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The Program Uses the Following Student Success Indicators: 

  • retention and completion rates
  • employment rates
  • salaries
  • employer critiques of student performance
  • mentor critiques of student performance
  • off-campus exhibitions of student work
  • industry and media feedback on student performance 
  • alumni achievement

Retention and Completion Rates

Otis Fashion Design's 4-year graduation rates are higher than average (68%) compared to private 4-year colleges in California.  According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, in a survey of 74 private 4-year colleges in California (including Stanford University and California Institute of Technology), the average 4-year graduation rate for 2012 was 59.9%, and for 2013 was 61.3% (2014 data was not yet available).  It is equally important to note that California ranks 4th in private 4-year college completion rates across the U.S. With evidence-based student learning outcomes that adhere to industry standards, at the completion of the program, students in the Fashion Design Department are able to:

  • Adapt their artistic abilities to support their future design careers.
  • Develop a systematic, critical approach to problem-solving at all levels of the design process.
  • Articulate design ideas verbally, visually, and digitally.
  • Assess, propose, and apply various techniques related to drafting, draping, and constructing garments.
  • Relate the design process to the appropriate manufacturing process.
  • Demonstrate professionalism by managing time to meet deadlines with quality work and effectively collaborating in teams.
  • Research and relate fashion design to a broader socio-economic, historical, and environmental context.

Notable Alumni






Julia Choi, (2021) was a finalist for CFDA,  and $10,000 winner of the women's design competition for the Joe’s Blackbook 2020 Scholarship



Dahn Tran ('06), Designer for Buttercloth, and winner of Shark Tank.


Deborah Sabet & Arthor Thammavong

Arthor Thammavong ('14), Senior Designer of Women and Deborah Sabet ('05), Senior Designer Men's at Vince

Employer Critique

At the close of internships, employers provide valuable feedback to the Chair (as well as directly to the students) about students' performance during the internship. Although this information is used to improve student preparation and the program overall, on the whole, the feedback is extremely positive.  Below are a few testimonials that were collected for the purposes of the program review. 

Mentor Critiques Of Student Performance

Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Ralph Lauren, Dominque Lemieux/Cirque du Soleil, Bob Mackie, are just a few mentors who have repeatedly mentored Otis students because they are continually impressed by the caliber of student work.  Todd Olham has said Otis is the only school he will actually participate in a design project with students due to the quality of student work.

Off-campus Exhibitions Of Student Work

The continued collaboration with Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills displaying Senior work demonstrates the high-quality and desirability of student work.

Additionally, mentors have requested further exhibitions including:

  • Multi-stop tour of "Considered Design" sustainability project with Nike/Hurley
  • Live performance at Disney Studios, followed by an exhibition at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood in conjunction with Monster's University premiere, of ;Disney Monster's University sustainability project
  • A runway show of “bike to train to back again” smart design project featured at MTA’s Union Station
  • Sourcing at Magic displayed six designs produced by students from the Senior class at the Magic Trade Show in Las Vegas

Industry And Media Feedback

The good reputation of the program continues to solicit informal feedback from industry leaders who frequently laud and reach out to the program.  This feedback may come from a call, via email, or walking in the door (because they were in the neighborhood).  Moreover, the fashion show and student work receives positive recognition by media outlets proving that it is both relevant and newsworthy. 

Alumni Achievement

With a jumpstart on internships, relevant preparation, and a robust network, alumni thrive and advance quickly in the industry making their way to positions of leadership or developing their own collections or brands.

Cynthia Vincent ('88), Designer

Cynthia Vincent ('88), Designer

Claire Pettibone ('88), Designer

Claire Pettibone ('88), Designer

Eduardo Lucero ('89), Designer

Eduardo Lucero ('89), Designer

Angela Furlong('83), Design Director, Sundance

Angela Furlong('83), Design Director, Sundance

Jennifer Tong ('98), VP of Agron

Jennifer Tong ('98), VP of Agron

Danh Tran ('06), Designer for Buttercloth

Danh Tran ('06), Designer for Buttercloth

Kirk Von Heifner ('06), Mens Design Director for Lululemon

Kirk Von Heifner ('06), Mens Design Director for Lululemon

Azadeh "Oss" Nooryani ('06), Design Director Women's OTM at Lululemon

Azadeh "Oss" Nooryani ('06), Design Director Women's OTM at Lululemon

Susan Matherson, Costume Designer

Susan Matherson, Costume Designer

Rob Beattie ('86), Designer for Bleu Swim

Rob Beattie ('86), Designer for Bleu Swim

Alumni Career Positions

‘83 Angela Furlong (Design Director, Sundance)

