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Top Fashion Schools of 2021

Every student faces the difficult decision of choosing one school amongst the throngs of hallowed halls of learning scattered around the world. The decision is probably even more difficult for fashion design students. 


When you have to choose between the alluring charms of fashion design schools and colleges in the United States or one of the lofty and renowned fashion design schools in France, the United Kingdom, or Italy, the choice can be a very difficult one to make. 


To make this choice easier for aspiring fashion design students, we have put together a list of the best fashion design schools worldwide. These schools offer the best fashion design courses, teaching methods, and their alumni are some of the most prominent names in the fashion world in their various regions. 


Fashion Institute of Technology 


FIT

With five fashion schools offering over thirty AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS major degrees in fashion design, it is no wonder that the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, tops our list. FIT was established in 1944 has produced some of the most notable names in the fashion design industry through its world-class fashion design courses, straightforward and learner-centered teaching methods, and experienced instructors. 


Some notable alumni include Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, and Scott Salvator. In 2021, FIT students in New York pay a tuition of $7,793. Out-of-state students pay $22,315, while graduate students from New York and others pay $12,165 and $24,209, respectively. 


London College of Fashion 


The next fashion school on our list is the prestigious London College of Fashion, located in London, England. The school is one of the constituent colleges within the University of the Arts London. The London College of Fashion is notable for many things, especially its diverse fashion courses. Aspiring fashion students can study everything from journalism, fashion marketing, fashion curation, and criticism and photography. 


Though the London College of Fashion, as it is known today, only came into existence in 1974, the college has its roots in fashion schools established in London in the early 1900s. Notable alumni include Jimmy Choo, Peggy Gou, Emma Hope, and William Tempest. 


Central Saint Martins 


The Central Saint Martins is another constituent college of the University of Arts London. The college also has its roots in two prestigious London fashion schools, the Central School of Arts and Design, established in 1896, and the Saint Martins School of Art, established in 1854. 


At the college, aspiring fashion design students can take a wide range of full-time fashion courses starting from the foundational level. Tuition for the 2021/2022 academic session at Central Saint Martins is £9,250 for UK and EU undergraduate students and £22,920 for international undergraduate students. The figures are the same for the London College of Fashion. Notable alumni are Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, and Paul Smith. 


Parson School of Design 

Fashion


Our search for great fashion design schools leads us back to New York, where thousands of fashion design students are learning under the best conditions in the Parson School of Design. The school was established in 1896 by American painter William Chase. Then, the school was called The Chase School. Today, it is one of the five colleges of The New School and one of the most notable fashion schools in the world. 


The Parson School of Design offers a wide range of courses, including fashion design, curatorial studies, interior design, and others, through its five subdivisions of schools. For the 2020/2021 academic session, students paid $25,861 per semester. Alexander Wang, Tom Ford, Kay Unger, and Marc Jacobs are some of the notable designers that studied in the school. 


Istituto Marangoni 


From New York, we travel down to one of the largest cities in Italy. Milan is the home of the Istituto Marangoni, the fifth institution on our list. Established in 1935, the school is a private institution that offers detailed fashion courses in different aspects of fashion designing, fashion business, brand management, and others. Though it was established in Milan, it does not limit its operation to the city. It has other campuses in London, Paris, Florence, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Mumbai. 


For tuition, undergraduate EU students pay between €19,500 and €21,500, depending on the course of study. International students pay between €21,500 and €23,500. Because of its international branches, Istituto Marangoni has many international alumni, including Franco Moschino, Domenico Dolce, Rahul Mishra, and Sandra Mansour. 


Bunka Fashion College 


Fashion Student

Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo, Japan, started Namiki Dressmaking School in 1919. The school became known as Bunka Fashion College in 1936, around the same time it started publishing the first fashion magazine in the Asian country. At first, Bunka Fashion College was only popular in Japan and its neighboring countries, but this changed in the early 1960s when some of its students began to steal the show at international fashion exhibits. Since then, the school has grown to become one of the most notable fashion institutions in Asia and the rest of the world. For tuition of ¥1,077,400 (roughly about $9,000) for the first year, aspiring fashion design students can join the Bunka Fashion College community. Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada and Tsumori Chisato are some of the alumni of the school. 


National Institute of Fashion Technology 


The National Institute of Fashion Technology was established in New Delhi, India, in 1986 as a part of the government’s initiative to develop the textile industry of the South Asian country. Today, the school has seventeen campuses spread over Indian cities, such as Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Jodhpur. NIFT offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses in fashion design, fashion management, and fashion technology. 


At the undergraduate level, students have the opportunity to study a wide range of design courses, including textile design, accessory design, knitwear design, and leather design. NIFT tuition ranges from 118,050-154,700 Indian Rupees for each of the eight semesters undergraduate students spend in the school. 


The cost for the lowest semester being 118,050 INR and the highest being 154,700 INR. M.Des, MFM, and M.FTech programs cost about 2.25 Lakhs. Renowned fashion designers Sakhi Thomas and Manish Arora are former students of NIFT. 


