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Discovering Fashion Design

July 14-20, 2024

Fashion students

About the Fashion Design Program

Discovering Fashion Design

Fashion Design is a creative process that merges self-expression with problem-solving. With a focus on research, sustainability, craft, and technology, this one-week program will introduce you to a carefully curated curriculum consisting of lectures, demonstrations, studio work, guest speakers, and field trips to the local design communities within Philadelphia. You will develop an understanding of the creative process through lectures and hands-on studio classes. The classes focus on innovative projects to expand your portfolio with fashion illustration, technical sketching, draping, print design, natural silk dyeing, and digital applications for machine knitting and CLO 3D design. Lectures and field trips focus on sustainable approaches to fashion design. This one-week residential opportunity will immerse you in the fashion world while offering you an actual preview of our studio fashion design courses.

Apply Online (Application deposit required with application, payable with Credit Card)

Fabric dyeing

1-Week, Residential Program Format:

The studio as the Focus: The design studio is the heart of our program. After lectures and demonstrations, we will have time in the studio to experiment and work on projects, translating research into apparel design concepts. Studio time involves sketching from live models, draping on full & half scale forms, sketching print surface design, bundle-dyeing fabric using organic materials and creating technical flat sketches to create the essentials for a fashion portfolio.

Learning fashion illustration

Technology as a Tool: Faculty will introduce students to Shima Seiki’s Apex computer knitwear design simulation and Clo-3D Fashion Design software with demonstrations and studio time learning the applications used in the apparel industry. As part of the portfolio building, you will also work with Adobe Photoshop for mood boards, color stories, and textile print design development.

Students learning Shima Seiki machine 

Lectures for Deeper Understanding: Lecturers from Drexel’s faculty and industry professionals will give you an overview of historic costume and its relationship with fashion, sustainable and responsible design methods, illustration building croquis and rendering garment types, textile and print surface development, the many ways designers use digital technology in the industry and portfolio presentation techniques.

Fashion students using Clo software  

Explorations for Discovery & Inspiration: During the week, we will participate in field trips visiting luxury clothing boutiques, sustainable fabric stores, design studios and art museums and catching up with industry leaders to “chat with designers” to better understand the designer’s role in innovation.

Fashion students on a field trip

General Information

Eligibility: We welcome high school students who have completed their sophomore year by July and are at least 16 years of age before the program start. We encourage anyone excited about design to apply, limiting the program to 18 students.

Faculty: The fashion design program faculty from the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design have developed an exciting curriculum for the pre-college program. The faculty will be assisted by teaching assistants attending university or recently graduating who have first-hand knowledge of student life and the fashion design program.

Program Outcomes: Students who complete the 1-week program will receive a certificate of participation and take away the foundations to build a diverse student portfolio. The students will produce original design projects and digital artwork of their 3D renderings & knitwear simulations. They will also gain insight into the many diverse careers opportunities available in the fashion industry while creating a network of contacts from the Philadelphia design community.

Residential Program Registration and Payment: You may apply by completing the online application and submitting a 300-word personal statement about your interest in the fashion design industry. A copy of your school transcript is required; please send it to

Residential Program Tuition:


The tuition of $2,250.00 covers all program related expenses including:

    • Supervised accommodations in residence halls​
    • Three meals a day​
    • Classes, seminars, and lectures/guest speakers​
    • Supplies and materials​
    • Academic field Trips​
    • Use of resources and library​
    • Recreational field trips and social events​
    • Cultural events and planned leisure activities​
    • The opportunity to interact with professional fashion designers and fashion design faculty​
    • The opportunity to meet other high school students from across the globe who are also interested in Fashion Design​
    • Drexel shuttle and busing for field trips

Dates: July 14th-20th 

Residential Program Total Cost: $2,250.00

Deposit: $300.00 

Balance Payment: balance payment of $1950, due by June 21st, 2024

Your application and a deposit of $300 are required. Upon acceptance, your deposit is nonrefundable. Your deposit will be returned if you are not accepted into the program. We will email you a link to make the balance payment of $1950, which is due by June 21st, 2024. No refunds will be made once the program begins.

How soon will you hear from us? All applications are reviewed and notified within three weeks from receipt. Admissions decisions are based on your commitment to exploring fashion design and academic preparation. Enrollment is limited and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Questions? E-mail Cindy Golembuski at

Fashion students at the Philadelphia Museum of Art