California

From the time of the gold rush to today's would-be stars seeking fame and success in Hollywood, California has often been considered the land of opportunity and a great place to live. The Golden State is famous for its amazing scenery, fabulous weather, laid-back lifestyle, and movie star glamour. ...

Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 schools on the West Coast for fashion merchandising. 

We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 fashion design schools on the West Coast. 

We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California

Otis College of Art and Design (OTIS) was founded in 1918. It is home to 1,100 students enrolled in more than a dozen art and design programs. The school offers one degree program for aspiring fashion designers—a BFA in Fashion Design. Students may select an Emphasis in Costume Design which focuses on “new directions in character development for film, television, live performance, concept art, and video,” according to OTIS.

A Minor in Sustainability is another popular option and the Continuing Education Department offers a number of single courses for aspiring fashion designers as well. Offerings include Fashion Design, Textile/Surface Design, Jewelry Design, and Illustration. 

OTIS Fashion students are mentored by major brands and designers such as Ruben & Isabel Toledo, A|X, Halston, Billabong, Nike, BCBG, Hurley, and Johnny Was. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their designs at the Annual Scholarship and Benefit Fashion Show. Student designs are also displayed in the Nieman Marcus window in Beverly Hills.

Top 20

Our 2014 list of the Top 20 fashion marketing school programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

Our 2014 list of the Top 20 fashion management school programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.


Our 2014 rankings of the Top 10 schools on the West Coast for fashion merchandising. 

We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho. 

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 20 schools on the West Coast for fashion design. 

We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

 

1. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California
The Fashion Design Department at Otis College of Design (OTIS) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design. Program highlights include an annual fashion show and access to famous guest design mentors such as Billabong, Venus Williams, and Urban Outfitters. All OTIS students have the opportunity to enroll in the school’s Study Abroad program during their final years of study. Past study destinations include the Island country of Palau, Venice, Belgium, France, China, and Italy. Travel Study Tours to New York City are also on the menu.

Sf State

The city of San Francisco is a great place to study fashion design.   With a new focus on sustainability in design, there is nowhere more at the forefront of sustainable fashion than SF.   The city offers spectacular architecture and art, and stunning ocean and bay views, where one can draw inspiration.  Aspiring designers can also find internships in the city to get firsthand experience in the fashion business.

CA

What makes a school a “top” school? This may be up for debate in some circles, but according to a number of student groups, education organizations, bloggers, and alums, roughly a dozen factors separate the best from the rest. Besides offering a quality education, these groups say a top school is also affordable and convenient, it has excellent job placement services, and a diverse collection of student clubs and organizations, intramural sports, cultural opportunities, state of the art facilities, and more. Fortunately, a large number of California schools scored high in all areas. Many of these schools happen to offer some of the finest design programs in the world—including programs for aspiring fashion designers and fashion merchandisers.

CA

With more than 38 million residents, California is the nation’s largest state by population. The Golden State is famous for having some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches and even the best view of the world from Mount Diablo State Park (summit 3,849'). More of the earth's surface can be seen from here than any other peak in the world—except Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. The state is also home to the two tallest trees in the world—one in Redwood National Park (379 and 4 inches), the other in Humboldt Redwoods State Park (369 feet tall).

CA

What does it take to earn a spot on the list of “Best Fashion Programs?” Is it all about being the most affordable school? Having a stellar reputation in the world of art? Or how about having the most convenient location? Well, it depends. Many reputable ranking agencies consider certain aspects of any given college to determine how it ranks overall. They calculate scores based on factors such as peer assessment, financial resources, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, program offerings, and student selectivity. Each factor carries a certain amount of weight, which helps calculate a final overall score. For example, smaller classes carry more weight than larger classes and the number of students that graduate in four years instead of six matters.

CCA

California College of the Arts’ Fashion Design Program is an idea-driven, craft-based course of study.  The program offers aspiring designers the chance and the tools to tap into their own creativity, to bring their vision to life in their design.  Students learn all aspect of what goes into the design process, and are given the skills required in the 21st Century.  The Fashion Design program includes hands-on experience in state-of-the-art studios on campus, as well as a wide array of internship opportunities.

OTIS

Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Otis College of Art and Design has been turning out fashion designers since 1918.  The non-profit institution was founded by General Harrison Gray Otis, the founder and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, who bequeathed his L.A. home to the city for "the advancement of the arts."   

California State University, Long Beach

“Welcome to the Beach,” says the president of California State University, Long Beach.  The ocean, just 3 miles away, provides a serene backdrop for students pursuing a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design.  The school is also located on the Los Angeles/Orange County line, where students can get a first hand look at some of Hollywood’s “Do’s and Don’ts” on the red carpet, and look behind the scenes at those creating all the glamour.

West Coast

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 on the West Coast. For the record, we define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Idaho. 

In preparing this list, we reviewed the program offerings of over 200 schools in the US that offer fashion related programs. Our goal with this list is to give students who are interested in fashion merchandising a starting point by which they can identify the schools that offer fashion merchandising specific programs. The criteria we used in making this list consists of the following, in no particular order: academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, and geographic location. More info on our criteria.

Fashion Management Schools

Fashion Management is a specialized management degree that typically focuses on the business side of the fashion industry, which includes retailing, marketing, manufacturing, visual merchandising, consumer behavior, fashion cycles, store planning, and event production. Fashion Management programs often, though not always, include training in fashion design. 

Fashion marketing is a niche specialty degree as many fashion schools do not offer degrees specific to the marketing side of fashion. In preparing this list, we reviewed the program offerings of over 200 schools in the US that offer fashion related programs. Our goal with this list is to give students who are interested in fashion marketing a starting point by which they can identify the schools that offer fashion marketing specific programs. 

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 75 Fashion Design School Programs in the US.

California Schools with Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising

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 California colleges: