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Pratt Institute

Charles Pratt, an oil industrialist and philanthropist, founded Pratt Institute to ensure that future generations would have access to educational opportunities in creative and artistic fields. As one of the first colleges to offer classes to all men and women, with¬out regard to race, religion, or gender, Pratt established Brooklyn’s first free public library. Charles Pratt’s legacy carries on today through the work and dedication of his descendants, who continue to contribute and maintain the institution’s commitment to academic advancement and excellence.

Pratt is also home to the first fashion design program in the United States. Pratt’s Fashion Department offers students a concept-led, craft-based education at the heart of one of the world's cultural epicenters. Fashion education at Pratt Institute is trans-disciplinary in nature, closely allied with illustration, photography, film, performance, visual studies, and material culture. The practice of fashion is taught as one’s cultural embodiment within a social framework and learned through rigorous attention to production, craft, and contemporary aesthetics.

Students build a vision and a language through conceptual processes emphasizing curiosity, imagination, improvisation, and play. Museums, archives, and design studios familiarize students with design processes and histories; internships at top design companies such as Zero Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan offer hands-on experience and professional networking. 

All Pratt fashion students participate in annual design competitions sponsored by the CFDA and YMA FSF; competitions sponsored by companies such as Cotton Incorporated and Supima Cotton are integrated into the curriculum, providing avenues for scholarship support, and exposure within the fashion community. Public critiques with faculty, peers, and outside design authorities help students crystallize and articulate their design visions. 

A mandate to show work publicly - in gallery environments, on the street, in showrooms - instills appreciation for the true spectacle of fashion. 
Graduates carry the hallmarks of the department into the working world, where they are recognized for a commitment to ingenuity, authenticity, creativity, and personal vision.

Their creative approach both reflects and challenges the needs of contemporary culture. Additionally, they will exhibit the informed versatility required to work in a broad range of the fashion industry from the commercial to the avant-garde. Students will be able to design, produce and progressively present, cohesive, contemporary and authentic collections.

In 2011, the Department of Fashion relocated to the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center, which also houses three of Pratt’s distinct design departments: Communications Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design. This multidisciplinary complex fosters collaboration and exploration across all areas of design.

The space occupied by the Department of Fashion features glass-fronted classrooms and studios that allow students in other departments or stages in their fashion design education to watch their peers at work and be inspired by the techniques, materials, and processes they employ.

Each year Pratt students showcase extraordinary talent at the Pratt Fashion Show, which demonstrates the Department of Fashion’s commitment to providing a superlative academic experience. At Pratt’s 114th annual fashion show, renowned American designer Thom Browne received the 2013 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award and Pratt Institute's senior class of 17 fashion designers presented stunning, original runway collections at a sold-out venue in Manhattan that included fashion press and industry insiders.

The show provided the graduating seniors with a platform to design, produce, and present cohesive and progressive collections that were pre-selected by a panel of industry experts. Representing a myriad of designs with distinct voices, collections ranged from five to eleven looks; all textile prints, surface applications, and embellishments were designed and hand-applied by each student. Structured silhouettes, futuristic patterns, and unique fabrics appeared on the runway and displayed technical and creative strength.

Pratt annually honors distinguished individuals in the industry at its fashion show. Past recipients include Fern Mallis (2012), Hamish Bowles (2011), Catherine Malandrino (2010), Ralph Rucci (2009), Carmen Marc Valvo (2008), Narcisco Rodriguez (2007), and Diane von Furstenberg (2006). Funding for the 2013 Pratt Fashion Show was awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt Institute by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated.




    Pratt Institute



    NY 11205, US