Fashion Design Colleges with Ongoing Support After Graduation
By enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program through one of the best fashion design colleges an aspiring designer will gain the knowledge and experience in this field necessary to land a position with a major clothing manufacturer or have the knowledge to work in this industry independently. Many of these schools will have their own specific enrollment requirements, so it’s important that you pay attention to these requirements before applying. Common requirements include personal and professional references, extensive portfolio work and a high school diploma or GED.
The Courses Featured in the Bachelor’s Degree Program for Design
Fashion students will learn so much more than how to design clothes. Programs will often include courses regarding the history of trendsetting, how to research trends and important aspects of business in this world when it comes to designing apparel, such as the process of creating a clothing line as well as how the clothing is manufactured. Some of the core courses in a degree program will include:
- Introduction to fashion design
- Apparel development
- Portfolio development
- Textures and patterns
- Creative process steps
- Fashion figure drawing
- Senior design project
During a student’s final year they will draw and create a line of clothing that will be shown at the schools fashion week. This senior project will have a theme that will vary depending on the school.
A fashion schools career advisor will strongly recommend a student to apply for internships during their junior and senior year. An internship can be with either an independent designer or for a major clothing manufacturer. While working as an intern, the student will learn more about the creative process, how to make last minute adjustments and alterations to designs and how to make their clothing line marketable. It is common for students to continue participating in an internship program even after they have graduated in order to gain more experience in the field. Not only will a student gain knowledge of this world through the internship program, but they may also be eligible for employment with that particular company once they have obtained their bachelor’s degree.
School Support for the Independent Designers
While this type of career is highly competitive, several designers will choose to work independently in hopes of gaining notoriety from their work and creating their own large companies. In the beginning a designer can work in this field by selling their clothing line through small independent clothing stores or they can even open their own online stores as a way to get their designs out there to the public.
Many design schools will continue to offer their alumni career advisory assistance, such as working to put together a professional looking portfolio and resume as well as job placement assistance by offering leads on positions for designers that are offered exclusively to certain school’s alumni.
Popular Designer Schools in New York
When interested in a career as a professional designer, many students will apply to fashion schools in New York, due to this state’s reputation of being the fashion capitol of the country.
The Art Institute of New York offers its students the two year associate’s degree program or the four to five year bachelor’s program. These schools also feature internships for students in their third and fourth year. Seniors in this program will have the opportunity to display their final fashion line at the opening of fashion week in New York, which will provide the student with much needed exposure in the industry.
Parsons Design School features an internship fair where students can meet with companies and independent designers in order to apply for available internships. This school also offers students one on one career advisory assistance both to current students as well as alumni. These advisors can also help students with putting together professional looking portfolios and resumes.
The Fashion Institute of Technology features a design program that gives students the opportunity to participate in an internship program in a top designing firm and has a reputation for landing their graduates permanent positions with these companies after graduation. This school also features seventeen different types of designing majors and also offers students the services of a career advisor who will closely work with students on a one on one basis in order to assist the student in picking the right career path in the industry.
Before and after you have made it as a Fashion Maker
Once a student has obtained their bachelor’s degree from a design college, it can be difficult and highly competitive to land a position as a designer, even if they’ve graduated from one of the top schools in New York. Because of this, many students will choose to continue with their internship after graduation. By doing so a design graduate is able to make connections in this world while also continuing their education by working closely with the designer during their internship.
But what about those designers who have earned a degree and still have trouble landing a job in the industry? If you live in places such as New York or California, expect a lot of competition and expect to start at the bottom. You may only succeed in landing a part time internship in the beginning and have to work one or two other jobs to make ends meet. But many professional designers can agree that the struggle was worth it. Going to a school that offers ongoing support after graduation can have a major impact on where you work after graduation. These alumni assistance programs can give you leads for jobs in the area, help prepare you for interviews and help you to network with people who matter in the industry.
At the same time, individuals who have attended these schools and tasted success should be prepared to give back to their school by hiring interns and graduates from their alma mater.
The bottom line, if you want to make it in this industry prepare for your career and your success while you’re still in fashion design colleges. Use every tool and resource the school has to offer to help you make it in this industry. Attend seminars, workshops, shows, volunteer and work behind the scenes at school shows, work as many internships as you can make time for and focus on creating your best work to display in your portfolio.