Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, has certainly seen better days. But even with a declining population, Detroit is still one of the nation’s top 25 largest cities by population. And with more than 9.8 million residents, Michigan is still one of the top 10 largest states by population. The state still has much to offer in the way of art and culture, academics, and yes, fashion!
First, Michigan is home to 490+ museums, cultural centers, amusement parks, memorial gardens, and more. The state also hosts the festive Michigan Fashion Expo and Michigan Fashion Week, and you will find dozens of worthwhile shopping districts in just about every city, suburb, and town. Head to Detroit where you’ll find shopping districts such as Bricktown, where boutiques are plentiful, and Trapper’s Alley/Greektown, home to a small but diverse collection of unique shops. The city also hosts its very own Fashion Week.
Head to some of Michigan’s smaller cities where you will find upscale malls, outlet malls, and other shopping venues. In Troy, you will find the state’s most upscale Mall—Somerset Collection and in Auburn Hills, you will find one of the regions largest outlet malls—Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The state of Michigan is also home to several schools that offer excellent fashion programs. Just a few include The Art Institute of Michigan-Troy, Central Michigan University, and Eastern Michigan University.
Continue reading to learn more about Michigan’s fashion best programs and where to find them.
According to the latest report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Michigan is home to 107 Title IV degree-granting institutions. More than 150,000 students are enrolled in the state’s top universities, with hundreds enrolled in the Michigan’s top art and design programs alone. Scroll through the list below to find out which Michigan schools are tops for aspiring fashion designers, and what they have to offer.
The Art Institute of Michigan, Detroit - Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Marketing & Management, A.A.S. Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Retailing Diploma, B.F.A. Interior Design, A.A.S. Interior Design
Wayne State University - Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Design and Merchandising, B.S. Fashion Design and Merchandising, B.F.A. Art with concentrations in Fibers, Drawing, Interior Design; M.F.A. in Art with concentrations in Fibers, Drawing; M.A. in Art with concentrations in Fibers, Drawing
Michigan State University - Degrees Offered: B.A. Apparel and Textiles, B.F.A. Apparel and Textile Design
Finlandia University - Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fiber + Fashion Design, B.F.A. Integrated Design, B.F.A. Illustration
Western Michigan University - Degrees Offered: B.S. Fashion Design (Textiles and Apparel Studies), B.S. Merchandising (Textiles and Apparel Studies), B.S. Product Development (Textiles and Apparel Studies)
Northwood University - Degrees Offered: B.B.A. Fashion Marketing and Management
Central Michigan University - Degrees Offered: B.A. Apparel Design and Merchandising, B.A.A. Apparel Design and Merchandising, B.S. Apparel Design and Merchandising, M.S. Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology (APDMT), Accelerated Dual M.S. Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology
The Art Institute of Michigan, Troy - Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Marketing & Management, A.A.S. Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Retailing Diploma, B.F.A. Interior Design
Eastern Michigan University - Degrees Offered: B.S. Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising (ATM) with concentrations in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Textiles; M.S. Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising with concentrations in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Textiles; Ph.D. Technology with a concentration in Textiles
More Programs to Consider:
Employment and Salary Trends for Michigan Fashion Designers
As of 2011, the state of Michigan was home to 30 salaried fashion designers with an average salary of $60,580 per year. They work in design, consulting, apparel manufacturing, and other related areas. Many fashion designers across the U.S. are self-employed especially in major cities. However, the Bureau does not collect data for these individuals. This means Michigan may have a higher population of designers, and they may earn the same, less, or even more than the state average. Some independent designers earn several hundred thousand dollars to millions each year.
The Bureau projects a 10.4 percent increase in employment for fashion designers nationwide for the 2010-2020 decade. Average salaries are on the rise as well. In 2006, the annual mean wage for fashion designers nationwide was $69,270. A news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics dated March 29, 2013 states that the average mean wage for fashion designers today is $72,620 per year.
Another area that might be of interest to aspiring fashion designers and fashion merchandisers is the merchandise display industry. The U.S. is home to 73,490 salaried merchandise displayers, up from 62,580 in 2006. They earn an average mean annual salary of $28,860, up from $26,550 in 2006. The highest paid merchandise displayers earn an average salary of $43,940 yearly and the lowest paid displayers average $17,940 per year.
Michigan has a sizable merchandise display industry with 2,450 displayers averaging $26,230 per year. The state was home to 1,390 merchandise displayers in 2006, averaging $26,610 per year. Some of the best opportunities for merchandise displayers can be found in department stores, clothing stores and boutiques, and in advertising, public relations, and related services.
If you’re looking for opportunities in fashion, check out the large cities first. Other principal cities such as Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Flint are worth exploring next, as well as Clinton, Dearborn, Livonia, and Troy.