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Fashion Schools in Ohio

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Written by FS StaffAugust 5, 2013

Ohio is home to more than 11.5 million people, making it the seventh most populous state in the U.S. The Buckeye State is also the 34th largest state by land size, it has the nation’s seventh largest economy, and it is one of a select group of states with five or more major cities with a population over 200,000. While Ohio’s major industries are farming, manufacturing, and mining, you will find an impressive fashion scene in many of the state’s largest cities.

Head to Columbus where you’ll find the Limited Brands, Inc. headquarters. Limited Brands owns Victoria Secret, Henri Bendel, and of course, the hip Limited stores. Columbus is also home to one of the state’s largest Fashion Week events. Next, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dayton have their very own Fashion Week Events, and Statewide you will find more than 100 shopping malls (many have more than 150 stores), dozens of outlet malls, and literally hundreds of boutiques, resale shops, independent design studios, and more.

Finally, Ohio is home to several of the nation’s top art schools including Columbus College of Art and Design and Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. Combined, these top-tier art and design schools offer degrees in roughly a dozen areas of fashion design. If Ohio sounds like a place you might want to live, study, and learn, continue reading to learn more about the state’s best fashion programs.

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

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Ohio Fashion Schools

Ohio is home to 215 Title IV degree-granting institutions, with more than 100,000 enrolled in the state’s top 10 colleges alone. Thousands are enrolled in the state’s top are and design schools.
Scroll through the list below to find out which schools are tops for aspiring fashion designers, and what they have to offer.

University of Akron – Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Merchandising with specialization tracks in Apparel, Fiber Arts, and Home Furnishings, M.A. Family and Consumer Sciences, Clothing, Textiles, and Interiors, B.A. Interior Design

Ashland University – Degrees Offered: B.S. Fashion Merchandising

Ohio University – Degrees Offered: Degrees Offered: B.S. Retail Merchandising, B.S. Fashion Product Development, M.S. Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising

Bowling Green
Bowling Green State University – Degrees Offered: B.S. Apparel Merchandising & Product Development with a Marketing Option or enrollment in the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), which leads to an A.A.S. in Textile Development and Marketing or Advertising and Communications.

The Art Institute of Ohio, Cincinnati – Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Marketing, A.A.S. Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Retailing Diploma, A.A.S. Interior Design, B.F.A. Interior Design

University of Cincinnati
Degrees Offered: B.S. Fashion Design, Master of Design with a focus in Product Development, Fashion Studies Minor, B.S. Interior Design

Columbus College of Art and Design – Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.F.A. Interior Design, B.F.A. Illustration, Minor Fashion Design, Minor Design History

Ohio State University – Degrees Offered: Degrees Offered: B.S. Fashion and Retail Studies, M.S. Fashion and Retail Studies, Ph.D. Fashion and Retail Studies

Kent State University – Degrees Offered: B.A. in Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Merchandising. Focus areas include Conceptual Design and Technical Design & Production

Virginia Marti College of Art and Design – Degrees Offered: A.A.B. Fashion Design, A.A.B. Fashion Merchandising, A.A.B. Interior Design, Millinery Certificate

Pepper Pike
Ursuline College
Degrees Offered: B.A. Fashion Design, B.A. Fashion Merchandising, A.A.S. Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY (F.I.T), A.A.S Fashion Merchandising from F.I.T

Youngstown State University – Degrees Offered: B.S.A.S. Merchandising with a concentration in Fashion or Interiors; A.A.S. Accessories Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising Management, Interior Design, Jewelry Design, Manufacturing Management: Apparel Products and Related Industries, Textile Development or Marketing or Textile/Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York (F.I.T)

More Programs to Consider:

Employment and Salary Trends for Ohio Fashion Designers

According to the most recent report by Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 3, 2013), Ohio is home to 390 salaried fashion designers. The state was home to 90 salaried designers in 2006. Ohio’s 390 salaried fashion designers earn an average salary of $73,100, up from $51,100 in 2006.
Across the nation, the Bureau predicts a 10.4 percent increase in employment for fashion designers 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.

It is important to note that many fashion designers are self-employed and the Bureau does not collect data for these individuals. Based on feedback from industry insiders and published earnings of some of the world’s top fashion designers, self-employed designers might earn much more or much less than the national average. Some of nation’s top designers earn anywhere from the high six figures to tens of millions of dollars. Some of the lowest paid designers may earn as little as $15,000 a 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.

Ohio has a rather large population of merchandise displayers as well. The state is home to 2,320 merchandise displayers (as of 2013), with an average salary of $25,610 per year. In 2006, the state was home to 1,650 merchandise displayers averaging $24,430 per year. Some of the best opportunities for merchandise displayers can be found in department stores, advertising, public relations and related services, and clothing stores.

Aspiring Ohio-based fashion designers can find job opportunities in the fashion industry in many cities across the state. However, some of the best opportunities can be found in the state’s principle cities including Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton. Other major cities worth exploring include Parma, Canton, Youngstown, and Lorain.