Updated at: 08-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Today, we’re going to talk about the top design schools in the Golden State. There has been, and continues to be, a tremendous expansion of the fashion industry. It’s a multinational corporation whose main business is making and selling garments around the world. Fashion is more than just a way to dress and make oneself look nice; it also reflects one’s core values and character.

Schools dedicated to fashion design aim to equip their students with the knowledge and expertise they need to break into the competitive fashion industry.

Working in the fashion industry allows you to fully realize your creative potential as a designer while also satisfying your insatiable appetite for all things stylish. Students in fashion programs work on original garment designs, garment production, and trend research in order to anticipate future styles.

California is often called “the city of Fashion” because it is home to so many prestigious fashion institutions. The advantages of attending fashion school, the necessary abilities, and the best fashion schools in California will all be discussed in this article.

Top Fashion Institutes In California

Top fashion institutes in california

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion provides its students with the resources necessary to launch successful careers in the fashion industry. From day one, students are pushed to actualize their imaginative ideas in the classroom and on the runway.

The university provides education relevant to every facet of the fashion industry. The practical lessons show students how to take fashion ideas and make them into something meaningful, responsible, and beautiful.

You’ll learn everything you need to know to enter the fashion industry, from designing clothes to styling models to merchandising to marketing.

Otis College of Art and Design

Almost 1,100 students from 43 states and 24 countries are enrolled in Otis College of Art and Design’s (OTIS) more than a dozen art and design programs.

Those interested in the fashion industry can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design, with concentrations in either Sustainability or Costume Design. Students interested in “developing strategies and systems, as applicable to art and design,” can get some help with that in the Sustainability option (Minor).

The undergraduate and graduate programs at Otis College of Art and Design focus on the visual and applied arts, media, and design, and the college’s Extension division provides classes to students of all ages throughout the year.

OTIS has received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASCUC).

Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College

The Fashion Design and Merchandising Department at Santa Monica College is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Students in this 4-year degree program learn the fundamentals of professional portfolio development.

In order to further your education and launch your career in the fashion industry, Santa Monica College has transfer agreements with prestigious four-year institutions like the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM).

Courses in design, technical flat sketching and illustration, pattern drafting, sewing, draping, garment production, and other areas are interwoven throughout the Fashion Design curriculum. Students also gain knowledge of color theory and the development of fashion throughout history, which they can put to use in internships and at the annual LA Mode Fashion Show.

Mt San Antonio College

Courses in Mt. San Antonio College’s Fashion Design & Merchandising Program are developed using cutting-edge tools by practicing professionals in the field.

The practical fashion merchandising and fashion design and technologies courses are regularly revised to reflect new developments in the fashion industry.

In addition, fashion design and merchandising are among the subjects taught at Mt. SAC.

Currently, nearly all of our courses transfer to the California State University (CSU) system, giving our students access to some of the best universities in the country for undergraduate and graduate study in fields related to apparel.

Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) has been granted accreditation by the ACCJC of the WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Los Angeles trade technical college

L.A. Trade-Technical College is regarded as one of the state’s top fashion institutes. It has been around since 1925, when it was established and was known as the Frank Wiggins Trade School.

Students can take advantage of programs in fashion design and fashion technology that are both theoretical and hands-on, preparing them for a variety of careers in the fashion industry, from assistant design to production management.

California State University

California State University

There are a variety of courses available at the California State University, including those for aspiring fashion designers, business administrators, and many others. They also offer a bachelor’s in family and consumer science, with a concentration in either fashion design or textiles and clothing.

Further, they offer both a full-time and part-time MBA program with a concentration in fashion merchandising and design.

Mt San Antonio College

Mount San Antonio College’s Fashion and Design and Merchandising program is top-notch because it uses cutting-edge tools for teaching the fashion industry. Over 260 degrees and certificates, including those in counseling and tutoring, are available at Mt. San Antonio College, a public institution. The curriculum is updated regularly to reflect changes in the fashion industry.

Chaffey College

Chaffey College is a great school for aspiring fashion designers. Californians have access to this facility because it is a public establishment. Students have access to excellent resources and training in their field of study. There were more than 5,582 undergrads in the program. First-time college students can take advantage of the school’s two-year tuition-free program.

Orange Coast College

As far as California colleges go, Orange Coast College ranks pretty high up there in terms of quality when it comes to fashion design. The fashion program there is excellent because it covers so many different areas of design.

Success strategies such as creating a unique identity or partnering with established designers will be covered. Some of the careers available to those with a background in fashion design include development specialist, tailor, merchandiser, and designer.

The fact that this major can lead to a four-year bachelor’s degree is a huge plus as well. This method of education is often favored, particularly by those who are aiming for the highest-paying professions. Internships at both national and local brands are available to Orange Coast College students.

There is nothing else quite like Orange Coast College’s fashion program, and students’ access to “The Box” is just one of its many special features. Students at the university run the pop-up shop “The Box,” where they sell the latest products from trendsetting regional designers and manufacturers. Tavik, Volcom, Paul Frank Workshops, and many others are among these labels.

With the help of The Box, students can get real-world design experience and guidance for their future careers. In addition, it provides a deep understanding of what it takes to manage a retail establishment.

