The beauty of attending an Austin fashion design school is that one has the opportunity both to be involved in an institute that cultivates excellence, and at the same time be immersed in an environment that breathes and breeds creative energy. Austin has a number of highly reputed schools that offer courses in fashion design including the University of Texas at Austin, the Art Institute of Austin and the Austin School of Fashion and Design.
The University of Texas at Austin offers students the College of Natural Science’s Textile and Apparel program. Here students with an interest in both the creative and administrative aspects of the fashion industry learn to research and investigate the technical aspects of textile composition combining their growing knowledge of materials with training in graphic design and apparel manufacturing. UT is also home to the “UT Fashion Group,” where students with an interest in design and marketing can exercise their emergent skills.
The Art Institute in Austin carries with it AI’s reputation for excellence and caters to the aspiring fashion designer with separate programs dedicated both to design and fashion. The design program proffers tracks in design and technical graphics. The fashion program covers fashion and retail management. Students registered at AI can also take advantage of the Career Services Department where a specialized staff helps direct students toward professional opportunities appropriate to their field of study.
While the above provide excellent opportunities for degree seeking students at either the graduate or undergraduate levels, The Austin School of Fashion and Design, provides a number of non-degree classes. Many of these classes are taught by instructors who are former students returning to the school after having have produced and sold their own collections. ASFD offers classes held mornings, evenings, weekdays and weekends; ideal for students who may be attending jobs or classes elsewhere. Classes at ASFD range from one-day to three-weeks and cover a broad range of material. Students with a late vocation in fashion will be relieved to find the non-threatening offering of “Beginning Sewing” or “Sewing with Store Bought Patterns.” Those with prior experience looking to refine their skills may find an appealing challenge in “Special Couture Techniques,” “Costume Design,” or a class that outlines how to “Create, Manufacture and Market Your Collection.”
In addition to its educational facilities Austin provides exciting outlets and stimulation for designers, marketers, and consumers. Popular endorsement of the phrase, “Keep Austin Weird” belies the city’s proclivity towards embracing life on the fringe; revealing an attitude that produces consumers eager for edgy, intriguing styles, designers eager to produce them, and marketers who creatively unite the two. An event that exemplifies local support of both established and upcoming artists is “Austin Fashion Week.” Occurring July 13-19th, 2009, AFW displays the wares and honors the work of exceptional local artist’s and agencies in the fashion industry. Included in this event is the Designer Launch Program, the winner of which receives in-kind donations from sponsors that secures this promising designer’s passage into the Austin design world and beyond.