The Apparel and Textiles program offers two distinct yet interrelated pathways of study within the dynamic world of fashion: Apparel Design and Fashion Retailing. These concentrations are meticulously crafted to provide students with a comprehensive and structured education that prepares them for the multifaceted and ever-evolving fashion industry.

In the Apparel Design concentration, we emphasize the critical importance of addressing the multifaceted challenges of universal design, inclusive design, sustainability, and cultivating strong design thinking skills.

We immerse students in the foundational principles of design, including color theory, and guide them in the practical application of these principles. As part of our comprehensive curriculum, we also emphasize the development of design thinking skills. Through various projects and coursework, students learn to approach design challenges with a creative and problem-solving mindset. They are encouraged to think innovatively, analyze user needs, and consider the environmental and social impact of their designs. This design thinking approach enriches their ability to create not only aesthetically pleasing garments but also solutions that address real-world issues, aligning with the principles of sustainability and inclusivity.

In their freshman year studio projects, students engage in both two- and three-dimensional design work, actively applying color principles and design thinking to their creations. By the completion of their sophomore year, students possess the creative and technical skillsets necessary to execute original garments for our annual sustainability fashion show. They also undergo our annual sophomore portfolio review, where their design thinking and problem-solving abilities are assessed and further refined.

As students progress into upper-level design studio courses, they continue to enhance their design thinking skills. They learn to approach projects with an eye for innovation and sustainable practices. The transition from modifying commercial patterns to developing unique patterns through flat pattern and draping methods involves not just technical expertise but also a deep understanding of design thinking, as they take their projects from initial concepts to finished, sustainable products.

In summary, the Apparel Design concentration not only equips students with the technical and creative skills necessary for success in the fashion industry but also foster design thinking skills that enable them to tackle complex challenges, create innovative solutions, and contribute positively to the fields of apparel design. We are committed to preparing our students to excel in a rapidly evolving and socially conscious industry, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The Fashion Retailing concentration is a meticulously structured pathway, strategically designed to prepare students for a diverse array of fashion-related careers. These encompass vital roles in the realm of merchandising, marketing, buying, product development, retail management, and the ever-evolving domain of e-retailing. It is committed to nurturing key competencies and attributes that are pivotal for thriving within the dynamic and competitive landscape of the fashion industry. This holistic educational approach revolves around the following principles:

Critical Thinking: Throughout their coursework, students are systematically challenged to engage in critical thinking and strategic analysis. They learn to dissect market trends, decipher consumer behaviors, and decode the intricacies of industry dynamics. These critical thinking skills empower them to make informed decisions and adapt swiftly to the ever-shifting market trends.

Technical Competency: A firm foundation in the technical facets of fashion retailing is essential. Our program imparts practical skills relating to product development, inventory management, supply chain logistics, and the adept utilization of technology within the retail sector.

Communication Effectiveness: Effective communication lies at the heart of success in the fashion arena. Our curriculum meticulously hones students' abilities to express ideas with clarity and conviction, both in the written and spoken form. This ensures they can proficiently convey concepts, strategies, and product narratives to a diverse audience.

Creativity and Innovation: Creativity and innovation are values we actively cultivate. Students are encouraged to nurture their creative thinking abilities and are empowered to propose ingenious solutions to the multifaceted challenges posed by the industry.

Our comprehensive educational journey encompasses coursework, internships, and immersive study abroad experiences, allowing students to cultivate a well-rounded skill set. This encompasses expertise in product development, market analysis, fashion forecasting, retail and merchandising analytics, and the art of visual merchandising.

Furthermore, we offer students invaluable real-world exposure via full-time internships during their senior year. These internships often take place with major fashion brands/companies, providing students with a unique opportunity to apply their learning in practical settings and establish invaluable connections within the industry.

In summary, the Fashion Retailing curriculum is structured to not only impart knowledge but also to foster the critical skills and attributes necessary for success in the dynamic and competitive world of fashion retailing. Our unwavering commitment is to prepare our students for fulfilling, impactful, and successful careers in the fashion industry.