Fashion Immersion (3 credits)
This course introduces students at a graduate level to the global fashion industry, with a particular focus on benchmarking successful organizational strategies. The course integrates textile functionalities, usages, design concepts, and apparel manufacturing. Students visit US fashion houses and participate in experientially focused workshops. Students will evaluate fashion strategies, from both the technical and business perspectives, and examine the conceptual frameworks and core disciplines within the Global Fashion Enterprise curriculum. Prerequisites: Completion or waiver of all GFE foundation courses.
Product Development & Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
In the development of any apparel product, attention must be given to form, function, fit and appearance and to their interrelationship. Form involves the influence of preference and individual choices. Function includes such aspects as "fitness for use," taking into account levels of activity, gender and age. Account must also be taken of the influence of markets, as well as the opportunities and constraints presented by design, cost and manufacturing systems. At the managerial level, the individual is faced with constant change from original concept to the end product. Multiple adjustments to the product arise at every phase requiring tremendous ingenuity and problem-solving skills. Graduates will be faced with this kind of process in the apparel industry and need to manage and follow through with the development of a product.
Technology in Fashion (3 credits)
This course aims to show that state-of-the-art technology in a given field has become an essential component for strategic leadership, profitability and stable employment. The point is made by providing a broad perspective on the major technical advances experienced by the apparel industry from the 1980s and their positive impact on the national industries where they originated and/or were adopted. Analysis of the difficulties met by high-wage countries failing to follow that course reinforces the point. Review of the factors accounting for these advances brings out the critical importance of technology transfer and fusion in the formulation and development of basic concepts. Detailing both processes offers the opportunity to introduce the notion of systemic thinking and its growing influence on management style. It is intended that the student will gain a global perspective of the textile and apparel business and of the growing role played by advanced technology and its impact on finances and personnel.
Fashion Global Marketing & Sourcing (3 credits)
U.S. textile and apparel companies are under siege, facing competitive threats that have been continually mounting for years. What it takes to be successful in the future is explored in this course. The concept of "business as usual" has long outlived its usefulness, and new and refreshing approaches are necessary. Students will be introduced to avant-garde management concepts often espoused, but seldom adopted, by most textile and apparel managements. The course is designed to introduce the student to the global perspective of today's apparel industry and to prepare the student to make critical international marketing and sourcing decisions within a complex economic environment. Students will explore the major variations which occur across international markets—economic, social, and cultural; examine the behavior of business within different marketing and manufacturing contexts; and consider the factors involved in making effective global marketing and sourcing decisions.
Fashion Supply Chain Management (3 credits)
The course provides a broad introduction to many critical facets of supply chain. Students in this course will understand existing tools utilized in managing inventory and logistics in the global supply chain. The course covers topics in inventory logistics management, network design, value of information sharing, the international supply chain, supply chain contracts, and risk management.
Product Evaluation (3 credits)
The processes for the evaluation of fabrics and products are examined. The use of product assessment as a tool for process and product improvement is emphasized. The complexity of the fiber, yarn, fabric and product-forming systems is such that it requires careful evaluation at each stage of the manufacturing process. A comprehensive understanding of the interrelationships of the fabric and product forming stages as related to their evaluation is developed. Established and innovative methods of evaluation are explored.
Global Fashion Networking (3 credits)
This course exposes students to fashion ecosystems through an international short course, coupled with classroom and experiential instruction. Students will tour design houses, mills, apparel factories and retail locations in Asia, identifying best practices in merchandising and supply chain management within these organizations. Students gain knowledge of product development and marketing, the manufacturing environment, quality assessment, and customer service. Students acquire global competencies and understanding.
Global Fashion Seminar (1 credit)
This course will expose students to a wide variety of topics and enable them to discuss broad issues that cut across several disciplines. This course will enable the student to evaluate the content and delivery of a series of presentations. It will also provide an opportunity to conduct research on a specific topic and then write a comprehensive report of their findings.
Fashion Internship (3 credits)
Internships provide students with an opportunity to apply and further develop the knowledge they have gained in the classroom. Under faculty supervision, students work in salaried positions related to their career goals. While on their assignments, students develop meaningful learning objectives, attend an internship seminar, complete challenging assignments and write bi-weekly reports analyzing articles in academic journals and practitioner publications.
Global Fashion Project 1 (2-2-3)
This is the first course of a 3-semester experience that allows customization to suit student career aspirations and interests. Student teams identify and prototype new products and designs, leading to comprehensive value chain mapping ranging from virtual design, to physical manufacturability, and merchandising strategies. Students participate in weekly progress critiques with studio faculty and other students, as well as regular meetings with outside project stakeholders. Semester concludes in a progress presentation with outside critics
Global Fashion Project 2 (2-2-3)
In this continuation of the Project 1 course, students partner with global firms to conduct strategic company assessments. Sponsored projects will be sought and made available to students as appropriate to their skills and interests. Design and merchandising focused projects will form the basis for the development of a supply chain strategy, including sourcing of raw materials and product specifications, factory costing, margin realization and risks assessment. Semester concludes with a presentation to outside critics.
Global Fashion Project 3 (2-2-3)
This final practicum module focuses on the development of a design brief, visual merchandising campaign, or business plan development. This portion of the capstone experience is designed for early-stage entrepreneurs or start-up businesses, with academic components on business law and ethical considerations. Students present their business model after interviewing clients and reviewing their plans with industry partners/sponsors. Each phase of the new business lifecycle concludes in a progress presentation with outside critics.