KSU’s Fashion School climbs Fashionista rankings


Khushi Kothari, a freshman fashion marketing major, and Remi Meeker, a freshman fashion design major, work on homework in Rockwell Hall. 

Sophia Iannelli

Popular news site Fashionista ranked Kent State’s Fashion School No. 5 in the nation and No. 15 internationally. 

Each year, the site releases its rankings of the top 25 fashion schools in the world. In 2017, the site ranked Kent State No. 8 in the nation and No. 25 in the world.

Of the top five fashion schools ranked, two are art schools, two are strictly fashion schools and one is a school of design. Coming in first place was world-renowned art school Central Saint Martins, located in London. Combined, the top five fashion schools have 44 undergraduate programs. Kent State offers only two, which are design and merchandising.

Even with fewer programs than the top-ranking schools, Kent State is not only favorably ranked by Fashionista, but by Fashion-schools.org, The Business of Fashion and CEOWORLD magazine. 

“National and international rankings, such as the Fashionista rankings, really increase our visibility,” said Kim Hahn, the interim director of the Fashion School. “Things like having required study-away programs and internships set us apart from other fashion programs. We also have a great faculty who are known nationally and internationally with many connections to the industry.”

Rankings like these have been shown to influence students from outside Northeast Ohio to consider Kent State’s fashion program.  Jillian McGarry, a sophomore fashion merchandising major from Buffalo, New York, said she decided to come to Kent State after noticing its ranking.

“When I tell people I’m going to school for fashion, they always ask if I’m going to school in New York,” McGarry said. “When I tell them no and say I’m at Kent State in Northeast Ohio, they wonder why, until I show them our ranking. Then they understand.”

Annual tuition, famous and successfully placed alumni and student and alumni feedback are the three things taken into consideration when ranking universities, according to Fashionista.

Fashionista lists these famous alumni on its site: Jodi Sittig, the vice president of marketing at Spanx; Molly Langenstein, the general business manager of Macy’s Ready to Wear; and Stephen “Suede” Baum, who was featured on the TV show “Project Runway.”

Sophia Iannelli covers fashion. Contact her at [email protected].