Colorado

Colorado, nicknamed "The Centenial State" because it was founded in 1876, is best known for the Rocky Mountains, which cover roughly half of the state. The mountain setting provides ample opportunity for outdoor activities, and the sunsets over the Rockies are enough to inspire any imagination. Denver, the state capital, is centrally located, and home to more than half of the state's 4.3 million residents. Access to all of the states rich heritage and glorious wilderness is never far away in Colorado, and neither are the smiling faces of those that call the state their home.

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 list of the Top 25 private Fashion Merchandising School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia (top 2% of schools considered)

Founded in 1978, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is home to more than 12,000 students enrolled in 40 areas of study and 70-plus minors and certificate programs. With campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong, SCAD offers a variety of programs suitable for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management (Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah), a Minor in Fashion Marketing and Management, and MA (all campuses + eLearning) and MFA (Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah) degrees in Luxury and Fashion Management. 

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 2017 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 2017 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.

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.

CO

If you’ve ever wondered why certain fashion schools make the list of top schools and others do not, we’re here to tell you how it works. Education bloggers, students/student groups, alums, media companies, publishers, and others create these lists based on a variety of factors ranging from cost to quality of campus life. Just a few other factors include tuition cost, location, job placement, types of clubs and organizations, cultural activities, and student life.

CO

Colorado might not come to mind when you think of fashion, but several cities in the Centennial State have made their mark in the fashion industry. Head over to Colorado Springs where you will find everything from high-end designer boutiques to outlet malls such as Promenade at Briargate, the Outlet Shops at Castle Rock, and the Citadel. In Denver, you’ll find one of the state’s busiest retail venues—Cherry Creek Shopping District. Cherry Creek is home to 169 shops from Burberry to Ralph Lauren and Downtown Denver is home to more than 300 retailers from Ann Taylor to H&M.

CO

What makes a fashion school program “the best” may vary slightly from student to student. A school with affordable tuition may be high on the list for some students, while others may think convenience or class size is more important. While all of these factors  hold weight for most students, most college ranking groups consider a different set of factors when determining which schools deserve a place on the “best” list. Common factors include program offerings, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, student selectivity, and peer assessment.

CSU

When you think Fashion Designer, models and runways come to mind.  However, the work of a designer is far-reaching.  At Colorado State University, students learn the art of couture, but also learn to design for more practical use, including medical use, and outerwear to hit the slopes.

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. 

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.

The Art Institute of Colorado

The Art Institute of Colorado: Fashion Design/ Fashion Retail Management.
Denver, Colorado
Department of Fashion Design & Fashion Retail Management

The fashion design curriculum at the Art Institute of Colorado gives students a comprehensive approach to the fashion industry by incorporating many facets of design including business, design, technology, and marketing. Courses in the fashion program are up to date with technological trends in the design industry, allowing students to master the craft of design by developing both technical proficiency and creative thinking skills. Fashion design majors are prepared for entry level work as an assistant designer, stylist, display artist, fashion illustrator, manufacturing production assistant, or computer marking and grading technician. Fashion retail management students are given a solid understanding of retailing and fashion, starting with historical contextualization followed by coursework in drawing and design, apparel evaluation, construction, retail operations, and manufacturing. Retail management majors are trained to enter the workforce as an assistant manager, sales associate, special event coordinator, or visual merchandiser.

Colorado State University


Colorado State University: Design & Merchandising Apparel Design and Production/ Merchandising/ Apparel and Merchandising.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Department of Design & Merchandising

The fashion program curriculum at Colorado State University is structured to give students a concentrated course of study in apparel design, production, or merchandising. Sustainability and social consciousness are an integral part of all courses in the fashion department. Colorado State University gives students the opportunity to enrich their fashion studies by attending an international fashion tour of Guatemala, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, or within the US in New York.

Colorado Springs

The Colorado Springs Fashion Scene

Yes, Colorado Springs has a fashion scene! Although casual is king here, the looks are still classic, expensive, and almost always designer. While designer duds do well here, the city’s independent boutiques are the places to find chic looks for a night out on the town. Head downtown for a variety of unique boutiques or visit one of Colorado Springs’ many malls to look for trendy fashions at your favorite retailers. Just a few top places to shop are Promenade at Briargate, the Outlet Shops at Castle Rock, and the Citadel.

Denver

The Denver Fashion Scene

Denver’s fashion scene is all about upscale, designer fashions. The city is home to one of the busiest shopping districts in the state—Cherry Creek Shopping District. This shopping “center” has 169 shops including a mix of upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Tiffany & Co., and independently owned boutiques. Downtown Denver is home to a number of high-end retailers as well, but this pedestrian mall of more than 300 retailers has something for all budgets. You can find everything from Ann Taylor to Banana Republic to H&M here.