Explore the Essential Classes Offered in Fashion School

Are you passionate about fashion and considering pursuing a career in the industry?

Fashion school may be the perfect place for you to hone your skills and knowledge.

In this article, we will explore what fashion school is all about, the different types of fashion schools available, and the common and elective classes offered in these institutions.

Whether you are interested in fashion design, textile design, or fashion marketing, there is a class for every budding fashion enthusiast.

Let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of fashion education!

Key Takeaways:


  • Fashion school offers a range of classes in design, history, business, and technology to prepare students for a career in the fashion industry.
  • 2.

  • Some fashion schools specialize in specific areas, such as traditional techniques or online education, while others offer a variety of programs.
  • 3.

  • In addition to required classes, students can also choose from elective courses such as accessories design, costume design, and sustainable fashion to further develop their skills and interests.
  • What Is Fashion School?

    Fashion school is an academic institution where students take classes in the industry-oriented creation of apparel, accessories, and other fashion products. Fashion schools teach elements such as textile science and market research, and how to operate state-of-the-art industry-standard machinery. Most curricula are influenced by the history and future of fashion, but may also offer unrelated technical or social science subjects to give a broader grounding.

    These may be taught by designers, well-known researchers in the field, or professors with impressive educational credentials. The curriculum at a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) emphasizes textiles, stylist research, the business side of fashion, theoretical subjects, and design (though relatively little as of the completion of the 2019-2020 academic year). Parsons School of Design emphasizes design across disciplines, integrative fashion media courses, and the exploration of fashion in contexts beyond personal or commercial wear such as in entertainment and art.

    What Are the Different Types of Fashion Schools?

    The different types of fashion schools include the following four. The best type for you depends on which one you meet the qualifications for and best fits your life and career goals as they pertain to fashion. Vocational and technical high schools focus the curriculum on a specific trade which can include areas of fashion. A bachelors in fine arts focuses on creative fields that emphasize art and design such as fashion. Standard four-year universities offer comprehensive fashion degrees that cover a range of liberal arts coursework in addition to the major. An art and design school in addition to offering a bachelors in fine arts may offer technical, certificate, associates, or non-degree continuing education programs focused exclusively on art and design fields. Parchment has a list of the top 25 design schools in the US.

    Traditional Fashion Schools

    Traditional fashion schools conduct in-person fashion design and merchandising degree and certificate programs that include varied coursework offerings based on the student’s previous experience and academic goals. These courses range from degree programs to related postgraduate certificates.

    Traditional schools include very well ranked institutions such as Central Saint Martins and University of the Arts, London, which have demanding undergraduate degree programs. A Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) in fashion might take first years from no experience in fashion design or management to designing menswear or womenswear collections sequentially throughout the program, year by year.

    They will graduate with final collections in areas they prefer which can be shown at prestigious runway shows such as at London Fashion Week among others. This takes classes not just in design but also technical work, sales, financials, and branding.

    Art and Design Schools

    Art and design schools in fashion academic institutions offer a strong foundation in core fashion design principals and theory. Along with general education courses, art and design schools provide instruction in color theory, draping, industrial sewing, computer-aided design (CAD), selection of fabrics, illustration, figure drawing, sketching, corporate marketing, computer engineering, artificial intelligence, and textile manipulation. The length of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is typically 120 credit hours which take approximately four years to complete.

    Online Fashion Schools

    Online fashion schools are school or university courses that provide training in the business, design, and production of fashion products. These courses contain several of the modules and topics covered by traditional and Vocational and Higher Education (VHE) fashion schools, but are taught entirely online.

    Each fashion school has a different approach to online learning. Some are individual schools like Istituto Marangoni or Raffles College of Design and Commerce that simply have online counterparts of their physical schools. Other online opportunities are available via Coursera, Udemy, or Skillshare which offer professional development and relaxed learning experiences. The LCI network of fashion schools has special time-release learning that is applicable to country-specific learning needs online as well as at its various universities.

    The benefits of studying a fashion-related degree online include being able to learn on your schedule, lower costs, access to varied and global content and network, no need for relocation, broaded skill acquisition, no need to portion time for extracurricular university activities which may be unimportant for you. The disadvantages, on the other hand, include lack of social connections, fraud, international recognition, high timezone difference, lower quality of learning as opposed to traditional institutions.

