Bunka Fashion College - Main Building  photo by nesnad

Bunka Fashion College – Main Building photo by nesnad

Bunka fashion college is Japan’s most respected and progressive fashion design school and has been one of the main leaders in International Fashion Design education for more than eighty years.
The College was founded in 1919 by Isaburo Namiki as a small dressmaking school for girls called Namiki Dressmaking School. In1923, it became the first authorised vocational college of fashion. It contributed to popularising western style garments among the Japanese through education and publication of books on dressmaking and fashion. In 1936, the name of the school changed to Bunka Fashion College and began publishing Japan’s first fashion magazine : So-en.

First issue of SOEN magazine

First issue of SOEN magazine

The school has now grown to over 70 campuses throughout Japan with it’s headquarters located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and publishes a second fashion magazine called High Fashion.

Bunka is known for it’s innovative curriculum that trains and prepares the budding fashion designer to adjust to the progressive fashion industry and the new technologies that are developing. Fashion in Japan is serious business and Bunka’s curriculum reflects that. Apart from the traditional foundation of fashion design classes such as basic pattern-making, history and drawing; the curriculum also includes complimentary subjects on textile chemistry, computer-aided design, fashion business and visual merchandising. Also providing real-life industry experiences for the students such as working in an actual factory setting to experience mass production first-hand.
This expansive school specialises in fashion design and related disciplines and delivers excellence through its strict curriculum and heavy workload. Which may be why so many of the school’s students who have cultivated their skills there have gone on to become leaders in international fashion and have been making great contributions to the fashion industry. Some Bunka’s most prominent fashion designers are Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto.

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto

In 2009, the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) selected the Bunka Fashion College to join as chair for the institute for two consecutive terms. A high honour for any fashion school as the IFFTI consists of 34 member schools from 17 countries, with world renowned fashion schools such as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and Central St. Martins College and Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.

In 2012, Bunka Gakuen University, the neighboring institute of higher education linked with the college, opened a Masters level course in Fashion Studies aimed at foreign students. This course is called the Global Fashion Concentration and is taught completely in English.
Currently the college has four main departments under which students can choose their area of specialist training;

Garment Creation
In two years gain a general ability and knowledge of garment creation including fashion design, pattern making, sewing, illustration etc.

Intensive Garment Creation
This is a course that is specially for graduates of specialized vocational schools, junior colleges, or universities. It is a practical one year course where students learn the process from design conception to pattern, pattern development, sewing, coordination, and product development.

Advanced Course
Established as an advanced course, this course will develop high level specialist skills to suit the individual aims of each student.

Fashion Design
Aiming to produce highly skilled designers by improving creativity and an ability to express ideas.

Fashion Creation Technique
Aims to produce technicians who have high level sewing and pattern making skills.

Haute Couture
Learn high level skills and develop a sound knowledge of appropriate garment creation for each individual customer’s preferences, objectives and body figures.

Evening Program Garment Creation
The same curriculum as Garment Creation Course( 2 years held during the daytime).
※International students can not apply for this course unless they have a long-term visa or working visa.



Creative Design(Advanced Diploma)
In order to understand the overall process from the planning stage to sales strategy in the apparel industry, students learn the basics of garment creation in their first and second year. In their third and fourth year they develop specialized knowledge through collaborations and internships with external corporations.

Foundations of Fashion Technology
Students gain basic knowledge and skills for garment creation. The course is divided in to four courses from the second year.

Creative Apparel Design
For those students aiming to become designers and creators who can succeed in the global era.
※Men’s wear elective course is available upon entering third year

Apparel Design Technique
Develop high level pattern making knowledge and teachniques.
※It is possible to select the production systems course upon entering third year

Industrial Merchandising (tentative)
Creates graduates who are able to manage a business, project and a brand.

Knitwear Design
Gain a broad knowledge of knitwear and cut-sew to be applied to the field of knit apparel.



Global Business Design
A specific concept is set for each year of the course with the purpose of creating entrepreneurs who have a business focussed way of thinking. The first and second year will develop student’s project planning ability and through internships in the third and fourth year students will focus on their own graduation project.

Foundations of Styling and Distribution
Learn the fundamentals of fashion and fashion marketing and distribution in first year. In second year the course is divided in to five courses and students develop their own areas of specialization and become ready to enter the industry.

Fashion Styling
Students will develop creativity and communication skills to be a professional in their field of expertise.

Fashion Advising
Producing sales service professionals who have high level product knowledge and coordination skills.

Retail Planning
Learn retail shop planning and management.

Fashion Modeling
Aiming to produce well rounded models who can work for magazines, TV and shows.

Fashion Make up
Producing hair and make professionals.

Contemporary Retail Management
This course is for university, junior college and tertiary college graduates. Learn in a short time specialized skills in fashion business through practical learning.

Advanced Course
The fashion marketing and distribution course was established as an advanced course and seeks to produce graduates with highly specialized skills.

Fashion Directing
Seeks to realize the dreams of students which are based on their individual interests.

Fashion Retail Management
Gain skills equivalent to the level of a store manager through practical training at world leading apparel stores.

Fashion Media
Students learn how to use media to promote and convey fashion.

Evening Program Foundations of Styling and Distribution
In first year learn the fundamentals of fashion marketing, distribution, and retail. In the second year learn through marketing how to give presentations and prepare project proposals related to retail marketing and distribution.
※International students can not apply for this course unless they have a long-term visa or working visa.




Fashion Textiles
Students learn how to make original goods and how to plan distribution routes and production costs. They will gain specialized knowledge related to processing methods, a wide variety of raw materials, textile processing, printing, and tye-dyeing.

Foundations of Fashion Accessories
Students learn in first year the basics of each goods and in the second year the coure is divided in to each area of specialization.

Millinery and Jewelry Design
Producing creatros who can propose new items and contribute to product improvement.

Bag Design
This course aims to train bag designers with advanced knowledge and techniques.

Footwear Design
Creating originality and creativity while remaining concious of the market.

For more information on the courses provided by Bunka Fashion schools and how to apply, visit their website

The Bunka Fashion Graduate University (BFGU), founded on Bunka Gakuen’s achievements and know-how which has come from its involvement in fashion education in Japan for 90 years, partnership with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in 1995, when its students were invited to create designs using the Swarovski crystals and were first exhibited at the celebration to mark Swarovski’s 100th anniversary.

Daphne Mohajer-Va-Pesaran - Imperfect Mandala

Daphne Mohajer-Va-Pesaran – Imperfect Mandala

Daphne Mohajer-Va-Pesaran - Imperfect Mandala

Daphne Mohajer-Va-Pesaran – Imperfect Mandala

The main objective of Bunka Fashion College is to reveal and nurture the individuality and aesthetic sense of each student. These students will go on to build strong international relationships and become people with great problem-solving skills and will play important roles in the international scene as global citizens.
For the future, we believe that building up the closer relations with the fashion industry will make the world-wide network, which is based on the long history, closer.

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