The Fashion Merchandising major, offered through the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of merchandising related to the apparel and textile industries.The program emphasizes the skills and competencies needed for careers that include retailing, management, fashion promotion, product development, and manufacturing.
The Global Soft Goods Merchandising and Manufacturing area of emphasis within the fashion merchandising major is specifically oriented toward two major trends in retailing and merchandising: the first is the increased blurring of the distinction between the apparel manufacturer and the retailer,and the second is the international nature of apparel and retailing. In this area of emphasis, the student focuses on these two trends and gains the knowledge and overall global awareness needed to be successful in this exciting industry. Students have the opportunity to develop and source apparel products.
Courses in the fashion merchandising core include: Retail Planning and Buying, Global Retailing, Textiles, Textile Testing, Dress, Society and Culture, History of Dress and Fashion, Apparel and Textile Economics, and Apparel Line Development and Presentation or Fashion Promotion and Visual Merchandising. Students enroll in approximately nine hours of courses in the Terry College of Business. The Global Soft Goods emphasis includes the following courses: Product Development, Computer-Aided-Design for Apparel Design and Production, International Textiles, Apparel Quality Analysis and others. Fashion Merchandising majors must complete the following prerequisites for major required courses: Statistics, Elementary Chemistry/Chemistry lab, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science and Accounting.
The opportunities for employment in the Fashion Merchandising field are varied and depend upon the student's interest, area of emphasis, and abilities. Careers are available in retailing as buyer, manager, fashion coordinator, market research; in promotion as display coordinator, public relations director, advertising manager; in wholesaling as manufacturing representative, showroom sales associate and in apparel and textile manufacturing as sales associate, piece goods buyer, product development, merchandising manager, or in market research.
Guest speakers, field trips and study tours provide students with opportunities to network with business and industry professionals. Qualified students may gain additional professional experiences through an internship. The New York City Study Tour gives students the opportunity to visit industry showrooms, retailers, and auxilliary services related to Fashion Merchandising and Furnishings and Interiors (with a focus on residential design). This study tour is offered each Maymester.
International abroad experiences provide students the opportunity to learn how the apparel and textile industries work outside of the United States. TMI offers study programs to China/Hong Kong, Tokyo/Kyoto, and Ghana. The College of Family and Consumer Sciences offers a 6 - week internship program in London every summer. This is an exciting opportunity to intern in one of the world's leading fashion centers and learn first-hand what it is like living and working in a large international city. For more information on the London, China/Hong Kong or New York City study programs visit www.fcs.uga.edu/ss/study_abroad.
Three organizations (Student Merchandising Association, Fashion Design Student Association and The Little Red Book) offer our students the opportunitiy to network with industry professionals, develop skills in fashion show production, design, and fashion magazine production and give back to the community and university through events that raise money for local charities.