Some young girls aspire to be mathematicians and engineers. Others dream of attending a prestigious fashion school and turning their love of trends and styles into a prosperous and fulfilling career. The following fashion schools are among the most influential fashion schools in the world – from Pittsburgh to Paris, these schools teach students how to design and create fashionable threads.

Listed in no particular order of importance, the following fashion schools are among the most widely recognized in the industry. Many have produced world-famous fashion designers and alumni who now hold top-level executive positions with major retail chains, fashion houses, and fashion media publications. Others have gone on to create their own clothing and accessory lines, win major awards and appear on reality television competitions like Project Runway. There are also three bonus programs offering local workshops and opportunities for younger girls and adults.
most influential fashion schools

1. Pratt Institute
Brooklyn, NY and Manhattan, NY

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion

Located in the fashion capital of the Western world, Pratt has campuses in both Brooklyn and Manhattan – providing students with a wealth of career development opportunities outside the constraints of the classroom walls. Pratt students have the opportunity to seek internships with some of the world’s leading fashion houses, such as Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Rag & Bone. Pratt has more than 800 followers on Facebook, and the school’s fashion program is a multi-disciplinary experience incorporating illustration, photography, film, performance, visual studies and material culture.

2. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

Fashion & Retail Management

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online Bachelor of Science program in Fashion & Retail Management provides students with skills and knowledge in developing, analyzing and implementing sales strategies, retail buying and fashion merchandising, coordinating runway shows and more. The program prepares students for entry-level careers in fashion, including department stores, boutiques and designer showrooms. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division boasts early 23,500 followers on Facebook and 2,800 Twitter followers.

3. California College of the Arts
San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

Fashion Design

Students at the California College of the Arts explore the full design process, using the fashion-forward San Francisco Bay Area as a muse. Students have the opportunity to pursue internships with leading fashion companies, including Levi Strauss & Company, Athleta and TEA Collection, in addition to participating in the school’s Annual Fashion Show. The CCA Fashion Design Program has nearly 1,100 followers on Facebook and more than 200 Twitter followers. A number of CCA fashion graduates have landed careers with companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Pottery Barn and Old Navy, and several have won prestigious scholarships.

4. Westminster Fashion
United Kingdom

B.A. Fashion Design

The U.K.-based Westminster Fashion school boasts a number of accomplished alumni, such as Christopher Bradley, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, who’s in charge of the company’s overall image ranging from advertising to the actual design of all Burberry collections and product lines. Other notable grads include Katie Hillier, Creative Director at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Stuart Vevers, Creative Director at Coach, among others. Nearly 550 people follow Westminster Fashion on Facebook and about 830 people follow the school on Twitter.

5. Parsons The New School for Design
New York, NY

B.F.A. in Fashion Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design teaches students the fundamentals of fashion design with progressive and innovative techniques for a fresh approach to fashion. The program culminates with a senior project in which students create their own fashion collection – a valuable asset for career prospects. The New School has nearly 35,000 Twitter followers and more than 13,000 Facebook Likes. You’ll recognize a few names among The New School alumni, such as world-renowned designers Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Isaac Mizrahi. Tom Ford, a film director and designer known for turning Gucci around as well as his own Tom Ford label, is also a Parsons alum.

6. Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI

B.F.A. in Apparel Design

With nearly 12,000 Twitter followers and close to 22,000 Facebook fans, the Rhode Island School of Design has the social media thing going. The school also boasts Tommy Hilfiger as a visiting artist and critic, as well as Gary Graham, Patrik Ervell and other world-class designers. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design provides students with the opportunity to showcase their own creations at the school’s annual fashion show, called, simply, Collection, where their work is critiqued by famous designers like Tommy Hilfiger, who critiqued the 2013 show.

7. Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

Fashion Design

Drexel University is situated in the heart of Philadelphia, PA, where students take an integrated approach to contemporary fashion design encompassing art, technology, science and design. Drexel’s Fashion Design program has an international reputation and is ranked fifth nationally and 16th worldwide. Students participate in a six-month co-op experience and have the opportunity to study abroad at the London College of Fashion in their sophomore year. The University has nearly 900 Twitter followers and more than 2,700 Facebook fans. In their senior year, students showcase their work in the Drexel Fashion Show.

8. Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, NY

Fashion Design

For more than 65 years, FIT’s Fashion Design program – one of the school’s original degree programs – has been preparing students for careers in the world of fashion from haute couture to the ready-to-wear mass market. Located on New York’s Seventh Avenue, a.k.a. Fashion Avenue, FIT is centrally and conveniently located in the heart of the fashion culture of New York. Notable alumni include Leslie Blodgett, President and CEO of Bare Escentuals Beauty, Inc., along with the one and only Calvin Klein, Chris Madden, and a number of other grads who hold top-level executive positions with fashion publications and major corporations. Nearly 87,000 people like the FIT topic page on Facebook, and the Student Association has nearly 5,000 Twitter followers.

