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.
Explore the AAS Fashion Design community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at parsons.edu/aasfashiondesign. This program
is part of Parsons' School of Fashion.
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 focus on research, fashion history, design thinking, and construction techniques relevant to work in the industry. Other courses offer you visual communications tools and familiarize you with industry software for ideating fashion collections, creating presentations, and documenting work for portfolios. Electives give you opportunities to specialize in accessories, tailoring, textiles, or knitwear. 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 60 credits of coursework. Students may transfer undergraduate credits from other programs or institutions. For more information, please contact the Admission Office. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all program requirements in a timely manner.
For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the university course catalog.
This curriculum applies to students who enter Parsons in spring 2019 and after. To view degree requirements from prior years, visit the Fall 2018 curriculum page or
Academic Catalogs archive.
Students may fulfill this requirement by choosing from a suite of elective options and are encouraged to meet with their advisors to create a coherent study plan.
In this course, students synthesize research, design, and construction skills and apply them to fashion products of their own design. This course draws upon research skills from Core 1, technical skills from Technical Studio, and materials exploration
from Textiles and Materials. In class, students further develop their 2D and 3D skills and practices within the context of the discipline and move toward competency in the application of design and research processes while
seeking appropriate technical 3D solutions.
In this course, students further their ability to translate self-initiated 2D design ideas into 3D final outcomes in their chosen disciplinary specialization. Emphasis is placed on incorporating sustainable design practices, production methods, and end-use
contexts. Students spend class time developing design ideas, applying construction techniques, developing textiles, and examining the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry.
In this class, we focus on the collaborative relationship between industry studio communication and industry production communication. Exploring both conceptual and technical design communicated through analog and digital techniques, students create effective
and compelling design and technical presentations that reflect their own evolving design identity across multiple platforms. Printing methods are discussed to enable students to develop an analog ideology in various media and
materials, including Adobe Creative Cloud apps and fashion industry proprietary software.
In this course, students develop a body of work from design ideation and iteration to a final product representing their fashion specialization and personal design philosophy. Students engage in problem solving throughout the 2D and 3D processes while
drawing upon all the experience gained throughout the program. Students develop a personalized approach to design aesthetic, vocabulary, and markets by incorporating more complex design concepts that demonstrate a broader understanding
of brand identity and user contexts. Consideration is given to the visual curation of the fashion process in terms of personal identity, communication, and brand messaging.
In this course, students creatively employ diverse formats and contents to develop a portfolio. They conduct extensive design research, employ creative processes, and generate final deliverables that showcase their unique design philosophy and specialization.
They also explore different methods for visual and textual communication in the professional context through print media, video, résumés, and online presence.
1-2 years, 60 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 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 before 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.
Francesca Sammaritano, Program Director
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