The challenges of universal design, inclusive design, and the support of sustainability are important factors in both apparel design and fashion retailing programs.

Basic principles and elements of design, including color theory, are introduced, reviewed, and applied throughout the apparel design program. Two- and three-dimensional work, as well as color principles and their application, are studied and used in freshman studio projects. By the completion of the sophomore year, students possess the creative and technical skill sets to execute an original collection of garments for our annual sustainability fashion show and participate in our annual sophomore portfolio review. Students refine and individualize their abilities for visual organization, color utilization, sketching/drawing, and design process in the upper-level design studio courses. Progressing from the modification of commercial patterns to development of unique patterns through the flat pattern and draping methods, students take projects from original concepts to finished products.

The fashion retailing program is designed to prepare students for a variety of fashion-related careers such as merchandising, marketing, buying, product development, retail management, or e-retailing. The curriculum focuses on critical thinking, technical competency, communication effectiveness, and creativity/innovation. Through coursework, internships, and study abroad experiences, students develop skills in product development, market analysis, fashion forecasting, retail and merchandising analytics, and visual merchandising. Students gain valuable work experience working full-time internships during their senior year with major clothing and accessory labels such as Donna Karen, Eileen Fisher, and Coach in cities ranging from New York to Dallas and Atlanta.