9. Kent State University – The Fashion School
Kent, OH

Various Programs

The Fashion School at Kent State University offers both Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising options for students interested in pursuing careers in the fashion industry, as well as a Master of Fashion for those who want to further their professional development. Kent State, as a whole, has nearly 6,700 Twitter followers and nearly 47,500 Facebook Likes. Students have the opportunity to study abroad in cities like Hong Kong, London, Paris and Florence. Graduates of the program have moved on to successful careers with companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Brands, Express and major retailers.

10. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Los Angeles, Irvine, San Francisco, San Diego, CA campuses

Various Programs

Nearly 26,500 people following FIDM on Twitter and another 53,000 on Facebook can’t be wrong. With more than a dozen majors related to the fashion industry, students can choose from a wide range of specialties to pursue their ideal careers. You’ll recognize Monique Lhuillier among FIDM’s famous graduates, as well as several grads who have appeared on Project Runway – and winner Leanne Marshall.

11. George Brown College – School of Fashion Studies
Ontario, Canada

Fashion Studies

Located in Canada’s fashion-forward hub, Spadina, The School of Fashion Studies at George Brown College allows students to focus on either the design or business side of the fashion industry. George Brown College has nearly 29,000 Facebook Likes and more than 5,000 Twitter followers. Kim Mellikow of Zellers, Troy Amos Ross of Ross Wear and Shelly Purdy of Shelly Purdy Studio are among the notable alumni from George Brown College.

12. Copenhagen Academy of Fashion and Design
Copenhagen, Denmark

Fashion Design

The Copenhagen Academy of Fashion and Design has been training fashion designers since 1983, with graduates working in clothing, accessory and footwear design for major designers and retailers. The Copenhagen Academy of Fashion Design offers a two-year program in fashion design and has more than 300 Facebook Likes.

13. University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

Textile and Apparel Management

Just under 200 people have liked the University of Missouri’s Association of Textile and Apparel Management on Facebook and about 125 people follow the group on Twitter. Students can take advantage of faculty-led experience in New York City, El Salvador or India or participate in a semester abroad through one of the University’s partner programs. Field experiences and internships round out the overall experience for students studying Textile and Apparel Management at the University of Missouri.

14. Academy of Art University – School of Fashion
San Francisco, CA

Multiple Degree Programs, Online Program

Students at the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University have ample opportunities for professional development during the course of study, including having their work exposed to recruiters and industry professionals at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City and the Annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. Students can choose from on-campus and online programs in fashion, and are mentored by professionals who have been trained at leading fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta and Vivienne Westwood. The Academy of Art has nearly 12,000 Twitter followers and more than 51,000 Facebook followers. Ingrid Chen, co-founder of viv&Ingrid, is among a few notable alumni from Academy of Art University.

15. University of Applied Arts Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Fashion

Students at the University of Applied Arts Vienna could have their work featured in a number of international publications, such as published in international magazines such as i-D, Wallpaper, Sureface, Tokion and Interview. Nearly 2,500 people follow the University of Applied Arts Vienna on Facebook. The program emphasizes contemporary fashion design and the increasing significance of fashion spanning across other areas of society and industries such as media.

16. Philadelphia University
Philadelphia, PA

Fashion Design

Philadelphia University’s Fashion Design program prepares students as team-oriented designers and fosters an understanding of the interrelationship between design, technology, production and business. Students have hands-on experience, creating their own collections and showcasing them in an annual fashion show. More than 4,400 people follow PhilaU on Facebook and more than 1,800 on Twitter. Students have interned with and gone on to work for companies such as Nike, Anthropologie, Juicy Couture, Vogue Magazine and other prestigious opportunities.

17. University of North Texas
Denton, TX

B.F.A. in Fashion Design

Alumni from the University of North Texas have landed prosperous careers with companies like Fossil, the Haggar Clothing Co., Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, Dillard’s and Calvin Klein. More than 114,000 people like the University of North Texas on Facebook. The University also offers a Masters of Fine Arts in Fashion Design for students who wish to pursue advanced studies. Michael Faircloth, designer to former First Lady Laura Bush, is a UNT alumnus.

18. Melbourne School of Fashion
Sydney and Melbourne, Australia

Bachelor of Fashion and Business

The Melbourne School of Fashion has two campus locations in Australia and offers a few different programs of study for students interested in fashion careers. The Bachelor of Fashion and Business degree is the most comprehensive and traditional program offered, while other intensives and certificates are available to students pursuing degrees in ancillary fields. Graduates from the Melbourne School of Fashion are highly sought-after candidates in the fashion industry. Nearly 2,300 people follow the Melbourne School of Fashion on Facebook, and another 100 follow the school on Twitter.

19. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Savannah, GA and Atlanta, GA

Accessory Design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Luxury and Fashion Management

Students at SCAD can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in one of three fashion-related fields, and two Masters-level programs are available to students who wish to further their education. More than 85,000 people follow SCAD on Facebook and more than 16,000 on Twitter. SCAD alumni have moved on to prosperous and rewarding careers in art and design-related fields, including several in the music and film industries, interior design and entrepreneurial ventures.

20. University of Delaware
Newark, DE

Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies

Students pursuing fashion studies at the University of Delaware can choose from Fashion Merchandising or Apparel Design programs of study. An undergraduate minor is available with a focus on Fashion History and Culture, and a Masters’ program is available for students who desire an advanced degree. Students have the opportunity to study abroad, participate in hands-on internships and get involved in research. The University of Delaware has more than 42,300 Facebook followers and nearly 11,000 Twitter followers. Students interested in fashion journalism may get involved with UDress Magazine, a student-run fashion publication founded in 2005 at UD.

21. School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC)
Chicago, IL

Fashion Design

A fashion school situated in the heart of the bustling city of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute Chicago offers both undergraduate and graduate studies in fashion. The program is housed in a historic building designed by Louis Sullivan, and students emerge as skilled fashion designers with “an awareness of the social, political, and technological forces shaping the 21st century.” Fashion icon Cynthia Rowley first studied fashion at SAIC, and the famous painter Georgia O’Keefe also attended school here. SAIC has more than 1,000 followers on Facebook and 5,000 on Twitter.

22. University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH

Fashion Design

The University of Cincinnati teaches students beauty and excellence in design to compete in today’s competitive fashion industry. More than 30,500 people follow the University of Cincinnati on Facebook and more than 42,500 on Twitter. Stan Herman, known for pioneering the “designer uniform” for companies like FedEx and McDonald’s, is a University of Cincinnati alumnus.

23. University of the Arts London – London College of Fashion
London, United Kingdom

Various Programs

Students at the London College of Fashion are “Using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live.” Nearly 13,000 Twitter users and nearly 21,000 people on Facebook follow the London College of Fashion. Both undergraduate studies and graduate-level programs are available to students wishing to pursue the study of fashion in the fashion-forward city of London. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was named the first-ever patron for the London College of Fashion, which has produced a number of famous designers including Jimmy Choo and Beatrix Ong.

24. Otis College of Art and Design
Los Angeles, CA

Fashion Design

Students attending the Otis College of Art and Design study fashion in the high-profile culture of Los Angeles, where fashion is heavily emphasized and influenced by celebrities and world-renowned designers based in the city. Students work with guest mentors and design collections in teams based on the industry’s seasonal influences. Guest mentors have included Bob Mackie, Claire Pettibone (’89), Billabong, Halston with the Humane Society, Urban Outfitters, and EleVen by Venus Williams. Otis College has more than 10,000 Likes on Facebook and nearly 2,000 Twitter followers.

25. Columbus College of Art and Design
Columbus, OH

Fashion Design

Students at the Columbus College of Art and Design can take advantage of internship opportunities with a few high-profile fashion companies headquartered in central Ohio, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice and Victoria’s Secret. More than 2,500 people follow CCAD on Twitter, and more than 9,000 people Like CCAD on Facebook. Seniors showcase their own design collections at the CCAD annual Fashion Show, and students also have the opportunity to contribute to the school’s IMAGE Magazine. Many CCAD alumni have won awards, been featured in major fashion publications and have made significant contributions to the art and design community.

26. Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt)
Boston, MA

Fashion Design

Students at MassArt study fashion in the bustling hub of Boston, have the chance to participate in the school’s annual fashion show, explore trend forecasting and research and construct garments for both the couture and ready-to-wear markets. A number of alumni have been featured in The Boston Globe and other publications. Nearly 3,000 people Like MassArt on Facebook and nearly 600 follow MassArt Alumni on Twitter.

27. Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Apparel Design

A degree in Apparel Design from Oregon State University’s School of Business prepares students for a variety of careers in the fashion industry, such as Apparel Designer, Apparel Engineer, Technical Designer, Color/Trend Forecaster, Pattern Maker, Cost/Production Manager and other prosperous and fulfilling careers. OSU has nearly 600 followers on Facebook and nearly 70,000 Twitter followers.

28. LIM College
New York, NY

Various Programs

LIM College, situated in the fashion capital of the world, New York City, is “where business meets fashion.” LIM College provides students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the business side of the ever-evolving world of fashion. Students choose from five related majors: Fashion Merchandising, Management, Marketing, Visual Merchandising and International Business. Students have the opportunity to meet major names in the fashion industry, such as Christian Louboutin, Project Runway Winner Christian Siriano and Mary Alice Stevenson. Nearly 12,000 people follow LIM on Facebook and another 3,600-plus on Twitter.