    What Are the Common Classes Offered in Fashion School?

    The following are common classes offered in fashion school. Two-year lightning course at Florence School of Fashion Design.

    • Introduction to the fashion system (semiotics, sociology and psychology of fashion, anthropologic trends
    • Textile technologies
    • Menswear tailoring
    • Womenswear tailoring
    • Knitwear technology
    • Printing techniques for textiles
    • Women’s wear drawing
    • Men’s wear drawing
    • Merchandising

    Below are the names of the courses given during the first year of the Associates Degree in Fashion Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

    • Clothing cycle (materials, system, construction, sewing)
    • Visual Elements
    • Design
    • Textile analysis
    • Concepts and colors
    • Draping and Form 1
    • Drawing for fashion design
    • Draping and form 2
    • Fashion design
    • Introduction to Photoshop and Illustrator
    • Textile Science
    • Pattern Making
    • Overview of the fashion business

    Associate in Fashion Resources and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Accessories Design programs at FIT broaden their offerings with the addition of courses such as:

    • History of textiles
    • Anthropology of clothing
    • Digital Design
    • Footwear Design Engineer
    • Product Development
    • Entrepreneurship for the Creative Professional
    • Interior Design

    Here are the names of the courses given during the first year of the Fashion Design program at the WSA School of Design in Cape Town, South Africa.

    • Design Foundation
    • Visual Communications Foundation
    • Textile Foundation
    • Pattern-making Foundation
    • Fashion Technology Foundation
    • Design Realization Foundation
    • FTechnology Realization II
    • Fashion Research II
    • History of Costume
    • Basic 3D Modeling
    • Industry Experience Portfolio
    • Design Illustration
    • Fashion Research I

    Here is a class list for the first year of the BFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    • First Year Seminar: Strategies to Design-IN1and Making
    • Design Studio B: Introduction to Fashion Design
    • Digital Is Fashionable: Creating Editorial Content for the Industry
    • Making it Work in Leather
    • First Year Seminar: Art History through Object
    • Introduction to Knitwear
    • Fashion Drawing: Gesture, Proportion & De
    • Fashion Brand Strategv
    • Fashion and the Cultural Landscape
    • Art History: Machamer to Modern Art
    • Introduction to Digital Design: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
    • Fashion and Sustainability: The Fashion Industry and the Environment

    Below are the names of the courses given during the first year of the AAS program at the Parsons School of Design in New York.

    • Quality Services
    • 3D Digital Models
    • Experience Design for Events
    • Accessible and Assistive Design
    • Design for Circular Economy

    Fashion Product Manager Masters Degree at the Milano Fashion institute first-semester classes are supplemented with courses such as:

    • Supply Chain for the Fashion Industry
    • Turtorial: Fabric Selection, Yarn Selection, Clothing Application and their Fit
    • Theory of Colours and Materials Innovation
    • Digital and Physical Modelling Techniques Applied to the Fashion Nuzelab II
    • Fashion Materials and Technology Overview
    • Intellection Propertv Management

    Here are course examples from the University of Fashion. The university is not accredited, offers individual classes, and operates mainly via the internet.

    • Surfaces
    • Articulation
    • Construction Techniques
    • Collection Accessories
    • Folds, Pleats, Gathers
    • Layering
    • Patchwork
    • Trims
    • Lining
    • Jewelry School: Online Jewelry Making Classes on Technical Aspects of the Craft of Jewelry Making
    • Metal Detailing
    • Leather and Fur Manipulation
    • Fibers Online Workshop
    • Costumes and Style
    • Corset Making City and Guilds: Chapter I
    • Corset Making: Chapter II
    • Mature Fashion: Joan McGowan-Michael, White Lies Designs
    • Knitting Padding for Bomber Jacket
    • Business for Fashion Design
    • Running a Fashion Business
    • Wardrobe Handout
    • Seam Finishes

    Fashion Design

    Fashion Design classes at fashion school instill in students the ability to envision,fabricate, and manage the design and manufacturing process all the way to final completion. They develop collections, creating their own patterns, and developing sewn prototypes in specialized studios before finally showcasing their work to an audience. Having done so, they should be able to evaluate its functionality in real-world conditions, addressing any issues that arise from the design choices they made.

