Fashion education: How to find the perfect school

Anyone looking for a career in the fashion industry should get used to the idea of considering international fashion schools. The majority of international fashion houses still sits in Paris, Milan, London and New York, so learning the language of one’s preferred location while studying can’t hurt. Doing internships and applying with the industry’s best is also a good idea. No need to be afraid of the cost of it all - there are scholarships one can apply for - with the right kind of skills.

Fashion schools in London:

Central Saint Martins

Suitable for: very creative and artistic candidates with outstanding talent.

Special feature: The top spot among fashion schools worldwide. Anyone who graduates as a designer here has a bright future ahead of them. Business courses do not fare as well here. Collaboration with LVMH and a joint sustainability program.

Alumni: Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo, Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Mary Katrantzou, Ricardo Tisci, Hussein Chalayan and many more.

Cost: 10.600 euros per year for EU students

London College of Fashion

Suitable for: many different subjects, 70 in total. After BA, a one-year master's program is possible.

Special features: joint sustainability programme with Kering.

Alumni: Jimmy Choo, Rupert Sanderson, Sophia Webster, Michael Michalsky, Dawid Tomaszewski

Cost: 7.250 pounds per semester (about 8.000 euros per semester)

Fashion schools in New York:

Parsons School of Design

Suitable for: students interested in commercial design and fashion enthusiasts who also think of the strategy side of their craft.

Special features: The school is especially well known for its technical orientation.

Alumni: Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu

Cost: 48.600 USD (around 42.000 euros) per year

Fashion Institute of Technology

Suitable for: Creatives with a practical approach who are looking for studies that are close to what the actual job will be like. Internships are part of the curriculum.

Special features: strong business associations

Alumni: Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors

Cost: 10.096 USD (around 8.700 euros) per semester

Fashion schools in Italy:

Istituto Marangoni

Locations: Milan, Florence, Paris, London, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Mumbai, Miami

Suitable for: fashion lovers looking for an international environment and exchange.

Alumni: Franco Moschino and Domenico Dolce

Cost: between 16.000 and 25.000 euros for a BA or MA.


Location: Florence

Suitable for: candidates wanting to specialise in ‚Made in Italy‘. The proximity to leatherworking and Italian finishing companies is taken into account for courses and internships.

Special feature: strong industry associations, for example with Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Vogue Italia.

Alumni: Luke and Lucie Meier (Jil Sander), Torsten Hochstetter (Puma)

Cost: 15.000 euros for a four-year bachelor’s degree, 26.000 euros for a nine-months master’s degree.

Fashion schools in Paris:

Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne

Suitable for: patient and detail-oriented candidates with artisanal skills. Only very few candidates are selected each year.

Specialisation: Couture. A prior degree in design is a prerequisite.

Alumni: Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and André Courrèges

Cost: 13.050 to 14.400 euros


Suitable for: Crafty candidates who want to learn the fashion business from scratch. The oldest fashion school in the world. International exchanges are also possible.

Locations: Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Roubaix, Tokyo, Dubai, Beirut, Moskau, Tunis, Istanbul, Kyoto, Beijing, Seoul, Oslo, Jakarta, Damas, Kuala Lumpur, Sousse, Guangzhou.

Specialisation: model making (dressmaking, tailoring and stylism (design); fashion business.

Alumni: Thierry Mugler and Damir Doma

Fashion schools elsewhere:

Royal Academy Antwerp

Location: Antwerp

Suitable for: very creative and artistic candidates with outstanding talent.

Special feature: Only about 100 candidates are taken each year; knowing Dutch is a prerequisite for many courses.

Alumni: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela, Kris Van Assche, Walter Van Beirendonck

Cost: 245 euros per year for EU students

Bunka Fashion College

Location: Tokyo

Suitable for: Japanese-speaking candidates who want to venture into this culture.

Special feature: 95 percent of students find a job after graduation

Alumni: Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Tsumori Chisato, Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Junya Watanabe.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE; translated and edited by Simone Preuss

Photo: | Pexels


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