Fashion schools are graduating more students than ever before — enrollment has increased by 34% in the last decade, and over the same period the number of design degrees granted by the top three U.S. institutions has grown by 40%. At the same time, studies project that the fashion industry in the U.S. will continue to shrink overall, with some continued potential for growth in the very competitive high-end sector. So what are all those graduates going to do? And why are they trying to get into a dying industry in the first place?
Former fashion week head Fern Mallis wonders if it has something to do with reality T.V. "I hate to fault somebody for being overly ambitious but I think that with the advent of Project Runway and all the reality TV, everybody thinks they can be a designer and have their own label the minute they're out of school when they sew two pieces of fabric together," says Mallis, who has a long history of appearing as a judge on such shows, including Project Runway. "[Because of] the proliferation of reality TV shows around fashion…you get a lot of students who just want to participate in this program because they want to be on TV or be a celebrity," says the head of the fashion design program at Pratt, Jennifer Minnitti.
Is Project Runway Bad for the Fashion Industry? Calvin Klein, Fern Mallis and More Weigh In – Fashionista: Fashion Industry News, Designers, Runway Shows, Style Advice