Fashion School Majors - Choosing the Right Major For a Career in Fashion Design

You know when you're meant for a career in fashion design. Perhaps you made clothes for your dolls (or dogs) when you were little; at the movies, you pay more attention to the costume design than the plot; you devour fashion magazines; or maybe you watch a red carpet event and just know you can do a better job dressing the stars. So what does it take to be a fashion designer? Professional training from a fashion school is key, but you might be surprised at the wide range of majors that lead to industry careers.

Fashion Design. This major teaches you to make the most of your creativity. It provides training in essential skills like fashion sketching, draping, computer-aided design, and pattern drafting. You would also study fashion design in the context of a bigger industry picture, with an examination of marketing, production, historical trends, and global business practices. But while this major may be the most obvious, it's not the only option for students looking to break into the field.

Merchandise Marketing. If you have both fashion sense and business sense, this program will prepare you for a career in fashion merchandising. You would receive valuable training in the planning, purchasing, and allocation of merchandise while keeping on top of fashion trends and consumer forecasts. In addition, you would gain the marketing and advertising expertise to effectively merchandise your fashion.

Merchandise Product Development. Suppose you want to develop your own product line, or merchandise an established brand. This major would help you do just that. The curriculum focuses on strategic planning, preproduction, trend analysis, and line production, and also would provide you training in the basics like sketching and fitting.

Apparel Manufacturing Management. This program prepares you to own or manage a fashion manufacturing company. You would learn every phase of the manufacturing process, from global sourcing and production planning to sales management and financial accountability, so you could take a product from initial concept to store distribution and beyond.

Textile Design. Some of the most innovative designers today focus on textiles. This major concentrates on the creation and production of printed and woven textiles that will be used for fashion, and interior, design. You would delve into the technical aspects of production and develop design skills using both traditional and computer-aided programs.

Fashion Knitwear Design. Knitwear is such an integral part of fashion design that many fashion schools now offer a major devoted to it. The curriculum is similar to that of the general fashion design major, with courses in illustration and pattern drafting, but specializing in the unique construction requirements of knitwear.

Costume Design. Students interested in the entertainment industry will benefit from this major, which is often divided into two programs - one for theatre costume design, and one for movies and television. You would study costume construction, wardrobing, rendering, script analysis and breakdown, while learning to work within the production constraints of budget and timing.

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