The influential blog and web site Fashionista has named Oregon State University one of the top 20 best fashion programs in the nation.

OSU's fashion and apparel students are located in the School of Design and Human Environment, which boasts more than 700 majors. The program is led by Leslie Burns, who last year was named to the board of directors of Portland's Center for Design and Innovation. 

With graduates employed in the Portland area and alums working in all of Oregon’s major apparel companies, OSU is a major player in Portland's growing apparel industry. More recently, the OSU Design Network was created as a collaboration between Department of Design and Human Environment and the OSU Alumni Association to foster networking between creative apparel and design alums and current students.

In fact, the editors at Fashionista specifically called out OSU's relationships with apparel industry, particularly in the area of "sports and heritage" apparel as a key reason for its ranking on the list, saying: "The design and merchandising programs at OSU are feeders for Nike, Pendleton, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, and Eddie Bauer, all of which are headquartered in the outdoorsy Pacific Northwest."

In addition to hosting a new OSU Design Network event in Portland, the apparel program also puts on two fashion shows each year on campus, including a recycled fashion show and a spring show that showcases the best and brightest of student designs. A video of the Spring 2011 show, Equinox: Where Dark Meets Light, is shown here.

Angela Yeager | OSU News & Research Communications