Fashion Marketing and Merchandising
The Fashion Marketing and Merchandising program at East Tennessee State University provides students with the product knowledge and merchandising skills necessary to pursue diverse career opportunities within the apparel, textiles, and retailing industries. The study of fashion merchandising emphasizes both creativity and development of merchandising expertise enabling the graduate to function successfully in the dynamic and fast-paced retail industry.
There are two ways to study Fashion Marketing and Merchandising at ETSU. Students have the option to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with a concentration in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, or they can choose to major in a different area of study but obtain a minor in Merchandising.
Students in the program will take courses such as Fashion Fundamentals, Consumer Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, Apparel Product Analysis, Visual Merchandising, and Merchandise Planning & Buying.
- 2019 Overall Program of the Year
In 2019, for the 4th time in a decade, the Collegiate Merchandising Association's fashion show was named "Overall Program of the Year" by the ETSU Student Organization Resource Center. Click here to view a complete list of recipients.
Why Choose ETSU?
The goal of the ETSU Fashion Marketing and Merchandising program is to provide undergraduate students with learning opportunities involving all aspects of the business side of fashion instead of focusing on a specific facet of the fashion industry. The program presents a variety of courses covering topics such as the process of business and global fashion, as well as the timeline and steps needed to take a product from the concept phase to the consumer. Throughout the program, students will examine fashion forecasting, product development, product analysis, buying, manufacturing, visual merchandising, retailing, and marketing, as well as the business relationships among these entities. The comprehensive curriculum offers foundational fashion marketing and merchandising knowledge and strengthens students’ critical thinking skills to enable them to resourcefully solve fashion challenges as they arise in the industry. Students successfully completing the program earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree in Marketing with a concentration in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. This degree from ETSU provides a robust competitive advantage over fashion graduates from other universities who do not gain the same education in business and marketing principles.
Exciting career opportunities in fashion merchandising are found locally, nationally, and internationally. Graduates of the Fashion Marketing and Merchandising program pursue careers such as:
- Apparel & textile product developer
- Fashion advertising
- Public relations specialist for apparel & textiles
- Manufacturer representative
- Personal shopper
- Wardrobe consultant
- Retail manager
- Special events coordinator
- Trend forecaster
- Visual merchandiser
ETSU Fashion Marketing and Merchandising alumni are employed at major retailers such as:
Collegiate Merchandising Association
The Collegiate Merchandising Association is an extra curricular opportunity for Fashion Marketing and Merchandising students. The organization provides students with hands-on experiences by providing them with opportunities such as:
- Educational field trips
- Visit fashion markets in major cities
- Meet and network with ETSU Fashion Marketing and Merchandising alumni
- Develop leadership skills
- Improve time management and organizational skills
The purpose of the Collegiate Merchandising Association is to promote the Fashion Marketing and Merchandising program at East Tennessee State University, to acquaint its students with information and skills needed to facilitate professional development, and to provide merchandising services and consultation to the community. Click here to learn more about the organization.
Fashion Merchandising Study Tour
Students typically participate in the Fashion Merchandising Study Tour the summer of their junior year. The study tour will acquaint students with major apparel market centers, providing them with exposure to design, manufacturing, and retail organizations of historic importance or current prominence. Students will have the opportunity to interact with professionals working within the major market centers, take part in an informational lecture series, and gain hands-on experience in the world of fashion merchandising. The study tours are typically located in New York City or various European market centers, but the location varies each year.
Study Tour Highlight Videos:
Seth Ketron - Class of 2011
"When I started at ETSU, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Within my first week, I realized that I could see myself in merchandising. Four years, countless memories, and tons of training later, I graduated with the goal of becoming a buyer. I worked at the corporate-level for both TJX and JCPenney, but my heart just wasn’t in it. After some soul-searching and conversations, I decided to go back for my PhD, and I have now dedicated my career to studying, researching, and teaching retailing! As an assistant professor, I currently conduct and publish experiment-based studies in consumer behavior with a focus on retailing. Thus, I get to study what drives consumers in merchandising related areas. Thank you to everyone who made my time in the Merchandising program one of the best times ever!"
Renee Walden - Class of 2015
"After graduation, I began my initial career with Charlotte Russe where I went from a sales associate to store manager in the course of a year. That experience gave me the opportunity to transfer to the beautiful city of Asheville, NC, where I now reside. A few months after moving, I was lucky enough to start a new job with New York and Company. Because of that experience, I was recently recruited to run a boutique in the heart of downtown Asheville called Virtue. I am currently using everything I learned in my classes along with my prior corporate experience to run the store. A big thank you to the merchandising program teachers and peers I had along the way! You all had such a big part in my success."
Learn More About the Retail Industry
Fashion Industry Links:
American Collegiate Retailing Association
Americas Mart - Atlanta
Dallas Market Center
International Council of Shopping Centers
International Textile and Apparel Association
National Retail Federation
The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association