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Fashion school
amieola
amieola
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Date: 9/13/10 5:09 PM

I don't know if this is the place to ask this question, but has anyone here attended fashion school? I'm interested in the idea of going to one, but I just think the chances of finding a decent job in the field are slim. Also, there's a lot of talk that fashion school is shallow and just for the rich pretty people and I really would not want to be in that type of environment. I would like to learn more about sewing and patternmaking, but I want to go beyond what they teach in fabric stores, but then again I also think fashion school is a bit of a stretch for me. Any thoughts?

Rhonda in Montreal
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Rhonda in Montreal  Friend of PR
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In reply to amieola


Date: 9/13/10 6:15 PM

Hi!! What EXACTLY do they teach in "Fashion School"? What does it cost? How long does the schooling last? Etc? Etc?
Rhonda, who went to Finishing School

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MaryStern
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MaryStern
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Date: 9/13/10 6:27 PM

I think you have asked a great question. Probably one of the first places to research before you begin a search of degree programs or certificate programs for the fashion industry is to look at the information that is free and online from the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. This online handbook has a ton of resources to help you learn about all occupations, what educational background you need, salaries and projections about what jobs are going to grow in the next 10 years. Most public libraries will have a printed hard copy of this book.

For fashion design you can go directly to www.bls.gov/oco/ocos291.htm and click on the various links for the information you are interested in reading.

What is true across all occupations is that people who earn an associate, bachelor or graduate degree earn more money and experience less unemployment than persons with a high school or GED diploma alone.

For any young person today it will be necessary to have several skills to be versatile in today's job market. If you decide to go to a degree program maybe majoring in Fashion Design and taking a minor in Advertising, Communications, Green Design. or Business would give you an added edge and some practical experience with an internship that would help you succeed in the fashion world.

If you love what you do, you will be able to earn a living!

Best wishes to you in all that you do.

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MaryKS

amieola
amieola
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Date: 9/13/10 7:12 PM

You know, I love being in school. The only problem is I'm not so young anymore. If I go to school for fashion design, this would be my 3rd degree.

marec
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Date: 9/13/10 7:44 PM

What are your other 2? Do you have experience using those degrees? I ask because I would guess that working in the fashion industry takes a lot of grit and some amount of luck. Is there anything in your background that would give you an advantage over others seeking employment?

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minggiddylooloo
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Date: 9/13/10 8:12 PM

I do not have experience going to a specific fashion school, but I did enroll in classes at a community college that offered an Associate's degree in Fashion Design (although I just audited the courses for fun). I have two good friends either currently in the fashion industry (graduate of Parsons in NYC) or in school (pursuing a Master's degree in Fashion Design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco).

My friend in the fashion industry was able to find a job pretty much straight out of school, she finished her B.A. (History and minor in Business Management) and was accepted into Parsons. She did the one year certificate program and now works for a small firm working as a designer.

My other friend was a Business Management and Economics degree major, with a minor in Art. She is pursuing a 3 year graduate degree, and originally wanted to go into costume design, but her school doesn't really concentrate on that and is now doing high fashion design for awhile before moving into the other field (as per suggested by numerous professors).

My friend from Parsons knew how to sew a little bit before attending, but truly mastered her skills at the school and it was an intense program. She took me to the campus and even during Spring Break there were students working hard on their projects.

My friend at the Academy of Art did not know how to sew before she entered her program, but the last time we talked she was very familiar with pattern making and couture sewing techniques. They had just started draping skills and she was having a little difficulty with that.

Both of my friends are serious students (we met in college and had classes together) so they were there to learn and not for any pretentious bragging rights. I am sure there are a handful of students who are there because they can afford to play around but a lot of the programs out there are very serious and it's all what you take away from it.

I also have another friend who was at FIDM in Southern California for awhile, she said that there were two kinds of students at her school... the fashion merchandising majors and the fashion design students... and there was usually a clear distinction between the two strictly based on appearance (the merchandising majors dressed to show off and the design students didn't care).


The classes I took at the community college for fun included 2 general sewing classes, alterations, and patternmaking (computer and by hand). I was really shocked at how some of younger students would come into class for an hour or two, and then leave for the rest of the lab (about 4 hours). Ofcourse in the end their projects reflected this behavior. Our classroom was fairly relaxed so it was kind of conducive to this kind of behavior but this is when the students who are there to learn can take advantage of the situation. I loved it when the student/teacher ratio dropped to 7:1 instead of 12:1. LOL.

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RockNRoll
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RockNRoll
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Date: 9/13/10 8:15 PM

this is a good question, I am thinking of taking a few classes at my local university, Just auditing them not for a degree. I already have one of those.

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amieola
amieola
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In reply to marec


Date: 9/14/10 0:51 AM

Quote: marec
What are your other 2? Do you have experience using those degrees? I ask because I would guess that working in the fashion industry takes a lot of grit and some amount of luck. Is there anything in your background that would give you an advantage over others seeking employment?

Marec, thanks for asking. I'm so all over the place. My other two are Bachelor's in English and Associate's in Nursing and I've never had a job in those fields. Nursing was my second degree. I don't want to get too into it, but I think I secured about 3 interviews barely, and no one was willing to hire me. So much for the nursing hype. On top of that, over the past 3 years, I also developed a swallowing disorder which prevents me from eating properly, so it pretty much affects everything I do.

The only thing in my background pertaining to the field is that I worked as a sales associate at a semi-high end retail store for about 2 years, but I guess any high schooler could have the same amount of experience.
amieola
amieola
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Date: 9/14/10 1:06 AM

Ming, that's a very interesting post. I've read so many bad things about fashion school, but it's nice to read a true account that is not so black or white.

Kathleen Fasanella
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Kathleen Fasanella  Friend of PR
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In reply to amieola


Date: 9/14/10 10:26 AM

Quote: amieola
...has anyone here attended fashion school? I'm interested in the idea of going to one, but I just think the chances of finding a decent job in the field are slim. Also, there's a lot of talk that fashion school is shallow and just for the rich pretty people and I really would not want to be in that type of environment. I would like to learn more about sewing and patternmaking, but I want to go beyond what they teach in fabric stores, but then again I also think fashion school is a bit of a stretch for me.

I did 3 semesters in fashion school and have been working for nearly 3 decades in the industry. If you want to learn sewing and pattern making, go to a good school -not necessarily a famous one. Where do you live? Would you move? School will show you some pattern skills that you would then branch out from but it's not so great about sewing. If you think you might be interested in this as a career, you might want to hang out on my site. Check out the pattern puzzles, the tutorials etc. Good luck!

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http://fashion-incubator.com
Lessons from the sustainable sewing factory floor

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