Seattle: Fashion Design Frontier of America's Northwest

by Jessica Santina
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 7, 2009

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So you're considering a fashion career, and your sights are set on L.A. or New York? They don't have to be. Turns out, Seattle (yes, Seattle) may be where you'll find the future of the fashion industry. If you're thinking about fashion school now, why not turn your sights to the Emerald City?  You can do so through enrolling in a variety of programs offered through various online schools.

Here are some facts that might surprise you: Washington State actually has the third largest apparel industry in the country, right behind New York and California. And Seattle is the 4th largest apparel manufacturing center in the U.S., just behind the Big Apple, La-La Land, and San Francisco.

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The state's apparel industry is made up of a combination of retail stores, textile mills, and clothing manufacturers, and many of fashion's biggest names call Seattle home. These include SB Premier Brands LLC, who make Born Menswear, right in downtown Seattle. Nordstrom was actually founded here as well, as a shoe store. And in nearby Kent, you can find REI's headquarters. Eddie Bauer's headquarters are in Bellevue.

Clearly, a niche outdoor-wear market has emerged in this area, making those whose fashion career leanings are a little less fussy feel right at home.

Bringing Your Fashion Career to Life in Seattle

In October 2007, the first ever Green Fashion Week debuted in Seattle, launching a whole new approach to fashion design and manufacturing. Everyone knows Seattle is one of the most environmentally aware cities in the world, but you may not know that it's also a leader in earth-friendly fashions. Not only does Seattle's plethora of apparel companies offer great employment potential, but if you're interested in fashion design or manufacturing, Seattle puts you on the cutting edge.

As you explore fashion schools, remember that New York and L.A. aren't your only options. Consider what fashion school in Seattle or an online degree program in fashion while you're in Seattle could mean for your future.


About the Author
Jessica Santina is a freelance writer with a background in media and marketing. She also teaches first-year writing courses at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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