11 Best Fashion Design Schools with Famous Fashion GraduatesApproximately 23,100 jobs are available to new graduates of fashion design schools according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not too bad, right? Let’s break down the numbers. F.I.T. (The Fashion Institute of Technology), one of the world’s leading fashion colleges, accepts about 9,500 students (yearly) in its 4-year program. Now add that to the hundreds of thousands of other fashion students attending top fashion design schools around the world. That’s when things get really complicated. With increasing competition and almost impossible odds, students set out to find the best fashion design schools in the world. Eager new fashion students quickly learn that there may also be a limited supply of top fashion design schools. That’s not to say that these schools don’t exist nor that design students can’t choose to attend a non-traditional fashion college. However, as many know, a career in fashion (or in any industry) can be made based on the connections you make at design school. It’s not all about your choice of the best fashion design college, however. It’s also about the fashion institution that chooses you.
Fashion Design Schools, Admissions and the IndustryUnlike many other career fields, fashion design students have an added admissions application component, a personal portfolio. Utilizing a candidate’s resume, prior achievements, fashion design portfolio, and college specific criteria, each student’s current skill level is estimated. The result is an incoming class of fashion design students who represent the inherent qualities of each fashion school. Because of this almost cult like methodology, a YES from a top fashion school is also an early nod of approval from the fashion industry at large. Instantly, freshman fashion degree seekers enter a private club alongside a list of the famous fashion designers alumni decades before. The fashion industry takes note as well. Each Season, editors and fashion opinion-makers look toward names like Central Saint Martins for the next Alexander McQueen and Parsons for the next great american designer to follow Alexander Wang. Of course, attending one of the world’s top fashion design schools won’t guarantee a place in fashion history. However, for some, it may provide just the right circumstances to meet it.
Our Fashion Design Schools Ranking MethodologyBelow we’ve reviewed the best fashion design colleges in the world. Examining criteria including reputation, notable faculty, acceptance rate, and most closely, famous fashion designers from each fashion school, we share a final list of the best fashion design schools 2017. Our fashion schools list is not endorsing nor criticizing any particular fashion design schools. We realize that there are hundreds of great schools for fashion design all over the world from New York to Milan and Tokyo. It would be impossible for anyone to definitively decide that any fashion school choice is best, other than the student. Instead, we hope to shine a light on the history of the world’s fashion schools so far and the notable fashion alumni who changed the industry. Keep reading below to see the full list of the 11 top fashion design schools with famous fashion designers alumni.
11. Rhode Island School of DesignLocation: Providence, Rhode Island Acceptance Rate: 36% Total Enrollment: 2,481 Famous Fashion Designers: Nicole Miller, Jill Stuart, Mary Katrantzou (transferred).
11. Pratt InstituteLocation: Brooklyn, New York Acceptance Rate: 66% Total Enrollment: 4,617 Famous Fashion Designers: Betsey Johnson, Norman Norell, Jeremy Scott, Adam Selman
10. Bunka Fashion CollegeLocation: Tokyo, Japan Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, Kenzo Takada, Tsumori Chisato, Tex Saverio, Hiroko Koshino.
9. University of WestminsterLocation: London, United Kingdom Acceptance Rate: (25 % International students) Total Enrollment: 34,470 (all students) Famous Fashion Designers: Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Bailey (Burberry), Stuart Vevers (Coach), Katie Hillier, Michael Herz (Diane von Furstenberg).
8. London College of FashionLocation: London, United Kingdom Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Jonathan Anderson, Jimmy Choo, Sophia Webster, Nicholas Kirkwood, Rupert Sanderson, James Long, Ryan Lo, Karen Dacre, Sarah Harris, Melanie Rickey.
7. ESMOD (THE ÉCOLE SUPÉRIEURE DES ARTS ET TECHNIQUES DE LA MODE)Location: Paris, France Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Olivier Rousteing (Balmain), Thierry Mugler, Alexandre Vauthier, Catherine Malandrino, Suzy Menkes, Christophe Decarnin, Damir Doma, Juun J, Nina Garcia, Franck Sorbier, Vanina Vesperini.
6. Instituto MarangoniLocation: Milan, Italy Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Franco Moschino, Domenico Dolce, Alessandra Facchinetti (Tod’s), Francesco Russo, Alessandro Sartori (Berluti), Julie de Libran (Sonia Rykiel), Maurizio Pecoraro, Umit Benan, Rodolfo Paglialunga (Jil Sander), Albino D’Amato, Chi Zhang.
5. Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.)Location: New York, NY Acceptance Rate: 44% Total Enrollment: 9,764 Famous Fashion Designers: Reem Acra, Dennis Basso, Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa (Designer, Calvin Klein Collection for Women), Nanette Lepore, Ralph Rucci, Michael Kors.
4. Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine ArtsLocation: Antwerp, Belgium Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Haider Ackermann, Raf Simons, Demna Gvasalia, Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Peter Pilotto.
3. École des Beaux-ArtsLocation: France (various in France including Paris) Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Azzedine Alaia, Hubert de Givenchy, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani (Valentino), Agnes B, Pierre Balmain, Pacco Rabane, Marie Louise Carven, Manolo Blahnik.
2. Parsons, the New School for DesignLocation: New York, New York Acceptance Rate: 64% Total Enrollment: 4,253 Famous Fashion Designers: Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, Lela Rose, Anna Sui, Carmen Marc Valvo, Alexander Wang, Thakoon, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Prabal Gurung, Reed Krakoff, Rick Owens, Proenza Schouler.
1. Central Saint MartinsLocation: London, United Kingdom Acceptance Rate: private Total Enrollment: private Famous Fashion Designers: Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Gareth Pugh, Mary Katrantzou, Sarah Burton, Riccardo Tisci, Phoebe Philo.
Want to be a fashion insider?Subscribe here for the latest updates direct to your inbox!