As you consider a career shift into fashion design, you’re probably aware that Parsons has launched the careers of many of the world’s most successful fashion designers. But the accomplishments of Parsons’ AAS Fashion Design graduates go beyond the boldface names. Program alumni are equally impressive for their contributions to the industry at all scales—from leading innovation in sustainable fashion technology to developing local businesses to building brands globally.
This program is part of Parsons' School of Fashion. Learn about the Fashion community and explore our blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
AAS Fashion Design graduates apply the industry-focused perspectives they acquire in the program to positions with a variety of fashion companies. Graduates have joined the best-respected companies in the business: Chanel, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, and GAP, to name a few. Other alumni—such as Jay Godfrey and Aimee Kestenberg—start their own lines right out of the gate. The program’s reputation for quality, industry relevance, originality, and comprehensiveness opens doors throughout the fashion industry.
The program provides opportunities to have your final designs photographed, giving you documented work for your portfolio. Your work is promoted on a variety of platforms, and jury selected work is presented during the end-of-year exhibition. Your design practice is developed under the guidance of Parsons’ faculty of industry professionals and reflects an awareness of factors connected to fashion, including global production, commerce, and sustainability.
In the program, you study the process, techniques, and language of fashion design from concept to production, along with the essentials of marketing and of designing with ethical and sustainable methods. You design womenswear, menswear, and accessories, learning everything from the basics of drawing, draping, patternmaking, and sewing to tailoring and haute couture. Class critiques and lectures organized by the School of Fashion at Parsons bring design professionals such as Narciso Rodriguez and Jenna Lyons and journalist Cathy Horyn to campus to offer their perspectives. Projects with external partners like Coach, Louis Vuitton, Under Armour, Swarovski, Allen Edmonds, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America provide opportunities to work with major industry and media firms while developing your own creative practice.
Core classes and electives focus on conceptual research and construction techniques relevant to work in the industry. Required courses cover fashion research, design, and construction methods; accessories design; and industry software, including visual communications tools for developing fashion collections, creating presentations, and documenting work for portfolios. Electives offer you opportunities to explore shoe, textile surface, lingerie, jewelry, bag, and leather design. Depending on the number of transfer credits you bring to your AAS program, you can complete your studies in two to four semesters. Most students finish the program in about three semesters.
Senior Menswear Design Consultant, Tommy Hilfiger
Senior Sweater Designer, Theory/Theyskens’ Theory
Accessories Designer, Proenza Schouler
Senior Swimwear Designer, Victoria’s Secret
Founder and Principal Designer, J.F. & Son/Project 1281
Designer, Michael Kors
Senior Designer, Women’s Sportswear, True Religion Brand Jeans
Manager, Color and Concept Department, A|X Armani Exchange
Associate Designer, Yigal Azroël, Inc.
Associate Designer and Line Coordinator, Nicole Miller
The Associate in Applied Science degree is awarded for completion of 65 credits of coursework. A maximum of 31 undergraduate credits may be transferred from other programs or institutions. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all program requirements in a timely manner.
Students who receive the maximum number of transferable credits (31) are eligible to enroll in the fast-track option described below.
The following are some notable alumni:
Gayatri Jolly (2014)
Founder, Gayatri Jolly (clothing label and nonprofit organization related to the garment industry in India)
Yi Wen Lim (2014)
Arts of Fashion Foundation Winner
Chris Gelinas (2010)
Finalist, LVMH Prize
Martha Napier (2010)
Senior Designer, Michael Kors
Erin Beatty (2006)
John Caruso (2003)
Designer, Abercrombie & Fitch
Catherine Fung (2002)
Owner/Designer, Little Prince & Piggy
Prabal Gurung (2004)
Creative Director, Bill Blass
Reed Krakoff (1989)
President/Executive Creative Director, Coach
Charles Youssef (2004)
Designer, Perry Ellis
Jay Godfrey (2004)
Founder/Creative Director, Jay Godfrey Collection
Fabio Silva (2003)
Legal Counsel, Tory Burch LLC
1-2 years, 65 credits
Can be completed full-time or part-time
A professionally oriented course of study that provides essential foundation training and technical skills, enabling students to build a competitive portfolio and launch a new career in their chosen industry. Best suited to students who have previous college experience in an unrelated field and want to change careers.
4 years, 120 credits
Full-time undergraduate major
A holistic degree program that immerses students in challenging studio courses, art history and critical theory, as well as the wider world of liberal arts. The course of study culminates in a thesis and qualifies alumni for further graduate study. Best suited to first-time college students.
Explore the BFA degree option
2 years, 60 credits.
Full-time graduate program
A highly selective program that combines intensive studio-based projects with research and artistic exploration. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a substantial portfolio.
Explore the MFA degree option
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program is most suitable for mature students with some college experience who are clear about their interests in the field of design and prepared for rapid immersion in a professional course of study. The typical student has a bachelor's or an advanced degree and work experience in a field other than design. Admission to the program is based on the prospective student’s maturity, desire to pursue further education, previous accomplishments, and potential for growth. Applicants must have graduated from high school at least two years prior to be eligible to apply.
Priority Application Deadlines:
We will continue to review applications submitted after the priority deadlines have passed if space is available in the program.
Financial Aid Deadlines
All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.
Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an
Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Jasonpaul McCarthy, Program Director
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