WhenHub - Top Fashion Schools in the World

Top Fashion Schools in the World

A curated list of the top fashion schools in the world which have given the fashion industry it's legendary designers.

Central Saint Martins, London

Central Saint Martins

Central Saint Martins, often abbreviated to CSM, is a public tertiary art school in London, England. It is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London and offers full-time courses at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and a variety of short and summer courses.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Central School of Art and Design, founded in 1896, and Saint Martin's School of Art, founded in 1854..The London Institute became a legal entity in 1988, could award taught degrees from 1993, was granted university status in 2003 and was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004.

Courses offered: http://www.arts.ac.uk/csm/courses/

Famous Alumni: Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Phoebe Philo, Christopher Kane, Hussein Chalayan, Giambattista Valli, Paul Smith, Riccardo Tisci, Matthew Williamson, Zac Posen, Hamish Bowles, Alice Temperley, Giles Deacon, Luella Bartley, Jenny Packham, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Gareth Pugh, Sarah Burton, David Koma, Mary Katrantzou.

London College of Fashion, London

London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL), John Prince's Street

The London College of Fashion is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, in London, England. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate, short courses, study abroad courses and business-training in fashion, make-up, beauty-therapy and lifestyle industries. It is the only college in Britain to specialise in fashion education, research and consultancy.

In August 2000 Cordwainers College, a specialist school for leather-working, shoemaking and saddlery, was merged with the London College of Fashion. It was founded in Bethnal Green in 1887 as the Leather Trade School. The name was changed to Cordwainers Technical College in about 1914, and then to Cordwainers College in 1991.

Courses Offered: http://www.arts.ac.uk/fashion/courses/

Famous Alumni: Jimmy Choo, Nicholas Kirkwood, Sophia Webster, Jonathan Anderson, Rupert Sanderson, James Long, Ryan Lo, Karen Dacre, Sarah Harris, Melanie Rickey.

Parsons School of Design, New York

66 5th Avenue
United States
Parsons School of Design

Parsons School of Design is a private art and design college located in Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the five colleges of The New School. Parsons was the first school in the United States to offer programs in fashion design and it is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the world.It is currently ranked as the #1 art and design school in the United States and #2 in the world, just behind the Royal College of Art in London.

Parsons has a renowned fashion design program and has educated some of the most respected designers in the industry.  It is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

Courses offered: http://fashion.parsons.edu/

Famous Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Isaac Mizrahi, Bill Blass, Claire McCardell, Anna Sui, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons, Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, Prabal Gurung, Chris Benz, Steven Meisel, Thakoon Panichgul, Peter Som, Carmen Marc Valvo, Zac Posen, Behnaz Serafpour, Doo Ri Chung, Tracy Reese, Sophie Buhai, Lisa Mayock, Flora Gill, Alexa Adams.

Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

227 West 27th Street
United States
Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology, generally known as FIT, is a State University of New York (SUNY) college of art, business, design, mass communication and technology connected to the fashion industry.

It was founded in 1944, accredited in 1957, and is ranked among the top five fashion schools in the world. FIT is an accredited institutional member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. FIT publishes research on store branding and store positioning.

Courses offered: http://www.fitnyc.edu/

Famous Alumni: Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Francisco Costa, Joe Zee, Brian Atwood, Ralph Rucci, Michelle Smith, Dennis Basso, Norma Kamali, John Bartlett, Stephen Burrows, Daniel Vosovic.

Istituto Marangoni, Milan

4 Via Pietro Verri
Istituto Marangoni - Milán

The Istituto Marangoni is a private Italian school of fashion and design. It is based in Milan, in Lombardy in northern Italy, and has branches in Florence, London and Paris, and in Shanghai and Shenzhen in China.

The school was founded in Milan in 1935 by the tailor Giulio Marangoni, and became a Scuola Professionale Artistica or "professional art school" in 1942.At first the school trained mainly pattern makers and seamstresses; in the 1970s and 1980s it turned towards fashion design, product development and marketing.

Courses offered: http://www.istitutomarangoni.com/en/fashion-courses/

Famous Alumni: Franco Moschino, Domenico Dolce, Alessandra Facchinetti (Tod's), Francesco Russo, Alessandro Sartori (Berluti), Julie de Libran (Sonia Rykiel), Maurizio Pecoraro, Umit Benan, Rodolfo Paglialunga (Jil Sander), Albino D'Amato, Chi Zhang.

Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp

35 Blindestraat
Royal Academy of Fine Arts

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is an art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Teniers was master of the Guild of St Luke — which embraced arts and some handicrafts — and petitioned Philip IV of Spain, then master of the Spanish Netherlands, to grant a royal charter to establish a Fine Arts Academy in Antwerp. It houses the world-renowned Antwerp Fashion Academy.