’86 Rod Beattie (Bleu Swim, Founder and Designer)

‘87 Chris Chang (Poesia, Founder and Designer)

‘87 Devon Burt (VP Apparel Innovation Design, Nike Inc)

‘87 Robert Tuggle (Design Director, Eddie Bauer)

‘88 Cynthia Vincent (Founder)

‘88 Shawna Trpcic (Costume Designer: Firefly, Angel, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse)

‘89 Claire Pettibone (Founder and Designer)

‘89 Eduardo Lucero (Founder and Designer)

‘91 Janina Gutierrez-Barajas (Global Creative Director, 20th Century Fox)

’92 Red Carter (Founder and Designer)

‘92 Soo Koo (VP Product Development at Warner Brothers Consumer Products)

‘93 Marisol Gerona-Bradford (VP Design & Development, NBC Universal Consumer Products)

‘98 Amy Liu (Senior Designer, Kellwood)

‘99 Bao Tranchi (Bao Tranchi Bodywear, designer brand)

‘04 Yuree Jung (Senior Designer, James Perse)

‘04 Heather Brown (Design Director, Pac Sun)

‘05 Charmaine De Mello (Senior Designer, Alexander Wang)

‘05 Sandy Oh (Senior Designer, AG Jeans)

‘05 Nurit Yeshuran (Director of Concept and Style, Tiffany & Co.)

‘05 Debbie Sabet (Design Director, Vince)

‘06 Claire Chouinard (Patagonia)

‘06 Marcus Le Blanc (Design Director at The Northface)

‘06 Danh Tran (Founder, Buttercloth)

‘06 Sapna Parikh (Senior Women’s Designer, Alo Yoga)

‘06 Kirk Von Heifner (Design Director, Lululemon)

‘07 Dana Engleman (Senior Designer, JBrand Collections)

‘07 Su Im Chung (Senior Designer, Barbie Mattel)

‘08 Westley Austin (Head Designer, Men’s wear, 7 for all Mankind)

‘08 Kristin Friedlander (Head Designer, Topson Downs)

‘08 Natalia Giacomelli (Design Director, Good American)

‘08 Crystal Kim (Senior Designer, GSTAR)

‘10 Naomi Hwang (Head Designer, STATE)

‘11 Cherise Shikai (Assistant Designer, Lululemon)

'17 Keely Gallagher (Associate Designer, Lovers & Friends)

'17 Tammy Li (Associate Designer, A & F)

'17 Nicholas Dolcini (Assistant Designer, J. Crew)

'18 Aja Komine (Assistant Designer, Guess?)

'18 Amanda Cox (Designer, Bailey 44)

'18 Marcus Reynolds (Associate Designer, Manhattan Beachwear)

'18 William Wang (Assistant Designer, AG Jeans)

'19 Soomin Chun (Assistant Designer, Theory)

'19 Olivero Perez (Assistant Designer, Jason Wu)

'19 Nastaran Eskandani (Assistant Designer, KOHL'S)

'19 Shirley Park (Associate Designer, J. Crew)

'19 Julia Park (Assistant Designer, A.L.C.)

'20 Lynn Kim (Assistant Designer, URBN)

'20 Rachel Kim (Assistant Designer, URBN)

'20 Verona Tu (Assistant Designer, Rhude)

'20 Wendy Kuo (Assistant Designer, Proenza Schouler)

'21 Julia Choi (Assistant Designer, Jonathan Simkhai)

'21 Caleb Stern (Intern, Rag + Bone)

'21 Isabella Lopez (Assistant Designer, Free People)

'21 Natalie Aivazian (Assistant Designer, Universal)