The fashion design program includes comprehensive study in design, pattern making, research, appropriate fit and fabric selection, fashion trending, and illustration that prepares students to work in the fashion industry or as entrepreneurs in the design field. Each year students construct original creations from concept to runway for our annual fashion show. Highlights of the program include:

  • The latest computer-aided technology that is used to create textile prints, visualize them on garment designs in 3-D, and print on fabric.
  • Courses such as Specialty Markets in which students investigate a wide variety of clothing markets and courses such as Senior Collection in which students articulate their own design voice.
  • The dyeing, distressing and surface manipulation of fabrics.
  • Opportunities for costume design and to assist in costuming Performing Arts Center productions.
  • Specialized sewing equipment such as an embroidery machine used by students to create unique stitched designs.
  • A close association with the community and opportunities to participate in area fashion shows and design competitions.

The fashion merchandising program appeals to the student who enjoys the business side of the fashion industry. As well as courses in retail buying, visual display, and other merchandising courses, students take coursework in business administration, economics, and art. Highlights of the program include:

  • Online courses such as Retail Social Media and Branding where students gain real world experience.
  • Retail Buying course that gives students an opportunity to work at Style Max, a women’s apparel trade show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart.
  • International Brand Sourcing and Product Development, which examine the product development process.
  • The understanding of principles and elements of design as they relate to home fashion and interior styling.
  • Retail Promotion and Visual Merchandising that offers students hands-on experience in merchandising windows at the university and at local retailers. As well as visual retailing software in the industry to create 3D planograms.

Additionally, the Department of Fashion offers a strong foundation and capstone core that allows students to:

  • Prepare for future careers in the field including creating resumes and cover letters and participating in mock interviews.
  • Create a professional portfolio with projects focused on specific careers. Each portfolio is reviewed by an industry insider who also meets the student for a mock interview.
  • History of fashion courses help student to understand the impact of the past in current designs and give them an opportunity to apply historic knowledge to fashion merchandising and design projects.
  • Courses on cultural, sociological, and psychological perspectives of dress and fashion round out the experience with in-depth discussion of the connections between fashion and culture, gender, religion, age and other human variables.