Fashion Experience 2017

2017 Fashion Experience

BFAFashion Design

Learn the traditional and cutting-edge techniques needed for success in a range of fashion careers.


Join a future-focused design school

The BFA in Fashion Design is one of the nation’s leading programs for sustainable fashion. Students work closely with faculty and peers to cultivate visionary thinking, propose disruptive design technology, and create new aesthetics. We’re driven to make a difference in the fashion world by championing bio-fabrics and micro-enterprises that help the disenfranchised.

Draw inspiration from the Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its creative culture, and we’re lucky to be located in the center of it all. On any given day, there are hundreds of events, including exhibitions, design hackathons, gallery openings, and film screenings. Students are inspired by the bay’s diverse perspectives to create compelling, cutting-edge work.

Studios + Shops

Designing for the 21st century

Fashion student adjusts their garment and pattern with the help of faculty_feature_MB

Most fashion students learn to draft, drape, pattern, sew, and tailor. Our program goes a step further by combining traditional techniques with a range of 21st century processes, from manipulating materials and existing garments to experimenting with collage and illustration. We also use our position inside a top-ranking art and design school to get creative with textile treatments and digital technologies. Students can try their hand at digital patterning, seam welding, soft sculpture, and more.

Fashion Design students sewing in the Soft Lab_Soft Lab Feature_800w_MB

From fashion sketches to final forms

The main Fashion Design studios feature two fabric workshops and a knitting space—each outfitted with industry-standard equipment and significant resources. Boasting numerous industrial sewing machines, knitting machines, display mannequins, dress forms, and more, students find what they need to make their vision a bespoke reality. Because many of our students have an interest in textile development, furniture, and wearable objects, our curriculum features a number of open studio electives to give them a chance to explore different spaces and fabrication tools.


2018 Fashion Experience

Make connections through awards and internships

We encourage students to participate in competitions organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Joe’s Blackbook and routinely take them to the annual Youth Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they collaborate with students from around the world on United Nations sustainability goals. These opportunities give them incredible industry exposure and introduce them to artisan communities overseas.

BFA Fashion Design students present designs during an open crit with Ghazaleh Khalifeh_horizontal feature_MB

Fashion students also have the chance to intern with companies such as Athleta, Libertine, Tea Collection, Erica Tanov, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, N.I.C.E. Collective, and Gap, Inc. Working closely with practicing designers, they gain invaluable insight into the challenges the industry faces and build up their resume and portfolio at the same time.

Studios are outfitted with a range of equipment

  • Press machine for eyelets and snaps
  • Skiving machine for leather
  • Walking stitch and lockstitch machines for sewing
  • State-of-the-art digital Jacquard loom for complex patterns
  • Spinning wheels
  • Vacuum-forming machine for woven and knitted fabrics
  • Dobby looms for simple geometric patterns
  • Industrial sewing machines
  • Fashion illustration tools


Learn from practicing fashion designers

Our faculty are cross-disciplinary designers who challenge the practices of mainstream fashion. They spearhead systems of making that are more efficient and embrace digital technologies that can find new forms for existing materials. With sustainability and innovation at the forefront, faculty help students develop their artistic voice and show them how to influence the industry for the better.

Chair of Fashion Design, Lynda Grose_Placeholder headshot_800w

Lynda Grose, Chair of Fashion Design

Chair Lynda Grose was the co-founder of ESPRIT’s ecollection, the first ecologically responsible clothing line developed by a major corporation.

For almost 30 years, Grose has worked in a variety of capacities—with companies, nonprofits, government organizations, artisans, and farmers—to further sustainability in fashion. Her work with Sustainable Cotton Project inspired a generation of companies to develop organic and Cleaner Cotton™ product lines, and her designs with artisans in Armenia and Central Asia helped establish cooperatives that are still operating today.

Grose's ongoing client list includes Patagonia, Greenpeace, Levi Strauss & Co., Sustainable Cotton Project, Fashion For Good, Gap, Inc., Aid to Artisans, Georgian Arts & Culture Center, and 13-Mile Farm, to name a few.

Grose co-authored the landmark book Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change, which explores how the values of sustainability can inform new design aesthetics and transform the fashion design practice. The book is now available in five languages and is in its second printing.

She’s currently collaborating on experimental projects, designing garments with evolving aesthetics for emergent business models, to slow the flow of materials through the fashion system. Grose is a frequent speaker and keynote speaker at conferences, museums, and colleges around the world.


We think with our hands

Every undergraduate student participates in the First Year Core program, an opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and tools. Faculty from many different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and discussions on foundational theory to help set students up for success.

BFA Fashion Design

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3 units
2D, 3D, and 4D
9 units

Fashion Design Major Requirements

Fashion Illustration 1–4
12 units
Fashion Studios 1–5
15 units
Fashion Design 1–5
15 units
Investigative Studio
3 units
Portfolio Review

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Studio Electives
9 units

Humanities + Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Media History: Fashion Design
3 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (200 level)
3 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (200 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (200 level)
3 units
Sustainability Seminar (SCIMA-214)
3 units
Visual Studies (200 level)
3 units
Humanities and Sciences (300 level)
6 units
WRD: Writing for Fashion Designers (LITPA-330)
3 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units
Humanities and Sciences Electives (200 or 300 level)
3 units

Total 120 units


Leaders in the fashion world

Students graduate from the Fashion Design program ready to work across disciplines, experiment with materials and technologies, and find creative solutions to pressing industry challenges. In addition to pursuing traditional fashion careers, they find success at nonprofit organizations like the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Girl Effect.

Potential career paths

  • Sportswear designer
  • Knitwear designer
  • Sustainable fabric designer
  • Fashion stylist
  • Fashion illustrator
  • Textile designer
  • Fashion journalist
  • Fashion merchandiser
  • Educator

News + Events

What’s the latest from the Fashion Design program?

How to Apply

Find your creative home at CCA

We look for students who understand that fashion is more than trendsetting—it’s a confluence of cultures, rich histories, and personal expression. Fashion’s also an industry in need of forward-thinking designers. If you’re driven to create new sustainable modes of production and defend human rights, consider joining one of the nation’s leading programs.

Find your creative community at CCA

Apply now