BFA in Fashion Design

In Otis's top-ranked Fashion Design program, students learn how to create and construct garments under leading industry professionals, called mentors, and faculty.

For decades, the Otis College BFA in Fashion Design has prepared students for a seamless transition into the global fashion industry. The program has successfully prepared creative professionals for the rigors of the fashion industry. The program’s reputation is based on quality, relevance, and innovation. This has been accomplished in part by developing an extensive and comprehensive networking component into the program.

Fashion Design at Otis

With abundant hands-on guidance and access to a wealth of materials, our students never compete for attention or resources. The Fashion Design program differentiates itself with a singular emphasis on developing capable, innovative, and professional fashion designers with a comprehensive understanding of consumer markets, from moderate to high-end. To prepare our graduates for meaningful careers, we emphasize the technical, interpersonal, creative, and collaborative skills that matter most in the field. high-touch mentorships challenge students to design with an eye toward sustainability, uniting creativity with technology and innovation.

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What You’ll Learn

The cornerstone of our Fashion Design curriculum is providing students the opportunity to work directly with successful industry professionals. These mentors help our students gain fresh, industry-focused perspectives on design.

Our core curriculum complements this hands-on approach by developing capable, professional fashion designers through the following pillars: 

  • Taking direction
  • Clothing construction
  • Drawing by hand
  • Digital skills 

Program Curriculum


Dress design on manequin

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability is core to our approach to fashion. Every mentor project touches on this concept in some way. Some of our brand partners also provide fabrics or recycled materials that are sustainably utilized in projects.

Otis Fashion Shows

Our students are known for producing high-caliber work. Both the junior and the senior classes present their designs at the annual fashion show that is part of the O-Launch exhibition weekend. Top senior student work is also showcased at Otis Atelier, an annual fashion benefit that supports scholarships for first-generation Otis College students.

2020 Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show
2019 Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show

Student Work

Fashion student work Andrea de Anda
Fashion student work Sana Fernando
Fashion student work Eray Zhang
Fashion student work Yuhan Zhou

Career Possibilities

Otis alumni enter the fashion industry as assistant designers, associate designers, illustrators, costume designers, textile designers, accessory designers, and product designers. 

Though some graduates opt to launch their own lines, approximately 86% Fashion Design graduates are employed as assistant fashion designers within three months of earning their BFA degree.

Careers and Internships

Embracing Technology

We consider our Fashion Design department as a think tank for industry innovation. Through partnerships with industry leaders we explore and embrace new technology as quickly as it becomes available.


We place professional designers alongside Fashion Design students. This offers a glimpse of the future of fashion design from those who are creating it. The fashion department’s philosophy fosters collaborations with industry professionals serving as Mentors. These Mentors are invited into the classrooms, giving Juniors and Seniors an authentic current design challenge, sharing their expertise and guiding students through the design process.

Leo Lawson
LACMA partnership
Amiri Sketch Selection

Fashion Design Faculty

In addition to mentors, Otis College faculty are experienced educators and respected professionals within the fashion industry who are devoted to each student’s development.

Jill Higashi Zeleznik faculty portrait

Jill Higashi Zeleznik

Department Chair, Professor, Fashion Design

Department: Fashion Design

Mitra Rajabi faculty portrait

Mitra Rajabi

Assistant Chair, Associate Professor, Fashion Design

Department: Fashion Design

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Contact Us

Wherever you are in your college search, we want to meet you! Our counselors are here to answer your questions about Otis College and help you with the application process.

Phone: 310-665-6820
SMS: 323-870-6820

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