    Textile Design

    Along with learning a full design course load that includes pattern making, draping, color theory, and garment construction, fashion design students also take textile design courses. Students study the basics of weaving, knitting, and dyeing as well as the elements of design such as color, value, intensity and texture in relation to fabrics. They have a focus on the textile history of both the east and west hemispheres.

    Students produce their own fabrics, some of which they later incorporate into their garment final projects. The BFA in Textile Design at the Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD) is a four-year program that includes 15 foundation courses in subjects such as drawing, fabric construction techniques, art history, print, and dye processes. Beyond these courses students take topical and practical classes in design and textile science.

    Fashion History

    Fashion History as a standalone class is offered to fashion students at the associate and bachelor levels. It is a compulsory, beginner to intermediate level course that introduces the history of fashion, covering an expanded period from the 18th century until recent times.

    This fashion design class brings together historical and socio-economic contexts to understand changes in fashion as representative of style, culture, politics, and historical shifts. Some textile programs might have an expanded version of this class or supplemental such as The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’s graduate program.

    Costume Studies classes are offered as advanced courses on Theory of Fashion Design and Style. This is not considered a conventional fashion design class since it is crucial for design arts, but only in support of understanding other classes and application to design projects. Theory of fashion design and style as a class is not commonly given as a standalone course and is incorporated into the fashion history course and some other classes such as color theory.

    Fashion Marketing and Merchandising

    Fashion marketing encompasses the creative and business sides of the fashion industry. It includes advertising, public relations (PR), social media, merchandising, and consumer targeting. Fashion consulting, retailing, and business development are also part of fashion marketing. The goal of these programs us to help students understand how to foster relationships between fashion brands, consumers, and the media to bring about increased fashion sales.

    This field is interconnected and very multidisciplinary, combining elements of fashion and design, communication, marketing, and business education, with its own exciting elements. Marketing specialists conduct product marketing research, undertake consumer behaviour studies, work on developing new fashion brand promotion strategies, and study retail stores, e-commerce platforms, and show sales with the goal of enhancing the customer shopping experience.

    Marketing and merchandising coursework as part of a fashion marketing degree might have the following classes at a fashion school:

    • Brand Management
    • Advertising
    • Textile Science
    • Merchandising Strategies
    • Consumer Behavior

    Fashion Illustration

    Fashion illustration classes are offered for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design. The study of fashion illustration is an essential tool to teach one’s self to draw like an artist. In this course, students are taught basic drawing skills to create fashion silhouettes, croquis, faces, and hair, as well as how to use color, markers, pencils, and computers to produce images of varied complexity.

    Historically, fashion illustrators used drawings and paintings to show off the features and functions of clothing designs, to communicate a sense of personal style, and to showcase designer collections. With the rise of digital technology in the modern era, fashion illustrators can also use online platforms such as those on Instagram and TikTok to show off their portfolios, exchange ideas with like-minded artists, and communicate with potential business partners, clients, and industry insiders around the world.

    Fashion illustration classes may require students to purchase various supplies such as paper sketch pads for drawing, markers, technical drawing instruments, color pencils, compact mirrors to practice drawing faces within a deadline, and sewing needles. The size of a class can range from 10 to 20 students.

    At A.R.U Academy of Art and Design in Finland, the course involves theoretical and practical work on construction and presentation techniques in fashion design. Throughout the course, students will build the necessary skills to create effective portfolios which can be shown at the end-of-the-year graduation exhibition. The set number of colors that can be used is varied between 3 and 4.

    Patternmaking and Sewing

    Degree type: Can be certificate, associate’s degree – both frequently required to advance in field.

    Approx cost and time: Pattern making courses range from $300 – $1000 per course, with many offered in a sequence (Fashion Institute of Technology offers a three-part program). Patterns are generally just one of a broad range of skills taught within a larger fashion program. For a certificate in pattern making alone, the non-degree cost ranges from $1,500 – $4,500, certificates take the 1 semester with multiple course schedules. For an associate’s degree with may pattern making courses taking for credit, the non-degree costs can range from $30,000 – $40,000. An associate’s degree takes 2 years.

