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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fashion Merchandising - The Fashion department


The Fashion Merchandising major concentrates on the planning, procurement, and marketing aspects of the fashion business. Students learn to research target markets, analyze business results and develop strategies that effectively meet the needs of consumers. In their senior year, Merchandising students create an in-depth business plan and comprehensive investors presentation.

Fashion Merchandising
The Merchandising major relies upon foundational courses such as Introduction to the Fashion Industry, Principles of Apparel Design and Textiles, then advances with industry relevant offerings in Retailing, Buying, International Retailing and Merchandise Planning and Control, etc. The major is augmented by courses in related fields (Accounting, Business, Communications and Economics) highlighting the importance of business skills in today's workplace. The addition of electives such as Accessory Merchandising, Fashion Branding & Licensing, and Product Sourcing greatly contribute to the enrichment and fulfillment of the major.

Curricular content in the Merchandising major is driven by an enthusiastic faculty that brings many years of practical workplace experience to the Fashion Program and an understanding of the need to fully prepare graduating Merchandising majors for the rigors of today's competitive work environment. Courses such as Fashion Employment Seminar and industry-specific Internships are vital to the future success of Program Merchandising Majors.

Critical to both majors are courses offered in Product Development. The opportunity for merging both Design and Merchandising majors in the arena of Product Development has been identified as a highly desired outcome for the Program and one that is included in the Product Development minor.

In addition, the Senior Merchandising Capping experience and the Silver Needle Fashion Show production (including juried design collections) provide "living" laboratories for the student's interpretation and expression of the skills they have acquired within the curriculum.

Fashion Merchandising Curriculum & Requirements

Students wishing to study fashion merchandising @ Marist must submit a required merchandising project in addtion to their application.

Marist College

Most Popular Schools for Fashion Merchandising Major

Fashion merchandising

Fashion merchandising is the study of all aspects of the business of marketing and distributing clothing and accessories to wholesale and retail outlets. More often offered as a twoyear associate degree program, it is available at a few four-year institutions and may lead to a bachelor of professional studies degree. As a four-year offering, the major requires course work in fashion design. The field can be considered a highly competitive one, with many young people seeking this area as a glamorous career. Be cautioned, however, that it takes a highly motivated, creative, and aggressive individual to find success in this field.

Plan of study
The plan of study includes core courses in fashion, design and merchandising; business administration courses such as marketing, sales, and distribution; electives in communication arts and fine arts; selected liberal arts, math, and science.

Expect to take
Fashion design, fashion layout, fashion model drawing, fashion merchandising, fashion writing, pattern making, internships, history of fashion, mass marketing, product development, computer aided design.

Suggested high school subjects
Advanced art including the completion of a standard portfolio, college-preparatory business electives, marketing and advertising, computer literacy.

General interest areas
Business, art, design, selling.

Fashion Merchandising Major

What Is Fashion Merchandising?

Fashion Merchandising
Fashion merchandising is where fashion and business meet. Fashion merchandising involves marketing fashions to various retail stores, boutiques and wholesalers. The mission of a fashion merchandiser includes connecting different fashions to consumers and anticipating what your clients will be interested in. Fashion merchandising doesn't center on fashion alone; it entails a keen business sense and knowledge of assorted marketing strategies and techniques.


The world of fashion is always changing, and it's highly competitive. Fashion merchandisers may specialize in the arena of manufacturing, selling, promoting or buying. A successful fashion merchandiser has a vast knowledge of textiles (these are the different fabrics and fibers that are used to make the goods) and good communication ability. To stand out in the field, they need to know what people are looking for now and have an idea what they will be seeking in the future. This calls for first-rate people skills because they may have to correspond with people of various ethnic backgrounds, ages and lifestyles. In many cases, they travel around the world to obtain materials and meet with different clients and manufacturers.


Since the merchandise must appeal to people (or a specific target group), their job may include attending fashion shows and events around the world, purchasing fashions, negotiating with suppliers and retail outlets, advertising and marketing the latest fashion finds and even creating store displays. They do whatever is necessary to get the goods out there for everyone to see and, ideally, want to have.


Fashion merchandisers should have not only an interest but also a passion for fashion. This includes everything from shoes to undergarments, clothes and accessories. Choosing separate pieces that can work together, mixing materials, fabrics and patterns and having an eye for color are all part of the job. Creative individuals do well in this profession because they are able to think outside the box.


Additionally, the field of fashion merchandising calls for analytical ability. Establishing a budget and then gauging precisely what things fit into that budget is an important task. The practicality of the budget and finances available can significantly differ according to the specific client and demographic. A familiarity with the prior fashion fads in different locations is also warranted. Being conscious of existing industry developments gives the fashion merchandiser a leg up, since they can forecast what is to come.

When looking into a career in fashion merchandising, it's important to consider the background and training that you may be required to have. If you are going to enroll in a school, make sure that it is accredited and reputable. Since a lot of the fundamental courses are centered on application, a school that is in an area with a lot of stores and retail opportunities is a good idea. The real-life experience of your instructors should also be taken into account. Many of them are currently in the field or were in at one time; this means they will have valuable insight and hopefully good connections.