New York Isn't the Only Town with Fashion Schools

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

September 29, 2006

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Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Aspiring fashion designers no longer have to travel to New York City to attend fashion school. Fashion schools are located all around the United States, in small cities as well as metropolitan areas. Like most post-secondary schools, fashion schools come in many varieties in terms of their curriculum, research interests and experience of professors, and areas of specialization.

This variety is great for fashion students; however, it requires research to ensure you pick a school that's a good fit for you. Here's a few tips to help you make sure you're choosing the clothing design school best suited to your professional goals and interests.

What Does Your Career in Fashion Look Like?
Take an afternoon and think hard about what you want your career in fashion to be. If you haven't already asked yourself the most basic question--whether you want a career in clothing design or in merchandising--then do that.

If you decide that a career in fashion design is for you, next decide which area of fashion you'd like to focus on. Would you like to sell your creations in your own boutique or do you crave the excitement, pressure, and competition of pursuing a position with a large fashion label like DKNY?

Identify Fashion Schools that Meet Your Needs
The next step is to find a program that specializes in your area of interest. If you've decided on a career in fashion merchandising, for example, you don't want to attend a fashion school that focuses primarily on clothing design. You'll want a school that has a strong fashion business and marketing program.

Likewise, if you want to become a clothing designer, consider selecting a school that has a strong design program, one with professors who have solid design credentials and a commitment to training designers in the latest design tools as well as the traditional art of sketching.

Also, if you want to work for a large fashion house, major clothing brand, or apparel manufacturing company, consider attending fashion school in a larger metropolitan area. Some students get their first professional experience as a young designer through an internship. Obviously, it's easier to pursue a clothing design internship with a big fashion house if you are attending a school within commuting distance.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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