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Fashion

 The Academy of Art University has one of the top fashion schools in the nation, with the most famous show in the industry. As the only fashion design college to show at New York Fashion Week, Academy of Art University provides students with opportunities to shine for the top talents of the fashion world. Our program provides students with a global vision that combines the design excellence of traditional European fashion with the energy and technology of the modern fashion industry. Top industry professionals teach a curriculum includes coursework in design, merchandising, textiles, and knitwear, providing opportunities for graduates worldwide. Our students also develop the computer skills necessary to launch themselves into the industry upon graduating.

Studio courses hone the student's mastery of fashion industry standards in design and construction, culminating in the production of a professional fashion collection or portfolio. A student's portfolio demonstrates mastery of the mutually productive elements of individual style and technical expertise. Selected collections are chosen to be part of the Academy's annual Fashion Show. Merchandising majors acquire the skills needed to succeed in the fashion industry in buying, product development, retail management, or marketing.


Areas of Concentration

Students gain practical hands-on experience in their courses enabling them to confidently enter career paths. Students can earn an MFA, BFA, AA or Online Award of Completion from the following areas of concentration:

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Fashion Design

Fashion Design involves the creation of clothing including ready-to-wear, womenswear, menswear and costume design. Students are encouraged to develop their personal vision and design philosophy while deepening their understanding of the various international market segments. Our curriculum emphasizes the whole process starting with visual research, sketching ideas, design development, technical flat sketching, sourcing materials, and creating line plans to draping and fully constructed garments.

Taught by designers recognized in their field, our fashion design degree program takes a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Conduct design research and maintain a sketchbook compiling ideas incorporating colors, textures and fabrics
  • Generate ideas that are coherently related and appropriate for various markets
  • Produce creative and original designs that indicate color and fabric
  • Produce accurate and detailed technical drawings and flat patterns
  • Conceptualize and create unique fashion collections for the runway
  • Effectively execute draping, patternmaking and garment construction
  • Create garments in three-dimensions on dress forms, seniors move on to fit live models

Career Opportunities in Fashion Design:
Apparel Designer | Assistant Designer | Associate Designer | Costume Designer | Design Assistant | Design Director | Dress Designer | Fashion Consultant | Fashion Designer | Fashion Director | Fashion Illustrator | Fashion Supervisor | Head of Design | Menswear Designer | Pattern Designer | Senior Designer | Sourcing Assistant | VP of Design

Knitwear Design

Knitwear designers take the entire fashion design process one step further by creating their own original fabric designs. The Knitwear program provides students with the skills and construction techniques to produce high quality knitwear designs. Students will learn to design and produce swatches, garments, and full knitwear collections. They will establish a strong personal knitwear design philosophy through using visual research, and exploring design development processes. Students will learn how to use the technology and facilities used in the industry, which will allow them to communicate with factories and push the machinery more creatively when working in the industry.

Taught by knitwear designers recognized in their field, our program takes a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Produce creative and original designs
  • Conceptualize and create unique fashion collections for the runway
  • Generate ideas that are coherently related and appropriate for the market
  • Conduct design research and maintain a sketchbook compiling ideas and incorporating colors, textures and fabrics
  • Produce fashion drawings that use color to indicate color and fabric
  • Produce accurate and detailed technical drawings and flat patterns
  • Effectively execute draping, patternmaking and garment construction
  • Create garments in three-dimensions on dress forms, seniors move on to fit live models

Career Opportunities in Knitwear Design:
Assistant Designer | Assistant Technical Designer | Associate Designer | Associate Technical Designer | Design Assistant | Designer | Designer ? Sweaters | Director Women's Technical Design | Fashion Consultant | Knitwear Buyer | Senior Designer | Senior Director Women's Technical Design | Senior Technical Designer | Sourcing Assistant | Swatch Designer | Technical Designer

Textile Design

Textile Design at Academy of Art University focuses on printed surface design, drawing, mark making, color, design and industry standards. From day one, classes are hands-on and focus on designing and printing on fabric. Various screen-printing and heat transfer techniques are taught as well as how to use industry standard software. Students have many opportunities to enter design competitions and to work on collaborative projects.

Taught by textile designers recognized in their field, our program takes a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Produce creative and original designs utilizing color and drawing
  • Create unique imagery using photographic screenprinting
  • Print their own designs using the heat transfer
  • Use different processes and chemicals to manipulate fabric and create exclusive designs
  • Develop and produce their own engineered designs and repeat patterns on fabric
  • Realize their designs on fabrics using devore and discharge printing techniques
  • Work effectively with industry standard software
  • Produce yardage of a particular textile design that can be cut and sewn into a garment

Career Opportunities in Textile Design:
Associate Textile Designer | Forecaster | Graphic Artist | Print Designer | Senior Print Director | Senior Textile or Print Designer | Surface Designer | Textile Artist | Textile CAD Designer | Textile Design Assistant | Textile Designer | VP of Textile Design

Fashion Styling

Fashion Styling is creating fashion imagery that delivers the message of the designer or brand. Fashion Styling students at Academy of Art University will develop a styling portfolio and gain hands-on experience developing concepts and assembling compelling outfits for photo shoots. Fashion culture, working with models, photographers and make-up artists are emphasized throughout the program. Graduates of the program will be fully trained to style, produce and art direct for print or online fashion magazines, ad campaigns, commercials, catalogs, designers? look books, fashion shows, fashion videos and personal clients.

