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Want A Career in Fashion? Global Fashion School Rankings 2015

Beatrice Lessi

Business of Fashion has just released the new ranking of the best fashion schools in the world. London and New York, as one might imagine, are in top positions. But also Florence, Melbourne and Tokio, unexpectedly, make it to the top 10. So how were the rankings compiled?


A dream job: fashion designer. Photo: huffigtonpost.com

The Chart

The new rankings are based on rigorous BoF analysis of 60 data points collected directly from 24 participating fashion schools in 11 countries, a survey of more than 4,000 fashion students and alumni, as well as a reputational survey of 88 HR professionals and fashion influencers.

Each programme was evaluated on three key dimensions: Global Influence, Learning Experience and Long-term Value.


The n1, Central Saint Martins. Photo: thewardrobe.it

TOP 10

Here are the results – if you aim at studying in a top school in the world, these are the locations and Institutes you should try.

1. Central Saint Martin, London, United Kingdom

2. Bunka Fashion College, Tokio, Japan

3. Kingston University, London, United Kingdom

4. Parsons the New School of Fashion, New York, United States

5. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, United States

6. Polimoda, Florence, Italy

7. University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

8. London College of Fashion, London, United Kingdom

9. RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

10. Drexel University, Philadelphia, United States.


Any fashion show of this school looks good – just look at the building. Photo: polimoda.com

Is Fashion Education selling a False Dream?

Interestingly enough, near the School rankings, Business of Fashion presents an article that also warns you about the downside of fashion careers.

The fashion education sector is booming. As the scale and scope of the industry has grown over the last decade, and social media has opened up a once secretive business to the masses, the appeal of fashion as a career opportunity has grown with it, leading more and more young people to pursue fashion education.


The famous FIT, Fashion Insitute of Technology. Photo: http://www.fitnyc.edu/

Good News

First, the good news: students are generally “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the teaching (83 percent), the library and study materials (83 percent), and workrooms, buildings and campuses (76 percent).

Students were particularly complimentary about their teachers. “Tutors are of a very high calibre and with relevant experience from industry or still work within industry. [They] are very good at recognising potential and pushing students to produce their best work,” one former student from Central Saint Martins comments.


Only the building is worth a visit – Polimoda in Florence. Photo: thewardrobe.it

Bad News

However, in other areas, there remains a significant gap between the expectations of these students vis-à-vis their actual experiences while in school and after graduation. In particular, many students were significantly less satisfied with the support in finding employment.

“Brilliant school, brilliant exposure, zero help afterwards,” says one former Central Saint Martins student.

With BA tuition fees costing an average of $18,000 per year and MA tuition an average of $23,000 per year, students are clearly looking for a better return on this significant investment.

While many young people are attracted to working as fashion designers due to the growing visibility of the industry on television and social media, the growing popularity of fashion education has not been matched by a corresponding increase in fashion design jobs.

The Future Is Open

But, all is not lost. In a fast-changing fashion market being reshaped by new business models, emerging technologies and shifting consumer values, there are many new career paths emerging in fashion.

“Although there is currently an imbalance of supply and demand for design graduates, the landscape is poised for new sectors within innovative and hybridised specialisations that include digital manufacturing, social innovation, sustainability and new business models,” reports Kozlowski. These new roles are increasingly important to the future of the fashion business, and offer graduates a new ways to participate in this exciting sector.