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College’s fashion program strikes the ideal balance between hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge and technological know-how. Students will gain access to cutting-edge knowledge that will give them a leg up in the fashion industry. Those seeking a broad-based education will also benefit greatly from this course.

At the moment, Fashion Consulting, Fashion Design, and Fashion Merchandising are the three main foci of San Diego Mesa College’s Fashion Program. Fashion merchandising, which is focused on visual presentation and retail buying, is just one example of a specialized field with its own learning trajectory. If you want to use technical skills like draping, sketching, and pattern making to create finished garments, then fashion design is a great major to pursue.

San Diego Mesa University offers a one-of-a-kind Fashion Consulting program. Pursuing this path of education will help you develop into a competent personal shopper or fashion consultant. This position has the potential to be one of the most sought-after in California among recent grads.

Santa Rosa Junior College

When it comes to fashion education, Santa Rosa Junior College offers a novel approach by splitting the curriculum into two separate departments: Fashion Fundamentals and Fashion Design. The skills taught in Fashion Fundamentals are applicable to a wide range of fashion-related professions. You’ll learn the fundamentals of promoting and building products and displaying clothing for newcomers.

The Fashion Design program may appeal to students who are looking for a more in-depth academic experience. The entire process of making an item of clothing is covered in this course, from conceptualization to fabric selection. Besides learning how to market your finished products, you’ll practice a variety of pattern-making and sewing techniques.

You can earn either an Associate of Arts or a certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College. These accomplishments set you up for success in a bachelor’s degree program of your choosing after a further two years of study.

California College of the Arts

If you are interested in a degree in fashion design, California College of the Arts is one of your best options. The California College of the Arts in San Francisco is a small, private, non-profit institution of higher education.

In the most recent available data year, about eleven students majoring in fashion design graduated from California College of the Arts.

Woodbury University

Burbank is home to Woodbury University, a small private non-profit institution. According to Best Colleges, Woodbury University is among the best in the country. It was ranked #723 out of 2,241 total institutions.

In the most recent available data year, approximately 10 students majoring in fashion design graduated from Woodbury.

FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California is a private, for-profit institution of higher education. There are currently more than 373 students enrolled at this school with the intention of earning a bachelor’s degree. The acceptance rate of 39% indicates that the admissions process is at least moderately competitive.

Beverly Hills Design Institute

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, Beverly Hills Design Institute is a private, for-profit institution of higher education. There are more than one students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at this school. The acceptance rate of 60% indicates a moderate level of competition in the admissions process.

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Next up is a school in California that caters to those interested in the fashion industry by providing courses in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, and Fashion Technology.

Students in both the Fashion Design and Fashion Technology programs are prepared for entry-level and advanced positions in the apparel industry.

In-depth instruction in modern garment construction, illustration, draping, pattern making, and grading is provided through these courses.

The most popular apparel design programs are a part of the curriculum. Throughout the course of the two years, students are not only taught fundamentals, but also given opportunities to try out novel approaches to a variety of design challenges.

Professors in the Fashion Design program have extensive experience as designers, pattern makers, production managers, and manufacturers across a wide range of garment types.

Industrial sewing machines, pressing equipment, grading machines, dress forms, and industrial cutting tables can all be found in the Fashion Design classrooms.

In addition to a strong foundation in the classics, students at this institution also have access to cutting-edge computer lab classrooms where they can learn cutting-edge technologies like Gerber Technology, Lectra Inc., Tukatech, and PAD Systems.

The most recent computer lab was established in response to a market need for instruction in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for technical and fashion illustration.

Students who successfully complete the program’s requirements will have a firm grasp on the building blocks necessary for the production of soft goods, including the methods of patternmaking, grading, technical and fashion illustration, and draping.

On top of that, they will be familiar with and competent in the use of computing technology in business contexts. The focus of this intensive two-year course is on applying professional methods to the resolution of problems in the industrial sector.

The term “fashion merchandising” refers to the process of creating, distributing, and selling fashionable goods.

Mt San Antonio College

The next institution of higher education on our itinerary is this one, specializing in textile design. The Fashion Design and Merchandising Program is available here.

The goal of the school’s Fashion Design and Technologies program is to help students develop into original, skilled garment designers.

Fashion courses are offered at low cost because they are part of a California community college, and students also have the option of transferring to a four-year fashion program.


What do fashion schools in California teach?

Students can learn from the best in the business at one of California’s many fashion schools. In this course, students will have hands-on experience with the design and manufacturing of clothing.

How long does it take to become a fashion designer in California?

In California, two-year programs lead to an associate’s degree in fashion design, while four-year programs lead to a bachelor’s degree.

How much do fashion designers make in California

This high demand is a direct result of the proliferation of designers in the fashion industry, which has boomed alongside the expansion of new fashion trends. Earning potential is high in the state of California for those working in the fashion industry. The annual salary of a fashion designer is predicted to be $74,410.

Is it worth going to a fashion school?

Yes. It takes time and money to attend a fashion school, but the investment will pay off when you emerge as an industry expert. Attending a fashion school shouldn’t be difficult if you’re truly interested in the field.


All of the California fashion schools that made our list were chosen for their high standards of education. Thus, it would serve you well to fully exploit the information presented here. My goal in writing this article was to answer your questions and address your concerns.