If you were to take a look into your closet, you’d see the handiwork of a former Fashion Merchandising major. Sure, you may have picked out your own clothes. But first someone had to design it, then someone else had to select it to be mass produced. Others then made it, and even others put it on the floor of the local department store where you (or maybe your mother) picked it out and bought it. If being more involved than just wearing the clothes interests you, a degree in Fashion Merchandising might be right up your alley.
Fashion Merchandising majors want to make all things beautiful, not just clothes. They work with furnishings, too, or anything else that may involve fabrics and textiles. They are interested in trends – not just the ones that are clearly in now, but the ones they will predict for next season.
Clearly they need to have an eye for what looks good. Fashion Merchandising majors are creative and tasteful. They work well with other people, particularly difficult people. They can handle stress and hold their own in a crowded room with lots of differing opinions.
If you don’t pick out your own clothes yet, it will probably be tough to pick out clothes for anyone else, particularly for the masses.
Fashion Merchandising majors take classes in textiles and materials, as well as design. They learn everything it would take to sew clothing and make patterns – even if they won’t use it themselves they’ll need to know how all of that works. They study fashion trends of the past and learn how designs start in one part of the world and end up popular in another.
Fashion Merchandising majors can find work as designers, purchasers, or marketers of clothing lines. They might start out creating patterns for more established designers and then advance. Or they may work as part of a team preparing fashion shows or photo shoots for fashion magazines.
Just be sure you don’t show up your first day of classes wearing a burlap sack and knee highs … unless, of course, you’re certain that’s the next big fashion wave.
If you can’t get an internship, find a way to volunteer somewhere in the fashion industry. Getting your name out there and networking is essential. Be charismatic; you’ll need people to like you for them to remember you.