Top 10 fashion colleges

Written by ann oldenburg
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You love clothes. You're a creative person. And every time you watch Project Runway, you think, "If only I had the chance to show my stuff!" But college is beckoning and you need to learn the tools and tricks of the trade. There is no one official Top 10 list of colleges offering fashion design majors. There are however, at least 10 that are, arguably, considered excellent choices for studying fashion. True fashionistas will likely agree that the first place to look is New York.

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Parsons: The New School for Design

Parsons: The New School for Design is widely regarded as one of the top schools in the country. It has been around since 1906 and boasts alumni including Donna Karan, Tom Ford and Narciso Rodriguez. A private arts school, Parsons likes to say it produces designers who are "21st-century fashion leaders." Project Runway's Tim Gunn, who has served on the faculty there, has brought the school more attention in recent years, and it regularly appears on the annual Best Colleges list of "U.S. News & World Report."

Parsons: The New School for Design 72 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10011 (212) 229-8989

Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, has a respected reputation for excellence, notes the 2010 Best Colleges guide from "U.S. News & World Report." FIT offers a liberal arts foundation with its fashion program and, best of it, its tuition is much less than any other school on this list.

Fashion Institute of Technology Seventh Ave. at 27th St. New York, NY 10001 (212) 217-7999

Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design, founded in 1877, prides itself on offering a "vibrant community" for artists. The revered RISD invites more than 200 guest experts in the field to the campus each year and regularly appears on the Best Colleges list of the "U.S. News & World Report."

Rhode Island School of Design 2 College St. Providence, RI 02903 (401) 454-6100

Drexel University

Drexel University's Westphal College of Art and Media Design was just reaccredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which gives its stamp of approval to only the top schools in the county. Westphal is known for small studio classes that simulate the professional fashion world.

Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 33rd and Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215) 895-1834

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

In Los Angeles, FIDM is the West Coast home of Project Runway and has counted Lauren Conrad of MTV reality show The Hills among its students. There are four campuses---Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. FIDM is the place to go if you're interested in getting into the entertainment industry, with careers in wardrobe and costume designing.

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising 919 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90015 (213) 624-1201

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

SAIC is one of the country's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, with an enrolment of just under 3,000 students. It is recognised by "U.S. News & World Report" as one of the top graduate art programs in the nation, and in 2003 was ranked by art critics in Columbia University's National Arts Journalism survey as the "most influential art school" in the United States. Among its famous fashion grads: Halston and Cynthia Rowley.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 37 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 629-6100

Savannah College of Art Design

The Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD), established in 1978, is widely respected in the business for its design program ("Business Week" named it one of the top 60 design schools in the world in 2007) and for its fashion programs. It is one of only a dozen schools to partner with the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America to provide a scholarship program; recent visitors to the school include Mark Badgley, James Mischka, Tracy Reese and Trina Turk. It's also one of the few schools to offer an MFA program in fashion.

Savannah College of Art and Design 42 Bull St. Savannah, GA 31401 (912) 525-5000

Moore College of Art & Design

Offering an all-woman student body, an average student population of 500 and a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, as noted by the Best Colleges list of "U.S. News & World Report," Moore is committed to maintaining a small school environment. Classes regularly visit designers' studios and showrooms and retailers and suppliers in both Philadelphia and New York to learn first-hand from experts about competition, fabric buying, display and production.

Moore College of Art & Design 20th St. and the Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 965-4000

University of the Arts in London

Six schools make up the University of the Arts in London, and two are well known for their fashion programs. Central St. Martins, with alums Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, is "one of London's most revered art institutions," according to the Independent Education Supplement. But the University's London College of Fashion is also well known for specialising in fashion education, research and consultancy. Among its famous graduates: Jimmy Choo. It is internationally affiliated with Parsons and FIT.

University of the Arts of London 65 Davies St. London W1K 5DA United Kingdom 011 (+44) 0207 514 6000>

Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale

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