5. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):
–10,000 students (all programs)
–Tuition (not including room and board): $5,200/year if you’re a NY state resident; $12,000/year for out-of-state residents
–Famous grads: Reem Acra, Francisco Costa, Nina Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Ralph Rucci.
In addition to fashion design, FIT offers fashion marketing, business, textiles, visual arts, and countless other fashion-related degrees.
The campus of FIT is located in NYC in the heart of the Garment District, so the school has access to incredible resources and professionals. FIT has relationships with designers and industry professionals who critique student work and offer workshops, and the museum boasts one of the most extensive fashion archives anywhere.
Connections with organizations such as the CFDA ensure that students get a lot of real world experience. Valerie Steele, as Chief Curator of the Museum of FIT, gives this school a brainy credibility. And it’s part of the State University of NY, so it’s much cheaper than most fashion schools, which is a big concern for plenty of incoming students. The downside? It hasn’t produced a hot designer in several years.
Hodaya (28, graduated in Spring 2010 w/ BFA in accessories design and associate degree in fashion design), told us that it was invaluable having “the amazing library, museum and archives. Also being able to access forecasting and trend services. Priceless… I know I will miss that.” She also said, “[FIT provides] the right mix of business and art. FIT is open to creativity yet focuses on the technical and practical aspect of the design process.” Her one critique was, “I wish we had more updated machinery in the accessories department. It seems like the focus is more on fashion design, so the accessories design department suffers from lack of leather specialty machines.”