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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Fashion Marketing

Majors Overview May 6, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in fashion marketing and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Fashion Marketing

An understanding of fashion trends is combined with business savvy and creative design by fashion marketers, with the aim of targeting markets and coordinating the distribution and sales of clothing lines to consumers.

Armed with continuing education beyond a bachelor’s degree, students can seek leadership roles in the fashion market world. Every master’s program shares some common ground; however, graduates can use the different fields of study to train themselves for careers in visual displays, retail merchandising, or international marketing.

Courses commonly include fashion history and trends, and business instruction is imparted to students via courses in economics, world business, and marketing. Students enrolled in many programs can gain hands-on experience through internships in the fashion industry. In this article, we take a look at various options for graduate study.

Master’s Programs in Fashion Retail Management

A fashion retail manager is responsible for accurately predicting the clothing and accessory styles that will be marketable and for deciding the consumer groups to target. Students enrolled in the master’s degree program in fashion retail management learn ways of keeping track of fashion trends and predicting consumer buying habits. Professionals in the fashion industry, including acclaimed fashion designers, are often among the teaching faculty.

Education Requirements

Prospective students at most schools are required to hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in economics, business administration, marketing, or fashion. Students with prior work experience in the fashion industry or an equivalent field may also be preferable. Students are expected to have excellent communication skills as well as a good grasp of the English language.


The focus of courses in the fashion retail management degree program is both on independent research projects and teamwork. Students learn about determining the pricing of apparel and accessories. The program also focuses on enhancing their skills in producing, designing, and distributing fashion textiles. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Fashion promotion
•World business
•Customer relations
•Principles of fashion merchandising
•Fashion history
•Cultural communication
•Economic trends

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth of 12% has been predicted for marketing managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professional brought in an average annual wage of $115,750 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Students enrolled in some programs are offered the opportunity of applying skills learned from graduate degree programs in fashion marketing during a summer spent working abroad or by taking a continuing education course in an international fashion capital. Once they graduate from the program, students may want to spend their summer in cities like Paris, Milan, or Florence while involved in courses in a creative and energetic setting.

Master’s Programs in Fashion Visual Merchandising

Visual merchandisers are responsible for creating display environments through the use of space, props, color, and lighting, with the aim of selling a product more effectively.

They may also use interactive displays wherein sensory activators, such as pleasing smells, tactile devices, and sounds, are incorporated. A visual merchandiser can aim to reflect the brand’s image accurately in order to boost store traffic and sales.

Education Requirements

Fluency in English is a requirement of prospective students. While schools prefer applicants that hold an acknowledged university degree with a major in subjects such as marketing, business administration, or economics, they may also consider degrees in other related fields. Students with prior work experience in the fashion marketing industry may be preferable.


Part of the course duration may involve students obtaining hands-on experience while in an internship. Visual and sensory marketing skills will find an emphasis in the conduct of further study of the principles of fashion merchandising. Core coursework may also include topic areas such as:

•Window display elements
•Elements of color
•Contemporary visual merchandising
•Mannequin display
•Fashion merchandising principles
•Lighting design

Career Choices

A graduate degree in fashion visual merchandising can give students a competitive edge in the job market. Students will gain essential career skills, such as a grasp of the concept and layout of the store’s image, design of brand campaigns, and invention of visualization concepts aimed at selling a store’s image. They may choose from possible career options such as:

•Visual advertising manager
•Visual marketing director
•Special events manager
•Visual merchandiser
•Creative director

Master’s Programs in International Fashion Marketing

This fashion marketing degree program is devised to prepare students for careers abroad in international fashion marketing. Graduates can expect to become adept at dealing with the creative and commercial aspects of the international fashion sector. They study and analyze the latest fashion industry trends in countries like Italy, Japan, Russia, and China. A significant portion of the program duration involves studying abroad in a country of their choice.

Education Requirement

Graduates who wish to study the international market will benefit from enrolling in this program. They also need to be fluent in English. They would further benefit from knowing a second language with the aim of communicating and understanding another country’s business practices.


The research and analysis of potential and established international markets will form the focus of coursework. Students are imparted hands-on experience by working in a foreign market and completing projects with a focus on the country being studied. They complete work individually and in team groups under the supervision of a mentor. Core coursework may also include topic areas such as the following:

•Trends in fashion
•Products and materials
•International fashion business
•International promotion and communication
•History of contemporary fashion
•Market and applied research
•International marketing

Career Choices

The socioeconomic and cultural ins and outs of target foreign markets will form the focus of a career in international fashion marketing. Degree program graduates who seek occupations in international fashion marketing should be adept at analyzing and determining future trends. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•International specialty retailer
•Director of foreign sales
•Marketing director
•International market analyst
•Corporate strategic developer

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