29. Baylor University
Waco, TX

Apparel Design & Product Development, Apparel Merchandising

Baylor University’s fashion program was named in Fashionista’s Top 20 Fashion Design Schools in the United States, published in the Style-ology Magazine. Several alumni from Baylor have gone on to create their own collections, work for top fashion industry players like Betsey Johnson and other achievements. Students may choose to major in either Apparel Design & Product Development or Apparel Merchandising to prepare for a wide variety of careers in the fashion industry.

30. Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, IL

B.A. in Fashion Design

Columbia College Chicago offers a Bachelor of Arts program in Fashion Design. “Students participate in a true fashion experience throughout their education with exposure to recognized guest designers, industry leaders, and accomplished alumni, and through fashion competitions, presentations and exhibitions.” Nearly 31,000 people Like Columbia College Chicago on Facebook and nearly 450 on Twitter. Kanye West, a rapper and fashion designer probably best known for his relationship with Kim Kardashian, attended Columbia College Chicago briefly, along with a number of successful artists, musicians and actors.

31. Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Fiber Science & Apparel Design

Students studying fashion at Cornell University choose from three undergraduate areas of concentration: apparel design, fashion design management, and fiber science. Those wishing to pursue advanced degrees have a choice of five graduate programs, including a Ph.D. program. The College of Human Ecology at Cornell, where the Fiber Science & Apparel Design program is hosted, has nearly 1,000 Likes on Facebook and more than 800 Twitter followers. Cornell University is one of eight Ivy League schools in the U.S. with notable alumni such as “Irene Rosenfeld (’75), FORBES Power Women No. 20 and CEO of Mondelez International, authors E.B. White, Toni Morrison and Pearl S. Buck.”

32. Iowa State University
Ames, IA

Apparel, Merchandising and Design

Iowa State University’s Apparel, Merchandising and Design program is one of just 13 undergraduate programs in the U.S. approved by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. Students pursuing fashion studies at Iowa State choose from four areas of concentration, including creative design, technical design, product development, or production and sourcing management. Iowa State Admissions has nearly 2,000 Facebook followers and just over 2,000 Twitter followers. Notable Iowa State alumni include Robert L. Bartley, BA 1959 – recipient of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing, editor of Wall Street Journal opinion page and vice-president of Dow Jones & Company, and Ted Kooser, BS 1962 – U.S. Poet Laureate and recipient of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, among others.

33. Auburn University
Auburn, AL

Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management

Students studying Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management at Auburn University develop an understanding of the global influence of the fashion industry, specializing in either Apparel Merchandising or Apparel Design and Production Management. Nearly 475 people follow Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences on Facebook and about 85 on Twitter. Auburn fashion alumni are movers and shakers in the fashion industry, such as Natalie Earwood, a Memphis native who has moved to New York City to work with a fashion PR firm – working with clients such as Forever21, Vera Wang, Mossimo, Nasty Gal and Jones New York.

34. Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

B.F.A. in Fashion

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion at Virginia Commonwealth University concentrate in Fashion Design, with the opportunity to intern at prestigious fashion houses and major fashion industry players in New York City during the junior year. Students develop an appreciation for the global nature of the fashion industry as well as the fundamentals of design to prepare for careers in the fast-paced and challenging world of fashion. Nearly 93,000 people like VCU on Facebook and more than 13,000 on Twitter. Many VCU fashion alumni have made major accomplishments post-graduation, including creating their own fashion and accessory lines and securing positions with major companies like Forever 21.

BONUS:

These locally-based programs offer fashion courses and workshops for girls and adults in a fun environment.

1. The Fashion Design Academy
Houston, TX

Various Programs

The Fashion Design Academy is a Houston-based program offering classes and workshops to children and adults, ages 8 and older. Classes range from sewing fundamentals to custom garment design. Scholarships are also available. The Fashion Design Academy is a great opportunity for young girls in the Houston area to explore their interest in fashion design as a potential career path.

2. The Fashion Class
Manhattan, NY and Brooklyn, NY

Various Programs

The Fashion Class is a school designed to teach fashion fundamentals to young girls between the ages of 6 and 18. Nearly 550 people follow The Fashion Class on Facebook and 150 on Twitter. From after-school and weekend classes to birthday parties and workshops, The Fashion Class is an excellent way to give young girls the chance to experience the world of fashion and explore their interest in fashion-related careers.

3. TeensCount.org
Washington, D.C.

Various Programs

TeensCount.org is a Washington, D.C.-based organization offering Summer Youth Fashion Camps as well as other fashion programs through regional schools for kids between the ages of 10 and 17. “Teens Count programs are designed to allow for the learning and exploration of fashion through fun, adventurous, educational and culturally significant activities.” The program has been in operation for nearly a decade.