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Stephens among top 50 fashion schools in the world

January 26, 2015

Stephens College is among the top 50 fashion schools in the world, according to Fashionista.

One of the largest independent fashion news sites, Fashionista is one of the most influential voices in the fashion industry. The news site began ranking schools in 2010 in order to help future students determine which program is best for them.

Stephens is among a list of schools located in fashion capitols such as London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. 

To compile the rankings, Fashinista surveyed thousands of past and present students, considered the quality of faculty and tracked where alumnae are working.

“We are continually inspired by the high-caliber designs of our students, and are proud of the work our alumnae are doing around the world,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “We’re thrilled others recognize the quality of our program.”

The ranking is just one measure indicating the success of the fashion program at Stephens, which recently took another step toward becoming a member school of the Council for Fashion Designers of America.

Earlier this month, McMurry and Associate Professor Kirsteen Buchanan presented at a CFDA conference for member schools in New York. The event challenged educators to discuss fashion as it relates to the 10 key principles of the CFDA. McMurry and Buchanan were asked to talk about respect within the fashion industry. At Stephens, McMurry said during the presentation, students are encouraged to respect the past by examining and exploring historical garments in the Stephens Costume Museum. Additionally, the school also embraces a culture of respect in regards to sustainability: each year, students create garments from recycled goods to promote awareness for issues such as fair trade, human trafficking and breast cancer.

Stephens has also received attention from Cotton Inc. Last semester, Cotton Inc. awarded the College with a grant to create a new course in textile print. The Pattern to Print class is documenting its progress on a blog that will be added to the list of “Cotton on Your Campus” section of

The grant, ongoing partnership with CFDA and recognition from Fashionista are indicators that the School of Fashion and Design at Stephens continues to have a worldwide reputation.

“Stephens has been known for its fashion program for decades,” McMurry said. “It’s only getting stronger. We’re confident we’ll continue to play an even more significant role in fashion education in the future.”

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