Following the industry schedule where several seasons are designed simultaneously, students in the Fashion Design Department are educated in all aspects of the design process for an easy transition into professional careers in the fashion industry. Our students learn more than the skills needed to design and construct quality garments, they emerge from our program as polished professionals capable of meeting deadlines, working as part of an innovative team, and developing relevant designs for an ever-changing market. Additionally, the department facilitates summer industry internships and networking opportunities for our students. Otis Fashion alumni enter the design world as assistant designers, associate designers, illustrators, costume designers, textile designers, accessory designers, and product designers. Some graduates opt to open their own clothing line immediately upon completing the program.
2021 Employer Info Session with Tapestry
2021 Salary Compensation Research (produced by 24/SEVEN Talent Agency)
EMPLOYMENT UPON GRADUATION
In a survey of the class of 2019 graduates, 94% were gainfully employed in the fashion industry within 6 months of graduation.
Please note, the survey included students who were seeking work in the U.S. (not all students are interested in employment or eligible to work in the U.S.) and completed their core coursework with a C or better. This department goal, to develop professional fashion designers who are sought out by the industry, has consistently been achieved year after year, given the strength of the students' professional portfolios and well-developed interview skills.
In a climate of concern regarding fashion education leading to professional careers in the industry, this achievement is especially laudable. According to a 2015 study conducted by the Business of Fashion surveying 4,032 fashion design alumni from colleges across the globe, "many disappointed students report that they end up taking jobs outside of fashion, or not finding jobs at all. With BA tuition fees costing an average of $18,000 per year and MA tuition an average of $23,000 per year, students are clearly looking for a better return on this significant investment."
According to the 2019 report, job satisfaction rests largely on salary, professional growth/advancement opportunities, cultural fit, and work/life balance. In reviewing the salary ranges for fashion designers in the report, Otis Fashion graduates enjoy an above-average starting salary. They are also among the top five categories of in-demand candidates (development, digital/creative, sales, marketing, and e-commerce).
According to the 2021 Compensation, Benefit and Salary Report, the average salary is $45,000 for Design Room Assistants. The average salary in this report was calculated using major cities across the US and Canada. Starting salaries for Otis graduates, by comparison to these averages are relatively high with 30% making over the average high salary, and are more comparable to the salary range for Associate Designers.
Selected employers include:
7 For All Mankind
Abercrombie & Fitch
Band of Outsiders
Mary Jo Bruno
Rag + Bone
Sanrio/ Hello Kitty
St. John Knits