Courses offered: https://www.ap.be/royal-academy/opleidingen/fashion

Famous Alumni: Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Kris Van Assche, Ann Demeulemeester, Demna Gvasalia, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Veronique Branquinho, Haider Ackermann, Peter Pilotto, Bruno Pieters.

Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo

Bunkagakuen University

Founded in 1923, the college gained popularity in 1960s when its students made their presence felt in Paris. It has headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and has over 70 branches across Japan.

Courses offered: http://www.bunka-fc.ac.jp/en/programs.html

Famous Alumni: Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Tsumori Chisato, Tex Saverio, Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Junya Watanabe, Hiroko Koshino.

Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing, Florence

1 Via Curtatone
Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing

Polimoda is a fashion school in Florence, capital of Tuscany, Italy. It is directed by Danilo Venturi. It was founded in 1986 as a joint project of the cities of Florence and Prato, and the Fashion Institute of Technology of State University of New York. It is a member of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes.

Courses offered: http://www.polimoda.com/courses/

Famous Alumni- Edgardo Osorio (Aquazurra)

Royal College of Art, London

Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art or RCA is a public research university in London, in the United Kingdom. It offers postgraduate degrees in art and design. It is the only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world. In the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, the RCA was placed first in the Art and Design subject area.

A world-renowned graduate fashion design program that places students at the greatest fashion houses, including Prada, Alberta Ferretti, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Marni, Chloe, Celine, Givenchy, COS, Nina Ricci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.

Courses offered: https://www.rca.ac.uk/schools/school-of-design/womenswear/

Famous Alumni: Philip Treacy, Erdem Moralioglu, Christopher Bailey, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes.

ESMOD, Paris

12 Rue de la Rochefoucauld

The École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode, or ESMOD, is a French private school of fashion. It was founded in Paris in 1841 by the master tailor Alexis Lavigne. It has branches in Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris, Rennes and Roubaix in France, and in a number of cities in other countries, including Berlin, Moscow and Tokyo.

ESMOD is authorised by the Commission nationale de la certification professionnelle, the French national commission for vocational certification, to award a five-year professional certification as fashion stylist/designer at level 6 of the European Qualifications Framework.

In 2016, ESMOD was ranked 6th worldwide and 5th in Europe followed by Istituto Marangoni by the CEOWORLD magazine. Additionally, Fashionista ranked ESMOD among the 25 best fashion schools in the World.

The world's first and oldest French fashion design school, it has a placement rate of over 90 percent, and offers classes in both English and French. What's more, it hosts programs at 22 schools across 15 different countries for those who want to study at the school, but aren't able to relocate to Paris.

Courses offered: http://www.esmod.com/en/formations

Famous Alumni: Olivier Rousteing (Balmain), Thierry Mugler, Alexandre Vauthier, Catherine Malandrino, Suzy Menkes, Christophe Decarnin, Damir Doma, Juun J, Nina Garcia, Franck Sorbier, Vanina Vesperini.

Kingston University, London

Kingston University London, Kingston Hill Campus

Kingston University London (formerly Kingston University) is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1899, and became a university in 1992 after being Kingston Polytechnic. The four campuses are located in Kingston and Roehampton. There is a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate work spread across five faculties, and some further education provisions.

Kingston doesn’t have as many famous alumni as some of the more high-profile UK fashion schools, but if you aspire to a senior role at a big company, it’s a good place to start. Its graduates have held senior and director-level positions at Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Lacoste, Massimo Dutti, MaxMara, Missoni and Paul Smith, as well as mass brands like Topshop, Abercrombie & Fitch, Brooks Brothers, Asos and H&M.

Courses offered: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/undergraduate-course/fashion/

Famous Alumni: Glenda Bailey, Felipe Baptista, Sophie Hulme, Simon Kneen, Helen Storey, John Richmond.

University of Westminster, London

University of Westminster

The University of Westminster is a public university in London, United Kingdom. Its antecedent institution, the Royal Polytechnic Institution, was founded in 1838 and was the first polytechnic institution in the UK. Westminster was awarded university status in 1992 meaning it could award its own degrees.

Westminster is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EFMD, the European University Associationand Universities UK.

Courses offered: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/faculties/westminster-school-of-media-arts-and-design/departments/fashion/courses

Famous Alumni: Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Bailey (Burberry), Stuart Vevers (Coach), Katie Hillier, Michael Herz (Diane von Furstenberg).

Pratt Institute, New York

Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is a private, nonsectarian, non-profit institution of higher learning located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, United States, with a satellite campus located at 14th Street in Manhattan and an extension campus in Utica, New York (Pratt MWP).It originated in 1887 with programs primarily in engineering, architecture, and fine arts. 

