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Fashion Design

Apparel Design Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Art Institute of Portland can help you prepare for it.

Program Overview

From patternmaking and sketching to fabric selection and industry-related computer software, courses in the Apparel Design program prepare students for a career in the fashion industry. You’ll create styles that stand out — maybe even the next big thing in fashion. Graduates are prepared to seek entry-level employment such as designer, assistant fashion buyer, fashion designer, and seamstress.
Apparel Design

News and events

The Art Institute of Portland Fashion Students Wins FashioNXT Emerging Designer Competition The Art Institute of Portland Fashion Students Wins FashioNXT Emerging Designer Competition

(Portland, October 2015)  The Art Institute of Portland recently had two students compete in the high profile fashion event, FashioNXT UpNXT Competition, a local Portland runway competition which highlights emerging fashion designers. Out of all applicants, only four designers were juried to be able to compete, and two were from The Art Institute of Portland. 

The two students that were selected to compete are both in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Apparel Accessory Design were:

German Madrigal: Expected to graduate in Spring 2016.  German was the winner of the competition.

Shea Wilcox: Expected graduation Fall 2015.

Here are some links to the press that he received:

Portland Monthly

The Portland Mercury

The Art Institute of Portland is one of The Art Institutes, a system of over 50 schools throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. The Art Institute of Portland, 1122 N.W. Davis Street, Portland, OR  97209 © 2015 The Art Institutes.  All rights reserved. Our email address is  

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info

The Columbian: "Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Aspiring designer in fashion spotlight" The Columbian: "Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Aspiring designer in fashion spotlight"

Designer duo from The Art Institute of Portland showcases their designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

Read the full article here...

Portland Mercury: "Three Emerging Portland Designers Go to NY Fashion Week: Portland Mercury: "Three Emerging Portland Designers Go to NY Fashion Week:

Fashion design students from The Art Institute of Portland chosen to display their one-of-a-kind garments at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Read the full article here...


Program Description

Apparel Design is about the marriage of fabulous style and precise construction, about communication, technology and entrepreneurship, about beauty and function. Students learn under the tutelage of instructors with great experience in the fashion industry. Classmates motivate each other to innovate through originality and adaptability, both essential characteristics of successful professionals in the industry.

In the classroom, apparel design students are expected to develop skills in clothing design, sketching and illustration, patternmaking and draping, garment construction, textiles, critical analysis, and computer-aided design.

The curriculum offers exposure to business practices, marketing and presentation that are critical to the success of apparel lines and brands. Students can learn to develop their own collections and have opportunities to exhibit their creations in fashion shows and competitions, including The Art Institute of Portland’s annual fashion show which is student planned, produced and executed.
Apparel Design
Students at computer

Your education just got more affordable

Students need to meet all requirements. The Art Grant is not offered at all Art Institute schools and the grant amounts vary by location; check with the school you’re considering attending for exceptions and details.

Next steps

Visit our school: Schedule an appointment

There’s nothing like seeing our creative community for yourself. Meet our faculty, learn more about the technology you’ll use, and get acquainted with our support staff, including Career Services. You can either attend Open House or arrange for a personal tour.


We’re here to guide you step-by-step through the process.

Connect with us

We realize you have questions (that’s good) because your education is a major investment. We’ll talk about your interests, and what program is a good fit for you. And our Financial Aid staff can help you review your options, including merit- and need-based scholarships, and will help you navigate the process. Contact us to get moving on your tomorrow.

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