Fashion is international; if you want to get a true education in haute couture, broaden your search to include schools from around the world.
When you’re looking for a top international fashion school, you want a creative environment with both academic excellence and adequate training to work in the industry. In addition, you’ll want to choose a school that has established relationships: internship opportunities, links to fashion shows and exhibits, and open lines of communication with prestigious fashion houses.
There are a lot of international fashion schools; many are trade schools that also offer degrees in graphic design, interior design, photography, and other creative areas. Do your research and make sure that the institution you’re interested in offers degrees and not just classes, and check to see whether the environment is that of a university, private college, or technical school.
Many of the international fashion schools offer courses in their native language. You’ll do better with some knowledge of language and culture of the country. Some schools may even require that you reach a certain degree of proficiency before attending.
Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne - France
Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, a fashion design school in Paris, was founded in 1927 and offers bachelor’s degrees, work study, and continuing education programs. Their course work incorporates the ideas of aesthetic sensibility, savoir-faire, and visual communication, and also includes the study of human morphology as well as Photoshop. One of their most notable graduates is Yves Saint Laurent. Classes are in French.
l'Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode – Multiple Countries
ESMOD is an international fashion group boasting 21 schools in 14 countries. Paris, the hub of fashion, boasts ESMOD’s original campus; however, the network extends through Europe and Asia, with additional campuses in Sao Paolo, Oslo, Tokyo, Munich, Bejing, Tunis, and Dubai. The group also offers exchange programs through United States universities. If you have a calling, a passion for fashion, know a language, or want to become immersed in a culture, you can combine them all in this opportunity. ESMOD merges cultural diversity and high fashion and offers a broad scope of knowledge regarding the fashion industry. Bachelor’s and graduate degrees are offered in fashion design as well as a MBA in fashion management. Students learn everything to do with the industry—from technique, color and method, to marketing and industry management.
Accademia Italiana - Italy
Accademia Italiana includes campuses in both Florence and Rome. The institution’s degrees are awarded by the University of Wales. This fashion design and art school was established in Florence in 1984. Cultural diversity and the backdrop of world-famous monuments are an integral part of this experience. Course work includes fashion illustration, history of costume, tailoring techniques, and computer aided design.
Istituto Europeo di Design – Italy and Spain
IED offers degrees in design, fashion, visual arts, and communications through campuses in several Italian cities—Milan, Rome, Turin, Venice, Florence, Cagliari—as well as Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. The school has established partnerships throughout the community and focuses on both theoretical and practical approaches.
A few other notable mentions in the world of haute couture education include:
* Central St. Martins College of Art and Design – England
* London College of Fashion – England
* Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design – Czech Republic
* Royal Academy of Fine Arts – Belgium