• Overview - 2016/2017

    Fashion merchandising is where fashion and retail technology meet. If you’re passionate about the world of fashion and have a keen eye for what will sell, the Fashion Merchandising program can help you start your career.

    Fashion industry employers need graduates who understand both retail and technology, and in the Fashion Merchandising program you’ll learn the skills you need to launch a career in retail management, visual merchandising, or marketing of fashion products/services. As a student, you’ll deepen your understanding of retail management, brand development, buying, textile technology, photo styling, event/fashion show production, and fashion technology.

    You’ll also have multiple opportunities to shake hands and chat with professionals in the world of fashion and retail. As well, you’ll have the unique option to travel to and work in fashion hubs like Paris, Milan, and New York City. When you graduate, this combination of valuable experience and practical training will give you the tools to pursue a career in line/brand management, visual merchandising, or retail management, or other industries.

    With all of the choices in Fashion Merchandising, it can be hard to choose one. But here’s the best part: it’s up to you to decide.

    Fashion Merchandising is a co-operative education program. Contact Michelle Prestwich for more information about co-op. Students operate a retail store at the London campus called Live Chic. The Live Chic retail store allows students to apply what they have learned in realistic work situations.


    "The variety of courses and co-op placements offered within the program gave me the skills and confidence to succeed, both within and outside of the fashion industry. Completing the program has opened many doors for me and I continue to look forward to the many exciting opportunities ahead!"

    Jodelle Morris
    Jodelle Morris
    Graduate 2004, Client Services and Marketing Coordinator, The Marketing Department

    Program Coordinator:

    Wella Nolan
    Phone: (519) 452-4430 ext. 4313
    Email: wnolan@fanshawec.ca

  • Admission Requirements - 2016/2017

    OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
    Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
    Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
    Mature Applicant with appropriate preparation

    English Language Requirements

    Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

    • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test (PBT), or 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
    • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years 
    • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years

    Recommended Academic Preparation

    • Any Grade 12 English (C), (U), or (O)
    • Grade 11 Understanding Fashion (C) AND/OR Grade 12 The World of Fashion (M)
    • Grade 11 Media Arts (M) or (O) OR Grade 12 Media Arts (M) OR Grade 11 Visual Arts (M) or (O) or Grade 12 Visual Arts (M) 
    • Grade 11 Financial Accounting Fundamentals (M)
    • Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Entrepreneurship (C) or (O)
    • Keyboarding Skills

    Recommended Personal Preparation

    • Students should develop strong communication skills necessary to work with the general public
    • Personal hobbies in drawing, photography, reading of Fashion magazines is encouraged

    Applicant Selection Criteria

    Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
    1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
    2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
    3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  • Courses

    Fashion Merchandising-2016/2017

    Level 1Credits
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
    FASH-1002Textiles 12.5
    FASH-1020Fashion Illustration2.5
    MRCH-1001Visual Merchandising 12.5
    FASH-1021Dynamics of Fashion 12
    COMP-1351Design Principles2.5
    FASH-1016Trends, Styles & Influences3
    COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1

    Level 2Credits
    Gen Ed - See requirement below
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    COMM-3074Communications for Design3
    FASH-3020Dynamics of Fashion 22
    FASH-1011Visual Communications 13
    MATH-1181Retail Math 12.5
    MRCH-1004Visual Merchandising 22.5
    MGMT-1164Customer Relationship Management2
    FASH-3018Textiles 23
    FASH-1022Brand Development 12.5

    Level 3Credits
    Gen Ed - See requirement below
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    FASH-3005Fashion Buying 12
    MRCH-1013Store Planning2.5
    FASH-3007Visual Communication 23
    MRCH-3002Visual Merchandising 32.5
    MATH-3066Retail Math 22.5
    FASH-3019Brand Development 22.5

    Level 4Credits
    Gen Ed - See requirement below
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    FASH-3011Fashion Buying 22
    FASH-1038Professional Practices2
    MRCH-3004Styling for Photography2.5
    MRCH-3006Visual Merchandising 42.5

    Add'l Req
    Take the following Mandatory Courses:
    Normally taken in Levels 3 or 4
    MKTG-1051Event Planning & Promotion3
    BUSI-3031Retail Operations8

    Gen Ed - Electives
    Take 6 General Education Credits -
    Normally taken in Levels 2, 3 or 4

    Program Residency
    Students Must Complete a Minimum of 22 credits in this
    program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
    requirement and graduate from this program

    BUSI-1119 -  E-Commerce
    Course discussions will include theory and practical topics including introduction to internet and ecommerce, internet business models and strategies, elements of eCommerce, HTML and CSS, security issues, payment systems, eMarketing, copyright issues, integrating social media, website design, development and registration, testing, and setting up and maintaining an online presence with Shopify.com.

