Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Woman painting photo created by drobotdean - www.freepik.com
Chances are you are interested in learning fashion but you are not sure of this path is worth it. Even when you are sure that it will be, it is still not so easy to choose the right fashion school or the right fashion education path to go to.
In Milan Fashion Campus, we have received so many students with different backgrounds, journey, jobs, and stages in life with one thing in common, passion for fashion. Understanding the struggle and confusion of someone who is just starting, we decided to write this little article to help whoever is interested in learning & working in fashion in order to understand the stakes, and to make the right long term decision without investing & risking too much money (fashion school is expensive, we know) and time.
First thing first, let's ruminate on essential questions, starting with
#1 - Should you actually go to fashion school?
Is it really worth it?
The answer would depends on you. If you want to be a fashion designer, especially working in fashion companies, you need the required skills, background, fashion related knowledge, and other preparations. In fashion schools, you will learn everything and you will also learn the right way to think and work as a fashion designer. Keep in mind that there is a lot of manual work, sewing, long-hours, project failure, and rejections in fashion schools, which is a different kind of stress. If you are okay with that and fit into this category, it is a yes.
If you love fashion but not to the point where you are willing to work really hard for it, maybe try to think if there are other passions or interests or even just preferences that would help you actually earn money one day. It's not because you will have to put fashion aside as your free time activity, but because you can actually enter the fashion industry without being a fashion designer. Yes, fashion needs many other types of experts as well, from engineers to business and marketing experts. In this case, it's a no to fashion school. But, it is still useful and necessary to take some short courses to actually understand how the fashion industry works.
#2 -For how many years you should study
It's never specific. For fashion designers, usually it is better to have a fashion degree which is from 3-4 years. For other fashion jobs it really varies. What you actually should consider is the knowledge that you will learn during the study. Consider as well that experience counts a lot. So, if you can get a hold on some fashion internships or volunteer activity, definitely do it too.
#3 - "Does expensive Fashion Schools guarantee job opportunities?"
Sadly, no. Nobody can give you exact work after study, everything will depends on your effort, ability and your works. Some schools may guarantee a work after study but be careful as sometimes it is actually a deal that they make with the company (yes, they might pay the company). This applies to all other schools as well so, work hard & smart and you will get there!
#4 - How to choose the best fashion school for you
In our opinion, there are some aspects to consider here.
First, you will need to consider the location of the school that you found. Try to think whether or not you are willing to be far away from your family, living cost of the city, the language that they are speaking, and the job opportunities available there for after finishing your study. The culture of the city can also be an interesting aspect to evaluate as each cities and countries has their own characteristic that will influence their own fashion. For example, New York is more experimental in fashion while Milan has a more classic and elegant fashion.
Second, do a research on the school's alumni. Find out how the alumni are moving on after they graduate and the styles of their work.
Third, evaluate their program and their characteristic as a school. Some schools are more focused on technical abilities while other schools might be more famous for their advanced experimental and artistic approach.
#5 - Fashion degree or fashion short courses?
In addition to question #1, there is also something else that can be a big factor in your decision making. Not all of us have the time or the source to do a fashion degree. You might have also studied another thing before realizing that you would actually love to work in fashion. If you are not in the stage to freely choose a college to go to and you are working, you should consider taking short courses, either in person or online. This way, you can slowly transition towards the fashion field without making too much sacrifice.
#6 - "Should I study abroad?"
Definitely! If this is a doable option for you, do it. Not only that in will enrich you with different culture, the experience will teach you very valuable life lesson. You will have wider point of view on the world and more empathy & tolerance for differences. Not only that, you will also witness what we and other fashion experts say about how fashion can tell you stories and characteristics of the person or the society.
In the end, the best school may not be the best for everyone. It always depends on your own situation, your goals, your needs, and your strengths. You will have to invest some time to research on the school that will fit best for you as a person and for your situation.
Last tips, it can also be useful to try a short course to actually try if fashion is for you and to test yourself whether or not you will enjoy such work/study. Check out our Fashion Foundation and Fashion Portfolio course and choose the most suitable option for you! You will also be able to overview and experience how it is like to do fashion creative works and actually talk to real fashion professionals & teachers that can give you on-point advice and direction.
We hope that our advice can be useful for you and that you can finally find a perfect direction to pursue. Leave a comment below if you'd like to share experience or if you have another tips that you learn along the way!