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Business and design programs???

yeahcollege123yeahcollege123 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited September 14 in College Search & Selection
I'm looking for a college where I can study business and design. I have been looking into business schools and was planning on minoring in something art/design related but have realized that what I really want is to do fashion but still get the business side of it so that I have a variety of skills that are not only specific to fashion design. I am super conflicted because I love NYU, and I feel that the quickest way into the fashion industry is just being in NYC. However, they don't have a fashion minor. Does anyone know if I could take classes at Parsons/FIT while at NYU? If so, does that even make sense financially? I would love to attend Parsons for their BBA program but I just don't have time at this point to do the Parsons Challenge. Does anyone know how difficult it is to get into their business and design program? I have an okay GPA and great SAT/SAT II Math II scores but if the Parsons Challenge is what is weighed most heavily I probably wouldn't have time to make anything amazing. Does anyone have any other suggestions for doing business/design? There are very few colleges that I have found that offer a degree similar to what Parsons offers but that would be an ideal program. I also just feel like being anywhere besides NYC is a disadvantage (I currently live just outside it) when it comes to making connections and getting into the industry. My parents also care about the college being prestigious and well-known. What do you think are my best options?
edited September 14
6 replies
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Replies to: Business and design programs???

  • momrathmomrath 5966 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @yeahcollege123, I think you need to take a step back and try to get a better idea of the range of jobs available in fashion and apparel and the types of companies that you might end up working for. It's a massive and diverse industry. At smaller brands the owner may handle both design and the business side. At larger companies, these functions tend to be different, but overlapping, areas of responsibility.

    If you want to design, you need to go to design school. A design degree would involve a some exposure to the business side but would also focus on how clothing is made. A familiarity with sewing, knitting and tailoring and other practical skills expected at top design schools.

    If you want to work in the apparel industry, but don't want to design, per se, then you have a lot of other options. With a BA or BS degree from NYU or any other 4 year college/university you could land an entry level job at a fashion or apparel brand in merchandising, marketing, sourcing or other "business" functions. The key would be to bolster your resume with summer jobs or internships. As you say, it's easiest to do this in the New York area, but, really, fashion retail companies are located all over the country and most offer internship opportunities for undergraduates.

    Medium to large size apparel brands and retailers, like to hire students with business or liberal arts degrees, because so much of the job is analysis and communication driven. Of course it helps to have an elevated taste level, to understand your targeted consumer and to generally, love fashion, but for merchandising/buying, marketing and sourcing/product development, a design degree isn't necessary.

    Another option would be to get a BA/BS degree then supplement it with a 1 year design or merchandising program from a design school (like FIT).
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  • yeahcollege123yeahcollege123 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Wow, thank you so much! So would you say that doing liberal arts at NYU would make most sense, with maybe minors in design and marketing (/something business related)? I would love to go to NYU's business school, Stern, for marketing or something along those lines but it is extremely competitive so I just don't see that happening. Would studying econ make sense with these minors? Honestly, I don't really want to do liberal arts but I've found that in general business schools at every university I have looked at have been much tougher to get into so I think I just have to accept doing LA, with the slight chance of doing an internal transfer later on.
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  • momrathmomrath 5966 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Getting a foot in the door in the apparel industry won't depend on your choice of schools or your eventual major (unless you choose a fashion-oriented school like FIT or Parsons). The determining factor will be your summer jobs and internships.

    Summer jobs and internships are where you make connections and get to know who does what in apparel organizations. It doesn't matter what the job is. What's important is the exposure.

    A solid resume with retail or fashion experience PLUS a BA/BS degree in just about anything would be a winning combination.
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  • swimchrisswimchris 256 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Northeastern offers both a robust business and robust design programs if that is the avenue you take. They also have a minor in fashion students, but I think what would be most helpful to you is co-op. There are many co-ops working on the business side of fashion brands. That can be in New York for “higher” labels or in Boston which is the Shoe capital of the US (New Balance, Puma, Reebok, Rockport)
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  • yeahcollege123yeahcollege123 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you! I did look at northeastern and really like this program (I think they have a specific business + design program if im not mistaken), and do genuinely like working so I would be excited about doing the co-ops, but I honestly didn't like the school that much. Are there any other schools that offer a similar type of program/have both business and design/fashion? Thanks again these comments are super helpful!!
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  • momrathmomrath 5966 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @yeahcollege123 When researching programs, I think you need first to decide if you want FASHION design to be part of the equation. There are many colleges and universities that offer design -- environmental design, industrial design, graphic design, digital design etc. -- but only a few that offer degrees in fashion design.

    Of course art and design schools are an obvious place to start: At Parsons, FIT, FIDM, RISD, MassArt, SCAD, MICA and several others you can study fashion and all its practical permutations including marketing, merchandising and the business of fashion.

    But if you're looking for a "full service" college/university (or a business school within a university) that offers a program in fashion design that you can combine with an academic or business degree, your choices are more limited.

    In the New York you might look at Marist, Cornell and Syracuse. Nearby Monclair. Farther afield Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Kent State, WUSTL. If you do some searching under BA/BS/BFA Fashion Design you will find others.

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