Fashion design and marketing BFA degree programs provide theoretical instruction in the field and access to labs where students can apply industry-standard tools, materials and techniques. Students practice working individually and collaboratively with fellow students on group projects. Some programs offer field experience opportunities, while other schools have promotional labs where students can gain hands-on experience building fashion marketing campaigns. Most programs take four years to complete. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design & Marketing
In addition to completing general education requirements in subjects like math and English, students gain a broad understanding of the creative and business aspects of the fashion industry. Basic courses in fashion design, such as drawing, draping and construction, serve as a foundation for business and marketing classes, which often cover market research, consumer behavior, fashion buying and materials sourcing. Common courses include:
- Pattern making
- Retail store management
- Fashion marketing/merchandising
- Consumer behavior
- Computer-aided fashion design
Popular Career Options
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in fashion design and marketing prepare students to not only design clothes, but also play a role in promoting and selling clothing lines. Graduates might be prepared for entry-level careers in the fashion industry, particularly in the areas of design and retail purchasing. Some advanced career titles may require additional employment experience or training. Possible career titles for graduates of this program include:
- Retail buyer
- Fashion forecaster
- Fashion promoter
- Fashion public relations agent
- Fashion import manager
- Visual merchandiser
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for wholesale and retail buyers is forecast to be average from 2014 to 2024, at 6%, while employment of public relations specialists is also expected to grow by 6%. The BLS lists a median annual salary of $52,940 for wholesale and retail buyers as of May 2015; public relations specialists earned a median annual income of $56,770 during the same year.
Master's degree programs in related fields like textiles, apparel or fashion design and marketing teach students advanced design, draping, sewing and patternmaking skills, as well as the professional business skills needed for management roles in the fashion industry. Graduate fashion merchandising programs also include advanced coursework in fashion design and construction, as well as product evaluation, forecasting and trend watching, so that a career as a retail buyer, visual merchandiser or related job can be obtained. Most master's degree programs take two years to complete and may offer thesis and non-thesis options.
By earning a BFA in Fashion Design and Marketing, students gain design skills and business expertise so that they can work in either area of the fashion industry.