Ask Alexandra: Best Fashion Courses

Ask Alexandra is my advice column. Have a question you want to ask me? Fill out the form here.

Here are two questions that have come to me about fashion schools.

Rachel WIlkinson, London College of Fashion, fashion jobs, careers, fashion school, St Martins

Hello Alexandra,

You have written quite useful advice regarding fashion education, but I’d like to know which fashion schools would you say are the best ones in continental Europe, or what would be the most advisable source to find that out. I have found the Fashionista ranking to be a very strange patch of information, given the fact that it lists fashion schools no one has ever heard of while being extremely vague about their qualities. Given the fact that realistic, reliable data for it is scarce (online forum comments are always tricky), and after reading your insightful “5 things to consider before choosing a fashion college,” I thought you’d have an insight that is clearer than most.

Many thanks, and congratulations for your blog,


Here are two questions that have come to me about fashion schools.

Hi Rudolf,

This is a tough question that I really wish I could answer for you properly, but I don’t have the knowledge to do this. On that note, neither does Fashionista, I saw their list of Top 50 Fashion Schools in the World, and I will agree it is totally flawed. Marangoni and Esmod on top of Royal College of Art? That is CRAZY! Plus, they don’t explain how they created the ranking, so I don’t think it is accurate at all.

Anyway, here is some advice I can give you, based on what I know. And remember, this list is based on my personal experience only.

  • The UK has a lot of good schools, the best being St. Martins, but other schools of note are Royal College of Art, London College of Fashion, Ravensbourne, Epsom, Middlesex, and Kingston. I know about five Kingston graduates very well, and they are all based in Paris now. Between them, they have all held VERY senior roles at companies like Hermes, Dior, Sonia Rykiel, Burberry, Ungaro, Giambattista Valli, and Givenchy. As far as I know, their graduates are highly valued, as are the other ones on this list.
  • Ecoles de la Chambre Syndicale in Paris is good, but very technical and not great at training designers, although they are super well connected in the indsutry. Studio Bercot was good when I was in Paris ten years ago.
  • Antwerp Royal Academy also has a good reputation, but it is very hard to get in, and extremely difficult to make it through the four year course.
  • I have no opinion or knowledge of the schools in Italy, but in my many years in the fashion industry, I have never met someone in a senior, or even middle, role in the fashion industry who studied at an Italian school, which leads me to think that the Italian schools aren’t much good unless you plan on staying in Italy. On that note, I have heard that Marangoni trains a lot of people who go into the business side of fashion.
  • Stay away from American schools abroad (ex. American schools in Paris or London) as they generally have bad reputations and are total rip offs.

Hope that helps!

Here are two questions that have come to me about fashion schools.

I am interested in finding out which schools have the top ‘fashion design short courses’ internationally, for people who do not have the time and money to spend on getting bachelors or masters in fashion design. People only discuss what schools are best for bachelors and masters, and we all know the top names. but for someone like me who already has a bachelors degree in textile design, and a couple of years of work experience, finding and choosing what school would be most useful for me to go to for short courses in fashion design and pattern making/draping is very difficult. I would really appreciate your help and knowledge on this one.

Here are two questions that have come to me about fashion schools.

Dear Myra,

I worked for the short course programs for both Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, and I highly recommend both of them. They are either evening, weekend, or summer school classes. The summer school classes are intensive 5 day courses, and you are taught by instructors who are on the degree and MA course teams. Sure, there will be a lot of international rich girls who think they are entitled to jobs in the industry because they can afford the designer clothing, but you can make the most of it by asking a lot of questions from the instructors and showing a lot of interest.

Plus, you get to spend some time in London and it is a fantastic city!

If anyone has any follow up questions on this post, feel free to ask them in the comments! I will be answering them as they come in. And also… I am working on an ebook about how to break into the fashion industry. If you are interested in getting info about this when it launches, drop me an email to with “Interested” in the subject line.

Fashion illustrations by Rachel Elisabeth Wilkinson, a graduate from London College of Fashion.

This entry was posted in Ask Alexandra, Fashion Jobs & Fashion Schools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Susie

    Thank you for your quick reply!

  • Angela Smith

    Hi Alexandra,

    You mentioned Kingston as being a good UK program.

    Did you mean Kingston College or Kingston University?



