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Did you know designing and sewing your own clothes is part of a degree at Auburn University?

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Auburn’s Apparel Merchandising and Design Program works to help students gain an understanding of the consumer-driven textile, apparel and retail complex.


The courses are taught by professors who are experienced in the industry and work to give students an edge for success in apparel, textiles and accessories. 


Classroom teaching is supplemented with field trips and speakers from the fields of textiles, apparel and retailing. Some of the speakers include corporate CEO’s, product developers, store managers and highly recognized designers. 


Optional study tours to Atlanta, New York, Italy and other areas of Europe provide students with a global perspective on international trade laws, fashion trends and the impact of culture and economics on consumer preferences.


“Being in the apparel merchandising program allows us to take really cool field trips, like last May we went to New York City to go on professional visits to Tommy Hilfiger, InStyle USA and Donna Karen,” Lauren Valavicius said.”


Valavicius is a senior in the apparel merchandising program.  After graduation she is seeking a job in the retail industry as a buyer. 


Students can choose between two different degree options within the program including apparel merchandising or design and production management.


The apparel merchandising option provides a foundation in textile and apparel product knowledge, and business fundamentals is combined with a focus on forecasting and interpreting consumer demand. Some of the supporting course work required is economics, accounting, marketing and statistics. 


Students who graduate with a degree in apparel merchandising go on to pursue careers such as a retail buyer, marketing director, sales manager or fashion coordinator. 


The product design and management option is structured around a core of courses providing students with knowledge about raw materials and manufactured products, design and product development, production technology and marketing concepts. Students get to experience hands on learning in the apparel laboratory. 


Students who graduate with a degree in product design and management pursue careers such as apparel product developer, apparel production manager and entrepreneur. 


“Right now I am applying for an internship in New York for this summer and after I get my degree in apparel merchandising I hope to be a buyer for a large department store,” Valavicius said. 


For more information visit the Apparel Merchandising and Design website. 

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