What Is Fashion School in California Like?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like going to fashion school in California? Is it really has fun and exciting as it seems? Is the glamor and and excitement of it all just hype? Having had the experience of attending one of the top fashion schools in California, I can tell you, the answer to all of these questions is… yes.

I have to say, leaving a small town in the Midwest at 19 years-old and heading to California after being accepted into one of the best fashion schools in the state is, in fact, very exciting. The thoughts in my head played out like a movie… I was about to leave my life in a small town to head to fashion college in L.A. It seemed so surreal to me; I was so happy, excited, and nervous.

What I would come to find was that the glamor of the situation had more to do with leaving the town where I lived and moving to California. What I mean is, moving, or the geographic and lifestyle changes that I was making where the really glamorous and exciting aspects of heading off to attend fashion school. Nearly all the thoughts I had about what it would be like in college, the real educational part of the experience, were unrealistic..

Fashion School is Hard Work

Experience California Fashion SchoolsI laugh at how unrealistic my view and expectations of what fashion school would be like. It was going to be all fun. It was always going to be interesting. It wasn’t going to be too difficult – After all, I was really talented and had a knack for fashion design. Don’t get me wrong, much of my time spent in college was fun and interesting, but I was wrong about it always being that way.

Like anything else, we tend to get used to and comfortable (and even bored) with routines. My fashion school experience was to be no different. Yes, even in the exciting world of fashion design, even studying the subject that interested me most, I found some aspects of the program just plain boring and/or tediously difficult. At first, it really scared me; was a degree in fashion design what I really wanted after all? Should I really have come all the way out to California, spending so much money on a program that didn’t suit me? What I came to find is that many of my peers, other students in the same program, also had their doubts. We all had similar feelings of, “Wow, this is tougher than I thought it would be.”

Luckily, I came to realize that my initial, inexperienced view of the fashion school experience was a bit over-hyped. Just with anything else in our lives, if we do something often enough, we settle into an experience to the point where it can seem mundane. What is really happening though, is that we are readjusting to a new baseline. It was at this point that I realized that, yes, I really did want to continue as a student of fashion design. I’m glad that I did.

Even though fashion school turned out to be far more challenging than I initially thought it would be, it was still exciting. It was still fun. It was what I enjoyed doing. After my difficult adjustment to freshman year, things really took off for me.

Fashion is Everywhere in California

California has so much to offer the prospective fashion student, especially in Los Angeles. There are many colleges and universities in such close proximity, offering so many awesome fashion and art-related experiences. You can’t just stay within your comfort zone at your own school. Check out some of the extracurricular programs, shows, and activities offered at some of the other nearby schools. Get out and meet other people who have a passion for fashion.

Make your fashion school experience more than going to classes and on-campus workshops. Get involved in the entire fashion environment that surrounds you in California. You will learn some of your most important fashion-related lessons outside the classroom. Look into internships right away. Don’t wait until you are in your final year of college to start thinking about a fashion internship. Look for opportunities to learn and experience from the start, and keep tht passion for learning more going throughout your fashion education.

Part 2 of my California fashion school experience will be coming soon…


Top California Fashion Colleges Near Thriving Industry

California continues its reign as the nation’s primary fashion industry center. In Southern California, there are nineteen higher-education institutions with fashion degree programs and coursework; all of these institutions have recorded full student enrollment. It’s already been expressed as to why you should consider attending a California fashion school, but here are some more interesting facts about the California industry and fashion market that may surprise you…

Go to School Where the Action Is!

  • California Fashion Schools - ApparelAccording to the California Fashion Manufacturing Association, the apparel & textile industry sales/value of shipments, for the Los Angeles region alone, topped $41.9 billion dollars. That is nearly a 100% increase in volume from 1997!
  • In the Los Angeles area, there were 121,308 individuals employed in the fashion apparel and textiles industry (there were only 73,822 employed in the New York area fashion industry.)
  • Let’s continue on with some more surprising L.A. area fashion industry statistics:
  • In 2009, there were over 3,600 apparel manufacturing establishments identified.
  • Apparel and textiles are the second-largest commodity (after autos) imported via Los Angeles sea ports.
  • The L.A. area is the nearest fashion exporting point to Asia where there is a growing middle-class demand for high quality apperal manufactured in the United States.

It’s no surprise that Los Angeles and Orange County are home to some of the top California fashion schools! With a strong demand of educated fashion and textiles workers, and a continually expanding apparel manufacturing sector, California’s fashion schools put you near that action.