Fashion and Apparel Merchandising
A degree in Fashion and Apparel Merchandising allows you to be creative and prepares you for a career as a buyer, product developer, retail manager, visual merchandiser, wholesale sales representative, stylist, marketing and promotion specialist, and many others. Our hands-on approach to learning uses updated industry technology, field trips and guest speakers from industry. Fashion majors choose a minor in marketing or business administration to strengthen their business skills and maximize their resume. The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences nationally accredits our program.
Applied Technology for Learning
As a student, you obtain knowledge in the classroom and then apply it in real-world projects. Final results of projects are similar to work done in the industry. You will create a digital product line, digital portfolio, store visual plans, social media materials, and other projects using updated software and technology, just like the professionals use. You will have access to WGSN, the top trend forecasting service used by Fortune 500 companies, for trend research, as well as to the newest garment designs, prints, and colors for product development. In addition, you will have access to sewing and embroidery machines, 3D printers, die cutting machines, a computer lab, visual merchandising equipment, and store and product design software.
The faculty in the fashion program all have a unique combination of current industry experience and educational backgrounds. The low student-faculty ratio gives faculty the chance to build relationships and mentor students. Our faculty and students create a family who help each other succeed.
Our network of successful alumni spans the nation and many career paths within fashion. Alumni are in the fields of buying/ product development, visual merchandising, management, blogging/ social media, wholesale sales, and business ownership. They work for companies including:
- Charming Charlie
- Jerrod Jewelers
- Essence of Australia Bridal
- Rally House
Careers held by graduates include:
- Retail Store Manager
- Visual Merchandiser
- Product Development Specialist
- Stylist/ Public Relations Representative
- Wholesale Sales Representative/ Brand Representative
- Human Resources
- Small Business Owner
- Fashion Director for regional magazine
- Project Manager
A successful career in the fashion industry relies heavily on experience in the field along with knowledge learned in class. We provide you with an edge by incorporating field experience within the degree program. All fashion majors complete a work experience at the freshman/ sophomore level and an internship at the junior/senior level. We also work to provide exclusive internship partnerships with businesses that provide experience in buying, retail management, visual merchandising, fashion show production, and magazine production. These internships provide invaluable on-site learning and many of these experiences lead to future employment and accelerated career paths.
Part of a well-rounded resume is getting involved. You can join our student organization, Fashion Business Association, and can also volunteer to help with KC Fashion Week and multiple other community, campus, and fashion industry events.
Interested students are encouraged to study abroad to build their resumes. Fashion students have studied in London, Greece, Italy, and other countries to gain a new perspective on the industry. Global sourcing strategies are also taught in class and students study business practices of major global fashion companies.
Sustainability and responsible production is not just a trend in fashion, it is becoming a requirement of doing business. Students learn about the impacts of products and how they can be reduced along with researching the social responsibility of multiple products and companies. The fashion program also plans and produces a fashion show of “trash” and upcycled fashion during Earth Week each spring.
Get Started With Us
If you want to try out our program, we have 2 general education classes, FAME 3442 Sustainability for Consumer Products and FAME 3434 Fashion History of Costume. These classes will count towards the UCM general education requirements, a fashion major, or a fashion minor. You could also enroll in our FAME 1400 Principles of Fashion Merchandising class to see if this major is a good fit, or obtain a Certificate in Technology with a fashion emphasis.