Savannah College of Art & Design 


The Savannah College of Art & Design is a private non-profit art and design school founded in Savannah, Georgia, in 1978. The university offers over 100 major and minor courses through nine schools, including the schools of fashion, design, digital media, and liberal arts. It has branches in Atlanta and Lacoste, France, after having recently closed down its Hong Kong branch for safety reasons. 


SCAN hosts numerous exhibits, shows, and festivals yearly to showcase students’ creative pieces. These include the Savannah Film Festival, deFINE ARTS, and the Sidewalk Arts and Sand Arts Festivals. 


The school offers BFA, MA, and MFA programs to fashion design students who want to study accessory design, fibers, jewelry and many other fashion courses. Studying at Savannah College of Art & Design costs around $38,340 and $39,240 yearly for undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively. Savannah has a community of popular alumni and faculty members. Christopher McDonnel and Tom Hardy are popular faculty members, while M. Alice LeGrow and Jarrett William are some of their famous alumni. 


Royal College of Art 


Our list would be incomplete without the prestigious Royal College of Art, London. It is one of the most prestigious and oldest art and design schools in the world. RCA was established in 1837 as the Government School of Design, and in 1896, it changed its name to the Royal College of Art. With notable alumni such as Zandra Rhodes, Ossie Clark, Henry Moore, and Thomas Heatherwick, it is every designer’s dream. The school allows students to gain work experience in reputable fashion establishments like Prada and Louis Vuitton. For this and its many other strong suits, many fashion designers covet studying there. However, the RCA does not just open its doors to anyone. It only offers postgraduate fashion courses. Fees range from £9,750-£29,000 depending on the student’s home country and course of study. 


Royal Academy of Fine Arts 


The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium is another prestigious and world-class fashion school in the world. It was established in 1663 and, to date, remains an elite fashion school with only a few hundred students. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts offers a broad range of courses on visual arts and design. Some of the courses are fashion design, costume design, and jewelry design, and gold and silversmithing. 


The institution encourages enrollment of international students with a high percentage of international students of 83%. Scholarships and government aid are granted to subsidize the cost of living and tuition for many students. Learning at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts costs between €1,123 and €7,200 for EU students and international students, respectively. During the course of the program, students are expected to participate in various fashion exhibits and shows to prepare them for the outside world. Notable alumni include Bruno Pieters, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela.  


ESMOD 


Our search takes us back to the dreamy city of Paris, France, where fashion students are learning all about creativity, class, and elegance. The École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD) is one of the oldest fashion schools in the world. It was established in 1941. 


Apart from the main school in Paris, it has branches in other French cities, including Lyons and Rennes. It also has international branches spread across the world. ESMOD offers full-time as well as short courses to aspiring fashion design students around the world. If you want to take a course in the fashion business, pattern making, fashion design, and many other design courses, ESMOD is the school for you. 


Like other institutions on the list, ESMOD has many notable alumni, including Nina Garcia, Oliver Rousteing, and Thierry Mugler. ESMOD Fees cost anywhere between €11,000 and €15,300 per year, depending on the course and city of study. Students in Paris pay more than those in cities like Lyons and Rennes.


Pratt Institute 


The Pratt Institute was established in 1887 by Charles Pratt, an American businessman who wanted to give people of all races and gender equal access to education. The school is renowned for its world-class undergraduate and graduate courses to date.

 

Pratt Institute is located in Brooklyn, New York, with branches in Manhattan and Utica. It offers almost fifty graduate and undergraduate courses through its six academic divisions, including its schools of Arts, Design, and Architecture. The School of Design has four departments, the departments of communications design, fashion design, interior design, and industrial design. 


Through its prestigious foreign exchange programs, students of Pratt Institute can visit many fashion hubs, including London, Milan, Paris, and Florence. Students also have the opportunity to intern with well-known fashion houses. 


Learning at Pratt Institute costs around $53,566 or less, depending on the number of credits a student takes. The fees could also be higher as Pratt Institute charges $1,728 more for each credit above 18 credits. Notable fashion designers who went to Pratt Institute include Norman Norell, Keith Michael, and Jeremy Scott. 


Politecnico di Milano


The last name on our list is the renowned Politecnico di Milano, a technical university in Milan, Italy. The university was established in 1863 and is the oldest and largest in the Italian city. The university offers two fashion design degrees, a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and a Master’s degree in Design for the Fashion System. Politecnico di Milano has a large community of students with over 40,000 students currently enrolled. Gianfranco Ferre, a notable Italian fashion designer, is an alumnus of the institution. 


The school has relatively low tuition compared to some of the other institutions on this list. EEA students and non-EEA students residing in Italy pay between €895 and€3898, depending on family income, the number of credits, and the semester of admission. Other non-EEA students pay €3898. The school accepts tuition in two installments. 



There you have it, a list of the best fashion schools in the world in 2021. Start your journey in any of these prestigious institutions of learning today. You just might be the next big name in the fashion industry. 


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