Taught by working stylists recognized in their field, the program takes a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Research and develop original concepts
  • Combine garments to create compelling outfits relevant to their clients
  • Design the visual aesthetic around the fashion product, also known as art direction: the choosing of props, location, model, photographic style, make-up and hair
  • Produce photo shoots
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of the history of fashion, the fashion industry and trends

Career Opportunities in Fashion Design:
Accessory Editor | Assistant Stylist | Assistant Visual Store Display | Associate Editor | Brand Consultant | Creative Director | Editorial and Commercial Stylist | Editorial Assistant | Fashion Editor | Fashion Product Stylist | Fashion Show Stylist | In-store Stylist | Market Editor | Personal Stylist | Sales Assistant | Style Blogger

Merchandising

Fashion Merchandising is the business side of Fashion. It includes all functions necessary to run a successful operation that develops, promotes and sells fashion products. Through hands-on Fashion Merchandising classes in buying, product line development, marketing, promotion and retailing, students develop the techniques and unique personal style necessary for a successful career in Merchandising.

Taught by professional merchandisers recognized in the field of fashion, our courses take a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Research and analyze trends to develop innovative fashion products
  • Source, edit, and select the appropriate product for a target customer
  • Develop visual, verbal, and written presentation skills
  • Conduct a fashion business analysis and create an effective business plan that includes a sales assortment plan, financial plan, and marketing plan

Career Opportunities in Merchandising:
Assistant Buyer | Brand Manager | Buyer | Divisional Buyer | Divisional Merchandising Manager | Director Planning & Sourcing | Director of Sales & Marketing | General Merchandising Manager | Merchandise Assistant | Merchandiser Manager | Production Assistant | Product Developer | Product Manager | Production Specialist | Sales Assistant | Sales Associate | Sales Manager | Senior Buyer | Senior Merchandiser | Vice President of Brands | Vice President of Merchandising | Vice President of Planning & Sourcing | Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Visual Merchandising

Visual Merchandising is the physical method of promoting product and services to the customer for the purpose of increasing sales. Visual merchandisers actively engage in developing floor plans, window displays, in-store presentations, store lighting and graphics. Visual merchandisers work collaboratively with retailers to ensure that retail space is best utilized to maximize sales.

Taught by professional visual merchandisers recognized in the field of fashion, our program takes a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Design and install window displays, in-store feature presentations and point-of-purchase displays
  • Create and execute visual merchandising presentations and floor plans that support both brand and sales goals
  • Conceive and create designs for commercial, wholesale and retail environments
  • Define project criteria and evaluate costs of materials
  • Apply appropriate styling methods for men's and women's clothing and fashion accessories, as well as home furnishings

Career Opportunities in Visual Merchandising:
Assistant Visual, Store Display | Creative Director | Director of Visual Merchandising | Senior Visual Merchandiser | Visual Merchandising District/Regional Manager | Visual Merchandising Manager | VP Visual Merchandising


Additional Programs

In addition, Students can earn their MA, BA and AA in Fashion Journalism.

Fashion Journalism

Fashion Journalism encompasses every aspect of fashion media, from traditional print platforms to the growing world of online journalism and social media. Fashion Journalism students at Academy of Art University will develop a journalism portfolio and gain hands-on interviewing and reporting experience as they write fashion news and feature stories, profiles, perform fashion magazine editing, production and blogging. Emphasis is placed on the new technologies of modern journalism, with opportunities to contribute to FashionSchoolDaily.com and the Academy of Art University newspaper, allowing their work to be seen by industry professionals as well as fellow students. Graduates of the Fashion Journalism program will be fully trained to report, write and edit fashion editorial pieces for magazines, newspapers, websites, in house retail fashion sites and public relations outlets.

