02/04/2013 11:08 am ET

Colleges For Fashion: Is A Degree In Fashion Right For You?

By Hannah Orenstein

If the thought of a desk job makes you run tearfully for your sewing machine and your DVRed episodes of "Project Runway," you might want to consider a career in fashion. Imagine working in an environment where creativity reigns and style is supreme -– does that sound like your ideal career? If so, you have a few different ways to get there, including a degree in fashion. Her Campus talked to five college students preparing for careers in the fashion industry to see how they're balancing school and style.

Major Style: Studying Fashion at an Art School

While the decision to study fashion might be difficult for some, Parsons, New School of Design freshman Devon Plaster knew she wanted to study fashion at an art school since her freshman year of high school. During her free time in high school, she took fashion illustration and sewing classes and began creating her own designs. She also took a challenging series of classes within her high school's art department, including AP Art and an independent art study called Senior Studio.

“I applied to four art schools and one non-art school that had fashion design as a major,” says Devon. If you thought the Common App was tough, some fashion school applications might be even more intense. Devon explains, “Instead of grades and SAT scores being the focus of [Parsons'] application, it was my portfolio. I had to send in 24 pieces digitally and an additional three pieces with three essays.”

Parsons requires most freshmen to begin their studies with a foundation year before beginning their major. Devon takes 2D Design, 3D Design, Laboratory, Drawing, Art History, and Critical Reading and Writing. Starting sophomore year, she will be able to focus on sewing, draping, patternmaking, drawing, and digital design.

Over the next few years, Devon plans to intern in the industry and continue writing her fashion blog, Defined by Fashion. After graduation, she hopes to start her own line or work for a high fashion brand.

The Best of Both Worlds: Studying Fashion Design at a Traditional School

If you're passionate about becoming a designer but don't want to give up the atmosphere a traditional college or university offers, it's possible to have the best of both worlds. Lauren Kroll graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a degree in Apparel and Textile Design. “I never thought studying fashion was realistic until I talked with my advisors and started taking classes in the ATD department,” says Lauren K.

Click here to read the rest of the story on hercampus.com



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