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Graduate Programs in Fashion Marketing: Degree Options

Oct 19, 2019

Fashion marketers combine creative design, business savvy, and an understanding of fashion trends to target markets and coordinate the sales and distribution of clothing lines to consumers. Learn about several master's programs in fashion marketing as well as job opportunities and salary information for graduates.

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Essential Information

Most master's programs share some common ground, but different fields of study can prepare graduates for careers in international marketing, retail merchandising, or visual displays. All master's programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree and to be fluent in English. Many programs want students to complete an internship in the fashion industry before graduation.

To enroll in the Master in Fashion Retail Management program, prospective students should have a bachelor's degree, preferably in fashion, marketing, business administration or economics. Prior work experience in the fashion industry or an equivalent field is also considered.

Students interested in a Master in Fashion Visual Merchandising must have a bachelor's degree with a major in subjects such as economics, business administration, or marketing, although degrees in other related fields will be considered. Prior work experience in the fashion marketing industry is a plus.

A Master in International Fashion Marketing degree program is open to graduates with a desire to study the international market. Proficiency in a second language is necessary in order to communicate and understand the business practices in another country.


Master's Degree in Fashion Retail Management

A fashion retail manager accurately predicts what clothing and accessory styles will be marketable and decides which consumer groups to target. The master's degree program in fashion retail management is designed to teach students how to keep track of fashion trends and predict the buying habits of consumers. Many acclaimed fashion designers and professionals in the fashion industry teach students. Courses in the fashion retail management degree program focus both on teamwork and independent research projects. Students will learn how to determine pricing of apparel and accessories. Attention is also given to furthering skills in production, design and distribution of fashion textiles. Other classes may include the following:

  • Fashion history
  • Principles of fashion merchandising
  • Cultural communication
  • World business
  • Economic trends
  • Fashion promotion and customer relations

Master's Degree in Fashion Visual Merchandising

Visual merchandisers create display environments by using lighting, color, props, and space in order to sell a product. Interactive displays incorporate sensory activators such as sounds, tactile devices and pleasing smells. By accurately reflecting the brand's image, a visual merchandiser can increase store traffic and sales. Students can expect to spend part of the program gaining hands-on experience while working at an internship. Further study of the principles of fashion merchandising will be conducted with an emphasis on visual and sensory marketing skills. Other examples of courses to be covered are:

  • Mannequin display
  • Contemporary visual merchandising
  • Elements of color
  • Window display elements
  • Lighting design
  • Fashion merchandising principles

Master's Degree in International Fashion Marketing

The goal of this degree program is to train students for jobs in the international fashion-marketing world. Graduates will be able to handle the commercial and creative facets of the international fashion sector. The newest fashion industry trends in countries such as China, Russia, Japan and Italy will be studied and analyzed. During the course of the program, students spend a significant amount of time studying abroad in the country of their choice. Coursework will be oriented toward research and analysis of established and potential international markets. Students receive experience working in a foreign market and complete projects focused on the country being studied. Work will be completed individually with the help of a mentor and in team groups. Students may also study:

  • History of contemporary fashion
  • International promotion and communication
  • Market and applied research
  • Products and materials
  • Trends in fashion
  • International marketing and fashion business

Popular Career Options

A graduate degree in fashion visual merchandising provides an opportunity to stand out among the competitive crowd when searching for a career. Students are able to understand the concept and layout of a store's image, develop design brand campaigns, and invent visualization concepts that help sell a store's image.

A career in international fashion marketing focuses on the cultural and socioeconomic ins and outs of foreign markets. Graduates who aspire to have a job in international fashion marketing should be able to analyze and determine future trends. Possible future careers include:

  • Visual merchandiser
  • Special events or visual advertising manager
  • Creative, marketing or visual marketing director
  • International market analyst or specialty retailer
  • Corporate strategic developer
  • Director of foreign sales

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of marketing managers was projected to go up by 8% between 2018 and 2028, which is about as faster than average compared to other occupations. In addition, the 2018 annual median wage for a marketing manager was $134,290.

The three above-mentioned master's programs are options available to students wishing to pursue a career in fashion marketing. Each provides a different focus, depending on the area of expertise the student wishes to develop.

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