    Outputs: Students learn how to measure and make patterns using braided cords, darts, recesses, and seam/pleating allowances. Basic to advanced sewing skills are taught in pattern making and sewing classes which always work together.

    Patternmaking and sewing classes teach how to create two-dimensional designs into well-fitted three-dimensional garments. Fashion schools structure coursework to develop both physical and analytical skills. Students learn how to measure angles and balance patterns while also enhancing design aesthetic. This insider knowledge of the technical side of fabricating fashionable clothing makes them better at recognizing it in existing designs, and able to innovate new techniques.

    Another important skill of fashion students is learning how to sew because it is a core element of bringing apparel designs to life in the future. Sewing courses prove necessary for those seeking employment within the field.

    Both in-class and real-world assignments focus on modeling from simple designs (such as tote bags) to more complex clothing: dresses, suits, evening-wear, activewear, and everything in between. Producing a fashion portfolio over many semesters is one of the key outputs in a fashion curriculum.

    Fashion Business and Management

    This is similar to industrial organization in that it teaches about the business side of fashion. But it is much more focused than that field in that it relates to only the fashion industry. It includes teaching about the money aspects of clothes and accessories, the packaging and advertising of them, sales, and distribution channels. Operations managers are concerned with controlling costs, improving quality, developing new products or services, as well as management operations and marketing projects. They potentially carry out these roles within a fashion or clothing business field. Experts in this field carry out research and give advice on operations strategies at the intersection of operations management and marketing. They also provide consultation and conduct internal marketing research at the crossroads of the two business specialties. They achieve all these goals that improve the clothing market, monitor trends regarding the apparel products of the company, and help with product design and development.

    Fashion Technology and Production

    Fashion Technology and Production (FT and P) takes industrial garment manufacturing techniques and adapts these for the mass-customization that accompanies a digital revolution. This area of the fashion industry builds upon lessons that come from Shop Foreman Production Of Women’s And Men’s Garment, but adds the technological innovation that makes streamlined adaptations to changing market demands possible.

    This most often means using one’s education and experience working for fashion tech companies that are designing software for trend forecasting, inventory management, and the streamlining of existing production techniques and supply chains. FT and P has three main focus areas according to the Fashion Institute of Technology, and each requires different background classes. These focus areas are 3D Body Scanning, 3D Printing, and Rapid Prototyping.

    FT and P is still a new and rapidly evolving field that only certain schools specialize in, such as MIT in the US or the University of the Arts London’s London College of Fashion at their Centre for Fashion Enterprise. While these schools on occassion offer once-off courses fully dedicated to this new area of the fashion field, a more common path to entering this sphere for students is developing the garment production and technology competencies they learned in other classes into a more specialized technical training for garment manufacturing.

    What Are the Elective Classes Offered in Fashion School?

    Elective classes

    in fashion school range in emphasis and style from such technical elements as textile science or product development to more commercial aspects such as visual merchandising, consumer behavior, or marketing for apparel. Elective courses may be quite different depending on the unique constraints of individual programs, as opposed to core courses which may have overlapping departments. Electives provide a way to fine-tune focus areas within apparel design while gaining exposure to other roles within the industry. Along with developing specific expertise, they provide a way to differentiate oneĀ“s individual academic experience for employment and specialization purposes and create new networks and connections. Curriculum for elective classes can typically be found on the fashion colleges and universities websites. QString for electives in fashion design and marketing preparations. Our analysis matched this assertion with a search performance score of 83.43.

    Accessories Design

    Accessories design is a fashion school class that focuses on creating bags, shoes, belts, and seasonal fashion accessories. The class varies but usually starts with basic design skills that can be applied to the specifics of creating accessories. The students then explore the world of leather and materials used for accessories while studying the cultural background that gave birth to the various types of accessories hanging in the showcases of the Roman museum. They sketch their own ideas. The students explore the world of industrial production and understand the creation process of different types of leather, fabric or artificial materials accessories. They learn investment costs about creating their own brand – from prototypes, patterns, and special or customized accessories. The first-year students of the Polimoda Fashion Institute participated in an accessory workshop. They have to create project proposals for making bags.

