best fashion programs in Los Angeles

Our List of the Best Fashion School Programs in Los Angeles.

In City Feature, Fashion Featuresby Chloe Lam

Are you an aspiring fashion designer hoping to break into the fashion industry? Or maybe you want to apply your business savvy in the world of fashion marketing or merchandising. Finding the best fashion programs in Los Angeles will ensure you’re living in the glamorous and bustling city of Los Angeles, the center of the entertainment industry.

Whether you want to get the best bang for your buck or you want to experience the rich culture of Los Angeles, we made sure to consider these factors and more in our list of the best fashion programs in Los Angeles . From there, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the top fashion programs in Los Angeles. PLUS we included additional stats so you can easily compare each program. 

Our list of the best fashion programs in Los Angeles

  1. Otis College of Art and Design– 

At the top of our list is the Otis College of Art and Design, which was the first private professional art school established in Los Angeles. It consists of a small student body of 1,100 students and offers a B.F.A. 

degree in Fashion. What’s unique about Otis College is that it is the only art institution in Los Angeles that offers a 4-year program in fashion design. Otis College boasts 86% employment of each graduating class majoring in fashion design within only 3 months of graduation! We know that it’s tough finding work after graduation. Otis College of Art and Design will get you where you need to be. 

Programs: Fashion Design Acceptance Rate: 91.3% Tuition:$46,500 Employment Rate: 86%

Employers: Adidas, Alexander Wang, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Converse, Disney, DKNY, Forever 21, Free People, Guess?, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, LuLuLemon, Michael Kors, NIKE, Patagonia, Ralph Lauren, Target, Tory Burch, Urban Outfitters, and Vans (just to name a few). 

  1. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising– 

Next on our list is the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise (FIDM), which is located at the heart of downtown Los Angeles near popular attractions such as the STAPLES Center, The Broad, L.A. Live, and the Fashion District. FIDM offers a multitude of programs for students interested in fashion or fashion-related careers, most of which are two-year associate’s programs. 2,600 students make up FIDM’s student body, most of whom are working for a degree in fashion or business-related degrees. FIDM incorporates internship experience within their curriculum in order to help students build work experience and lead to potential employment opportunities. 

Programs: Fashion Design, Merchandising & Marketing, Apparel Industry Management, Footwear Design & Development, Jewelry Design, Textile Design, The Business of Denim, Film & TV Costume Design, Menswear, Theatre Costume Design, Apparel Technical Design, Fashion Knitwear Design Acceptance Rate: 39.5% Tuition: $32,293 Employment rate: 88% (2017)

Employers: Forever 21, Nordstrom, Target, Old Navy, Gap Inc., Quiksilver, Pacific Sunwear, Volcom, Chinese Laundry, Mattel, Disney Resort, Guess?, G by Guess?, St. John Knits, Jones NY, Universal Studios, and JC Penney (just to name a few). Input of a Recent Graduate: “I love FIDM’s program because they offer very specific programs. So many people just think fashion school is about design, but it’s also about business! I’m thankful I came [to FIDM] to major in Merchandising & Marketing because FIDM’s program offers so much freedom in [their students’] studies and allows us to explore the fashion industry. I originally planned on becoming a buyer, but by the time I earned my degree, I realized I enjoyed marketing much more. FIDM also offers so many opportunities as well as a strong network of FIDM alumni.” -Paula Q. 

  1. Beverly Hills Design Institute– 

Beverly Hills Design Institute (BHDI) is a small private institution located near the LACMA Museum and the Beverly Hills Fashion District. With a student population of around 20 students, there is no doubt that if you choose to attend BHDI, you will work closely with your professors and will benefit from an unmatched system of growth and support. Even if you already have a degree in fashion, but feel that your education was inadequate, BHDI will be able to provide the extra knowledge and expertise to further your career in fashion. 

BHDI prides itself in being the only French Haute Couture design school in the United States. Imitating European fashion programs, they offer separate A.A. and B.F.A. programs in pattern design and fashion design. If you are looking for an education solely in haute couture that will shape you to be a highly specialized professional in fashion, then BHDI is the school for you! 

Programs: Pattern Design, Fashion Design Acceptance Rate: 20% (2018-19) Tuition: $23,220 

  1. Woodbury University– 

Although Woodbury University is not an art or fashion school, this private institution caters to the needs of aspiring fashion designers and students who would like to work in the fashion industry by offering a B.F.A. degree in Fashion Design and a B.B.A. in Fashion Marketing. 

Located in the San Fernando Valley, students are within close distance to downtown Los Angeles and the LA Fashion District. Woodbury University also integrates fashion internships into its curriculum to maximize both your work experience and employment opportunities. 

Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing Tuition: $41,102 Acceptance Rate: 61.6%

Companies with Internship Opportunities: St. John Knits, Max Mara, Etro, Leg Avenue, Joie, NDG Inc., Parker Smith Jeans, Denimography, Vertigo, Evy of California, BCBG, Western Costume, American Film Institute, Komarov, Vesture Group, Manhattan Swimwear, Kenneth Cole Swimwear (Fashion Design). WWD Japan, Vivienne Westwood, Who What Wear, Teen Vogue, Nordstrom (Fashion Marketing). 

  1. Santa Monica College– 

Santa Monica College (SMC) is a community college with its campus located west of downtown Los Angeles and within close range of the Santa Monica Pier. You may consider this option if you would like to enroll in a fashion program that doesn’t weigh as heavy on your purse strings or so that you can transfer to a 4-year fashion college. SMC even has articulation agreements with fashion institutions such as FIDM and Otis College of Art & Design. Whatever you need, SMC will enable you to earn your A.S. in Fashion Design, A.S. in Fashion Merchandising, or even Certificates of Achievements in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. Despite the fact that SMC is a community college, its alumni have made incredible accomplishments such as designing for Dancing With the Stars and America’s Got Talent. Some alumni who have established their own fashion retailers have even been featured in Vogue and W magazines. 

Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising Tuition: $1,142 Acceptance Rate: 100% 

  1. Los Angeles Trade Technical College– 

Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) is another community college in downtown LA located close to the LA Fashion District. It offers the following degrees and certificates: A.A. Fashion Design, A.S. Fashion Merchandising, A.A. Fashion Technology, and Certificates of Achievement for each. LATTC’s fashion programs prepare students to be able to work in the industry upon earning their degree. LATTC gives students the advantage in earning their associate’s at a lesser cost and in the best location- right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles! 

Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Technology Tuition: $1,120 Acceptance Rate: 100% 

Now that you’ve finished reading our list of the best fashion programs in Los Angeles, you might be wondering how to choose one out of so many options. Our advice is this: think about the aspects that are most important to you. Think about factors such as tuition, potential employers, ranking, student culture, or type of degree. Whatever you choose, make sure the program will cater to your needs and further your success! 

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About Chloe Lam

Chloe Lam is a student at UC Berkeley studying Business Administration. She is interested in implementing sustainable measures through fashion and operates her own online clothing and jewelry boutique at depop.com/cherrryco.

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