Bachelor of Science in Fashion Management

The Bachelor of Science in Fashion Management program at the School of Media and Design prepares students for careers in the design and business sides of the fashion industry. The program’s emphasis on technology, practical technique, business insight, artistry and scholarship produces well-rounded graduates with extensive insights into fashion. Concentrations in Merchandising and Apparel Production and Design offer students an opportunity to specialize in one of these two critical areas, giving them all the tools they need to pursue success in dozens of career paths.

Why Fashion Management?

Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry that spans the globe. In the U.S. alone, it nears the half-trillion mark at $406 billion. Such an enormous field consists of hundreds of working parts from resource allocation to product development to marketing and sales. In fact, the industry employs nearly 2 million people around the world and reports a low unemployment rate. UIW’s Fashion Management program arms students with a deep understanding of the industry’s workings, so that they may enter the workforce immediately after graduation. Study of trends, forecasting, history and impact helps them anticipate and navigate changes in the fast-moving field.

Fashion Management Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Fashion Management is a 125-degree program that offers the choice of two concentration options – Merchandising, or Apparel Production and Design. Through its comprehensive curriculum and hands-on skill development, students gain a deep understanding of fashion’s historical, cultural, commercial, environmental and international significance.

The program also offers an opportunity to study abroad, either through a partnership with the London College of Fashion or one of UIW’s 144 Sister Schools.

In their final year, Fashion Management students take a capstone course, which challenges them to integrate knowledge attained throughout the entirety of the program and apply it to a specific project. The capstone coursework is a project to showcase a student’s design and production work through a Fashion Show or another venue to appropriately display the collection.

Click here for Fashion Management Course Descriptions

Model walking down the runway at a fashion show

Design and Practical Production

Practical skill development forms a critical part of the Fashion Management program. Students will learn to navigate and use technology used throughout the fashion industry. Students will be introduced to patternmaking software, supply chain software, and manage technical line development through Adobe products. Through hands-on work, they also have the opportunity to develop their apparel construction and sewing skills.

Fashion Management Concentrations

The concentration in Apparel Production and Design is ideal for the student who wishes to pursue a career in the design and manufacturing side of the fashion industry within the business-to-business (B2B) sector. A fashion designer may work for fashion corporations who feature a specific brand or as an independent designer. Apparel production positions for a manufacturer include specializations such as sourcing for raw materials, developing technical specification packages, and mass-market line development. Product development teams are responsible for forecasting, product design, technical design, materials management, and distribution management.

Students develop a global perspective of emerging economies through the understanding of trade agreements, global employment practices and sustainability of resources. Students complete 61 Fashion Management core hours followed by 21 specialized hours tailored to meet personal career goals. A career track of courses is available for students who prefer an emphasis on design. Likewise, for students that favor product development, a separate career track of courses is available.

The Merchandising concentration is designed for students to develop skill sets that emphasize brand management and sales analysis. Both brand management techniques and sales management include visual merchandising, promotions, product buying, and operations management for either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). Because the retail sector is the ultimate distribution site for fashion product, students learn how the retailing sector is organized by fashion market levels. Each market level requires different sales techniques to reach the final consumer. Students also develop a global perspective of emerging economies through the understanding of trade agreements, global employment practices, and sustainability of resources.

A minor in Business Administration is included in the degree plan for the Merchandising concentration. Merchandising students take capstone coursework with Apparel Production and Design students to integrate responsibilities from both the retail and manufacturing sectors for the sale of product from concept to the final consumer.


Careers in Fashion Management

Most students begin their career in retail sales management positions. At the corporate level, sales management positions are located within buying offices or within distribution offices. Often corporate buying positions lead to positions as account managers with leading brand manufacturers. Auxiliary career pathways for fashion merchandising are in promotions or in visual merchandising.