Fashion Design Hero

FashionDesign

I'm ready to make a name for myself.

In your case, clothes don’t just cover you. They define you. They tell the world who you are and express your unique sense of style. That’s something you share with the creative professionals who take fashion from concept to consumer. If you also share their talent and tenacity, you may be able to join them. Our Fashion Design degree programs can help you start a career in an industry of global influences, trends, and markets. We’ll help you build skills in traditional and computer-generated design and pattern-making as you begin to shape your future. It’s a hands-on education designed to help you work through design challenges drawn from the real world.

If you’re more into the hats, shoes, jewelry, handbags and belts that complete the outfit, consider our Associate's Degree in Apparel and Accessory Design. You’ll take your ideas from sketch to finished product as you have the opportunity to learn the creative and business sides of this segment of the industry.

In either program, you’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s a journey toward doing what you love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design

Outcomes
See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/495 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Understand the influence of multiculturalism and historic costume to gain historical knowledge of past fashion trends
  • Understand regional demographics, consumer target markets and mass globalization to produce for specific clientele
  • Identify fabrics and textile fibers for selected end use
  • Analyze fashion concepts and design cycles to forecast future trends
  • Apply traditional sketching and computer techniques to produce fashion illustrations and technical specification packages
  • Employ skills in sewing techniques and garment construction
  • Demonstrate table and computer-aided pattern drafting and draping techniques to produce final patterns
  • Interact with industry professionals as guest lecturers or critics to associate industry knowledge with collection evaluation
  • Apply technical skills and production knowledge to create a final collection
  • Prepare to seek entry-level careers in apparel design and manufacturing
  • Apply knowledge gained in specialty fashion design courses to produce final collection
  • Experiment with various fabrics and mediums to create a specialty garment
  • Demonstrate advanced technical skills to produce a cohesive collection
  • Create a digital portfolio with professional leave-behind materials using advanced computer skills

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

Taking risks is nothing new for me.

It takes more than a love of fashion to carve out a career in such a highly competitive field. It takes confidence, drive, and hard work. And it takes the skills our program can help you build. You’ll start with fundamentals like color theory, fashion drawing, pattern-making, accessory design, and life drawing, then begin to add to your skills in areas including fabric and fiber selection, color trend analysis, and target market research. You’ll explore concept development, technical drawing and design, specialty design markets, and product development. You’ll study current designers, apparel trends & concepts, and managing the apparel product development process. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of Indianapolis alumni Kathryn Marris

    Kathryn Marris

    Culinary Arts , 2015

    "The Art Institute of Indianapolis gave me the hands on skills I needed to turn my passion into a career."

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    Kathryn Marris

    Kathryn Marris is the culinary lead at Sur La Table in Carmel, Indiana. She instructs cooking classes, plans and updates the class calendar, manages food orders, plans and executes private events, and provides in store culinary demonstrations. “I enjoy being able to make an impact in others’ lives by teaching them cooking skills that they can use at home. I also enjoy teaching individuals about healthy cuisine and how making fresh and delicious food can have a positive impact in their lives,” she says.

    Kathryn is a fan of celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver. “I really appreciate his push for food education and healthy cuisine.” She’s also thankful for the support and encouragement of her instructors at The Art Institute of Indianapolis. Kathryn adds that culinary arts is a second career for her. She originally worked in marketing, but left her position to return to study culinary arts. “I am now able to combine my previous degree in public relations and communications with my culinary training to spread my passion for cooking and food to others.”

    Kathryn, who in 2015 earned a Culinary Arts Certificate from The Art Institute of Indianapolis, says that her education provided the skills needed to turn her passion into a career. “I learned the technical skills needed to finally be able to refine my existing skills into a polished skill set.” She recommends that current students ask questions and gain advice from other chefs and instructors. “Stay humble, work hard, and never stop researching and learning new techniques.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/491 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Indianapolis alumni Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson

    Digital Photography , 2015

    Thanks to [the school's] technology resources and computer programs, I was able to learn and master them before entering the workforce.

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    Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson is an Indiana-based freelance product photographer for Gordman’s, an off-price department store. He’s responsible for photographing products for the company’s e-commerce site. Matt explains that a typical day includes building a set—including lighting, background, and camera equipment—then moving through shooting the scheduled products.

    Matt is excited to be a freelancer whose skills and portfolio speak for themselves. “I am proud I’ve been able to find and acquire jobs by continuous hard work. Career Services from The Art Institutes of Indianapolis [has also assisted me],” he says.

    Matt looks to popular magazines and advertisements for inspiration. He enjoys photos that are creative, current, and eye-catching. He recommends that current students decide where they’d like to work and start looking for career options in that location. “Always make sure your résumé, website, and portfolio are updated with your latest projects, content, and contact information. Also work closely with career services. The connections they have in the industry are endless.”

    Matt, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Science in Digital Photography from The Art Institute of Indianapolis, says that his classes prepared him for a career in photography. “Working under deadlines and working with groups or other students helped [understand what the real world was like]. Thanks to [the school’s] technology resources and computer programs, I was able to learn and master them before entering the workforce.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/1399 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Indianapolis alumni Von Watts

    Von Watts

    Graphic & Web Design , 2015

    "Career Services [at The Art Institute of Indianapolis] helped me with my confidence in interviewing and [taught me] how to conduct myself in front of employers."

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    Von Watts

    Von Watts is an art and compliance supervisor at Herff Jones, a company that manufactures and sells high school and college achievement products. Based in Indianapolis, Von is responsible for managing the graphic designers and typesetters. “I supervise art direction for the art and composition department—and ensure the best visualization of the product while staying within the budget,” she says.

