The 10 Best Fashion Design Schools in the World

Illustration Women Graduates

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. And in order to help you make your decision a little easier, we’ve listed the most elite fashion design schools across the globe.

Without further ado, here are the 10 top-ranked fashion universities in the world.

10. Istituto Marangoni

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 centre 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 programmes 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.

9. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp boasts a unique visual arts education including sculpture, painting, printmaking and photography. With tailored courses around the design process, you can also learn graphic design, jewellery design, silversmithing as well as fashion and costume design at this educational establishment.

So, if you want a less generic degree, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts has just the very best expertise in theatrical and visual design. And although the university has limited subjects, they offer both a bachelor’s and master’s in all their listed courses.

8. Royal College of Art

Location: London, England

Located in the city centre of London is one of the top fashion universities in the world. The prestigious Royal College of Art was ranked 2019’s number one school for art and design and is particularly renowned for its master’s programme in fashion.

Students taking the course at RCA get to work with top brands including Nike, Tom Ford and Porsche, among many others. To ensure their students come out with a completely tailored degree, they offer four key specialisms that graduates must choose from: menswear, womenswear, knitwear or footwear.

7. ESMOD

Location: Paris, France

The prestigious ESMOD – or École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode, as it is locally known – is located on the border of Paris, close to the Chanel headquarters, and is one of the hardest fashion schools to get into. To earn yourself a spot on one of their courses, you must first submit an application and then supply a portfolio of work before receiving an answer.

With over 170 years of experience in the field, ESMOD has expanded its syllabi by offering education in fashion design, including womenswear, menswear, children’s clothing, traditional couture, costume design and accessories, as well as business fashion.

6. Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 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 theatre hall lecture.

At 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!

5. Central Saint Martins

Location: London, England

Located in the heart of London, this creative establishment originally founded in the 19th Century merges a wide range of courses under one roof, including undergraduate degrees, and master’s and summer programmes.

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. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Location: Helsinki, Finland

This elite university located in Finland is one of a kind. The fashion design school is relatively new but has gained major credit in the past couple of years. The school’s fashion programme 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 Helsinki, 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 class-A education.

3. Parsons School of Design

Location: New York City, New York, US

Founded in 1986, this innovative school aims at delivering 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 the course of your education, you’ll examine urban systems through the art of design, including transportation, galleries, media firms and even farms.

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, New York, 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.

The innovative curriculum has been developed with business leaders to prepare students for real-life work, ensuring that they are ready to jump into a full-time position as soon as they graduate. And with an on-site art and design gallery, students have the opportunity to display their work alongside pieces from established designers.

Figuring out where to attend university is a difficult decision that many school leavers have to make. Hopefully, after reading this list, you’ll have a better understanding of the top schools 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!