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The Best Fashion Merchandising Universities in the Nation

by Suzy Kerr, Demand Media

    When most people think of fashion, they picture models and designers, but the men and women marketing the products to reach consumers are some of the most powerful players in the industry. Fashion merchandising, or marketing, involves analyzing trends, choosing the designs that will sell and marketing them to buyers. As a fashion merchandising major, you’ll be immersed in every area of fashion, with a focus on getting the designs to the people. You can select from many fashion schools, but some stand out in terms of curriculum, reputation and employment after graduation.

    Parsons The New School for Design

    Located in the fashion mecca of New York City, Parsons has been around since 1896, educating students on the elements of design. In the School of Fashion, you can choose an AAS in Fashion Marketing, an associate’s program that will allow you to explore every facet of this part of fashion. You will study product development and brand concepts, working frequently with industry professionals to gain a deeper understanding. The curriculum includes classes in textiles, color theory, retailing, social commerce and more to give you a rich knowledge base for fashion merchandising.

    Fashion Institute of Technology

    The Fashion Institute of Technology is another NYC school with an area of concentration in fashion merchandising. In the undergraduate program, you will embark on a course of study that includes classes in fashion inventory and merchandising strategies, as well as core liberal arts courses. FIT also offers one- and two-year associate’s programs in fashion merchandising. As one of the largest fashion schools in the world, FIT has an extensive network of industry professionals available to students.

    Kent State

    Kent State in Ohio offers a BS in fashion merchandising and has developed a reputation as having a very solid curriculum in fashion marketing. The university also offers numerous study-abroad programs for students wanting to learn in Paris or Milan, two of the top fashion cities in the world. Classes in product development and fashion forecasting are part of the program, as well as branding and apparel analysis. Critical thinking from a business perspective is key for the merchandising major at Kent State, and students must have strong analytical and communication skills.

    Academy of Art University

    The Academy of Art University in San Francisco has merchandising programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s levels. Whether this is your first year in merchandising or your sixth, the diverse and challenging curriculum at AAU will allow you to explore this area in depth and gain the fashion and business skills you need. Marketing and product development courses are key components of each program, along with courses in textiles, colors and more.

    Savannah College of Art and Design

    Savannah College of Art and Design has campuses in Savannah and Atlanta, offering BA degrees in fashion marketing, and you combine a core curriculum with your major to complete the program. Import buying, fashion aesthetics and contemporary issues in fashion are all required courses, and you will also have access to many professional resources for networking, mentoring and internships. SCAD students are also expected to work with real clients to gain practical experience in fashion marketing.

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    About the Author

    Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.

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