Our 2016 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.

1. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 

Founded in 1868, Oregon State University (OSU) is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in more than 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across 11 academic colleges. The College of Business houses the School of Design & Human Environment (DHE), which offers a BS in Merchandising Management and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS). 

Our 2016 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. The school is home to 1,100 students enrolled in more than a dozen art and design programs. Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BFA in Fashion Design with options in Sustainability or Costume Design.

The Costume Design Emphasis focuses on “new directions in character development for film, television, live performance, concept art, and video,” according to OTIS. 

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.


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.

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Location influences fashion.  Where we live influences how we dress.  Fashion designers must incorporate local demands.  And, probably nowhere in the United States, does local flavor and color stand out more, than in the 50th state, Hawaii.

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.

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.

University of Hawaii

University of Hawaii: Apparel Product Design & Merchandising.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Department of Apparel Product Design & Merchandising

University of Hawaii’s fashion program strives to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to be competitive in the apparel and fashion job market. Apparel design and merchandising majors are encouraged to understand how social, economic, and political factors impact the apparel and fashion industry. Fashion students will also become more aware of dress and appearance’s role within a larger societal framework, which includes individual behavior, social and economic trade, and different cultural contexts. A main goal of the department of apparel product design and merchandising is to assist students in developing critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills.

Honolulu

The Honolulu Fashion Scene

Honolulu is the largest Hawaiian city and one of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. It attracts more visitors each year than any other place in Hawaii, so the retail industry is thriving. In fact, the retail industry employs well over 100,000 workers, and retail sales amount to billions per year. The retail scene is so magnetic here that it has attracted upscale designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Hermes, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Coach, Kate Spade, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. This has made Hawaii—mainly Honolulu’s Waikiki area, a world-class destination for upscale retail.