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 & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Arts in Apparel Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Associate of Arts in Apparel Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/61 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/60 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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

  • Eric Schwartz

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2013

    "[My education gave me] the knowledge, skills, and team working abilities that I need and use every day."

    Read More
    Eric Schwartz

    Eric Schwartz is working as a creative services producer at KDRV News Watch 12 in Medford, Oregon. He’s responsible for conceptualizing, producing, and delivering commercials. “What I enjoy most about my career is never knowing what will come next,” he says. Eric adds that his career challenges his creativity and that he learns something new each day.

    He says that reaching people on a personal level is one of the most rewarding parts of his career. “They are projects that aren't out to make a name brand or make a lot of money, but projects that help to spread positive messages that are meant to help out local communities.” These include “You Can Play” video for Portland State University Campus and a “Habitat for Humanity” video. Eric adds that he’s influenced by people who’ve supported him—especially during his time in the military. Eric served in the United States Navy for four years as a hospital corpsman.

    Eric, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film & Video from The Art Institute of Portland, says that his education helped to prepare him for his creative career. “[It gave me] the knowledge, skills, and team working abilities that I need and use every day.” He recommends that current students take risks and challenges that others won’t. “If things are not how you imagined they would be, find a new way to look at them. Tackle every job with a positive attitude.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/64 program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • Karina Reed

    Fashion Design , 2014

    "The range of experience I gained in school opened my eyes to all the different facets of apparel design and the various careers that were possible with my degree."

    Read More
    Karina Reed

    Karina Reed is working as an assistant product developer and designer for Kroger/Fred Meyer in Portland. She’s responsible for communicating with factories, assisting senior designers with collections, and collaborating with buying team. “Most of my day is spent reviewing artwork, fit, and color submits with senior designers, specialists, and buyers—and communicating approvals or changes to factories,” she says. Karina also researches trends for upcoming seasons and analyzes selling for current and past seasons. She points out the best perk of her job—traveling the world for development trips.

    Karina is a past winner of Sock It To Me’s “Design-A-Sock Competition,” earning the top spot over 5,500 other entries. “It's a surreal experience walking into a store and seeing my design for sale, and knowing that people all over the country have bought them,” she says. Karina also saw her senior collection on the runway at Portland Fashion Week. “Getting to share it with my friends and classmates made it even more special because we had all gone through the same struggles to reach that goal.”

    Karina, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design from The Art Institute of Portland, says that her education helped her to choose the right career path for her interests and talents. “I honestly never considered product development as a possible career path until I took Tech Sketching and Digital Surface Design [class] and realized how much I enjoy designing digitally.” She recommends that current students be aware of how they’re presenting themselves during interviews. “From your portfolio to your handshake to your shoes, you are constantly being judged in this field. It would be nice if skill was the only thing that mattered but in reality people often hire the person they most want to work with, or whose aesthetic most closely lines up with theirs. Do your research, know your stuff, and always be prepared to defend your work.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/60 program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • Ty Johnson

    Media Arts & Animation , 2005

    "I like to tell people that I play with dolls for a living. In truth I'm more like a digital sculptor."

    Read More
    Ty Johnson

    Ty Johnson is working as a 3D Modeler for LAIKA, an animation studio in Hillsboro, Oregon. He creates characters based off of drawings and clay maquettes, but has the opportunity to incorporate his own flavor into them. “It is up to me to ensure my creations are aesthetically pleasing and also meet specific technical standards established by riggers, texture artist, animators and everyone else downstream,” he says. He’s especially excited to be part of the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated film, “The Boxtrolls.” “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love making internationally recognized Oscar-nominated films. Being a part of something as huge as ‘Paranorman,’ ‘The Boxtrolls,’ and ‘Kubo and The Two Strings’ has given me the opportunity to share my passion with literally millions of people.”

    The process that Ty uses to create a character is incredibly intricate. Each puppet he models is further broken into over 72 mechanical parts. “These mechanisms allow for the articulation of eyeballs, glowing ears, and the swapping of magnetic facial expressions.” Each character is unique and requires custom internals, so Ty utilizes 3D printing to get the intricate parts to fit and function properly. “[It] is the hardest yet most rewarding part of my job.” Like many in his industry, he is inspired by the work of Jim Henson. “I can’t help but think of Jim Henson and his amazing puppets when I’m at work. I am a 90s child and Jim’s fingerprints were on everything I grew up with. He’s definitely a hero of mine.”

    Ty, who in 2005 earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of Portland, says that his education taught him a valuable lesson in adaptation. As he was working toward his degree, the school updated its software from what it had been using to reflect a new industry standard. “I was distraught and worried that I was starting over. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The truth is that technology moves fast, standards change, and if you can’t adapt you’ll be left in the dust.” Ty said that the experience he gained in learning the new technology has played out time and time again now that he’s a professional. “Now when I learn about new tools and software I look forward to it like a kid on Christmas Eve.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/73 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.



    Read More...

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
  • 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
  • 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

  • Annin Barrett

    Fashion Design

    "Creative energy gets noticed—and attracts opportunities."

    Read More
    Annin Barrett

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

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

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

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

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

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

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

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...
  • Salvatore Reda

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Curiosity will take you places you never thought you'd go."

    Read More
    Salvatore Reda

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

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

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

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

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

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

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

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...
Miami International University of Art & Design alumni Marlon Munoz I'm challenged by the opportunity to take my ideas and bring them to life. Marlon Munoz
Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Miami International University of Art & Design, 2008