Our five-pronged approach focuses on your individual strengths to develop your unique qualities towards making you an exemplary pi- designer.
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Does the world of fashion—fashion runaways, fashion trends and technologies in this domain intrigue you? Do you want to have a career in fashion? Do you religiously follow in the footsteps of names like Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre? If the answer to any of these is yes, choosing one of the best fashion design colleges is a crucial stepping stone for a bright career ahead.
Choosing the right fashion design college is as critical as choosing the right fashion programme. In today’s dynamic landscape, a fashion design college is more than just a place of learning. It helps students understand the fundamentals of costume design and/or accessory design and master fashion design techniques under the guidance of qualified educators and mentors. The best fashion and textile design colleges help bridge the gap between the innate abilities and skills required to excel in the fashion industry. Moreover, top fashion design schools offer a study abroad programme as an in-built component of the undergraduate degree, which helps students gain top-notch exposure to the fashion industry.
Fashion industries around the globe are rapidly evolving with the emergence of new trends, tools and technologies. There is stiff competition and one needs to be exceptional in his craft to be able to make a mark in the fashion industry. There is no dearth of design and fashion colleges to study the discipline. However, studying fashion at the top fashion design college is the key differentiator that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Choosing the right fashion design school is a crucial checkpoint for success in this industry.
If you are looking for a suitable design school to study fashion , you have landed at the right place. By the time you finish reading the article, you will be able to identify and shortlist some suitable fashion design schools to pursue your higher studies. To get started, let us identify the best fashion design college. Any design school that provides a sounding board for a bright career in the fashion industry is considered the best. The top fashion design schools have some common factors that set them apart from the rest of the league. So, what are these common factors? Let's take a look.
The foremost factor to consider when choosing a suitable fashion design college is its reputation. Accreditation is the primary component influencing the reputation of a fashion design school. Accreditation enhances the credibility of the design school. Employers highly prefer fashion design graduates from accredited design and fashion colleges, as accreditation validates the skills required for the job. It serves as a stamp for quality assurance in fashion design education. Accreditation also strengthens partnerships between fashion and design schools and other stakeholders in the industry, carving meaningful connections and exciting avenues for students. Thus, it serves as a stamp for quality assurance in fashion design education.
Textile design and fashion design institutes undergo a rigorous evaluation process by accrediting authorities, which examine various factors such as faculty qualifications, curriculum, infrastructure, placement and student support services and much more. Some of them are then recognised by these accrediting agencies. Accredited fashion design schools meet the industry benchmarks which can deliver quality education that equips students with necessary qualifications, knowledge and skills to excel in the fashion industry.
Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and University Grants Commission (UGC) are the top accreditation bodies for fashion and design colleges in India. Institutions such as the Indian Institute of Art and Design, the National Institute of Technology, and the National Institute of Design are accredited institutions in India.
Choosing a reputed fashion design college enhances the students' employability prospects and increases the chances of landing their first job right after graduation.
It is imperative that a fashion design school offers the latest and comprehensive curriculum in line with the industry trends to be considered among the top league institutions. A suitable fashion design course must comprise the following essential modules:
The curriculum should be assessed and modified periodically to incorporate new trends that have emerged over time. It should incorporate the latest trends in the fashion design industry, such as sustainable fashion, e-commerce, social commerce. Also new-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and metaverse need to be inculcated.
Nowadays, the curriculum of the top fashion design schools offers an in-built component of international transfer. Under this provision, a student may pursue a few semesters of his undergraduate degree abroad. By offering opportunities for global advancement in education, institutes of such nature set a benchmark.
Besides the updated curriculum, the role of the faculty in a fashion design college cannot be underestimated. Faculty is pivotal in delivering lessons with the right pedagogical approach, equipping students with fashion design knowledge and skills and mentoring them to become industry-ready.
Top fashion and design colleges offer a healthy mix of academic and industry experts as faculty members.
Resources and facilities constitute the essential foundation of education in a fashion design college. Infrastructure, including a pattern-making and grading laboratory, textile laboratory, dyeing and printing laboratory, computer laboratory, and garment construction laboratory, is imperative in fashion and design colleges to provide a conducive learning environment. Additional amenities like a canteen, hostels, sports facilities and Wi-Fi are considered beneficial to enhance the overall learning atmosphere.
Given the technological revolution in every industry, including fashion design, it is crucial to integrate next-generation technologies into the learning environment. These technologies accelerate the fashion design process, enhance efficiency, and open avenues for innovation. Therefore, it is imperative that laboratories and classrooms are equipped with the latest and cutting-edge technologies, aligning with industry standards. This should be complemented by the availability of resource-rich libraries and databases, such as Artstor, WSGN, Women’s Wear Daily, along with essential tools like dummies, sewing machines, and software such as Adobe Illustrator, Tailornova, etc.
While the aforementioned factors constitute the theoretical foundation of a good fashion design education, practical components such as industry connections, alumni support, technical proficiency, and global exposure play crucial roles. Networking skills are imperative for success in the fashion industry, requiring individuals to cultivate and nurture connections from the early days of graduation.
