• Fashion business courses teach basic business practices in the context of fashion and design. They prepare students to work in a variety of fields in the fashion industry, including marketing, retailing, and merchandising. This certificate can be completed online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.

    Fashion Business Online Certificate Requirements

    • Consumer Behavior
    • Fashion Merchandising
    • The Medium of Fashion
    • Fashion History: 19th to 21st Century
    • Retail Buying
    • Marketing in a Global Environment
    • plus
    • Two (2) fashion elective* courses

    *Electives are Parsons courses that meet for (9) nine or more sessions on campus or online. Courses meeting for fewer than (9) nine sessions count as half of an elective and would need to be combined to fulfill one elective requirement. 

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    Consumer Behavior

    Today's competitive marketing climate has led many companies to explore theories of consumer behavior. This course focuses on the profile of the consumer — psychographics and demographics — and consumer interests, with an emphasis on generational marketing. Segmented and niche markets and their development are also discussed.

    Fashion Merchandising

    Study the fundamentals of merchandising: market research, planning and control, product development, promotion, and presentation. Analyze case studies outlining strategies used by manufacturers and retailers. Study the impact of consumer behavior, its relationship to forecasting, and the importance of global merchandising.

    The Medium of Fashion: Textiles, Structure, and Surface

    A practical exploration of the materials, elements, and techniques used in the modern apparel and fashion industry. Topics include natural and man-made fibers, yarns, textile structures such as knits and woven fabrics, garment structure, practical and decorative trims, and surface design (printing, dyeing, and embellishment). Geared to students of fashion design and design professionals interested in understanding the "how" as well as the "why" of textiles, this course covers the aspects of the design and manufacture of apparel and accessories.

    Fashion History: 19th to 21st Century

    Students are introduced to Western fashion from the middle of the 19th century to the present day. Broad thematic considerations include the nature of fashion (what it is and what it does), its relationship to modernity, production and consumption, art, globalization and customization, and identity and the body. The class discusses the relationship of key designers, events, and movements to these broad themes, covering the work of Worth and Westwood, the department store and dress reform, postmodernism, and anti-fashion.

    Retail Buying

    Learn to work with a retail buyer or become one yourself. This course is essential for managers, retail business owners, and manufacturer's account representatives. Topics include open to buys, cumulative markups, shortages, vendor analysis, and stock sales. Students learn to buy or communicate with buyers on their level and complete practical and realistic assignments. 

    Marketing in a Global Environment

    This course provides a foundation in fashion marketing strategy within a global context. Students learn marketing terminology and concepts through analysis of target markets, of the global marketplace, of branding communication, and of the development of integrated marketing programs within the fashion industry. Students investigate the theoretical and practical underpinnings of marketing design and learn to build profitable customer relationships. The class examines the process of product planning, pricing, promotion, and distribution, with a focus on global resources, opportunities, and challenges. Students examine the role of marketing in a global business organization, learn the components of a formal marketing plan, and gain a strategic skill set related to marketing management, financial analysis, developing markets, and innovative problem solving.