U.S. News & World Report lists Pratt as one of the top 20 colleges in the Regional Universities North category. Princeton Review recognizes Pratt as being one of the best colleges in the northeast, making it among the top 25% of all four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

Courses offered: https://www.pratt.edu/academics/school-of-design/undergraduate-school-of-design/fashion/

Famous Alumni: Jeremy Scott, Betsey Johnson, Adam Selman, Samantha Pleet, Seokwon Andy Kim and Wonjeong Debbie Yoon (Andy + Debb), Nina Zilka and David J. Krause (Alder New York).

Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, Ramat Gan

Tel Aviv District
Ramat Gan

Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art (commonly abbreviated as Shenkar) is a public college in Ramat Gan, Israel. Shenkar serves the Israeli industry by providing academic qualification and R&D services for modern industries.

Definitely off the beaten path and with a distinct point of view, this well-kept secret has an amazing — and incredibly affordable — fashion design program.

Courses offered: http://www.shenkar.ac.il/en/departments/design-fashion-department

Famous Alumni: Alber Elbaz, Nili Lotan

Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Paris

119 Rue Réaumur
School Of Chambre Syndicale De La Couture Parisienne

This fashion school was founded in 1927 by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, as a reflection of the interest the designers and fashion houses have on turning today’s talents into highly skilled professionals that will guide and define tomorrow’s fashion. 

The prestigious French school offers world-renowned couture classes. There are baccalaureate-level programs as well, but the administrators often won't accept students until after they finish a design course elsewhere first. The school also has an exchange program with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  It’s the school associated with the group that determines which fashion brands qualify as true couture houses.

Courses offered: https://www.ecole-couture-parisienne.com/en/

Famous Alumni: Valentino Garavani, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, André Courreges, Issey Miyake, Anne Valerie Hash, Alexis Mabille, Tomas Maier, Nicole Miller, Stephane Rolland.

Studio Berçot, Paris

29 Rue des Petites Écuries
Studio Berçot

Studio Berçot is a private training institute in fashion design, established in 1954, based in Paris and related to French fashion schools.

Studio Berçot is a very tightly run and prestigious design school with many industry links and notable alumni. Full-year internships are set up during the third year. The school also has an exchange program with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Courses offered: http://www.studio-bercot.com/en/

Famous Alumni: Isabel Marant, Roland Mouret, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski (Hermès), Martine Sitbon, Lolita Lempicka, Sophie Theallet, Nicole Farhi, Véronique Leroy, Vanessa Seward, Camille Bideault-Waddington

National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

National Institute of Fashion Technology

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is a fashion institute in India. It was set up in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and is an institution of design, management and technology for the international fashion business.NIFT was granted statutory status in 2006, empowering it to award degrees and other academic distinctions. NIFT organises its own entrance exam yearly in India.

With its head office in New Delhi, NIFT has centers at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Kangra, Kannur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Raebareli, Shillong, and Srinagar.

In the 2017 CEOWORLD magazine ranking of the best fashion schools in the world, National Institute of Fashion Technology was ranked 19th, just behind Manchester School of Art.

Courses offered: http://nift.ac.in/

Notable Alumni: Nikita Anand, Manish Arora, Ritu Beri, Gulshan Devaiah, Shivaji Dutta, Shantanu Goenka, Prabal Gurung, Tanya Gyani, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and Neha Sharma.

Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah


Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), is a private, nonprofit, accredited university with locations in Savannah, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; Hong Kong; and Lacoste, France.

Courses offered: https://www.scad.edu/academics/programs/fashion

Notable Alumni: Santiago Barberi Gonzalez (president and creative director of Nancy Gonzalez), Thomas Finney (men's design director at Thom Browne, Kirk Stafford (co-owner of Tweeds in Atlanta, GA).

Academy of Art University, San Francisco


The Academy of Art University, formerly Academy of Art College, is a privately owned for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, in the United States. It was founded as the Academy of Advertising Art by Richard S. Stephens in 1929.

 It's the only fashion school that shows during New York Fashion Week, and they have good fashion journalism, merchandising, and business programs.

Courses offered: https://www.academyart.edu/academics/fashion/undergraduate-degrees

Notable Alumni: Ryan Roche

Ravensbourne, London

Ravensbourne College of Art

Ravensbourne (formerly the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication) is a university sector college in the field of digital media and design, with a vocationally focused portfolio of courses, spanning fashion, television and broadcasting, interactive product design, architecture and environment design, graphic design, animation, moving image, music production for media and sound design.

Courses offered: https://www.ravensbourne.ac.uk/study-here/courses/

Notable Alumni: Stella McCartney did her undergraduate degree there, and students have held positions at Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Future Classics, Todd Lynn, Topman, Jonathan Saunders, Eley Kishimoto and Reiss.