Taught by professional fashion journalists recognized in their field, our courses take a hands-on approach to teach students to:

  • Interview and compile information for a story
  • Write in-depth articles that express an informed point of view and an understanding of fashion collections
  • Research, write and edit original articles
  • Report accurately on fashion events, people and trends
  • Adapt writing for the marketplace and to the multiple challenges of this constantly changing field
  • Multi-task in different roles as reporter, writer, editor, creative director and copy editor

Career Opportunities in Fashion Journalism:
Agency Publicist | Associate Editor | Brand Consultant | Broadcast Researcher | Commercial Editor | Copy Editor | Copywriter | Creative Director | Editor | Editor in Chief | Fact Checker | Fashion Director | Fashion Editor | In-House Publicist | Journalists | Junior Fashion Editor | Managing Editor | Mobile Content Creator | On-Air Broadcast Reporter | On-Air Radio Reporter | Online Content Editor | Online Writer | Photo Editor | Podcaster | Proof Reader | Publicist | Radio Researcher | Reporter | Senior Copywriter | Senior Editor | SEO Strategist | Social Media Coordinator | Style Blogger | Technology Writer | Videographer


Masters (MFA or MA)

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts degree in Fashion stresses a combination of design excellence and computer skills, preparing MFA candidates to launch themselves into the industry upon graduating. This rigorous program culminates in the production of a professional fashion collection or portfolio.

The program requires collaboration on projects, readying individuals to work with colleagues in their future careers. Students are encouraged to experiment and develop their own ideas in order to achieve a balance between creativity and the reality of the marketplace.

The curriculum focuses on subjects such as market analysis, trend analysis, visual research, design conceptualization, marketing and promotion, product development, line-plan production, computer technology for design, and production and professional portfolio presentation.

Subsequent to intensive studio and academic courses, the graduate candidate is guided through directed study resulting in the Final Project -- production of a professional fashion collection, portfolio, or merchandising project. Selected collections are chosen to be part of the Academy's annual Fashion Show.

Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts program in Fashion Journalism is a 42 unit program designed to give students advanced training in the mastery of journalism for print, web and other platforms. The streamlined program provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the fashion industry, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively and the professional requirements needed to compete successfully in this diverse, challenging and ever-growing field.

Bachelors (BFA or BA)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The program stresses design excellence and computer skills, preparing our graduates to launch themselves into the industry upon graduating. This rigorous program culminates in the production of a professional fashion collection or portfolio. A student's portfolio demonstrates mastery of the mutually productive elements of individual style and technical expertise. Selected collections are chosen to be part of the Academy's annual Fashion Show.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion requires completion of 132 semester units. Students who already have a bachelor's degree can enroll in our streamlined Second Degree program, which requires completion of 66 units with no liberal arts classes or other art electives.

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Academy of Art University's BA Fashion Journalism program provides training in journalism for print, web and other platforms with emphasis on current technologies of modern journalism. Fashion Journalism students at the Academy will develop a journalism portfolio and gain hands-on interviewing and reporting experience as they write fashion news, feature stories and profiles, and perform fashion magazine editing, production and blogging.

Associate of Arts (AA)

The program combines design excellence with computer skills, preparing our graduates to launch themselves into the industry. Academic courses culminate in the production of a professional fashion portfolio. A student's portfolio demonstrates mastery of the mutually productive elements of individual style and technical expertise. Selected collections are chosen to be part of the Academy's annual Fashion Show.

Online Awards of Completion

The School of Fashion offers Online Awards of Completion for those students who want to acquire new skills without enrolling in a degree program.

Award of Completion and personal enrichment students may have these courses credited toward a degree at the Academy of Art University pending portfolio review and approval by the department director. Degree seeking students must satisfy existing degree requirements.

All classes are 3 units each unless otherwise noted.
Please Note: Online Awards of Completion require that all courses be taken online.

Fashion Design

The Online Award of Completion in Fashion Design is a personal enrichment program, designed for students interested in acquiring a basis of knowledge and skills necessary to the fashion design profession. The Online Award of Completion requires completion of five undergraduate courses in fashion. Successful completion of these courses can also be credited toward a degree at the Academy of Art University; degree seeking students must satisfy existing degree requirements.

Required Courses

FSH 100: Drawing for Fashion
FSH 164: Fashion Sewing Techniques
FSH 124: Knitwear Design
FSH 125: Textile Design
FSH 101: Fashion Design 1

Fashion Merchandising

The Online Award of Completion in Fashion Merchandising is a personal enrichment program, designed for students interested in acquiring a basis of knowledge and skills necessary for the fashion merchandising profession. The Online Award of Completion requires completion of five undergraduate courses in fashion.

Successful completion of these courses can also be credited towards a degree at the Academy of Art University; degree-seeking students must satisfy existing degree requirements.

Required Courses

FSH 111: Introduction to the Fashion Business
FSH 145: Consumer Motivation in Fashion
LA 119: Fabric and Fiber Technology
FSH 250: Principles of Buying 1
FSH 252: Visual Merchandising 1


Fashion Firms Hiring Our Grads

  • Louis Vuitton
  • Max Studio
  • Gap, Inc
  • Van Heusen
  • Nike
  • Burberry
  • DKNY

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