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Fashion School Stereotypes

posted by LIM College staff Staff Profiles Desktops & Documents lola.rephann My Documents website BLOGS Hubspot Blogs Short Takes Sara ShabtaiI attended a college preparatory high school in which everyone aimed to go to an Ivy League institution or another fancy and well-known school.  I, on the other hand, wanted to go to fashion school. When my class found out about my college ambitions, they started to make jokes. They said that I would not have to try nearly as hard as they did in school in order to get into the school of my choice, and that all I needed to know was how to draw. Little did they understand that I was going to a fashion business college, not a design school.  You would think that people getting into Harvard might know the difference.

My classmates did not realize that it can be quite difficult to get into fashion school, as some are extremely competitive. The admissions process is more challenging than most of the schools my classmates choose. Some fashion schools require elaborate art projects, even if you are going into merchandising, and several essays. Most of my classmates were able to use and pick one of several essays to write. My only option was a single essay about my love for fashion and why I thought I was the perfect candidate for admission. Not that it was bad, but I wouldn’t have minded more options. I was in competition with a few thousand people who had a similar love of fashion, and we all were asked to write the same essay. That was quite intimidating.

The other stereotype—that all we would do in college was draw and make arts and crafts—was just as misinformed. We attend a business school, not a nursery!  Even if we did attend a design program, we would still study other subjects such as math and English.

Another misconception that I truly hate is that we have to dress up to come to school. Yes, there are young women here who look like they have just walked out of a fashion magazine, but for those of us who have 8AM classes? We wear sweatpants, and if we’re really daring, a pair of jeans and sweater.

When you think about attending a fashion college, don’t listen to what outsiders have to say. Make your own decision and pick a school you’ll love.

-- Sara Shabtai

Further Reading:

Anna Wintour’s daughter thinks that fashion is weird and silly:

Harvard Business School students and fashion:

Even MIT has a fashion show, with technically sophisticated apparel:



Topics: fashion industry, New York City