HEAD: Univ.-Prof. Grace Wales Bonner BA

The Fashion Design programme encourages students to develop their creative style and artistic vision while gaining essential technical, communication, and research skills. In one-to-one and group tutorials, and through the artistic guidance of the internationally acclaimed fashion designers at the helm of the department, students explore the critical potential of fashion between materiality, corporeality, and concept.

The central artistic subject focuses on developing a holistic design vision by exploring traditional European fashion knowledge in dialogue with a global cultural heritage and an awareness of sustainable design choices. The Fashion Design programme is a mostly studio-based course and emphasizes creative self-discovery rooted in an extensive research practice supported by conceptual tutelage and technical guidance to achieve design objectives. With the possibility to specialize in womenswear, menswear or non-binary fashion, students are equipped with a technical knowledge of the specialist skills and techniques required to translate their ideas into designed outcomes.

The curriculum comprises traditional pattern cutting and construction skills alongside digital skills and techniques. Students benefit from a state-of-the-art, industry-standard sewing atelier, knitting atelier and a spacious studio with a personal work space for each student. Students are given the possibility to work in professionally equipped studio spaces and workshops both within the Fashion Department and other departments of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

In the diverse range of lectures, seminars, and courses, students acquire design process, concept and presentation skills while learning about historical and contemporary fashion and exploring the fashion system and its contexts. The curriculum provides training in fashion drawing, technical drawing for fashion, fashion communication, fashion business, fashion history, and fashion theory.

The Fashion Department initiates interdisciplinary collaborations within the University of Applied Arts Viennaand fosters co-operations with partners across fashion, graphic design, photography, cultural studies, and visual arts. The Fashion Department has forged strong alliances with companies that support the next generation of fashion talent in the development of their collections and in projects revolving around materials and fabrics.

The unique curriculum at the Fashion Department is not only distinguished by its personally-tailored education but also by its changing professorship at the head of the department, which allows students to become familiar with different established positions within the fashion system. Since the early 1980s, the department has been led by internationally renowned fashion designers such as, among others, Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Raf Simons, Vivienne Westwood, Viktor & Rolf, Bernhard Willhelm, Hussein Chalayan, Lucie and Luke Meier, with Grace Wales Bonner as professor at the head of Fashion since 2020.

Graduates of the Fashion Department have founded their own labels, such as Bless, house of the very island’s, Wendy Jim, Petar Petrov, Femme Maison, Sagan Vienna, Kenneth Ize, and others. Others occupy leading positions in the fashion industry, working for brands such as Balenciaga, Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Raf Simons, OAMC, Prada, Comme des Garçons or Maison Margiela.