Arizona

Arizona, with its abundant sunshine, beautiful desert, and thriving urban landscapes, is one of the fastest growing states in America. Its diverse environment provides a perfect environment for study and learning. Its rich cultural heritage also provides a unique perspective upon which to draw when designing.

Our 2016 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion merchandising in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 

Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University (CSU) is home to 32,236 students enrolled in more than 150 degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. The College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the Design and Merchandising Program. Degree offerings for aspiring fashion merchandisers include a BS in Apparel and Merchandising - Merchandising, and an MS in Design and Merchandising - Apparel and Merchandising. A Minor in Merchandising is also available. 

Our 2016 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion design in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University was established in 1890. It is home to more than 35,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs across a five-campus system and 10 colleges. The College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. According to the Department, “the ADP program at OSU is one of only thirteen apparel programs in North America to receive the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) approval.” This means that the “curriculum and facilities have met the rigorous standards” of the AAFA. 

Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion merchandising in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion design in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Founded in 1870, Colorado State University (CSU) is home to around 30,000 students enrolled in more than 150 degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. The College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the Design and Merchandising Program which has several degree offerings for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS in Apparel and Merchandising - Apparel Design and Production, and an MS in Design and Merchandising - Apparel and Merchandising. 

Program highlights include internship opportunities, study abroad experiences, and access to the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising (formerly the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection). The Museum features more than 18,000 artifacts and collections, with special collections by Calvin Klein, James Galanos, Carolina Herrera, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Versace. The museum also features ethnographic holdings and The Ruth Payne Hellmann Lace Collection which includes more than 1,500 pieces of historic lace and lacemaking tools.

Students interested in studying abroad have a variety of locations to choose from. Past design students have studied in Italy, France, Peru, Ghana, and Australia. Some have also participated in Semester at Sea which enrolled 629 students from 251 colleges and universities in 2014.

Our 2014 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion merchandising in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

Our 2014 list of the Top 75 Fashion Merchandising School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a leader in the worlds of art, design, business and technology. Accredited by the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, FIT offers 43 majors leading to Associates, Bachelors, and Master’s degrees. Part of the popular State University of New York (SUNY), FIT was established in 1944 with just 100 students on the top two floors of the High School of Needle Trades.


Our 2014 rankings of the Top 10 schools for fashion design in the Southwest US. 


We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

Southwest

Each day we receive emails from aspiring fashion designers asking us for advice as to which fashion design schools are the “best” in the US, a given state, or in a particular area of the country.  As such advice is difficult to provide on an individual basis, we have instead created this list of the Top 10 Fashion School Programs in the Southwest. For the record, we define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. 

At Fashion-Schools.org we have profiled colleges across the US that offer fashion design and fashion merchandising related programs. Below is a list of profiles of Arizona colleges:

Collins College

Mesa

The Mesa Fashion Scene

Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix (number one) and Tucson (number two), but it still has an active fashion scene and a large population of fashionistas. After all, Mesa is only 19 miles from Phoenix—the fashion center of Arizona. While Mesa residents may frequent Phoenix for fashion finds, they can also find fashions by talented local designers along Main Street, Dobson Road, Southern Avenue, and University Drive, to name a few. 

Tucson

The Tucson Fashion Scene

Tucson is around half the size of Phoenix, but it still has an active fashion scene and a large population of fashionistas. For starters, Tucson is home to one of the state’s largest fashion weeks—Tucson Fashion Week. The event showcases designs from established and up and coming Tucson designers. Next, Tucson is home to an impressive collection of boutiques, vintage shops, and mainstream shopping venues. Tucson Mall, Foothills Mall, and Park Place are just a few to find department stores such as Macy’s and major retailers from Banana Republic and LOFT to Benetton and Wet Seal. Upscale shopping is plentiful at the outdoor Mall La Encantada, and boutiques that sell fashions by both local and worldwide designers can be found in the Fourth Avenue shopping district, Main Gate Square, and the El Presidio District in bustling Downtown Tucson.

Collins College

Collins College: Fashion Design & Merchandising.
Phoenix, Arizona
Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising

The Fashion Design & Merchandising program at Collins College gives students a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry and stresses the importance of learning both the design side and business side of fashion. Students who successfully complete the fashion program will have a clear understanding of the entire industry, which makes them more valuable assets in the workplace.

Harding University

Harding University: Fashion Merchandising/ Interiors Merchandising.
Searcy, Arkansas
Family and Consumer Sciences Department

The fashion merchandising/interiors merchandising programs at Harding University are structured to give Christian students the skills and knowledge they need to take leadership roles in the merchandising industry. Graduates are trained to provide effective design service at their place of work, while helping companies achieve their merchandising objectives and goals. The fashion department uses the latest teaching methods in conjunction with hands on experience to create the most effective learning environment possible in fashion and interiors merchandising.

The Art Institute of Tucson

The Art Institute of Tucson: Fashion Design/ Fashion Marketing.
Tucson, Arizona
Departments of Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing

Students in the Fashion Design program will develop a strong foundation in fashion design by learning about the different elements the field encompasses, including the theoretical and practical applications of tailoring, draping, pattern drafting, sewing, construction, fashion illustration techniques, and other aspects of creative design. Mastery of these skills is aided and augmented by computer design programs, which provide students with knowledge about computerized fashion design systems. Students studying Fashion Marketing will cultivate a deep understanding of different aspects of apparel marketing including fashion history, fashion cycles, industry advertising, and textiles.

Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College: Fashion Merchandising & Design Fashion Merchandising/ Fashion Design/ Retailing.
Mesa, Arizona
Fashion Merchandising & Design Department

The Fashion Merchandising & Design department at Mesa Community College incorporates all students who have the desire to become professionals in the fashion industry. One of the main objectives of the merchandising and design curriculum is to provide students a clear picture of current trends in the fashion industry. To help achieve this goal, Mesa Community College offers students the opportunity to network with faculty members who have years of experience in fashion and design. The department’s teaching philosophy emphasizes the value of learning by experience, which sends out students to participate in the fashion industry in their community.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University: Merchandising
Flagstaff, Arizona
School of Communication   

North Arizona University offers an in-depth curriculum designed to give students a solid background in all aspects of product merchandising and services. The School of Communication offers courses that help students improve their communication skills. The merchandising industry entails a host of strategic challenges including product selection, scheduling, merchandise quantity, and pricing. To prepare students for these challenges, the Merchandising program prepares individuals to be qualified in analyzing products and consumer trends, purchasing merchandise from different apparel markets, and executing successful advertising and promotional events campaigns.