The curriculum for a bachelor's program usually includes advanced fashion business courses that teach students how to use marketing techniques for store displays and other promotional materials, select the right merchandise for sale, measure customer demand and price products. Students also gain an understanding of the cultural impact on fashion throughout history and learn how to test textiles for quality.
The use of computer applications for merchandising is also examined, and students participate in fashion design studios. At the master's degree level, many of these topics are further discussed, and research projects and a thesis are commonly included. Students may also gain practical experience through advanced internships.
Here are some of the main concepts taught in fashion design and merchandising technology courses:
- Cultural impact on fashion
- Fashion trends in history
- Product displays
- Retail and market trends
- Pricing and promotion
- Seasonal designs
- Impact of consumer demand
- Fashion buying for different markets
List of Courses
Visual Merchandising Presentation Course
During this course, the curriculum emphasizes methods for constructing interior and exterior store displays for marketing purposes. Visual merchandising trends and concepts and the relationship between the tools used in displays and design elements are generally covered. Students obtain hands-on experience through experiments with different forms of media and class projects and may even conduct field research.
Fashion and Culture Course
Using an interdisciplinary perspective, students research the cultural, social and psychological factors impacting concepts of physical appearance. They gain a global viewpoint by surveying the way different cultures use clothing and personal style as a means of communication. The roles historical and philosophical values have played in shaping different cultural views on fashion are typically explored as well.
Fashion Buying Course
Through this course, students are meant to become proficient in merchandising theory. Common course topics include buyer responsibilities, selecting merchandise, pricing, techniques for measuring customer demand and retailing procedures. Students may learn advanced buying strategies that equip them with skills in effectively responding to in-season changes in the fashion industry.
Textile Performance Course
Students gain an understanding of industry, government and buyer standards for textiles that have been set to help ensure customer satisfaction. They discuss testing methods used to determine textile quality. They also learn how to interpret the meaning of test results in terms of performance and customer expectations.
Computer-Aided Design and Merchandising Course
This course focuses on technological advancements utilized by fashion merchandisers and designers; specifically, it explores the way various computer software programs have revolutionized how products are manufactured and designed. Students learn how computer design can be a powerful asset in advertising a retail business or brand. They examine the branding process and learn how to create marketing materials using computer software programs.