Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) was founded in February 1959 with the original name as Beijing Institute of Textile Technology. In 1961, it was renamed Beijing Institute of Chemical Fiber Engineering, which was a key academic institution specializing in chemical fiber research and education affiliated to the Ministry of Textiles. The name is changed in February 1987 into Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology after the school’s restructuring and expansion. BIFT is the first specialist institute for fashion design and engineering in China.
BIFT now has nine academic schools for full time undergraduate education: School of Fashion & Engineering, School of Fashion Accessory Art & Engineering, School of Material Science & Engineering, School of Art & Design, School of Fashion Communication, School of Business, School of Information Engineering, School of Languages & Cultures, and School of Fine Arts. In addition, there are other schools/departments in BIFT: Basic Science Courses Faculty, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, Graduate School, School of International Education and School of Extended Education. Approximately 9000 students are studying in BIFT – around 1000 of which are Masters and PhD candidates. BIFT runs a doctoral program themed on “the Rescue, Inheritance and Design Innovation of Traditional Chinese Costume Culture” – a doctoral project sponsored by the government to meet its urgent need for talents in certain special subjects.
BIFT has a number of national characteristic specialty construction bases, national innovative teaching demonstration centers, national experimental zones for innovation of talent training model, and key disciplinary programs sponsored by Beijing municipal government. BIFT has nearly 300 national or municipal off-campus talent cultivation bases. BIFT is also the home to the renowned Ethnic Costume Museum, which is one of the top ten specialized museums in China. The museum has a collection of over 10,000 pieces of ethnic costumes, accessories, textiles, batiks and embroideries, for the purpose of exhibition, research and teaching.
BIFT has built a first-class teaching team composed of high profile full-time and part-time faculties. Many faculty members are leading experts and scholars in their areas such as fashion fabrics, accessory materials, fashion design, accessory design, fashion & accessory engineering, product design, fashion business, fashion management, fashion communication, etc. A number of them enjoy special government subsidies provided by the State Council. Several others have engaged in municipal elite projects, cultivation plan of Great Wall Scholarship winners or awarded elite scholars of new century by Ministry of Education and the award for top 10 Chinese designers. BIFT has also invited a number of world famous experts to be guest professors, including those academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (such as Professors Jiang Shicheng, Wan Lijun, Yu Jianyong, and Wang Zhonglin), fellows of Royal Society of Arts (UK), fellows of International Textile Association, Professor Fan Jintu (Director of Textile & Costume Design in Connell University, USA), Professor Frances Corner (PVC of London University of Arts and president of London Institute of Fashion UK), Professor Jane Replay (ex-PVC of London University of Arts and ex-president of Central St Martin Design Institute, UK), Professor Wille Water (ex-director of undergraduate school in Central St Martin Design Institute, UK), several high profile scholars (such as Shan Qixiang, Chang Shana, Wang Shouzhi, and Wang Yarong), and famous designers and entrepreneurs (such as Mao Jihong, Chen Yekui and Guo Pei). BIFT has also appointed dozens of Chinese national artists (such as Li Chunke and Wen Qiangang) as part-time supervisors. Furthermore, BIFT has Professor Carol Ann Priest (ex-PVC and ex-Dean of Faculty of Arts Design & Built Environment in Nottingham Trent University) as the Head of School of Accessory Arts & Engineering and Ms. Xiaoli Wu (famous media personnel and presenter of Hong Kong Phoenix TV) as head of School of Fashion Communication.
Adhered to the visionary administrative philosophy of “Seeking Truth and Innovation, Applying Theory to Practice”, BIFT sets up BIFTPark for Innovation - part of the fourth round of Zhongguancun Hi-tech City construction project. This initiative demonstrates an exemplary and pioneering entrepreneurship in fashion and design industry. BIFT has proactively contributed to both textile & fashion industry and cultural & creative industry. BIFT has launched deep strategic collaboration with industrial zones in the cities of Jinjiang (Fujian Province), Qingdao (Shandong Province), Rongcheng (Hebei Province), Yulin (Shannxi Province), Ningbo/Jiaxing/Haining (Zhejiang Province) and Wuzhong (Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region). BIFT has also closely collaborated with a handful of leading companies in the sector, such as Chenfeng Group (Jiangsu Province), Aimer/Bailing/Yiwen (Beijing), Yager/Caihongzhang (Zhejiang Province), Anta/Qipai/361º/Seven Wolves (Fujian Province) and Nanshan/Jifa Groups (Shandong Province). Several research and development units have been set up, including BIFT-Aimer Ergonomic Research Center, 361º-BIFT High Performance Sportswear Design & Research Center, BIFT-Nanshan Chinese Professional Attires Research Center, to name but a few. Moreover, There are several research units operating at BIFT sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Beijing municipal government respectively, which include Chinese Fashion Research Institute, Chinese Life-style Design & Research Institute, Chinese Fashion Science & Technology Research Institute, Arts & Culture Research Institute, Beijing Key Laboratory for Research, Development & Evaluation of Clothing Materials, Beijing Key Laboratory of Digital and Interactive Media, Beijing Research Base of Philosophy & Social Sciences --- Capital Costume Culture & Fashion Industry, Beijing Technology Transference Center for Fashion Industry, Research Center of Beijing Digitalization Project in Fashion Industry, BIFT Apparel Product Safety Research and Test Center, National School Uniform Design Center, Beijing School Uniform Design Center, Research Center of Beijing Textile Nanofiber Technology, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Clothing Ergonomics and Functionally Innovative Design.
