Apparel and Merchandising Bachelor of Science
Department of Design and Merchandising
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OVERVIEW OF MAJOR
The Apparel and Merchandising (AM) program emphasizes the study of product design and development; marketing, distribution, and retailing; and consumer behavior in the global environment, while fostering cultural awareness and a commitment to social responsibility. The major prepares students for diverse, professional careers in the textile and apparel industry through coursework in the discipline as well as in art/design, business, economics, history, journalism/technical communication, and social-psychology. Student learning and professional development is enhanced through participation in a variety of department initiatives and programs, including national (New York City) and international (e.g., Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, the UK) study tours, student organizations, student research projects/symposiums, and the AM internship program. The AM internship program provides students with professional workplace experience and practical business/industry knowledge that is essential to employment opportunities and career development. Recent examples of AM internship placements include: Marchesa, Nanette Lepore, Alice & Olivia, Sally LaPointe, Marie Claire, Escada, Sachin and Babi, D. Brand, Norisol Ferrari, French Connection, Michael Kors, Moncler, Tracy Reese, UGG Australia, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Elie Tahari, New York; Spyder, Sierra Designs, Pearl Izumi, Loki, Broadmoor, Kroenke Sports, Rocky Mountain Clothing Co., Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Target, Kohl’s, Colorado; BCBGMaxAzria, Billabong, TJX Companies, B Swim, Element Eden, California.

There are three concentrations of study in the Apparel and Merchandising major: Apparel Design, Merchandising, and Product Development. Each concentration provide students with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the global textile and apparel industry as well as the analytical, creativity/design, critical thinking, and computer/technology skills necessary to identify and implement solutions to business and industry issues.

In the Apparel Design & Production concentration, the curriculum focuses on the development of knowledge and skills necessary to engage in the design and development of textile and apparel goods for an identified target market, including coursework in aesthetics and design, fashion/trend forecasting, fashion illustration, pattern and prototype development; material selection (e.g., fibers, fabrics, dyes/finishes), apparel construction techniques, computer-aided design (CAD), product sourcing/production, product evaluation and quality assessment, historic textiles and costume, and social-psychological aspects of dress.

In the Merchandising concentration, the curriculum focuses on the development of knowledge and skills necessary to engage in the development, procurement, and sale of textile, apparel and other goods that satisfy consumers’ needs and preferences, including coursework in consumer behavior, merchandising processes/management, merchandise buying/procurement, promotion, retailing, retail store design, and the global industry (economics, politics, and trade).

In the Product Development concentration, the curriculum offers unique learning opportunities in developing and innovating consumer products. This concentration will teach students necessary skills and knowledge for product development, including sourcing, market potential analysis, trend forecasting, technology and material research, concept development, line development, computer-aided design, technical package, pricing and costing, branding/packaging, product line management, quality assurance, supply chain management, and new venture start-up. Students in the concentration will gain competence to be successful industry professionals or entrepreneurs through market-driven, industry-sponsored projects, which allows them to develop further networks with the real world. Students graduating with this concentration often pursue careers in highly technical product development fields such as outdoor products or sportswear industries.

The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, with a teaching collection of over 18,000 textile and apparel items from around the world, is another important departmental resource for student learning. The collection includes textiles that date as far back as 1000 BCE as well as historic clothing and accessories that represent all decades from the early 18th century to the present. The Avenir Museum provides experiential learning, inspiration for designers and product developers, and is a source for faculty and student research and exhibitions. The collection is used in undergraduate classes where students enjoy the opportunity to work with pieces close-up, hands-on, and inside-out.

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CHARACTERISTICS AND SKILLS
* Communication
* Computer/technology
* Creativity/design
* Critical thinking
* Customer-oriented
* Entrepreneurial
* Ethical/socially responsible
* Leadership
* Negotiation
* Quality-oriented
* Reliable/responsible
* Resource management
* Teamwork
* Visionary

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POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS
Participation in the AM internship program, as well as in study tours, student organizations, student research projects/symposiums, community service/volunteer activities, and/or experiential learning activities is highly recommended to enhance student education and professional development. Apparel and Merchandising graduates are employed in a variety of professional positions (see lists below) within the textile and apparel industry, including apparel design and manufacturing firms, retail companies, marketing and media organizations, museums, non-profit organizations, and the sports and entertainment industry. Salaries in the textile and apparel industry can vary considerably, however, average starting salaries for Fashion Designers, Apparel Product Developers, Assistant Merchandisers, and Retail Managers is $40,000 - $50,000.

Apparel Design and Production
* Creative Director
* Designer
* Design Director
* Fashion Illustrator
* Fashion magazine editorial contributor
* Fashion stylist
* Import specialist
* Patternmaker
* Product costing specialist
* Product developer
* Product procurement/sourcing specialist
* Product testing specialist
* Production manager
* Showroom coordinator/manager
* Technical designer
* Textile designer
* Trend/fashion forecaster
* Showroom coordinator

Merchandising
* Brand/product merchandiser
* Marketing and promotions coordinator
* Merchandise buyer
* Merchandise planner
* Product procurement/sourcing specialist
* Public relations specialist
* Retail coordinator
* Retail manager
* Retail store/website planner
* Sales representative
* Showroom coordinator/manager
* Social media specialist
* Sustainability specialist
* Trend analyst/demand planner
* Visual merchandiser

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RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
* Fashion Group International
* Design & Merchandising Leadership Team

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MORE INFORMATION
Department of Design and Merchandising
150 Aylesworth Hall S.E.
1574 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1574
970-491-1629
http://www.dm.chhs.colostate.edu/
* Academic and career advising for majors


Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA)
TILT Building
801 Oval Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1032
970-491-7095
http://www.casa.colostate.edu
* Academic advising/Major exploration


The Career Center
120 Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, CO 80523
970-491-5707
http://career.colostate.edu
* Major and career exploration/Job search information


Admissions and Undergraduate Recruitment
Ammons Hall
711 Oval Drive
8008 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-8008
970-491-6909
http://www.admissions.colostate.edu
* Admission applications/University visits and tours


General Catalog Online
http://www.catalog.colostate.edu/

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