BFA in Fashion Design
Course Summary School: Parsons The New School for Design
Location: United States, New York
Education: Bachelor's Degree
The BFA in Fashion Design program at Parsons, the first of its kind in the nation, has trained five generations of designers to lead the U.S. fashion industry. Renowned for its excellence, the program has evolved throughout the years to respond to and challenge the growing field of fashion. Innovation infuses all aspects of the program, from the study of silhouette to systems of production and distribution. Today its legacy of design education is interwoven with social and environmental imperatives, which inspire a community of designers to envision fresh ways to make beautiful, sustainable, responsible, and relevant fashion.
A foundation in fashion
Upon completion of the Parsons-wide first-year Foundation program, Fashion Design students begin an intensive sophomore year by concentrating on garment construction. They study sewing, draping, and patternmaking, as well as drawing and digital design. An emphasis on design concepts complements students' technical skills and provides them with an overview of fashion design markets.
Strength in Design
Through courses in business, fashion history, and digital design, students broaden their knowledge and vocabulary and begin to refine their design work in both concept and execution. Design Concepts, taken in the sophomore year, introduces students to merchandising, fabrication, trend analysis, and other parameters that clarify the message of a collection. Students find their voices as designers and identify the audiences they will cultivate as professionals through coursework; competitions; the junior-year partnership with the Gap, Inc.; and the development of a three-look collection.
Building a collection
Senior year is devoted almost entirely to the thesis project. Students develop three-collection concepts, one of which is selected for completion and presented to a jury of industry professionals. In conjunction with the thesis project, students develop a portfolio and participate in several high-level competitions. Collections are documented and presented in the school's online Look Book.
Poised for success
Parsons graduates leave the program prepared to enter the fashion industry in areas such as fashion, costume, and accessory design, and marketing, merchandising, curatorial work, and interior design.