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The first step toward a career in the world of fashion may very well be a student’s perusal of the top fashion design schools. Fashion plays an important role in areas ranging from the business world to the red carpet at the Oscar Awards show. The cut of a business suit can influence an executive’s self-image as well as the impression conveyed to their colleagues. And certainly there have been some actresses who’ve stirred more conversation by the gown they’ve appeared in than the film they’d graced.
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There are professional positions involved at every step of the fashion industry, from conception of design to production of garments to retail. So the question may become whether a student relocates to one of the urban centers with the top fashion design schools, or chooses to attend one of the hundreds of fashion colleges spread across North America.
It’s quite possible that succeeding at a smaller college may be more beneficial to the student than achieving more modest results at a larger institution with a more postured reputation in the fashion industry. It’s quite possible that in some cases, the different geographical influences experienced at more remote schools actually inspire fresh ideas which are very well received in the overall market.
The Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in Manhattan, The School of The Art Institute in Chicago and The Art Institute of California are considered top fashion design schools by the industry. However, students wishing to specialize in areas such as textiles, design, merchandising, photography, or marketing may still find excellent programs at one of the independent fashion colleges.
The top fashion design schools located in the eastern United States include The Pratt Institute and Parsons The New School for Design, both offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Parsons also happens to be the former teaching home of Tim Gunn, host of Project Runway. Drexel University in nearby Philadelphia also offers a BFA in Fashion Design.
Students wishing to immerse themselves in the fashion mecca of California may wish to apply to study at the California College of The Arts, with campuses located at San Francisco and Oakland. The Academy of Art University, also in San Francisco, has chosen to quote Coco Chanel for their school motto which is “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
There are also some perhaps unlikely but very interesting choices of top fashion design schools in the Midwest. Kent State University and The University of Cincinnati are both partners with Teen Vogue’s Scholarship program, while the School of The Art Institute of Chicago is the Alma matter of Halston and Cynthia Rowley.
In the south, an exciting incentive for application to the Savannah College of Art and Design is the fact that the school often hosts special guests including designers such as Zac Posen and Miuccia Prada.
Students succeeding in the exciting fashion industry will most likely have made a careful choice from the list of top fashion design schools, and gone on to nurture their personal artistic visions regarding style.
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