Handbag and Purse Design Schools in the U.S.
Handbag and purse designers create handbags and purses for accessory and apparel manufacturers and retailers. Many purse designers start their own businesses after completing a fashion design undergraduate degree.
Selecting a Handbag and Purse Design School
Colleges and universities in the U.S. typically don't offer degree programs in handbag and purse design alone. Schools may offer a bachelor's degree in fashion design or a bachelor's degree in fine arts, each of which may include a concentration in purse design.
Bachelor's degree programs in fashion design may include just one or several handbag and purse designing courses. Students looking to specialize in purse design may want to consider schools whose handbag design classes provide the range of skills needed to develop a professional portfolio and obtain jobs. Courses that focus specifically on handbag design include purse construction, zippered handbags, sports bags and purse assembly. Other typical purse designing coursework includes computer-aided design (CAD) programs, drawing, patternmaking and materials.
Schools offering purse design courses typically provide internships and cooperative education assignments with apparel manufacturers and retailers. Students might consider schools that have a history of providing work experiences with employers that specialize in designing, producing and marketing handbags.
Aspiring purse designers might look for programs with business courses because many designers are self-employed as contractors and freelancers. Some fashion design schools offer business classes relevant to handbag design, including Internet marketing, retail marketing and family businesses.
Students might consider schools with labs and studios that include the latest versions of software, such as Lectra Romans CAD, which is used to design and produce accessories such as handbags. Schools that sponsor accessory design contests or encourage participation in industry-sponsored competitions foster the professional development of purse and handbag design students.
Largest Fashion Design Colleges by Student Enrollment
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|Arizona State University||67,082||4-year, public|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, public|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||40,354||4-year, public|
|University of California - Los Angeles||38,220||4-year, public|
|University of North Texas||34,830||4-year, public|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||32,044||4-year, public|
|University of Cincinnati - Main Campus||29,617||4-year, public|
|Texas Tech University||28,422||4-year, public|
|Iowa State University||26,856||4-year, public|
|University of Kentucky||26,054||4-year, public|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||25,835||4-year, public|
|Kent State University - Kent Campus||22,944||4-year, public|
|Northern Arizona University||22,502||4-year, public|
|Drexel University||21,532||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|University of Delaware||20,500||4-year, public|
|Montclair State University||17,457||4-year, public|
|University of Alaska - Anchorage||16,649||4-year, public|
|Western Washington University||14,620||4-year, public|
|Baylor University||14,541||4-year, private not-for-profit|
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