We’ve all heard of FIDM (or at least those of you going for a fashion major), and even if you haven’t, you’ve seen it on The Hills (L.C. went there).
I won’t discount that it is a fantastic school, and you should definitely apply there if you think it’s the right fit. If not, I encourage you to step out of California and broaden your options to include top schools RISD and Columbia Chicago, to name a few.
As an aspiring fashion journalist who recently completed the college decision process, I like to think I’ve had a pretty good education on all that is available, college-wise. Keep reading for my top fives picks for fashion schools (in no particular order).
COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO in Chicago, Illinois
Not to be confused (or affiliated) with Columbia University, Columbia College is an art school through and through. On a campus spread across the city, Columbia offers 2 fashion majors: fashion design and fashion business.
The energy of the school is amazing—I attended their yearly “open house” and was greeted by enthusiastic students all throughout my tour.
RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN in Providence, Rhode Island
Who would have thought that such a small state could hold both an Ivy League university as well as one of the top design colleges in the country?
RISD is located right next to Brown University—so keep your eyes peeled for an Emma Watson sighting (oh wait, she dropped out). These two schools even have a dual enrollment program for you over-achievers. RISD offers 3 fashion-oriented degrees: apparel construction, textiles, and jewelry and metalsmithing.
This school is likely more well-know than FIDM, in terms of fashion colleges. Project Runway, anyone? But there’s so much more to this school than being within walking distance of Mood.
Parsons is mainly design-based, although they do offer an associates degree in fashion marketing. It is a highly acclaimed school that teaches fashion design majors important skills of construction and creation. A foundation year is required at Parsons.
Parsons also has a campus in Paris, with alums like Tom Ford and Erin Fetherston.
SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN in Savannah, Georgia
The “university for creative careers” boasts more than semi-famous alumni (April of Project Runway) and a beautiful location. SCAD offers 4 fashion-related programs: fashion design, fashion marketing and management, accessory design, and luxury and fashion management.
SCAD offers small class sizes and a mentorship program which has included designers Zac Posen, Chris Benz, and Catherine Malandrino. They also partner with labels Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Helmut Lang, among others, for internships and job placement.
Apart for the Savannah location, there are also branches in Atlanta, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and Hong Kong.
And I know that interior decorating should not be your decision-maker when choosing a school, but I have to tell you: the fashion school is gorgeous. Three stories of high ceilings, huge windows, colorful student work adorning the walls….I could seriously live there.
ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY in San Francisco, California
And back to California we go, to top art school AAU. I think I remember hearing a few Chictopians go here/have graduated from here? (Show yourselves!)
This school offers programs in fashion design, knitwear design, textile design, fashion journalism, and fashion merchandising and marketing.