BIFT sets up its unique fashion education system through combining art and engineering with business administration, integrating ethnic fashion culture with contemporary design philosophy, and applying theory to practice. Through high quality talent cultivation, cultural inheritance & innovation, science & technology innovation, international collaboration, BIFT has played a key role in serving the society by promoting education and innovation in fashion design and cultural & creative industries. In recent years, BIFT’s faculty designed the uniforms and costumes for Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008, and the clothing for general public taking part in China’s 60th National Day mass parade in 2009. BIFT also participated in designing the space suits for the astronauts in Shenzhou Seven/Nine/Ten/Eleven Spacecraft, including the design of the space suits and the shoes worn in the Spacecraft. BIFT has carried out other design innovation projects such as designing expedition watch for Chinese polar explorers.
Moreover, BIFT participated in designing clothes for Chinese athletes entering for 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. In particular, BIFT designed Chinese-style outfits for participants of the 2014 APEC Summit, which won high praise from the leaders of the central government and the Party, as well as from all walks of life.
BIFT is dedicated to the teaching and research on contemporary lifestyle design as well as the preservation, inheritance and innovation of ethnic costume culture. Since the start of the 12th Five-Year Plan, BIFT has carried out nearly 1000 national or municipal research projects, 28 of which have won the national or municipal awards, including winning the National Science and Technology Awards for three years in a row. To name but a few, the project themed on “key technology and commercialization of PTT and PET polymerization and its synthetic fiber nanocomposite” led by Professor Rui WANG won the second prize of National Science and Technology Advance Award in 2016. BIFT students have always been outstanding in all domestic and international fashion design competitions. The students majoring in fashion, accessory, jewelry and art design have won more than 100 gold and silver medals in national and international competitions, including America’s AOF international competition and Hempel Cup Awards organized by Chinese Designers Association. In particular, six out of the eight Chinese finalists of the HRD International Diamond Jewelry Design Competition were from BIFT (44 pieces of artwork were selected from more than 1,000 submissions of finalists). In addition, BIFT is a national leader in catwalk performance education. Students have achieved outstanding accomplishments in both national and international model competitions over the years. Students’ achievements include one Miss World 2nd Runner Up, two Miss China World titles, champions and runner ups in China Super Model Contests, and other international and national competitions.
BIFT is a university based in capital city with a national coverage and a global outlook, always standing at the forefront of fashion education. Committed to “internationalization”, BIFT has established collaborations and working partnerships with more than 40 overseas fashion institutions, which include University of Arts London, Fashion Institute of Technology of New York, New York's Parsons School of Design, Connell University (USA), The Politecnico di Milano (Italy), ESMOD Paris, Bunka Gakuem University (Japan), Antwerp University (Belgium), Royal Academy of Arts (Australia), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), Durban University of Technology (South Africa), and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. BIFT has also established working partnerships with organizations like Commission for the Promotion of Peruvian Exports and Tourism, the local government of Kielce City in Poland, Macau Productivity and Technology Transference Center.
The unique strength and characteristics of BIFT has strongly demonstrated traditional Chinese culture and promoted its revival, inheritance and communication. BIFT has made a distinctive contribution to the advancement of Chinese textile, design, fashion, culture and creative industries through talent cultivation and promoting industrial development. In 2016, BIFT was labeled as China’s best fashion institute in Global Fashion School Rankings published by the British magazine Business of Fashion . BIFT’s undergraduate program was among the best in the world. BIFT’s Master degree program was ranked 2nd for its long-term value in Global Fashion School Rankings 2016. BIFT has now become a nationally regarded and internationally renowned higher education institution specializing in fashion with Chinese characteristics.