Industry-academia partnerships offer a platform for students to refine their technical skills and develop portfolios. This collaboration not only benefits the industry by recruiting skilled students but also provides colleges with insights into industry trends, tools, and technologies. It establishes avenues to explore new synergies and models, creating revenue streams for colleges and offering companies access to a talented pool of individuals.
Top design and fashion colleges should provide robust and meaningful industry connections. Bringing in industry experts as guest faculty is an excellent way to initiate partnerships for a fashion design college. Encouraging internships in fashion houses during design degrees, facilitating student attendance at seminars and industry events, promoting corporate involvement in annual events, and implementing other strategies can further foster industry-academia partnerships.
The importance of networking goes beyond industry-academia collaborations. Alumni support and engagement are an extension of such partnerships. Top fashion design colleges have a vibrant alumni cell. Alumni are the best ambassadors of educational institutions. Access to alumni networks to existing students helps them benefit from the former's expertise and gives them insight into industry trends and practices. These alumni are often ready to lend pro bono mentorship sessions to students. Some alumni can even go further to help students get relevant internships and networking opportunities and launch their careers. Many may even give back to their alma mater in terms of monetary support as a sign of gratitude towards the institution. Alumni also serve as role models for existing students, which inspires them to go the extra mile to get started in a career in fashion design.
Image Courtesy: Univariety
Placements form an important criterion when choosing the best fashion design college. A good fashion design college must offer comprehensive career mentorship and guidance to make students job-ready. Mentorship in the form of Resume building, polishing a LinkedIn profile, building a solid portfolio, and interview preparations serve as a launchpad for a career in the fashion industry.
Acquiring technical proficiency is an important differentiator to making a mark in the industry.
Fashion illustration and sketching is the first step of the fashion design process. It helps professionals brainstorm and showcase their ideas and communicate a message. These fashion illustrations are a blueprint for reviewing and finalising the garment design. The clearer and more detailed the illustration, the better the chances of better garment production. Top fashion design institutions offer a comprehensive module on fashion illustration as part of the curriculum under the guidance of qualified faculty. This helps students to hone their skills in this field,
Pattern-making and garment construction are the next step in the fashion design process. Pattern-making helps replicate the same style across the garment and saves time starting everything from scratch each time. Garment construction forms the core of the fashion design process. It requires understanding various kinds of sewing machines, knowledge and expertise in multiple seams and adeptness in stitching a garment. Top colleges for fashion designers are equipped with state-of-the-art garment construction laboratories with sophisticated tools that hasten this process. Practical assignments and assessments help in inculcating these skills.
Similarly, fashion designers need to be proficient in technical drawing. Technical drawing provides a guideline for the garment manufacturing process and directions to develop a garment style. Specifications further provide detailed records for the project. It also helps in defining standards for the execution of the process. Similarly, fabric selection plays an important role in influencing the functionality and acceptance of fashion merchandise. Top colleges for fashion designers help inculcate these skills, which are vital to take on the career.
Today, learning goes beyond classrooms and applies to soft skills such as problem-solving, design thinking, teamwork and empathy. Global exposure helps students gain an insight into different cultures, beliefs, values and ideas and opens new learning horizons. Students gain first-hand experience and real-world perspective into the working of the fashion industry. Besides honing personality and building character, it also enhances students' employability and increases their chances of landing their first job quickly.
Top fashion design colleges offer international collaborations as a vital component of their curriculum. This allows students to travel abroad and acquaint themselves with the global practices in the fashion industry. It also provides opportunities for students to live, study and work internationally. It also facilitates knowledge-sharing and technical know-how and acts as a catalyst to foster further research into the domain.
Fashion design courses come with high tuition fees, expensive materials and equipment and associated costs like travel expenses. Top colleges for fashion designers offer scholarships to bright students. Scoring high percentile in the entrance exam for these colleges forms the primary criterion for awarding these scholarships. They may also be granted on demonstration of specific skills such as leadership, extracurricular activities, etc. Not only do these scholarships make the courses affordable, but they also motivate aspirants to excel in their careers.
Most students take loans to fund their fashion design education. Top colleges have tied up with financial institutions which offer loans with quick and hassle-free processing and flexible payment terms. Moreover, a good fashion design school also offers freeships to some students from underprivileged sections of society. Freeship waives the tuition fees entirely or partly for such students, allowing them to concentrate on their studies and alleviating financial burden. It is also an essential determinant in ensuring equity in access to education.
Choosing the right fashion design school is one of the critical decisions a student makes for a lifetime. This decision can make or break your career path. Hence, besides budget and placement avenues, one should consider numerous factors such as quality of infrastructure, qualification of faculty, the type of curriculum, alumni support and mentorship and much more. Moreover, one must gain an understanding of the environment and culture of the college by interacting with alumni, faculty and existing students at the college. Remember, one good decision can change your whole life for the better!
- Did you get the clarity on choosing the right design college from the above article? Here’s a quick guide on what to expect from a Fashion Design course at IIAD.
- If you found this article useful, there’s more from our author Ashita Kulshreshtha.
She has written about career opportunities in fashion merchandising. In another vein, she also talks about visual communication —both examples, and the influence of culture in communication design.
- Watch this short clip to get a better understanding of IIAD’s definition of fashion design.
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