Rachel Beach, Applied Design Program Coordinator
Fashion Design& Merchandising is a comprehensive Applied Design program combining the study of design, textiles, clothing concepts and business. This program includes the study of apparel design and construction; historical costume as design inspiration; the business of fashion retailing; and visual merchandising. Students participate in research and display of vintage apparel to illustrate how cultural, social and economic influences impact clothing choices and fashions.
The program is designed to provide both classroom and studio work with practical work experience in area businesses. The learning experience goes beyond the classroom and includes fashion show production, fashion events, community service projects, field trips, and a historical clothing project with the Historic Costume Collections, an extensive collection of authentic apparel from north central West Virginia, 1840-1990.
Student Learning Outcomes
(Fashion Merchandising, Interior Design and Design Assistant options):
Upon successful completion of the AAS degree, graduates will be able to do the following:
- Demonstrate knowledge of design theory and the elements and principles of design through organizing, manipulating and solving design problems
- Recognize the history of their field, and manipulate the materials, components, and products that are associated with that field
- Communicate and justify, through written and oral presentation and portfolio development, the details, inspiration, problems, solutions, and the vision of their design
- Develop and demonstrate a work ethic in their field of design through practicum experience and community service
- Demonstrate an understanding of business practices, work ethic, professionalism, and consumer marketing principles as related to the products and services of their field
Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue entry-level careers in the fashion design business. Such careers include those of apparel buyers at the retail and wholesale level; fashion department and fashion boutique managers; visual fashion merchandisers (including window displays); bridal consultants; and independent apparel shop owners. In addition to strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await Fashion graduates; typical starting annual starting entry-level salaries range from $24,000 - 32,000.