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Fashion Design / Merchandising Degrees

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Earn a degree in fashion design / merchandising from an accredited college

If you spent the greater part of your childhood dressing up your Barbies or Teddy Bears or neighbors, making sure the accessories worked together and the shoes matched the belt/purse, it’s clear – you belong in fashion. With so many different options to choose from in the Fashion Design/Merchandising field, you could continue your endeavors to find the next great fashion or work with the raw materials – fabrics and textiles that will be a part of that next big thing. If you’re comfortable working with others, are creative, and keep up with the world of fashion, here’s your chance to show those neighbor kids that you did know what you were talking about, and that mud is the accessory of the future.

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What classes will I take to get a degree in Fashion Design/Merchandising?

You’ll take your general education classes, of course, but along with those will be a variety of classes more field-specific. These could include Textile Design, Fashion Illustration, History of Fashion, Tailoring, Visual Merchandising, Cloth Construction, and Draping. Real-life experience, such as that found in an internship, is also a valuable part of your education.

What does a Fashion Designer/Merchandiser do?

A degree in Fashion Design/Merchandising could lead to a great many things. You might start out designing textiles, fabrics, or working on patterns, or else get your start working retail or as a buyer in a store. This could lead to jobs in planning and public relations, being a technical designer, a sales representative, a visual merchandiser, or a fashion writer or photographer. You could also do the actual designing of garments or come up with ideas for garments, working with others or on your own to come up with the next big trend. Fashion designers are also found in film and theater, working on costumes and other aspects of the production.

5 Common Careers:

  • Fashion Designer
  • Buyer
  • Technical Designer, Apparel
  • Special Event Planner
  • Pattern Maker

How much would I make as a Fashion Designer/Merchandiser?

Depending on what job you get within the fields of Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising, your average salary could be quite different. For example, in Fashion Design, a Fashion Designer will make $46,000 annually; an Assistant Designer, $38,500; a Technical Designer in Apparel, $47,500; and a Pattern Maker, $24,000. In Fashion Merchandising, a Buyer could make around $42,000; a Sales Representative, $41,000; Sales Management, $31,000; a Special Event Planner, $43,000; and a Visual Merchandiser, $26,000.

How popular are jobs in Fashion Design/Merchandising?

Jobs in fashion can be found anywhere and in a variety of different areas. From working with/creating raw materials (fabrics and patterns) to working in retail, public relations, merchandising in stores, or actually designing clothing, there are countless careers this degree could lead to. It can also be helpful when looking for jobs in fashion writing, fashion photography, costume design, and more. So whether or not you’re the next Christian Dior, you could have a big hand in the fashion design industry and leave your own mark!

What skills do I need to become a Fashion Designer/Merchandiser?

Fashion Designers should have a strong feel for and be well-informed about fashion trends, be highly organized and flexible, work well under pressure, be a creative and artistic person, and be able to communicate effectively with others. Fashion Merchandisers need to have similar skills, as well as good leadership ability, listening skills, an eye for fashion trends and fashion influences, knowledge of contemporary marketing, a high energy level, and attention to detail.

Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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