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    BUSI-3031 -  Retail Operations
    This course incorporates theory, the knowledge and the application skill and organization required in the running of a Retail Store. Live Chic, the program store on campus is designed to provide practical experience in the day to day operations of a fashion retail operation and to implement the fundamental retail principles. Discussions will include customer experience, sustainability and technology innovations in the retail industry

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    COMM-3074 -  Communications for Design
    This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of art and design, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.

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    COMP-1351 -  Design Principles
    Design Principles introduces the principles and elements of design and requires students to apply this knowledge to various assignments throughout the semester. Students will learn and practice communication and presentation skills using various fundamental computer applications such as; MS PowerPoint, MS Word, Illustrator, Photo Shop and Social Media. Students will learn and gain knowledge of the technology and how it is applied in the industry to create aesthetically pleasing presentations. Various exercises will be discussed and practiced throughout the term.

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    COOP-1020 -  Co-operative Education Employment Prep
    This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.

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    FASH-1002 -  Textiles 1
    A study of textile materials with emphasis on factors which affects their handling, appearance and performance. Students will learn and appreciate the properties of natural, manmade, and synthetic fibers from yarn to fabric; from fabric to completed fashion merchandise. Students will compile a swatch library of various textiles which support the concepts learned in class.

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    FASH-1011 -  Visual Communications 1
    Student practice various methods of visual communication used in the fashion industry including: creating images in Adobe Illustrator CC, and editing images in PhotoShop CC. Computer skills such as file/data management, scanning, saving, printing and importing/exporting files to various computer applications will be demonstrated and practiced throughout the course.

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    FASH-1016 -  Trends, Styles & Influences
    An exploration of social, economic, political, historical, and technological factors that affect the development of dress, architecture, art, interior design, tracing the influences through history to modern times. Students will develop a knowledge and vocabulary of fashion styles of periods studied and recognize the influence it has on present day design.

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    FASH-1020 -  Fashion Illustration
    Students will develop their skill in fashion illustration by introducing them to various techniques with pencil, pen, and marker. Techniques of shading, marker renderings, textures, and perspective drawings will be practiced as used by the fashion industry.

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    FASH-1021 -  Dynamics of Fashion 1
    Through discussions of the various components, terminologies and stages of the fashion cycle, students will be introduced to the importance of the fashion industry. The course sets the stage for the study of business and merchandising by providing the students with the fundamentals of fashion and the basic principles that influence movement and change within the industry. Students will research the market and present in both written and oral presentations.

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    FASH-1022 -  Brand Development 1
    Students will further their technological skills required of graduates entering the fashion industry through practical experience using industry specific software; Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office Suite. Students will study the art of brand development through a rebranding assignment as well as the creation of an original brand of fashion clothing including developing a store brand from concept to delivery to store opening and how various segments of the industry support this process.

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    FASH-1038 -  Professional Practices
    This course will prepare and give students the tools and confidence to create a resume and cover letter to enter the fashion industry as professionals. Students will explore the different types of search engines, sites, and social media available in researching career opportunities. They will learn the interviewing process and how to network in a professional manner through mock interviews, scenarios and role play which will build confidence, self -esteem and prepare students for industry. Students will learn soft skills such as professional communication skills(in person and for email correspondence including leadership skills (leading teams) in industry projects and initiatives.

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    FASH-1039 -  Portfolio
    In Portfolio Development students work on their capstone project which is creating a professional portfolio. This course will include the steps involved in creating a professional digital and hardcopy visual portfolio. The three pillars of the fashion merchandising program will be incorporated: visual, technology and business. Students will design a portfolio based on their personal strengths, skills, creativity, and technical skills. Having a strong portfolio will be the student’s most important promotional tool as they enter the industry.Students will attend alumni day in collaboration with Professional Practices to listen to graduates from the program speak about their careers and show students their portfolio and how it has evolved since they have been in industry.

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    FASH-3005 -  Fashion Buying 1
    This course will include the study of the retail playing field and the buyer’s role. In addition the student will develop the knowledge of buying for different types of stores, developing relationships with market specialists and understanding the customer. Students will learn how to source merchandise and base their purchasing on the industry’s seasonal calendar.

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    FASH-3007 -  Visual Communication 2
    Students will research, plan, design, develop, and execute creative and effective visual communications to meet the needs of retailers for various market lifestyles using Illustrator and Photoshop. Problem solving techniques and file management will be emphasized throughout the term.

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    FASH-3011 -  Fashion Buying 2
    In Fashion Buying 2, the student will learn how the buyer makes the purchase in the marketplace. Topics will include preparing merchandise assortment plans, controlling inventories, selecting vendors, making market visits, negotiating with vendors, writing purchase orders, pricing strategies and purchasing in the domestic and foreign markets.

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    FASH-3018 -  Textiles 2
    Students will continue to study textiles as it relates to the care and renovation of textiles, unique fabrication and innovation in textiles and the laws and regulations that guide the development and marketing of textiles in the apparel market. Students will analyze apparel quality standards and control, mass-production processes, design development, sizing, fit, findings, stitching, and garment assembly. The emphasis will be placed on buying and merchandising decisions.

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    FASH-3019 -  Brand Development 2
    A continuation of Brand Development 1 where students will further enhance their knowledge of the process of creating and supporting a store brand of clothing. Students will complete their individual brand Store Directive package using the project started in Brand Development 1 with the following computer applications: Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office Suite to complete course assignments.

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    FASH-3020 -  Dynamics of Fashion 2
    Students will examine the production of fashion in various categories. We will discuss how apparel manufacturing business has changed and why. They will look at the steps involved in product development and major industry practices. Students will also look at the markets of fashion: they will explore the history and development of market centers and retailing. In class discussion on global sourcing and merchandising, and how it affects business. Looking at the different industry levels, categories, retail operations, and job opportunities in the fashion industry.

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    MATH-1181 -  Retail Math 1
    Designed to provide students with an understanding and working knowledge of business mathematical functions. The retail components of percentages, pricing, purchases, mark-up, and markdowns will be examined in detail using MS Excel. Industry terminology and techniques in formatting Excel will be stressed. The students will learn the basic understanding of accounting and its importance for business success. Students will apply accounting principles and practices in a realistic retail environment.

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    MATH-3066 -  Retail Math 2
    A continuation of Retail Math 1, designed to equip the students with an understanding and working knowledge of business mathematical and accounting functions. The retail components of stock planning, sales, purchases, 6-month merchandise plans, assortment plans, purchase orders, open to buy and income statements will be examined. Industry terminology and techniques in formatting Excel spread sheets will be stressed. The accounting portion of Math 2 will build upon the skills learned in Math 1, including journaling, purchasing and profit and loss statements.

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    MGMT-1164 -  Customer Relationship Management
    Designed to address aspects of identifying customers and their needs/wants, building customer relationships through a practical approach to selling and customer service, and shaping the customer's perception of an organization and its products/services at all levels. Students will study and practice how to interact with customers in B2C and B2B situations.

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    MKTG-1051 -  Event Planning & Promotion
    Event Planning and Promotion is designed to lead the student through the process of planning, coordinating and executing an event. It will include developing a working schedule to coordinate, manage, and promote a special event or promotion within an assigned time frame and budget .Students will be working in assigned committees in areas of merchandising, modeling, advertising and promotion, stage and fundraising. Students are responsible for the production planning and practical decision making skills which be applied to the type and theme of the event. Team management, collaborative planning and creative problem solving are critical skills that are developed during the planning process.

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    MRCH-1001 -  Visual Merchandising 1
    Students will learn and apply the principles of colour, design and visual merchandising techniques to display fashion products and hard goods to help generate sales. A collaborative team environment allows for experimentation in two and three-dimensional window display design, using merchandising and store planning techniques, theories, props and tools of the trade within a cost effective budget.

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    MRCH-1004 -  Visual Merchandising 2
    This course will focus on visual merchandising. It will promote an intense practical training in window display and construction of design, mannequins, forms, colour, lighting, and production techniques. Students will create three-dimensional window displays such as full-scale windows, showcases and bulletin boards at the college. A collaborative team environment allows for experimentation in two and three-dimensional window display design, using merchandising and store planning strategies and techniques, within a cost effective budget.

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    MRCH-1013 -  Store Planning
    Through classroom theory, merchandising strategies, fieldtrips and comparison of stores students will be able to demonstrate retail principles as they relate to store planning, merchandise layout, traffic patterns, fixture layout, lighting plan, focal points, department adjacencies, colour and power wall presentations.

