SAIC's groundbreaking Master of Design (MDes) in Fashion, Body and Garment moves beyond the merging of fine art with fashion design to explore the body in motion, on show, in suspension, in conversation, and immersed in the world.

Uniquely situated within a vibrant contemporary school of art and design associated with a world-famous museum of art and design, this intensive, two-year Master of Design in Fashion program begins with an investigation of the intimate relationship of garment as second skin and expands to the exploration of fashion within the context of community, sustainability, technology, and the industry.

Students gain practical experience through dedicated design studios, topical seminars, self-directed research, and technical labs, bolstered by required design history and theory courses. In the final year, students may take coursework from across SAIC's acclaimed studio departments—Sculpture, Performance, Art and Technology Studies—to complement and support their design practice.

Each year of study yields a distilled collection or body of work that is exhibited in a way that fulfills each student's particular research and design direction, and each student presents a final collection or body of work at the conclusion of the program as a thesis project.

Connections and Innovations

Students engage directly with the department’s internationally renowned faculty of fashion innovators, including premier visionary Nick Cave and designer Liat Smetstad. The required Professional Practice Seminars introduce students to business strategies, marketing, and designer-branding concepts.

Graduates from the Fashion, Body and Garment program are extremely mobile and responsive practitioners in the contemporary design world, working in design studios and showrooms, as well as displaying their work within gallery settings, installations, performances, and theatrical productions.

Specialized Resources

SAIC's Fashion Resource Center is a vital, hands-on collection of late 20th- and 21st-century designer garments and accessories representative of extreme innovation. The collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Visiting Artists Program's ambitious lecture series, the large-scale annual fashion shows at SAIC, Fashion Week in Chicago, and the many design initiatives underway at SAIC provide a wellspring of possibility for a graduate student championing far-flung notions of fashion.

SAIC's Fashion Design program is housed in the redesigned, expansive space within the Sullivan Center, the building originally designed by Louis Sullivan is 1899 and the home of the Carson Pirie Scott department store in Chicago until 2007. Graduate students have designated studios within a shared workspace. Click here for a full list of resources offered by the department.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MDes in Fashion, Body and Garment faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or