Boston Fashion Week founder, Jay Calderin

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Fashion School Program

In Boston, City Feature, Fashion & Culture, Fashion Weekby Michalah Trumpey

Jay Calderin, five-time author, and creator of Boston Fashion Week, started his career in the fashion industry as a designer in training at the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City. Now an educator himself, Jay credits his education at “Fashion High” as the foundation for his career. Jay now teaches at the School of Fashion Design, Massachusetts College of Art + Design, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Jay says that every school has its strengths, and thanks to technology, institutions around the world have access to the same resources, and most programs offer all the same foundation courses like pattern-making, construction, sketching, fashion history, etc. Jay recommends the following 5 standards to help you choose the right fashion school program for you. 

How to find the perfect fashion school program

  1. Choose a school that fits your personality
  2. Make sure the school offers enough flexibility for your schedule
  3. Stick to your budget to avoid long-term college debt
  4. Find a school that offers courses that fit your learning style
  5. Make sure the school offers courses that will meet your professional goals

For future fashion professionals looking for Boston fashion school recommendations, check out Boston Fashion Programs for Future Fashionistas. You should also read “What They Didn’t Teach You in Fashion School” by Jay Calderin. This book is a must-have if you are going to make it as a fashion designer. 

Jay shared the origin of one of his most significant creations: Boston Fashion Week. When Jay moved from New York to Boston in 1989, he discovered “…a whole community of very talented local fashion professionals”. At the time, he was covering the early years of 7th on Sixth and New York Fashion Week as an editor and photographer, and thought the Boston community of fashion professionals could do something similar, and so Boston Fashion Week was born. 

Jay describes the Boston Fashion Week audience as a mix of industry professionals, students, and the general public who loves fashion. A highlight for Jay was when one of the creators of New York Fashion Week/7th on Sixth and one of his personal heroes, Fern Mallis, came up from New York City to be a part of the Boston Fashion Week 2012 festivities.

Ambitious and innovative, even in the time of Covid-19, Jay says that the 26th Annual Boston Fashion Week will be an online experience, held October 4-10th, 2020. The primary focus will be on students and 2020 graduates from the region’s fashion design programs who have been deprived of the opportunity to show their work in traditional school fashion shows. “We are working with six schools: Framingham State University; Lasell University; Massachusetts College of Art & Design; School of Fashion Design – Boston; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; and at the high school level, Boston Arts Academy. Established designers and revered institutions will also be participating in the week. 

Although many refer to Jay Caldrine as a fashion show producer, Jay says first and foremost, he is an educator and community organizer.  “I do not describe myself as a fashion show producer, although I have produced events, exhibitions, and experiences over the years”. Last Fall, Calderin celebrated a quarter of a century of Boston Fashion Week, describing the experience as a milestone that he was very proud of.

For those looking to stay on top of trends, Jay says mask-wearing has the potential to become a statement item. “At first, fashion makers around the world answered the call to produce masks because it was an urgent necessity. Now that they are built into our culture for the foreseeable future, people will want them to serve as a tool for self-expression. I’ve already seen quite a few that look like they’re ready for the runway” says Calderin. 

Jay Calderin is also the author of “Fashion Design Reference + Specification Book”

Which includes “Everything Fashion Designers Need to Know Every Day”, and “Fashion Design Essentials:100 Principles of Fashion Design”. He has co-authored two books: “Native Fashion Now: North American Indian Style” and “Fashion Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the History, Language, and Practice of Fashion”. 

Experience Boston Fashion Week’s virtual events October 4-10th, 2020. See the full calendar of events at

To learn more about how to succeed in the fashion industry, join Fashion Mingle for free at and never miss an opportunity again!

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