  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    The second one – the university! :-)

  • sonal

    Hi Lakshmi! I was doing research for masters in fashion business courses and came across your post. I have been admitted in Esmod and have heard very mixed reviews. Seeing that your post is from 2 years ago I assume you must have already finished you degree and would love to hear about your experience and inputs. You can email me at so that maybe we can talk better. Any help would be appreciated! thanks a lot =)

  • sonal

    Hi Antonio!
    I was doing research for masters in fashion business courses and came across your post. I have been admitted in Esmod and have heard very mixed reviews. Seeing that your post is about colleges in France I assume you must have some experience inputs. You can email me at so that maybe we can talk better. Any help would be appreciated! thanks a lot =)

  • sonal

    Hi Alexandra,
    I have been offered admission into Esmod for Postgraduate International fashion and luxury brand management programme. My aim is to work for a few years and then set up my handbag brand. Does Esmod have a good reputation for this course? I have been told that it is only good for fashion design so am unsure. Or would you have any other suggestions for colleges in Europe. Thanks!

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Hi Sonal,
    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this course so I’m not fit to comment… Best of luck! Alexandra

  • tee

    Hello Alexandra,
    I intend to go into childrens wears fashion business and I have no prior fashion design experience. A lot of schools don’t seem to have fashion in childrens wear as a course.Would you suggest I go into fashion design basics first?

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    I’ve never heard of a children’s wear course – so yes, you should study womenswear or menswear and try and choose a course that will let you work on childrenswear. Many of the principles are the same.

  • Rob

    Hi Alexandra, thank you for the amazing and insightful post on the blog! I am now considering a school in London, and I’m considering the part time fashion design course at LCF. I don’t come from a rich parents background and would have to pay an expensive life in London through the course. (don’t think it would be possible at full time BA, would it?) But I’m unsure about the quality of the part time course – is it as good and competitive as full time courses? Would it be possible to get into MA at CSM or RCA after the course?

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    I’m sorry – I don’t know much about the part time courses but my assumption would be same school, reputations, facilities, and similar instructors, therefore nearly as good. The downside will most likely be that you might not network with as many students as as a FT time course and the networking is very important.
    Have fun! LCF is great.

  • Rob

    Thank you very much Alexandra!

  • Blair


    I have been looking into ESMOD as well. If you decided to go there, would you mind telling me how you liked it? Or if you decided not to go, could you tell me why? You can email me at Thank you so much, I would really appreciate it!!!

  • Tmg93

    Hi, I have been accepted for the MA in Fashion Management program in Univ of Southampton and Northumbria univ as well as the Grad Dip in Fashion Management in LCF. Which do you think would be a better option in terms of the course , exposure and job opportunities? Thanks!

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Sorry – I don’t know those courses!

  • Melody Prince-Boateng

    Hey Alexandra, I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, major in Marketing and minor in Communications. Ideally I would like to start my own business in fashion but I want to increase my knowledge in the field of business fashion first. I was considering the Post Graduate Certificate Fashion: Buying and Merchandising at LCF. Will this be of any benefit and also will it hold some weight in comparison to an MA? Also will I be able to get any internships or jobs if I complete this three-month course? I want the best value for my money. Thank you very much.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Sorry – I don’t know this course! You’d be better off contacting the school. Good luck!

  • nada

    Hello, I got offers from Regent’s University in London and Paris College of Art in paris, both for fashion design courses. I was wondering if you could recommend any of these two?
    Thank you in advance!

  • AB28

    Hi Tmg93,
    I came across your post now although it’s a month old. I too have been accepted for MA in Fashion Management program in the University of Southampton. I wanted to know how is it as a college and have u heard any reviews about it ?
    Also, I’ve applied for MA in Fashion Design Management in LCF but haven’t heard from them post the submission of the study proposal and essay. Could you tell me approximately how many weeks would they take to revert ?

  • Mercedes

    Dear Noe G**nd*,

    You are extremely talented, it doesn’t matter where you study, I am sure you will always succeed.


    Mer A.

    Ps. loved to run into you while doing my MA research.

  • isha


    Even I am planning to take-up postgraduation in international fashion and luxury brand management from ESMOD. Do let me know ur reviews for the same. I have come across institute francais De la moda offering M.Sc for the same (actually I can’t find any type of reviews about this school).
    P.S: Alexandra if you something about IFM!!


  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Sorry, I don’t know enough recent information about these schools to comment right now. Sorry I can’t help!

  • Basma shahin

    Hi Alexandra I want to take make-up courses and I decided to take them at London College Of Fashion but then I read about the London School of Make-up and now I can’t decide between them they both have great reviews but the London School of Make-up gives IMA certificate so I don’t really know what which one I should choose.

  • anks

    hi alexandra,
    i was wondering whats the best place to do a short course in fashion in europe and in what institute?
    thank you!