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  • Emily Keller

The Business Of Fashion's 2017 Global Fashion School Rankings

I recently wrote an answer on Quora for the question:

Quora Pros and Cons of attending The Fashion Institute of Technology FIT for fashion design

At the same time as I was reflecting back on my experience at FIT, The Business of Fashion released their 2017 Global Fashion School Rankings.

FIT knocked it out of the park. FIT’s respective rankings for each category are:

Undergraduate: #7

Graduate: #5

Graduate Business: #4

FIT is one of the six (out of a total of seventy-three schools) that ranked in all three categories. Impressive!

2017 Global Fashion School Rankings

This solidifies the fact that FIT is a top fashion school in the world with well-rounded curricula and degree offerings.

Despite my personal cons, I would still recommend FIT to anyone interested in studying Fashion Design. I would just bring these points to the attention of prospective students so they are armed with knowledge!

My FIT Pro’s:

  1. Industry-Savvy Professors: Professors are currently involved in the fashion industry. This is important because the fashion industry is rapidly evolving. The curriculum needs to stay relevant to what is happening in the industry.

  2. Career Department: They offer career counseling and advising, and it’s free for life for all FIT alumni!

  3. Fashion Library: FIT has great research sources in their library, and much of the material is available to alumni for life!

  4. Technical Education: Since I went to FIT, I know for a fact that FIT emphasizes an education based on technical skills, like Illustration, Pattern-Making, Draping, Sewing, Photoshop, Illustrator, Web PDM, Web PLM, etc. I’ve heard that FIT’s main competitor school, Parsons School of Design, focuses more on conceptual design development. A technical or conceptual education can be good. It just depends on what you want to do in the fashion industry.

  5. Location: The environment around your school is a huge part of the college education experience. You get to live in New York City, one of the top fashion cities in the world. This is a huge advantage, as not all fashion schools are located in fashion cities.

  6. Study Abroad Partnerships: I had the amazing opportunity to study at the Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy for two semesters as part of my BFA degree program at FIT. This is a great opportunity to attend other universities for short periods of time. Ever wished you could attend FIT AND Central Saint Martins? Well, FIT has a partnership program with CSM. So attend both!

My FIT Con’s:

  1. Fashion Business: I wished this was a stronger and more integrated part of the Fashion Design Major. I had one or two fashion business classes, but I didn’t retain any information from them. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, I wish I had spent more time learning about the business side of fashion.

  2. Professional Skills: When I started interviewing for jobs after graduation, I quickly realized I was missing some important skill sets. Like how to edit my portfolio for each specific interview, how to decide on what to wear for each company, what questions to expect, and how to negotiate salaries and other compensations. These are skills the Career Center at FIT probably could have helped me with, but I didn’t utilize it at the time. I don’t think I realized I could have used it. FIT could have done a better job at advertising and making students aware that the Career Center was available to us.

  3. Conceptual Design: FIT is great for a technical education, as I noted above in the Pro’s in #4. The opposite side of technical is conceptual. This is an area that I believe FIT is lacking. Conceptual thinking and design weren’t taught very well at FIT. As a result, I’ve had trouble in my own business in this area. When designing a collection, I tend to completely skip over the concept design phase of development. I didn’t even realize this until a strong conceptual designer pointed it out to me.

Comment below and let me know which fashion school would be your top choice to attend. If you attended a fashion school, I would love to hear about your experience below.

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