Fashion Design

Why Fashion Design at PhilaU

Learn why PhilaU fashion design graduates stand out and employers are excited about hiring them.

A Program Modeled on the Industry

The program is modeled on the way the fashion industry really works from conceptual development through the sales floor. Students learn how to succeed in and connect every aspect of the industry from creating and selecting materials to honing and developing their style to designing for varied target markets and handling the business and management of building brands. The PhilaU program not only mirrors the fashion world but also immerses students in the industry through campus projects, visitors and internships with top designers and companies in Philadelphia, New York City and around the world. From large-scale chains like Urban Outfitters and Ann Taylor, to high-end designers like Vera Wang, our graduates are sought after because they can hit the ground running and have the talent, knowledge and experience they need to rise quickly.

Expert Faculty with Industry Ties

Our faculty members have served as senior leaders in design and product development for apparel manufacturers. They have worked as everything from fashion designers and illustrators to fashion journalists. They are industry consultants who regularly lend their expertise to major apparel companies and are often featured media experts commenting on fashion trends. As fashion insiders, they're in step with current market trends and share valuable up-to-the-minute insights on an industry that is always on the move. Through their professional connections our students have interned with and/or been hired by companies and designers.

A Track Record of Student and Alumni Success Stories

PhilaU students consistently win top honors in prestigious competitions like the Geoffrey Beene Foundation National Scholarship Awards to the first Project Runway competition.  Our graduates hold leadership positions with top fashion companies. Here are two PhilaU grads you might even know: Gianna Cosentino '02 directs her own line, The New Romantics Line at Free People and Kaitlyn Doherty '11 won an international handbag contest and had her work featured in InStyle magazine.

The Global Perspective Employers Want 

PhilaU has an international reputation among designers, corporate fashion leaders and the fashion  media. Our rich heritage as a leader in the textile industry launched this reputation decades ago. Today, we are known for our graduates who have learned a global perspective through our emphasis on international study. We have semester programs in London and Rome as well as partnerships with programs around the world including MilanTokyo and Paris. Through international experience, students gain a cross-cultural mindset as they deepen their design skills. They learn to recognize, import and even anticipate trends. It is an education that gives them a competitive edge in fashion's global marketplace.

PhilaU's Nexus Learning Style

An active, collaborative, real-world learning approach, infused with the liberal arts is what gives us our distinctive style throughout all of our programs. In PhilaU's signature Nexus Learning projects, students gain experience designing, selecting, sourcing, developing products and managing sample production overseas. This gives our fashion design students unparalleled opportunities to work in multi-disciplinary teams of students majoring in adjacent fields such as marketing, textiles, industrial design, and graphic design. Our student teams have worked with real companies like QVCAbercrombie & Fitch and Target designing new fashion lines and products. They create their own clothing lines and produce an Annual Fashion Show attended by industry insiders looking for rising stars. Our infusion with the liberal arts means our students gain a broader global perspective where inspirational sources can originate from: art, literature, and science. It also means that our designers are great communicators, critical thinkers and problem-solvers.

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