The Fashion Design School Boom (or ‘The Moment the Nehru Jacket Resurgence Began’)


This writer doesn’t watch the show save for the few times he’s had to sit and watch it with his girlfriend, but he’s been, no question, aware of the popularity of “Project Runway,” the fashion design reality program. And every time he’s sat there and watched it with the missus, he always asks the same question, “I wonder what this is doing to fashion schools?” Now there’s the answer thanks to this article in USA Today about the huge growth in enrollment in design programs throughout the country. It also makes out Tim Gunn, the show’s host and a near replica of this writer’s uncle, to be an even cooler guy that you already perceive him to be. Here’s some:

Since the 2004 premiere episode, the number of applicants to the fashion design major grew from 745 to 903. And at nearby Fashion Institute of Technology, where Project Runway contestant Kayne Gillaspie studied, applications for the bachelor’s in fashion design rose from 241 to 327 during those years.

But college fashion frenzy isn’t limited to New York. At the Art Institutes, a coalition of college-accredited art programs in major U.S. cities, fashion-related majors are up 45% since the show premiered.