If you’ve been on the lookout for a quality, prestigious fashion schools that teach the likes of fashion business, textiles, fashion-accessory design or anywhere in between, then you’ll know that deciding where to go and who to believe about where’s best is a minefield. So, we’ve picked our favourite three, based on nothing more than reputation and what we’ve gleaned from comments about them from ex-students around the web. All food for thought if nothing else!

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL): Fashion Design

Tuition Costs
= $18,000; no. fashion students = 120.

General info/ethos

The dept. of fashion design is internationally renowned due to its unique interdisciplinary program within a fine arts foundation. The undergrad fashion course prides itself on being very non-traditional, offering a 3-year curriculum within a 4-year degree program, and focuses heavily on teaching students to have an awareness of the social, political, and technological influences shaping contemporary art and design.

Famous alumni: Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, Halston, and Matthew Ames.

PARSONS (New York, NY): Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Studies

Tuition Costs= $36,800; no. fashion students = 1,400.


General info/ethos

Parsons is very much of the belief that design has a close interrelationship with world and society, taking cues from the past while supporting the challenges that the future brings – namely sustainability. The school drives students to think about ground breaking concepts to solve mind bending problems, producing a high calibre of graduate who is ready to take on the world of fashion head on.

Famous alumni : Claire McCardell, Donna Karan, Doo Ri Chung (Doo Ri), Flora Gill and Alexa Adams (Ohne Titel), Marc Jacobs, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock (Vena Cava), Steven Meisel, Thakoon Panichgul, Tom Ford.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD – Providence, RI): Jewelry & metalsmithing,  apparel design, textiles

Tuition Costs= $39,000; no. fashion students = 220.

General info/ethos

Located in Providence, Rhode Island, and commonly referred to as “RIZ-dee”, this institution was founded in 1877, and as such has stood the test of time to become one of the oldest and most renowned colleges of art and design here in the U.S.

RISD welcomes 2,300 students every year from all over the globe to pursue an academic career in its studio-based education programs, each of which offer rigorous BA and MA degree programs across 19 disciplines.

Famous alumni: Madeline Davy (formerly of Octopi), Nicole Miller, Philip Crangi, Robert Geller, Sarah Welsh, and Sari Gueron.

So – a really quick overview there, but hopefully it’s a bit more info to help you in your search for the best US fashion institution, and, more importantly, the right one for you and your career.

Fi is a guest writer for unique jewelry site Boticca – supporting independent designers