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High School of Fashion Industries

The High School of Fashion Industries is the only high school of its kind in eastern United States. Our occupational curriculum devotes itself entirely to the world of fashion from styling and design through business and marketing.

Representatives from the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (nationally recognized organization associated with the University of California and the U.S. Department of Education) wrote after a visit to our school: "Students we observed in classes and spoke with in groups were self-confident and motivated. They expressed great pride in their school, respect and admiration for their teachers, ad a strong sense of commitment to their education. They clearly felt a sense of connection to the school and the school family. Students who plan to pursue careers related to the occupational focus of the school felt they were receiving a first rate education for these pursuits; students who planned on careers unrelated to the specific focus felt they were receiving strong academic preparation as well as valuable work skills… The teachers and administration we observed and met were dedicated and innovative…Students told us of teachers working with them before school, after school and on lunch hours…."

The Board of Education and the Manhattan Superintendency often refer visitors to our school. As result, in recent years, Fashion has hosted visiting educators from Denmark, Austria, Turkey and Japan as well as from several states in this country. Recently, vocational educators from all over New York State visited fashion. As a result of their visit, Fashion was one of four schools selected to be featured in a video on occupational education in New York. Needless to say, the skills of our teachers and the talents of our students impressed all visitors to our school.

For the last several years, The New York Times survey of school performance gave Fashion the highest "five box" rating, indicating that students at our school far outperform students in similar schools. While all such press reports must be taken with a grain of salt, this is a public acknowledgement of a fine job done by our faculty. For the past four years, over 90% of the junior class met the New York State performance standards in language arts and mathematics. About half of these students entered fashion with below average score in reading and mathematics

Brief History of Fashion

Fashion had its origins in 1926 in a garment center loft on West 31 Street. Its initial purpose was to train a work force for the many different trades of the fashion industries. Most of its students were immigrants or children of immigrants who were trying to make new lives for themselves in a new country. As part of a WPA project, construction of a new school was begun in 1938. In 1941, Central Needle Trades High School—opened its doors. It’s curriculum was almost entirely vocational, stressing sewing, machine work, and fashion design. It had many ties to the labor movement in New York, as illustrated in the landmark murals in the auditorium.

The school changed as the fashion industry of New York changed. It adopted its present name in 1956 to reflect the new variety of vocational majors offered. Majors in fur manufacturing, haberdashery, upholstery, shoe manufacture and repair, foundation wear, have come and gone over the years. Today, a student may major in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Textile and Interior Design, Illustration and Graphics, or Jewelry Design. In addition, our academic program prepares all students for the new Regents graduation standards and the rigors of post secondary education.

Our school’s advisory board, the Fashion Crafts Educational Commission, helps keeps us up-to-date and supports the school and students through various scholarship programs. In addition, in recent years that school had developed many ties with the fashion business community in New York City and local colleges. These external resources have enabled us to enrich the education we provide our students.

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