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    MRCH-3002 -  Visual Merchandising 3
    This course will focus on visual merchandising with a focus on artistic expression to increase a store's profitability. An intense practical training in window display and construction of design, mannequins, forms, colour, lighting, and production techniques. Merchandising concepts are executed by following a merchandise sales plan in three dimensional window presentations such as full scale windows, showcases, and grids within the college.

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    MRCH-3004 -  Styling for Photography
    Styling for photography is taught through a combination of discussions, in-class workshops, and group assignments. Students will work together as part of a creative team researching, problem solving and consulting in preparation for photo shoots. In class discussions will include various types of product, casting talent, use of props and backgrounds required to create an effective professional image for media.

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    MRCH-3006 -  Visual Merchandising 4
    A continuation of level three, this course focuses on improving the students creative display process of planning and executing various types of effective displays including a charity event, trade show, exhibit design, practical projects, and analytical critiquing of visual presentations.

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    WRIT-1036 -  Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design
    This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.

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  • Careers - 2016/2017

    Career Opportunities

    Sales Consultants, Sales and Line Representative, Consultant/Sales Associate, Manager, District Sales Manager, Fashion Show Producer, Event Coordinator, Visual Merchandiser, Store Planner, Photo Stylist, Brand Development, Marketing, E-Commerce
  • More Information - 2016/2017

    A Co-operative Education Program
    A Two-Year Ontario College Diploma Program
    Program Code: FMC2
    Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
    September Admission
    15 week terms
    Academic Calendars available at www.fanshawec.ca/academicdates

    Program Description

    Fashion Merchandising provides the student with the necessary knowledge and hands-on approach to training students to compete in dynamic and challenging professions. The curriculum is designed to satisfy diversity in content that aims at combining an appreciation of a creative-minded merchandiser with the talents of an enterprising retailer. The students participate in experiential learning opportunities by operating a retail store at the London campus. The practical lab sessions in a realistic retail environment allow students to apply what they have learned in real work situations. Areas of study include: visual merchandising and merchandising techniques, line and brand development, retail operations management, sales and marketing, textiles, photo styling, portfolio development, retail math and buying skills combined with the extensive use of computers.

    Students will learn to project accurate forecasts for sales profits of a retail business and control inventories to meet company goals. Students will initiate visual techniques and follow product directives to enhance and promote customer sales. Fashion Merchandising provides the student with the necessary knowledge and hands-on skills within the three areas of concentrated study; Business, Visual and Technology.

    Co-operative Education

    This two-year program has two co-op work terms.  Students who fulfill both the academic and co-op requirements of the program will be eligible to graduate with a co-op endorsed diploma.  More information about co-operative education can be found at www.fanshawec.ca/co-op.


    School of Design: 519-452-4227
    Learning Outcomes 

    The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

    1. Describe the basic functions of retail store operation, including sA9:A22tore location, layout, and shopping centre analysis, marketing segmentation, and merchandising mix.

    2. Describe the evolution of fashion in the current market place including contemporary designers and retailers in the fashion industry using vocabulary and terminology associated with fashion retailing.

    3. Present effective design projects and activities related to promotion.

    4. Compare and contrast the sociological and psychological factors which influence the shape of fashion historically, and the relationship of current fashion trends to current society.

    5. Compose business communication in standard English which communicates effectively with a particular audience for a specific purpose, demonstrate the ability to read and comprehend written English in the business environment.

    6. Utilize a retail bookkeeping system including calculation of invoice discounts, determination of markup, inventory, stock control and turnover, and the retail method of inventory.

    7. Apply the theories of sales management and promotion including motivation, evaluation, and the psychology of salesmanship to the operation of a fashion merchandising operation.

    8. Use word processing and electronic spreadsheet program on microcomputers with business applications software.

    9. Complete all work in accordance with relevant business practices, including legal and accounting procedures, credits, insurance, and governmental laws relating to retailers.

    10. Identify the components of apparel and household fabrics and their performance in use; be able to identify fibre and yarn types and fabric construction.

    11. Describe human relations and personnel including basic theories of motivation, communication, leadership and problem solving, and techniques of interviewing.

    12. Discuss the construction of fashion merchandise and the relationship of design, workmanship and price range to consumer satisfaction.

    13. Apply the principles of retail advertising to point of purchase, national media, copywriting, layout, and other production techniques.

    14. Analyze e-commerce web site(s) involved in the daily operation of retail businesses.

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