Pursuing a career in fashion requires a combination of expert knowledge, impeccable style, creativity, a great network, and the credentials to go with it.
But one way to receiving a good steppingstone into the tough world of fashion is by attending one of the very best fashion schools in the world. Not only do you receive a top-quality education, but you also have access to a pool of the world’s greatest lecturers, designers and stylists!
So, if you already know that fashion is the way forward, you now need to decide which school you should be aiming for to have a successful career as a fashion designer. And to help you make your decision a little easier, we bring to you the 10 best fashion schools in the world, as ranked by CEOWORLD.
10. Savannah College of Art and Design
Location: Savannah, Georgia, US
The Savannah College of Art and Design is focused on preparing its students for creative professions through specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs revolving around liberal art, architecture, design, fashion, entertainment, and business.
Their renowned School of Fashion offers courses such as fashion marketing and management, accessory design, fibers and textiles, and fashion, giving prospective students the opportunity to explore and develop their knowledge in the areas that interest them the most.
Beyond the classroom, SCAD students also have the opportunity to attend the university’s annual fashion shows and events as well as network with leading industry moguls including Carolina Herrera and Jason Wu.
9. National Institute of Fashion Technology
Location: New Delhi, India
Founded in 1986, the National Institute of Fashion Technology has campuses all across India, welcoming students with interests in fashion design, technology and management.
The school also boasts a vast material collection, which includes fashion garments, traditional costumes and textiles. Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from India’s traditional textiles and crafts while becoming well-versed in global fashion trends.
Beyond their undergrad, postgrad and doctoral programs, NIFT’s academic catalog also includes continuing education certificate programs for seasoned professionals hoping to develop further technical knowledge and skills to become a fashion designer.
8. Bunka Fashion College
Location: Tokyo, Japan
The Bunka Fashion College has established itself as one of the most prestigious fashion schools in Asia and across the world. The school has produced numerous designers whose work has taken the world stage and has a network of alumni of over 300,000 people.
The college campus is right next door to the Shibuya district in Tokyo, which is the heart of mainstream youth culture and fashion in the city.
When it comes to academics, students can choose courses offered by one of the college’s main departments: Fashion Creation Department, Fashion Technology Department, Fashion Marketing and Distribution Department, and Fashion Accessories and Textiles Department.
7. Istituto Marangoni International
Location: Milan, Italy
It’s no surprise that one of the leading fashion universities is located in the heart of the fashion capital of the world, Milan. The Istituto Marangoni is a long-standing institution dating back to 1935 when fashion designer Giulio Marangoni, who was loved by the Italian aristocrats, decided to open a training center and teach his tricks and techniques.
Since then, the school has developed and expanded its range of courses to cater to those seeking to learn more about fashion, focusing on areas including design, communication and management. With programs at both bachelor’s and master’s level, the Istituto Marangoni prides itself on its extensive education portfolio that’s constantly updated to match industry demands and evolution.
6. Parsons School of Design
Location: New York City, NY, US
Founded in 1986, this innovative school aims to deliver the very best education in the creative arts. Focusing on a more liberal teaching approach, Parsons places high importance on practice-based learning.
Its urban focus connects to its New York roots, making the school a great choice for those who get inordinate inspiration from their surroundings. During your studies, you’ll examine urban systems through the art of design, including transportation, galleries, media firms and even farms.
5. Central Saint Martins
Location: London, England
Located in the heart of London, this creative establishment, which was originally founded in the 19th century, merges a wide range of courses under one roof, including undergraduate degrees, and master’s and summer programs.
Its fashion courses, however, are among the most popular, with tailored degrees in various areas of the industry, including design, journalism, textiles, critical studies and photography.
4. School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University
Location: Espoo, Finland
This elite university located in Finland is one of a kind. Aalto University’s fashion design school is relatively new but has gained major credit in the past couple of years. Its fashion program includes two years of full-time study, along with four to six weeks working in a workshop on a personal project.
Located in the technological hub of Espoo, Aalto University prides itself on its nightlife and student support. With a large student union, you’ll be sure to make lots of fond memories while receiving a class-A education.
3. Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University
Location: Philadelphia, PA, US
Drexel University’s teaching is a bit different than your standard university. At this media and design school, classes are taught in very small groups and have a more hands-on approach to the regular theater hall lecture.
At the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, only the best teachers who have real-life experience in the field are employed. Many of them have worked at big fashion houses and even bagged a few Emmy Awards along the way!
2. London College of Fashion
Location: London, England
At the forefront of the best fashion education is the renowned London College of Fashion. Offering a dynamic and fun university experience, you will not only receive expert knowledge from industry leaders but also be enriched by the culture and fashion that London has to offer.
With a wide range of courses, you can choose to do either an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree or even a handful of short courses, making top-notch fashion education readily available for anyone who’s interested.
1. Fashion Institute of Technology
Location: New York City, NY, US
Ranking in first place is New York City’s finest Fashion Institute of Technology. Well-known for its rigorous and adaptable education, the university helps students find their path in fashion, design and art.
From advertising and digital design to art market studies to film and media, students at FIT have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to the programs on offer. Moreover, the school also offers precollege programs and continuing education courses, welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds and helping them take their first steps into the fashion industry.
The innovative curriculum has been developed with business leaders to prepare students for real-life work, ensuring that they’re ready to jump into a full-time position as soon as they graduate. And with an on-site art and design gallery, students can display their work alongside pieces from established designers.
These world-renowned fashion schools are paving the way for new talent in the industry. Their cutting-edge curriculums, recognized staff, top courses, and diverse student bodies make them the perfect environment for any aspiring fashion professional.
Figuring out where to attend university can be a difficult decision to make as a school leaver, but hopefully, after reading this list, you’ll have a better understanding of the top schools that are available to you, and may even consider applying to one.
Did any of these schools rank highly on your application list? Let us know by joining the conversation down below!
Originally published on 16 December 2019. Updated by Melina Theodorou.