Andrew Taylor - Fashion Studies
Olivia Klee - Fashion Studies
Isabella Lotterman - Fashion Studies
Eun_Jin Cho - Fashion Studies
Andrew Taylor - Fashion Studies
Markiesha Weaver - Fashion Studies
Eva Chen - Fashion Studies
Eun_Jin Cho - Fashion Studies
Paige Bartosik - Fashion Studies
Alyssa Davis - Fashion Studies
Chelsea Sawalich - Fashion Studies
KCAD’s Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion prepares students to pursue careers in the fashion industry through its BFA in Fashion Studies. This degree is designed to engage the student in the study of the fashion industry and practices while fulfilling supportive studios in art and design foundation courses and general education courses for a comprehensive well-rounded education.
Students learn to conduct relevant research, source trends and fabrics and apply design elements and principles to create work with a unique point of view. This course of study will aid the student in understanding the delicate balance between aesthetics and functionality and will allow each student to create their own design statement. Students learn to express their ideas on paper through the use of engineered flats and fashion illustrations. Using their design communication skills, students transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional wearable garments utilizing a synthesis of construction, fitting, pattern-making and draping skills.
Specialized courses allow students to study functional design, retail buying, sustainability, experimental methods and fashion show production. Internships are encouraged and students are able to work on team projects with visiting industry professionals.
A senior capstone course helps each student form their own collection for public exhibition. The senior course in professional practice requires the student to analyze their strengths and research companies that align with those identified strengths to develop a strategic plan for employment. These students are creative, adaptable, and have the ability to communicate and think critically.
Fashion Studies graduates will have a comprehensive knowledge of the fashion industry
and be able to consider positions as fashion designers, textile designers, stylists,
buyers, technical designers, trend researchers, product developers, creative directors
and many other employment opportunities including fashion publications and media.
As a student in the Fashion Studies program in KCAD’s Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion, you’ll engage in a broad and immersive study of fashion that explores traditional and emerging design and construction techniques, couture methods, sustainable practices, fashion illustration, product development, and the organization and execution of exhibition and runway events.
You’ll learn to transform two dimensional ideas into the three dimensional. At the same time, you’ll also be investigating the realities of the fashion industry through specialized courses in functional design, retail buying, and fashion show production. Your senior year offers options: complete your final year at KCAD, developing and publicly presenting an original collection of garment designs through a senior capstone course and fashion show that will allow you to discover and express your own design identity. Or, you can apply to spend your senior year studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.
You’ll also round your education out with a wide range of general education and art history courses that will stimulate your curiosity, broaden your perspective, and inspire new creative expressions. KCAD’s flexible General Education Pathways model empowers you to direct your learning by exploring subjects you find most engaging and relevant.
As you progress through the Fashion Studies program, you’ll develop a heightened ability to conduct relevant research; identify trends in color, fabric, and silhouette; and apply design elements and principles to create work with a unique point of view that balances aesthetics and functionality. You’ll learn to express your design ideas on paper through fashion illustrations and engineered flats before ultimately bringing them to life through a synthesis of design, construction, fitting, pattern-making, and draping skills.
Your intensive classroom experiences will cultivate strong critical thinking, communication, and design skills, while collaborative projects will help you develop stronger ideas, processes, and people skills in real-world settings. You’ll also understand how to plan out and manage the logistics of a runway fashion event.
The Fashion Studies program extends KCAD’s legacy of leadership in design education into the world of fashion. While earning a BFA degree that will add strength to your résumé, you’ll receive a specialized design education with a well-rounded general education. This strong foundation ensures that you’re not left to “sink or swim” on your own; you’re set up to succeed.
With the versatile skill set and strong portfolio you’ll build at KCAD, you’ll be an excellent candidate to take advantage of the option to study away at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. The program’s unique curriculum structure allows you to spend the first three years in the program at KCAD before applying to FIT, where you’ll complete your final year if accepted. You’ll be immersed in the epicenter of American fashion, opening up a world of opportunity for you, exposing you to resources, cultural institutions, and environments that will help you realize your aspirations.
Spend your senior year at KCAD, and you’ll study couture and innovative methods, sustainable fashion, and create your own capstone collection to be shown at the annual fashion show.
At KCAD, you’ll not only develop strong design and communication skills; you’ll put them to the test through collaborative projects with community organizations, such as designing costumes for the Grand Rapids Ballet or working with Spectrum Health to develop special compression garments for children with neuromuscular diseases. Show off your styling skills while creating a digital portfolio of your brand as you step into your career in the exciting fashion industry.
As a graduate of the Fashion Studies program, you’ll emerge with a dynamic skill set and a comprehensive knowledge of the fashion industry that will allow you to consider a wide variety of career pathways.
Possible careers include:
- Fashion Designer
- Creative Director
- Product Developer
- Costume Designer
- Trend Researcher
- Technical Designer
- Construction Specialist
- Retail Management
- Fashion PR/Publication
- Textile Designer
- Fashion Writer
As a student in the Fashion Studies program, you’ll have access to faculty who have worked in the industry, as well as well-appointed classroom spaces featuring industry machines, cutting tools, and large work surfaces. You’ll also be able to leverage KCAD’s Material ConneXion Satellite Library, which offers direct access to more than 1,000 physical samples of advanced, innovative, and sustainable materials as well as online access to over 7,000 more; and The Dow Center FlexLab, KCAD’s state-of-the-art digital fabrication facility featuring 3D printers and scanners, laser cutting and vinyl cutting machines, wide format printers, and more.
You’ll have abundant opportunities to interact with industry professionals who visit the KCAD campus and West Michigan. Past visiting professionals include Council of Fashion Designers of America CEO Steven Kolb, fashion designers Adam Lippes and Matt Baldwin, Detroit Garment Group Director Karen Buscemi, fashion stylists Grace Kelly and Lynn Serulla, costume designers Bernadine Vida and KCAD alumna Christy Juhnke, and the Iris van Herpen design team.
As a graduate of the Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion, your comprehensive knowledge of the fashion industry will enable you to consider a wide range of careers spanning design, research, marketing, product development, media, and retail.
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