Michigan is known for its beautiful landscapes and historic cities, but did you know that it is also home to some of the best fashion schools in the country?
Michigan is home to some of the best fashion schools in the country, including those focused on fashion design, apparel design, and fashion merchandising.
Those interested in fashion can find programs that meet their needs, whether they want to focus on design or business.
Many of these programs include internships with real-world fashion companies, giving students a chance to apply their knowledge in a real-life setting.
Here are the top fashion schools in Michigan.
Michigan State University
Located in East Lansing, Michigan State University is a world-class institution with nearly 40,000 students and more than 6,000 faculty and staff.
MSU is one of only three universities worldwide to have both an art and a design school. The College of Arts and Letters features both the School of Art and the School of Design.
The School of Design offers three major paths, including fashion design, which focuses on the entire fashion industry.
Students gain hands-on experience by working with industry partners, including L.A. Fashion Tech and Detroit Fashion Collective, during their time at MSU.
The other two paths include game design and entertainment technology, which focuses on software development, computer animation, and more.
Students in the School of Art learn from faculty with experience working in the industry. The curriculum focuses on the liberal arts, giving students a well-rounded education.
Central Michigan University
The Department of Fashion Design at Central Michigan University believes that “fashion is a form of art, a social activity, a form of commerce, a means of self-expression and a method of communication.”
As such, CMU emphasizes the critical thinking and problem-solving skills of its students so that they can adapt to any situation. Students learn these skills through the various courses in the program, which range from apparel construction to retail management.
In addition, CMU hosts a number of fashion shows each year that allow students to showcase their work. These events feature the newest designs from students in the apparel design and retail merchandise management bachelor's degrees and the master's degree in fashion retail management.
As part of its outreach mission, the department also holds fashion shows and events to bring in revenue for the program. In these shows, students display the latest in professional attire for men and women.
Western Michigan University
The Department of Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Textiles at Western Michigan University offers students a variety of degree options to further their knowledge of fashion.
BMSc degrees in fashion design offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by taking a full slate of fashion design classes. Those looking for a more academic approach can opt for the BFA degree in fashion and textile studies, which emphasizes theory and analysis. A combined bachelor's/master's degree program allows students to earn two degrees in five years, saving time and money.
In addition to degree programs, Western Michigan University offers its students a variety of extracurricular opportunities to make their time in school fun and memorable. The fashion fraternity Delta Nu organizes social events and charity fundraisers. In 2020, the group will host its fourth annual fashion show, featuring professional models and designers. The group also holds a yearly charity drive, in which members design bags that are donated to various non-profits around the state.
The Department of Fashion, Design, and Textiles also houses the Cloth Study Center, a library and collection of garments, textiles, and accessories. The Center is open to department faculty, students, and anyone else with an interest in the study of textiles and clothing. The Center's collection contains garments dating back to the 16th century, as well as quilts, lace, and other textiles.
Ferris State University
Ferris State University is located in Big Rapids, Michigan, and is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The school has more than 10,000 students and offers an array of majors, including fashion design.
While Ferris State does not offer a fashion design major specifically, students can gain valuable experience through the fashion merchandising and design certificate and the interior design certificate.
Through the former, students learn about the business side of fashion by exploring operations and the economic aspects of the fashion industry. Through the latter, students learn the art of interior design.
Students in the interior design certificate take courses such as History and Philosophy of Design and Color and Composition. They also get hands-on experience by completing a project in their fourth semester.
Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to many design companies where students can gain real-world experience. Popular companies in the area include Northern Design Associates, Boushel Associates, and The Design House.
College for Creative Studies
The College for Creative Studies is a national leader in educating and developing creative and talented people. It has been around for over 100 years and has a network of over 13,000 alumni in 80 countries.
The school offers five majors in the Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Multimedia.
Students gain hands-on experience through the Integrated Studio Experience (ISEP) program. ISEP is a 16-month program in which students spend half of the time in the classroom and the other half doing professional work. This program is divided into three phases: basic studies, professional integration, and advanced studies.
Through the school's partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), students get the opportunity to work with designers such as Phillip Lim, Rodarte, and Virgil Abloh. They also can get the chance to attend designer shows and events in New York City.
Through the school's partnership with General Motors, students have the chance to work with designers, engineers, and other professionals within the automotive industry.
Wayne County Community College
As part of the Community College Organization of Michigan, Wayne County Community College has been providing quality education to the Detroit area since 1964.
With more than 25,000 students pursuing degrees in more than 100 programs, WCC offers some of the best fashion design programs in the state.
The associate degree in fashion design provides students with the technical and critical thinking skills to begin a career in the fashion industry.
Through courses such as fashion illustration, color theory, and patternmaking, students gain the technical knowledge necessary to begin a career as a stylist, salesperson, or clothing manufacturer, for example.
Those looking to start their own fashion business should consider the associate degree in interior design, which teaches the skills necessary to create beautiful, functional spaces.
Through courses such as color theory and color perception, students learn how to see and appreciate the color around them, a key skill for anyone working in the design industry.