UNT's fashion design program earns top rankings

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 10:02

UNT’s fashion design program earns top rankings


DENTON (UNT), Texas - The fashion design program at the University of North Texas is considered the best in the state and one of the best in the world, according to two recent surveys.

It was ranked number 19 in the Top 50 Fashion Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S. in the FashionSchools.org website. And it earned 43rd place in CEO World magazine’s 2016 Best Fashion School rankings in the world. In both surveys, the College of Visual Arts and Design program ranked higher than any other college in Texas.

It earned the FashionSchools.org ranking based on academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth of the program and faculty, tuition value and location. The CEOWorld ranking is based on learning experience, influence and value.

“We have an exceptional amount of graduates that have gone on to be very successful in the fashion industry,” said Janie Stidham, the program’s director and associate professor of fashion design. “I feel like that has been a big contribution to our ranking and a testament to the rigor of our program.”

Graduates have gone on to work with such high-profile designers as Nicole Miller, Calvin Klein, The Row, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and Monique Lhuillier.

Students go through the professional practice program in which they learn patternmaking, draping, design development, technical design and fashion industry technology – “all the skills they need in the designer and ready-to-wear market,” Stidham said.

Students’ work is reviewed annually and, in their senior year, they must submit a body of work to an industry jury and only the high scoring designs are presented in the ArtWear fashion show.

“It’s quite rigorous,” Stidham said. “We don’t put our students/graduates out into the industry unless they’re totally prepared.”

The Texas Fashion Collection, which houses nearly 20,000 historic and designer garments, is also a reason for the program’s ranking. Annette Becker, the collection’s assistant director, said most highly ranked fashion schools include such a repository. Students can learn about the stitching, silhouettes and other sewing techniques from past garments.

“Having access to something like this gives students inspiration,” Becker said. “It makes the history come alive.”

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108