You want to study Fashion Design but are not sure where to begin, how to apply and most important where to go? As you might know I studied Fashion Design myself (at Central Saint Martins) and today I want to tell you a little bit about my own experience and also I want to share the top fashion universities of the world with you.
1. Central Saint Martins, London
I could talk about Central Saint Martins for ages as that’s the college that I went to. I had a wonderful time there and can only recommend everyone to apply there. According to most of the fashion college ratings, Central Saint Martins is the leading fashion institution in the world. They offer foundation courses, BA and MA. But not only fashion courses are available at CSM. There is a wide range of other Art and Design education possibilities. Make sure to check them out here. I have to admit that I was very lucky as I studied during a time when tuition fees weren’t as crazy high as they are now. But there are always possibilities to get all kind of financial support, especially during final year. Be aware of the high amount of applicants every year, it is definitely not easy to get into CSM. And once you do, that’s when the hard work actually starts.
2. Parsons The New School for Design, New York
I have friends who studied Fashion Design at Parsons, all of them very talented and dedicated people. Parsons offers a wide range of fashion design, fashion studies and fashion marketing programs. Unfortunately, like every other American university, Parsons has absolutely insane tuition fees ($36,800 per year!). Their famous grads like Donna Karan or Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez from Proenza Schouler are not only shaping the American fashion industry, but also giving workshops at Parsons for future designers.
3. Royal College of Art, London
The Royal College of Art offers only postgraduate courses, so it is only suitable if you have already done your BA. I have been working with several people over the past year, who graduated from this college. They were all extremely organised, very commited and innovative. And they all had only good things to say about this college.
4. London College of Fashion, London
There is no fashion course that you can think of, which is not offered by LCF. You can study fashion journalism, marketing, beauty, buying and merchandising and of course fashion design. I have a lot of friends who studied there, with most of them I have been working on projects and I can say that I was more than happy with the outcomes. The graduates of this school are very dedicated, professional and skilled.
5. Antwerp Royal Academy, Antwerp
You have probably heard of the Antwerp Six, the fabulous group of influential avant garde designers (Walter van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee). Do you know what they all have in common? They all went the the Antwerp Royal Academy. The school is known for a very intense timetable, a lot of students drop out as they can’t handle this huge amount work. If you are still interested and are willing to work harder then hard, then you should definitely apply for this school. The disadvantage is that you have to speak Dutch in order to study there. The great thing is that the tuition fees of € 6.000 (per year) are usually subsidized by the government, even for foreign students.
Bunka Fashion College was created in 1919 is nowadays synonymous with Japanese avant-garde design. Their graduates include influential fashion designers like Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Chisato Tsumori. The disadvantage for European applicants is that you have to speak Japanese plus you have to be able to afford life in Japan, as you won’t be allowed to work there as a student, not even part-time.