Top 10 Countries to Study Fashion
- Study Abroad
A career in fashion requires passion, talent, and the motivation to climb to the top. Most importantly, it requires a sense of adventure. Luckily, when it comes to studying fashion and design, the world is your oyster, and you can find top fashion schools on every continent. So, what should an aspiring designer look for in a school? According to experts and former students, the most important thing to consider is the school's reputation. The fashion world isn't quite the brutal, back-stabbing world of The Devil Wears Prada, but it's not far off and the industry can be very cut-throat.
A degree from a prestigious institution won't make up for lack of talent and hard work, but it will help you earn respect and make the connections necessary for a successful career. Look for well-known, accredited institutions and research their alumni. Consider the opportunities for development and networking offered by each institution. Finally, figure out what inspires you and pick a location that will spark your creativity. Here are ten fashion hotspots for students...
1. The UK
London is the heart of the fashion world and home to many famous fashion schools. Studying in London offers opportunities to gain experience working in the industry as well as daily inspiration from the city's vibrant art, theater, and music scenes. No wonder acclaimed fashion students have chosen London for their studies.
2. The US
The US is a fantastic choice for fashion students. The country is a leader in both innovation and marketing, and institutions in the US offer prestigious courses in both the art and business sides of the fashion industry. New York City is the capital of fashion, with all the resources and inspiration one could want, but that doesn't mean that you have to study in the Big Apple. With fifty states to choose from, the possibilities for creativity and specialization are endless.
France is synonymous with fashion and haute couture is practically a national raison d'être. Paris Fashion Week is the highlight of the fashion world's calendar, and the city's fashion institutions are some of the most renowned. Fashion isn't limited to the French capital either. Whether you study outside the capital or simply travel through the picturesque French countryside, you'll find inspiration and probably learn some French along the way.
Italian fashion has had pride of place for centuries and remains a standard for the entire industry. Studying fashion in Italy gives students a chance to gain experience with some of the most important fashion houses and manufacturers in the world. Milan's Fashion Week is one of the “Big Four” in the fashion world, and the city is home to some of the best fashion institutions in the world.
Spain may not be one of the “Big Four,” but that doesn't mean that the country isn't fashionable. Spain is a bit of a trendsetter in the fashion world, and Spanish fashion is all about confidence. Studying in Spain offers students a chance to experience ground-breaking and innovative fashion.
Couture may not spring to mind when you think of Israel but for many design houses Israel is the place to find new and exciting talent. The country doesn't have the fashion resources of New York or Paris, but its students embrace the challenge and find innovative and unique ways to create new styles. This creativity extends to collaboration with Israel's tech industry, and Israeli fashion and design schools are on the frontier of design technology.
China has one of the fastest-growing fashion markets in the world, and its fashion and design institutions are holding pace. China can boast several prestigious fashion schools, many of which have ties with French schools, and most offer degrees and courses in English. Studying in China gives students a chance to work within an emerging fashion market that values traditional approaches, luxury, and innovation.
8. South Africa
African business, technology, design, and fashion are taking the world by storm and South Africa is at the forefront of these developments. African fashion is all about details and craftsmanship, and South African fashion institutions help students learn how to channel and interpret trends while maintaining the conscientious and responsible attitudes that are defining a new generation of fashion designers.
If you think Brazilian fashion is bikinis and feathery costumes, think again. The Brazilian fashion industry is on the rise. Home-grown designers are sweeping the fashion world, and big-name designers are flocking to Brazil in hopes of breaking into the country's rapidly ballooning fashion market. Brazilian fashion students and designers are taking inspiration from tradition, from technology, and from the country's unique relationship with style, form, and function.
Singapore prides itself as a gateway between East and West, and its fashion industry is no exceptions. Singapore is a small country with a big fashion sense, and its designers are constantly competing to be the best. Fashion designers in Singapore know the importance of thinking outside the box and working across boundaries and borders. Students at institutions in Singapore will find numerous opportunities to explore emerging fashion trends, to work collaboratively, and to find their niche in the exciting world of fashion.
Elizabeth Koprowski is an American writer and travel historian. She has worked in the higher education system with international students both in Europe and in the USA.