in Fashion Marketing & Management, BBA, Fashion Marketing & Mgmt, BS in Fashion Marketing & Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

New York: 3 East 43 Street New York, NY 10017

Dover: 1 West Blackwell Street Dover, NJ 07801

Brooklyn: 255 Duffield Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Newark: 536 Broad Street Newark, NJ 07102

Woodbridge: 430 Rahway Avenue Woodbridge, NJ 07095

Little Falls: 44 Rifle Camp Road Little Falls, NJ 07424

Paramus: 64 East Midland Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652

White Plains: 99 Church Street White Plains, NY 10601

Follow an educational path that matches your interests – at Sanford-Brown College Online, anytime, anywhere. Through our career-focused degrees and student-centered support, you can achieve your personal vision of success – in an environment where everyone is rooting for your success. We offer a range of programs through the Schools of Technology, Business, and the IADT School of Design. Meet your future at Sanford-Brown College Online.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising, and more..

Campus Locations :

Tampa: 7702 Woodland Center Blvd., Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33614

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