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Fashion Merchandising

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and minor
    Do color, fabric and texture grab your eye? Do you have a flair for fashion and a creative style that expresses the real you? Is advising others on their fashion choices challenging and fun? Become the fashion merchandising professional you’ve always dreamed of being.

  • Become an active part of the fashion industry. Our program emphasizes the marketing and selling of fashion.

    Picture yourself working at all levels of retail sales for clothing and accessories. Plan and direct fashion shows and visual productions. Design, select and purchase clothing. Oversee the daily operations of a retail store, including customer service, marketing, sales and inventory control.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Study fashion trends, textiles, pattern design, consumer economics, historical dress and world cultures, retail merchandising, and principles of management — all with a Christian focus.
    • Minor in marketing or business management to increase your career opportunities and success.
    • Be less than 60 miles from Chicago’s Merchandise Mart and 350 West Mart Center, home to 120 wholesale apparel showrooms.
    • Participate in Career Day at Chicago’s Fashion Group International. Join several thousand students for workshops. Meet and learn from successful designers, buyers and stylists. Enter the design competition. Volunteer as a dresser, working backstage and helping the models.
    • Earn professional development units (PDUs) by attending professional meetings. 
    • Use our design library, student workroom and computerized sewing machines. 
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    An internship is a requirement for this program. Our students have completed internships with a variety of local and national companies, including: Nordstrom, Hollister Co., Express, Sears, Kay’s Jewelers, Old Navy, Pac Sun, Dillard’s and Merchandise Mart Properties.

    Apply your learning and skills to design your own clothing and accessories. Receive encouragement and guidance from your professors. Share your ideas with other students.

    Teamwork is a part of every semester. Working together, students have completed some wonderful projects, such as:

    • Senior Prom at Sojourn Senior Living Community, Kankakee, Ill. They asked residents to wear an outfit that was meaningful to them and to share why. Music was from the 1930s and 1940s.
    • Extreme Army Makeover at Salvation Army, Kankakee. Working after hours, they remerchandised the entire store in two Saturdays.
    • Annual student fashion show 

    Project story: Fire didn’t stop this FACS project



    Fashion Merchandising may be the area of study for you if you are:

    • People-oriented
    • Creative
    • Skilled in art, drawing and color
    • Strong in management and analytical skills
    • Looking for a high-energy, fast-paced, demanding career

    Possible careers include: retail store manager, department store manager, planner for fashion buying, visual merchandiser, buyer, display coordinator, fashion designer, retail salesperson

    Fashion Merchandising is part of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences within the School of Professional Studies.  

  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Gain the business and marketing knowledge you need to thrive in the fashion industry.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Catherine Anstrom

    Debra Kimberlin

    Complete list of faculty