As students from all across the country are finishing their design school applications, we have to wonder, what does it take to get into the best fashion schools, anyway?
The Business of Fashion spoke to some of the most respected fashion educators across the globe about what makes an amazing candidate, and here are some of the best pieces of advice they had to share:
Willie Walters, B.A. course director at Central Saint Martins in London
"I want to see that students have worked really, really hard. That they have put everything they possibly can into their application.The first stage of our application process is a 10-page online portfolio. In those pages, we want to see original things that [the applicant] has created. Students should have quite a diverse range to show us—it is very dull when there is nothing more and you just see things regurgitated."
Fiona Dieffenbacher, director of BFA Fashion Design at Parsons The New School of Design in New York
"Students should also demonstrate a sense of themselves beyond the individual to include the context of their place in community. Students should not only be able to talk about their work but also contextualize their practice. We are often most impressed by applicants who have the ability to maturely and articulately discuss their work on a deeper level by connecting it to broader social, cultural, historical, political, and economic forces. This is rare among artists and designers, even at the college level, so when we see this in an application, it really sets them apart."
Jennifer Minniti, chair of fashion, Pratt Institute in New York
"We are looking for students with the ability to think critically and approach design through ideation, a strong set of skills, and evidence of an imaginative mind. When their references and inspirations are too obvious or superficial, it is a red flag. Ultimately, we are looking for students that can demonstrate a strong and unique creative process, that are not afraid to rethink the fashion system for their generation. Fashion is global—bring your culture, values, and taste to the table."
Check out more advice for getting into the best fashion schools at The Business of Fashion.
Scroll down to see some where some of your favorite designers went to school!
The bubbly Betsey Johnson went to Pratt Institute.
Shop the latest Betsey Johnson!
Both Marc and Anna studied at Parsons The New School of Design.