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Top 50 Fashion Schools and Programs Across the Globe

Written by Robin WildingApril 1, 2012
Top 50 Fashion Schools

Navigating the complex world of the fashion industry is tough. Choosing a school to get your foot into the door is just as difficult. How much does tuition cost? What programs are offered? What are their job-placement rates? What kind of reputations do they have in the industry?

To help our readers navigate the world of fashion education we have put together a list of the Top 50 Fashion School and Programs around the globe.

Without further ado, here are the top 50 national and international fashion programs and schools, in climax-building reverse order:

50.  Visual College of Art and Design (VCAD) – Vancouver, Canada
The Visual College of Art and Design (VCAD), formerly the Vancouver College of Art and Design, isn't solely based on fashion but instead a multidisciplinary school featuring all of the visual arts. Their diploma programs include Graphic Design, Interior Design, Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion, Fashion Design and 3D Modeling Animation Art and Design—making it the perfect school for someone looking for a broader design education. Their portfolio-driven educational mix of vocational skills and theoretical learning is a fantastic value for their lower-than-average tuition fees.

49.  Apparel Arts – San Francisco
This San-Fran design school is dedicated to fashion, and fashion only. This mean it wastes no time or resources on other programs, and everyone you meet there will be similarly oriented. They offer pragmatic courses in illustration, draping, design principles, grading, textiles, business seminars, tailoring, fit, couture sewing, construction, manufacturing, production and so much more. All the skills an aspiring fashionista needs to succeed in the industry.

48.  Paris Fashion Institute – You guessed it-- Paris
If you've been drooling over all the fashion schools in fabulous Paris but spent more time on your art than your French skills—never fear, the Paris Fashion Institute is here. With courses taught entirely in English the institute offers foreign students the opportunity to soak up Paris culture, fashion and education. Be warned though, the courses are intense so don't go to Paris with the intention of spending all your time in the Louvre...or the Parisian nightclubs.

47.  Milan Fashion Campus – Milan and Online
Anyone with a passion for Italian design but not the budget for international student fees and the high cost of living in Milan should consider the Milan Fashion Campus' online design courses. This innovative institute has original ideas, and not just in fashion designs; they offer short Photoshop and Illustrator rendering courses, a vintage restyling course, fashion templates for beginners and of course plenty of Milan culture-infused program courses.

46.  The Institute of Textile Technology – NC, USA
Talk about a niche market. The Institute of Textile Technology found their niche and is working it—and working it well. If their in-depth textile graduate and continuing education courses weren't enough, this well-intentioned institution also has a fellow program and strong alumni network. 

45.  The Jewelry Arts Institute – New York, NY, USA
Talk about hitting a niche market. The Jewelry Arts Institute's goal is to give a solid education in jewelry design and creation. Pay attention aspiring jewelry designers. Their student-to-teacher ratio is unparalleled at 1 teacher to every 5 students. In addition to teaching core basics like granulation, enameling, chain weaving, etc., they also offer advanced classes that allow their students (once they have mastered the basics) to continue with more-advanced classical training or to use their foundations to explore new directions in the jewelry arts. There really isn't another school in the country serving this niche so well, which makes it a solid option for aspiring jewelry designers.

44.  The Virginia Marti College of Art and Design – Lakewood, Ohio
The Virginia Marti College of Art and Design is a small, yet accredited, college in Ohio focusing on a degree-for-all philosophy. If you crave a career in fashion design but lack the portfolio or experience to back it up then VMCAD might be up your alley. If you do have a solid portfolio or experience they offer advanced placement. Their two-year program will teach you all the fundamentals of fashion, making it a solid option for a first-timer starting from scratch.

43.  Wood Tobé-Coburn – New York, NY
Wood Tobé-Coburn offers two fashion programs: Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design. Their programs are ideal for anyone looking for high-speed vocational fashion training as they offer accelerated programs that allow you to complete a degree in 10-16 months. A solid option for anyone looking for a basic fundamentals-style education in as little time as possible. Their career placement services are best in breed for an accelerated, flexible-learning type school.

42.  Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) – Limerick, Ireland
Part of the Limerick Institute of Technology the Limerick School of Art offers 2 technology-infused B.A. programs, in Product Design and Fashion Design. Any aspiring high-tech designers with an affinity for the Irish culture will love this school. Tuition is on par with other European schools.

41.  The National Institute of Design (NID) – India
NID is not only one of the top fashion technology schools in India, but was also voted as having one of the Top 25 European & Asian programs in the world—making it truly world-class. With reasonable tuition and a location right in the heart of cultural India the institute's students seem to be stimulated into success.