Apparel Design and Apparel Merchandising

Benefits

Located just minutes from downtown Seattle, where many apparel companies are headquartered (such as Nordstrom Product Group, REI, Eddie Bauer, Union Bay, Exofficio, Filson, Outdoor Resources, and Zulily), SPU’s Apparel Design and Merchandising program has strong connections with the apparel industry.

The program is committed to provide:

  • Strong liberal arts background
  • Creative apparel design and merchandising education and application
  • Critical and creative problem-solving and application in apparel design, production, and merchandising
  • Diversity of classroom experiences
  • Global perspective of apparel design, production, and merchandising
  • Clear understanding of ethical decision making, social responsibility, and sustainability
  • Strong communication skills and professional development
  • Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) dual-degree program
  • Design exhibition
  • Apparel design and merchandising internships
  • Network opportunities with professionals in the apparel industry
  • Student fashion group

Clothing needs are influenced by all aspects of society, and Apparel Design and Apparel Merchandising graduates must understand the social, ethical, cultural, economic, and political factors that influence clothing selection.

For this reason, the Apparel Design and Merchandising specialization has a strong interdisciplinary base integrating knowledge from arts, psychology, sociology, economics, business, history, physics, and chemistry. The liberal education provided by this program empowers you to think critically and to gain a sense of your intellectual and creative abilities — qualities highly coveted by employers.

Career preparation

Apparel Design and Merchandising graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers. Their knowledge and understanding of the total apparel/textile/retail complex, along with their unique insights into the consumer-driven market, make Seattle Pacific University students highly marketable. In addition, the global perspective of the curriculum opens many national and international career opportunities. Students in all options may increase their marketability by pursuing double majors of both specializations and minors in other areas.

Career options

Apparel Merchandising

  • Buyer/ Merchandiser
  • Merchandise Planner/Allocator
  • Sourcing Specialist
  • Brand Manager
  • Fashion Journalist/Stylist

Apparel Design

  • Apparel and Accessory Designer
  • Technical Designer
  • Apparel Product Developer
  • Creative Art Director
  • Apparel/Textiles Quality
  • Control Manager

Career opportunities

The broad academic base provided by this program allows you and other graduates to be flexible in career choices, allowing for greater opportunities in career changes or to continue educational pursuits. A considerable overlap among jobs in the industry and a broad educational base make it easier to transform career positions as opportunities and interests arise. For example, some graduates have worked as buyers for several years, then accepted positions as designers or in product development.

The fashion industry is a dynamic field, fast paced, global in scope, and complex. It is exciting working in a profession that deals with people’s physical and aesthetic clothing needs and is influenced by social, cultural, political, and economic developments. You are trained to succeed in a wide variety of career opportunities.

Apply to the major or minor

Apparel Design and Apparel Merchandising students may apply to the majors after successful completion of any three Family and Consumer Sciences courses.

  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.5 is required for admission to the major.
  • Apply to these majors or minor through the Major or Minor Online Application form.
  • Major applications are due the first Friday of Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Faculty contacts

Jaeil Lee

Professor of Apparel Design and Merchandising; Director of Apparel Design and Merchandising
PhD, Ohio State University

Email: leej@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2196
Office: Peterson Hall 211

Raedene Copeland

Associate Professor of Clothing and Textiles
PhD, University of North Carolina

Email: rcopeland@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2195
Office: Peterson Hall 211

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FCS success stories

Our graduates become scientists, designers, counselors, leaders, and educators in the apparel, interiors, and food and nutrition fields. Here are some of their stories.

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Related professional organizations

From the International Textile and Apparel Association to Fiber World, this is where you’ll find useful apparel design and merchandising links.

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