    Von finds inspiration in the world around her. “I can be at a restaurant and the first thing I notice when I sit down is the menu design. If the design is nice, I'll take a picture and add it to my inspiration folder. The same goes when just riding or walking.” She adds that her heroes are teachers and mentors—people who share their creative knowledge. “I love giving back to those who were once in my shoes. I feel good when I can help out my fellow classmates and upcoming designers.”

    Von, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Indianapolis, says that the school’s software and knowledgeable instructors prepared her for a design career. “My instructors prepared me to receive constructive feedback from my freelance clients and others who view my work. [The school’s] career services helped me with my confidence in interviewing and [taught me] how to conduct myself in front of employers.” She recommends that current students look for chances to grow professionally. “Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities. Think like a creative director.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/497 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Fashion Design Study Section

I want to share my sense of style with the world.

The rigorous Fashion Design curriculum is grounded in the realities of the creative side of fashion. The focus in on building the tools to compete in an industry that rewards those who help move fashion forward.

You'll study:

  • Pattern-making
  • Technical Drawing
  • Fashion Drawing
  • Sewing Techniques
  • Event & Fashion Show Production
  • Trends & Concepts in Apparel
  • Current Designers
  • Textile Fundamentals
  • Fundamentals of Business
  • Concept Development
  • Product Development
  • Merchandise Management
  • Apparel and Accessory
Design topics:
  • Sketching and illustration
  • Pattern-making and draping
  • Garment construction
  • Textiles
  • Critical analysis
  • Computer aided design
  • Clothing design

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Fashion Design degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. And that today’s fashion industry is as full of challenges as it is brimming with opportunities. It’s tough out there, so it’s tough in here. But we’ll support you along every step of your journey. That’s why we provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • Danisha Brown

    Fashion Design

    "I tell my students that they'll learn more from each other than they will from me."

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    Danisha Brown

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Recently I was giving my students some words of encouragement as they left for summer break. As I urged them to push themselves in their studies and to never give up, they looked at me with awe and admiration. I knew that was a moment they’d never forget. And that I’d keep inspiring my students to apply themselves to the work that lies before them.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    After I graduated from this very school, I started my own fashion business, making swimwear collections. I thoroughly understand both the industry and the student’s perspective. Many students want to start their own businesses, but don’t totally understand the fashion industry. So I share my own experiences to help them gain that knowledge.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching, mentoring, and pushing your students beyond their own perceived limits?

    I choose projects that push students to practice and manage their time effectively so they can produce their best work. One project calls for students to research a designer’s past collections and replicate the technical flats of ten of the designer’s garments; they also write a paper about the designer’s personal and professional history. It’s a way for them to explore the designer’s process and their signature style—and practice adapting to a brand’s aesthetic, even if it’s contrary to their own. Students are typically apprehensive about the technical flats and how many they have to complete. I coach them through the process and they usually rise to the challenge—often surprising themselves.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    I tell my students that they’ll learn more from each other than they will from me. Seeing different perspectives impact their artistry and way of thinking for the better. I encourage them to work with students from other majors on their portfolio web sites and photo shoots.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    A positive attitude. If you have a negative disposition, your chances of getting hired are slim to none. This industry is all about networking, and your attitude could make the difference.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Develop time management skills. I encourage my students to use planners and put themselves on a schedule to practice properly budgeting their time.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    My students keep me motivated. If I can inspire them to manage their time and be positive while dealing with the demands of everyday life, I‘ve done my job.

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  • Lesle Lane

    Digital Photography

    "When I see my students posting on social media something I'd taught them years ago, it makes it worth it."

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    Lesle Lane

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I knew I was destined to be a photographer from the moment my parents—both photographers—put a camera in my hand. I was eight when my mother bought a new camera, and handed her old one down to me. As a third-generation photographer, the path for me was clear. And I’ve pursued my passion for 25 years. It’s an honor to carry on the legacy that my parents and grandparents left for me.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    My students would be the first to tell you how I constantly inform—and maybe overwhelm—them about what’s going on in the industry. I cover everything from creating photography to running a company. Many of my business associates come in and speak to my students, which adds more real-life layers. Being a working professional and teaching is a balancing act. But when I see my students posting on social media something I’d taught them years ago, it makes it worth it. I strive to impact my students in a down-to-earth way. One thing’s for sure, they won’t leave here not knowing how the commercial world works.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching, mentoring, and pushing your students beyond their own perceived limits?

    I have students develop their own personal business plan. It forces them to think beyond where they are right now. They do extensive research based on their goals, and come up with educated conclusions about their future. They can't just Google, "What do I want to do with my life." Completing the project brings a mix of relief, celebration, and pride.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Candor. My students know if they ask me a question, they're going to get a real answer. They know if an image is good it's going to get praised—but if it isn't, they’ll get a sharp critique. There’s nothing more I can offer than the truth, whether it’s about life or business.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    One, never stop shooting to please your own creative eye. It’ll keep you growing. Two, find a mentor in your field. Meet with them regularly and exchange ideas and insights about what’s happening in the industry.

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  • Steven J. Overbey

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I believe in you, and you're not alone."

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    Steven J. Overbey

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I was hired as a marketing trainee for Scovill Manufacturing in Waterbury, Connecticut.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I’ve been involved in sales and marketing for over 40 years. I’ve worked for Fortune 500 corporations, and I owned my own business for 16 years. I’m able to take all that experience and share it with my students in a way that translates directly to the areas we’re studying.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    I believe that teamwork and group activities help students learn the importance of group dynamics and organizational skills, which they’ll need when they get out in the real world.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    It can be done. I believe in you, and you’re not alone.

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The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan