Fashion Design and Merchandising

Our fashion design and merchandising department offer students the opportunity to experience creative, real-world, hands-on learning, which prepares them for careers in fashion design, buying, trend forecasting, sourcing, and merchandising. The department incorporates sustainable and socially responsible practices in all courses. You will use CAD  design software such as Browzwear, Optitex, WindowsWear, Photoshop, and Illustrator for both design and merchandising. 

Our location in a beautiful green space nestled between Minneapolis and St. Paul  allows students to study current and upcoming fashion trends by connecting with industry leaders in the field. Students build a network through guest speakers, professional events, and required internships. 

Our students may participate in 10- to 21-day off-campus study courses in Europe and Asia. In these programs, they experience first-hand discussions with fashion designers, trend and color forecasters, costume designers, fashion media professionals, buyers, textile wholesalers, and manufacturers. Students also attend fashion exhibitions and tradeshows, and view collections at major museums, as well as learn about global sustainability.

The fashion design and merchandising department is a place for innovation and active engagement in sustainable thinking. Our new interdisciplinary sustainability studies minor emphasizes the use of creative methods to research, understand, and solve real-life problems related to sustainability. The minor complements all major programs of study.

FUN FACTS

  • Students produce our popular annual Katwalk Fashion Show,  an inclusive show highlighting many types of student work. 

  • The department houses a historic dress collection with over 2,000 pieces that are used as learning artifacts throughout the curriculum.

APPD 2500 Fashion Illustration and Portfolio Development — 4 credits

Development of illustration skills through a variety of media. Course focuses on fashion illustration, including studies in motion, fit, ease, fabric and texture rendering. After developing hand skills, students work with varied computer media to create digital illustrations. Sustainability is emphasized through the illustration work. The final focus is on portfolio development. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Department Chair/Instructor permission.

APPD 3050 Advanced Construction Methods — 4 credits

This course focuses on intermediate and advanced garment construction, with emphasis on tailoring, fitting, formalwear techniques, and creating sustainable fashion. Support structures and fitting are a major component of this course. Students must have basic sewing proficiency before taking this course. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: FASH 2100 or passing a sewing proficiency exam.

APPD 3150 Patternmaking — 4 credits

An introductory course in pattern design and development. Topics cover an introduction to flat pattern and drafting methods of pattern creation. You continue developing an understanding of and expertise in body measurement and fitting methods. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: FASH 2100, APPD 3050.

APPD 3200 Computer Aided Design & Development — 4 credits

This course builds on the student’s base knowledge in patternmaking, grading, fabric consumption, and advanced fashion illustration by converting these skills into a 2D digital format and adding a 3D element using industry software. This course is split into two parts: the first half of the semester is devoted to creating advanced flats with Adobe Illustrator, and the second is applying digital technology to pattern making, reading, quality assessment, and decision-making. Prerequisite(s): APPD2500; APPD 3150 (Or Instructor’s approval).

APPD 3400 Draping and Creative Design — 4 credits

This course is an exciting exploration of creativity as expressed through fashion draping techniques. Students learn skills to develop creative thinking and problem solving. Students also learn beginning flat pattern and drafting techniques to check fit and construction. Fabric manipulation techniques are extensively used as a medium for design. CAD skills are introduced. Students practice fitting techniques throughout each design and features a “Zero Waste” sustainability project. A hands-on 2D & 3D exploratory creative lab class. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: FASH 2100 or sewing proficiency exam.

APPD 3994 Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

APPD 4400 Collection Development — 4 credits

The advanced course in patternmaking explores complex pattern design and non-traditional patterning methods in various apparel categories. A sustainable design thinking project creates a Zero-Waste engineered garment and pattern. Students begin developing their capstone collection by doing target market and trend forecasting research as well as comparative market analysis. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: APPD 3050 and APPD 3150.

APPD 4602 Internship — 2 credits

Structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves the student in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, the student must meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

APPD 4604 Internship — 4 credits

Structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves you in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. A semester long classroom component is part of this course and focuses on furthering the professional development of students in the retail major program, particularly with respect to career development in retail merchandising in preparation for future work experiences and employment through resume & cover letter writing, development of interviewing and presentation skills, job search strategies, professional writing, discussion of current key topics within the industry and a variety of other professional experiences.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

APPD 4684 Directed Study — 4 credits

APPD 4800 Capstone Collection — 4 credits

Students develop a cohesive fashion design collection featuring original designs. Fashion collections are presented at the end-of-year fashion show. Design portfolio work is highlighted. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: APPD 3050, APPD 4400.

APPD 4952 Independent Study — 2 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

APPD 4954 Independent Study — 4 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

APPD 4992 Topics — 2 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

APPD 4994 Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

FASH 1000 Introduction to Fashion Careers — 2 credits

According to Coco Chanel, fashion is everywhere. For those who love fashion, this is an exploratory course surveying career opportunities in the fashion industry and focuses on career paths within design and merchandising. An assessment tool will be used to assist in understanding which careers may match the student’s strengths, skills, and interests.

FASH 2050 Textiles with Lab — 4 credits

An in-depth consumer-oriented approach to the analysis of fibers, yarns, fabrics and finishes with an eye towards sustainability. Close look at the characteristics of fibers and fabrics and their effect on end-use serviceability. Students will learn to differentiate fabrics and finishes. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

FASH 2100 Apparel Construction and Analysis — 4 credits

This course includes basic apparel construction techniques with emphasis on the decision making involved in selecting appropriate techniques and fabrics for particular end uses. It involves an introduction to basic measuring and fitting criteria, as well as basic support materials; it also provides an introduction to the apparel industry labor issues within the context of social responsibility. The concept of fashion sustainability is introduced. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

FASH 2150W Sociocultural Aspects of Dress — 4 credits

The course involves the study of social, psychological, cultural and aesthetic aspects of dress. Focus is on understanding multicultural diversity and broadening the perspective in which students view dress. Sustainable fashion as a cultural phenomenon is explored. This course includes cultural experience through a service learning component. Offered in the College for Women. Also offered as CRST 2151W.

FASH 3000 History of Dress — 4 credits

This course involves the study of the historic patterns of dress from ancient times to the present. Illustrated lectures stress political, economic and social conditions as reflected in the clothing of men and women during each period.
Prerequisites: FASH 1000, FASH 2150W, or instructor permission.

FASH 3150 Trend Forecasting and Analysis — 4 credits

The study of techniques and processes used to develop fashion forecasts. Students learn to identify fashion cycles, short- and long-term fashion patterns, and change agents using environmental scanning tools. Students research and analyze elements of color, fabric, texture, material, print, and graphics from a variety of sources. Other topics addressed include promotion, brand image, fashion media, and micro- and macro-trends that have an impact on consumer behavior. Students create and present a final fashion forecast. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: FASH 1000, FASH 2150W, FASH 3000.

FASH 4571 Internship Practicum — 1 credit

The internship practicum focuses on furthering the professional development of students in the retail major program, particularly with respect to career development in retail merchandising in preparation for future work experiences and employment through resume and cover letter writing, development of interviewing and presentation skills, job search strategies, professional writing, discussion of current key topics within the industry and a variety of other professional experiences. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status or faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

FASH 4601 Internship — 1 credit

FASH 4602 Fashion Internship and Leadership — 2 credits

Fashion merchandising and apparel design students registered for a 2 credit internship complete a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on- or off-campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves students in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

FASH 4603 Fashion Internship and Leadership — 3 credits

Structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on- or off-campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves students in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test careers and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. In addition, fashion merchandising students must register for a 1-credit semester long classroom component as part of this course that focuses on furthering the professional development of students in the retail major program, particularly with respect to career development in retail merchandising in preparation for future work experiences and employment through resume and cover letter writing, development of interviewing and presentation skills, job search strategies, professional writing, discussion of current key topics within the industry and a variety of other professional experiences. The 1-credit internship practicum is offered spring semester. The 3-credit internship is offered fall, spring and summer. Offered in the College for Women.

