1. Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, USA) Located on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue in the Chelsea neighbourhood, FIT was founded in 1944 and is a State University of New York college of art and design. Co-founder Virginia Pope is now the fashion editor of The New York Times. Graduates from FIT include Calvin Klein and Norma Kamali.
2. Parsons The New School for Design (New York, USA) Affiliated with The New School since 1970, Parsons is located in New York City’s Greenwich Village and is the setting for the hit reality television series, Project Runway . It has four international affiliate schools, located in France, South Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Japan. Notable alumni include Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, and Isaac Misrahi.
3. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London, UK) One of the leading colleges of art and design in England, CSM is part of the University of the Arts London along with four other schools, including the London College of Fashion. It was formed in 1989 with a merger between the Central School of Art & Design (1896) and St. Martin’s School of Art (1854). Among CSM’s long list of famous graduates are Stella McCartney, Paul Smith, and Alexander McQueen.
4. Royal College of Art (London, UK) Founded in 1837 as the Government School of Design, the school adopted the RCA name in 1896 and launched its fashion program in 1948. RCA is the only wholly post-graduate art and design institution in the world and is located in London’s Kensington Gore, facing Hyde Park. Fashion graduates include Ossie Clark and Yasmin Yusuf.
5. London College of Fashion (London, UK) Founded in 1957 with the merger of three schools, LCF is part of the University of Arts London and the only college in the UK to specialize in fashion education, research, and consultancy. Primarily centered around Oxford Street, a neighbourhood that has been tied to the fashion industry for more than 250 years, LCF boasts such graduates as Jimmy Choo and SHOP Etc. Editor-in-Chief Mandi Norwood.
6. Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp, Belgium) Founded in 1663, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts is one of the oldest fine art institutions in Europe. Fashion design was added to the curriculum in the 1960s and the department started to garner real media attention in the 1980s. Famous ex-students include European designers Wim Neels and Anke Loh.
7. Polimoda (Florence, Italy) In collaboration with FIT, Polimoda is a private institution that was founded in 1986 to create close ties between the academic and production worlds. The school offers international exchange programs with FIT, the London College of Fashion, and Bunka Fashion College. Polimoda graduates have gone on to work for the likes of Adidas, Roberto Cavalli, Armani, and Zegna.
8. ESMOD International (Paris, France) Founded in 1841, ESMOD was the fashion world’s first school. Considered by some as the worldwide leader in fashion education, ESMOD operates through a network of 12 affiliated schools on four continents. ESMOD graduates work everywhere from Diesel and Benetton to Swarovski and ELLE magazine.
9. LaSalle College (Montreal, Canada) Canada’s largest private bilingual technical college was established in 1959, attracting students from more than 50 countries. It is the heart of an international network of 21 affiliated schools in North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The average placement rate for LaSalle graduates is over 90 percent, with graduates going on to work for such companies as Roots, Tommy Hilfiger, and Aldo.
10. Bunka Fashion College (Tokyo, Japan) Located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku region, the prestigious school was originally founded in 1919 as the Namiki Dressmaking School, changing its name and expanding its focus in 1936. It publishes Japan’s original fashion magazine, So-en, and counts international fashion designers such as Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto, Atsuro Tayama, and Keita Maruyama among its alumni.