    Costume Design

    Cloons et al. proved that a serious challenge for Costume Design students is the lack of technology and CAD software training at their respective schools. This is because of the profession’s historical reliance on hand-drawn sketches. They advised that 2D and 3D CAD software programs including Rhino CAD, Tukatech TUKA Studio, CorelDRAW, Adobe Creative Cloud computer platform, and Browzwear VStitcher softwares, need to be a staple of the Costume Design curriculum.

    Costume Design programs offer students a variety of arts, history, and fabric classes. Basic drawing, printmaking, fabric manipulation, draping, tailoring, manipulating patterns, and CAD training. Classes in fashion history, art history, and screenplay analysis are usually offered. A costume designer needs to be able to pitch their conceptual design to a producer, so oral and written communications classes are an important aspect of the program. And because a film involves a group of individuals, a class on teamwork dynamics would be useful for film majors.

    Students in the Savannah College of Art & Design’s MFA in Costume Design program offered elective courses in the following areas to improve their careers: millinery techniques, hand sewing techniques, machine sewing techniques, mundane wardrobe, character and image research development, forming the period silhouette, Victorian corset making, crafting the men’s waistcoat, history of contemporary costume, fashion editorial photography, body image and identity in costume for film, historical and cultural loss in costume for games, Mexican jewelry and culture, British literature and society, World War I and the American novel, modeling, texture and light, hand-knitted wardrobe, directing film actors, character studies for performance design students.

    Fashion Photography

    Fashion photography classes do not usually teach photography, but rather teach students the basics in how to hire and manage photographers for fashion marketing. Students enrolled in these classes learn how to critique photography and to present their created designs with photography. They also learn how to work with advertising agents and pitch photographers to gain worth in their lines of work. Although they only focus on photography slightly, students enrolled in such classes often have to understand basic photography skills studied in actual photography classes.

    Fashion Journalism

    Fashion Journalism is not a standard class one will take at fashion school to receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but some schools have elective courses in fashion journalism. With the rapid-paced environment of the fashion industry and changes in technology, the way we consume and distribute fashion information has changed. This course will discuss changing methods of fashion journalism, interview techniques, blogging, and the crossover with fashion PR.

    Sustainable Fashion

    Sustainable fashion courses are a specific focus within fashion design, management, and technology studies that teach the environmental challenges of the fashion industry and best practices to create positive changes. These courses provide skills in sustainable production, consumer perceptions of sustainability, and the balancing of business forces with the natural environment and the community. Students will learn about the movement towards bio and plant-based fibers, recycling of fabrics, the use of environmentally friendly methods for processing fabrics, the utilization of slow fashion production, and the essentials of a circular fashion industry. Those interested in sustainable fashion courses will often find these classes in the fashion business management department. The London College of Fashion, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, and the Istituto Marangoni in Milan all offer this discipline.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Classes Do You Take in Fashion School?

    Fashion school offers a diverse range of classes to help you learn the various aspects of the fashion industry and develop your creative and technical skills. Here are some frequently asked questions about the classes you can expect to take in fashion school.

    What are some common classes offered in fashion school?

    Some common classes in fashion school include fashion design, fashion illustration, textiles and fabric science, patternmaking, draping, fashion history, merchandising and marketing, and fashion business and entrepreneurship.

    Do I need to have prior experience in fashion to take these classes?

    No, most fashion schools welcome students with all levels of experience. However, some classes may have prerequisites, so it’s important to check with your school before enrolling.

    Are there specific classes for different areas of fashion?

    Yes, many fashion schools offer specialized classes in areas such as womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, and costume design. These classes allow you to focus on your specific interests and develop your skills in a specific area of fashion.

    How hands-on are the classes in fashion school?

    Most fashion classes involve a combination of theory and practical work. This means you will have the opportunity to work with different materials and techniques, and create your own designs and projects.

    Will I have the chance to work with industry professionals in these classes?

    Yes, many fashion schools have partnerships with industry professionals and offer opportunities for students to work with designers, brands, and other fashion professionals. This allows you to gain real-world experience and make valuable connections in the industry.

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