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Fashion Merchandising – AAS

The Fashion Merchandising program is designed to fulfill the needs of those students who are seeking a career in corporate side of the fashion industry. Students in fashion merchandising learn about the planning, production, promotion, and distribution of products in fashion industries to meet consumer demand. Students learn to define and analyze target markets, forecast trends, design and use visual communication, and plan and promote fashion products. Students also gain skills in verbal, written and visual presentation, computer networking, product development, business communication, and project management.

Graduates of the Fashion Merchandising program will be trained to launch lucrative careers within the District of Columbia by seeking immediate employment in entry level positions primarily as:

  • Retail Buyers – Buy supplies and services to facilitate production
  • Purchasing Managers – Represent the manufacturers and distributors of products to sell to the people who buy them for resale
  • Fashion Product Developers – Create a wide range of clothing products, and oversee the production of their items

The program fulfills a need to support the District of Columbia’s growth in retail space and commerce since 2012. The program has received support from fashion industry giants such as Tommy Hilfiger, who has given generous funding from his foundation.

Other entry-level positions that Fashion Merchandising graduates may qualify for include:

  • Fashion Trade and Event Organizers
  • Fashion Advertising Agents
  • Retail Boutique Managers and/or Owners
  • Visual Merchandisers
  • Fashion Public Relations Managers and Marketers
  • Fashion Sales Representatives
  • Fashion Journalists
  • Fashion and Wardrobe Consultants
  • Fashion Stylists
  • Theater Costume Department Supervisors
  • Importing/Exporting Sourcing Agents
  • Wholesale Purchasing Managers

The program will also prepare students for successful careers by providing access to professional experiences such as internships at major fashion companies, and other programs sponsored by partnerships with corporations and internationally renowned organizations such as Fashion Group International (FGI) and the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG).

The Fashion Merchandising program consists of 62 credit hours. Students are require to take 26 hours of liberal arts and 36 hours of Fashion Merchandising courses including one elective, an internship, and a capstone course.  Full-time students are scheduled to complete the program in four semesters.  For more information about the Fashion Merchandising program, please contact the Community College at

Program of Study

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and foster sellable apparel based on quality, appropriateness, price, target market, and aesthetic appearance.
  • Promote apparel effectively via visual presentation, writing and media, styling, and fashion events.
  • Evaluate the use and maintenance of textiles.
  • Apply mathematical skill to compute stock levels, markups, markdowns, discounts, turnover, the six-month merchandise plan, and open-to-buy.
  • Apply merchandising theory to retailing and apparel manufacturing.
  • Develop strategies for dealing with ethical issues in the fashion industry.
  • Recognize the effect of current social, political, and international forces in the global marketplace that affect production, sales, growth potential, and profits.
  • Demonstrate competency in merchandising research, marketing and consumer analysis, and the application to merchandising problems.