FASH 4604 Fashion Internship and Leadership — 4 credits

Fashion merchandising and apparel design students registered for a 4 credit internship complete a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on- or off-campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves students in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test careers and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. A semester long classroom component is part of this course and focuses on furthering the professional development of students in the retail major program, particularly with respect to career development in retail merchandising in preparation for future work experiences and employment through resume and cover letter writing, development of interviewing and presentation skills, job search strategies, professional writing, discussion of current key topics within the industry and a variety of other professional experiences.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

FASH 4684 Directed Study — 4 credits

Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses.
Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.

FASH 4800 Fashion Portfolio — 0 credits

All fashion majors are required to complete a fashion portfolio in order to fulfill graduation requirements. The portfolio is the vehicle that enables students to integrate the life skills and knowledge they bring with them and the knowledge, skills and values learned within the courses and field experiences throughout the program. This portfolio allows students to validate their experiences at St. Catherine University. The portfolio is cumulative in nature; most aspects are completed as part of course work. The portfolio must be presented to the student's advisor no later than November 15 for December graduates or April 15 for May graduates. For specific portfolio requirements, please refer to the Professional Portfolio Handbook. Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.
Prerequisite: Senior standing.

MRCH 3100 Global Sourcing — 4 credits

Global Sourcing is a course focused on supply chain management in today's agile industry. It will cover global factors, CSR and sustainability, sourcing, buying, assortment, category management, planning, data, logistics and financing and profit. Course will utilize case studies and simulations.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.

MRCH 3200 Technical Garment Analysis — 4 credits

This course is an-depth study about the apparel mass production process. Topics cover evaluation of apparel quality, development of and written garment specifications, garment costing, the sourcing of fabrications and findings, product development and sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Skills in computer-aided specifications development are emphasized. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: FASH 2050, FASH 2100.

MRCH 3300 Omnichannel Retail — 4 credits

This course provides an overview of omnichannel retailing strategies. Students will explore the multi-channel customer journey, including mobile device, laptop, brick and mortar, catalog, social, and game-changing technologies that contribute to a seamless customer shopping experience. Students will apply omnichannel retailing strategies to a sustainable business plan. As shopping preferences become increasingly omnichannel, e-commerce retailers have the responsibility, influence, and opportunity to make everyday products safer and more sustainable. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: MKTG 2302, Business Analytics or Accounting, Junior or Senior standing.

MRCH 3450 Visual Merchandising — 4 credits

This course involves the study of elements and principles of design applied to the display of merchandise in retail, online and other omni-channel retail/service environments. The course will delve in retail floor spaces and planograms. The focus is on understanding the role of visual merchandising in relation to consumer purchasing behavior and the importance of eye appeal when creating the window, interior retail, and virtual displays. Students will learn the process of creating effective displays using the latest principles and techniques in a variety of retail and display settings. Students will create merchandising plans and displays using sustainable strategies.
Prerequisites: FASH 1000, FASH 2150W, FASH 3150, ART 2250 or instructor's permission. Offered every other year. Sophomore standing required.

MRCH 3994 Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

MRCH 4400 Sustainable Product Development — 4 credits

Sustainable Product Development is an application of design and merchandising perspectives to product development cycle from concept to production handoff for diverse target markets keeping sustainability at the forefront of design thinking. The course is designed to simulate real-life scenarios with a cross-functional team environment and industry partnership and guidance.
Prerequisite: Building a Sustainable Word or Junior or Senior standing in a fashion major.

MRCH 4684 Directed Study — 4 credits

Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses.
Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.

MRCH 4850 Retail Buying — 4 credits

This course involves the study of retail buying and merchandising with a focus on merchandise planning and retail analytics. Merchandising math operations are performed using computerized spreadsheets. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Business Analytics, Junior or Senior standing.

MRCH 4952 Independent Study — 2 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

MRCH 4953 Independent Study — 3 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

MRCH 4954 Independent Study — 4 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

MRCH 4992 Topics — 2 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

MRCH 4994 Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.