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School of Fashion

Fashion Merchandising and Management

Fashion and Retail Merchandising

The Fashion Merchandising and Management major at Lasell has a professional focus, rooted in Connected Learning, that seeks to educate students by promoting self-expression, academic exploration, and critical thinking in academic, civic, and career-relevant areas.

  • The Fashion Merchandising and Management Major prepares students to navigate the fast-paced fashion industry by offering expertise in business, textiles, buying, operations, and more.
  • As a Fashion Merchandising and Management student, you can take part in unique experiences such as:
    • Runway, the annual student fashion show
    • Polished, the student-run fashion magazine
    • studio1851, the student-run retail shop
  • The Lasell Fashion Collection, containing over 2,000 items dating back to the 19th century, helps support students in understanding historical style details, construction techniques, textile usage, and societal function.
  • Lasell is one of the only schools in New England that belongs to the National Retail Federation Student Association.
  • Lasell's School of Fashion has degree programs in Fashion Media and MarketingFashion Design and Production, and Fashion Merchandising and Management.

Runway: Behind the Scenes


Request more information about the Fashion Merchandising and Management major:

Each fashion professor is genuinely interested in the success of their students and had unique extensive experience in the industry.

Maggie Haggerty

Fashion and Retail Merchandising, 2019

Read more about Maggie
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ARTS126 - Principles of Design & Color (KP)

This course is an introduction to the theories and concepts of design and color with an emphasis on developing an awareness and sensitivity to art as an integral part of one’s life and as a way to complement one’s aesthetic needs. This is a lecture/discussion/critique course with visual material, critical essays, individual expression, and museum/gallery trips. NOTE: First year Graphic Design majors should seek out the majors-only section when enrollling.

BUSS201 - Financial Accounting

This course provides students with an applied knowledge of the fundamental accounting process and procedures used in business. Students learn how to identify and record business transactions. In addition, students learn how to create financial statements, as well as how to become intelligent users of financial information.

BUSS224 - Organizational Behavior

In this course, students study individuals within the context of the organization using a behavioral approach. Group dynamics and intergroup dynamics are emphasized in relation to productivity and work satisfaction along with the examination of specific aspects of organizations that influence behavior. Areas covered include: structure, leadership, and change. Teaching modalities include case studies and role-playing. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or SOC 101.

ECON101 - Principles of Econ-Micro

This course is an introduction to the principles of the economic behavior of individuals, firms, and industries in the mixed economic system. Topics include consumer demand; elasticity; supply and costs of production; the allocation of economic resources; international trade; and the role of government in promoting economic welfare.

FASH101 - The Business of Fashion

This survey course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the fashion business as it relates to cultural, historic, economic, and contemporary influences, giving students a basic understanding of the terms and concepts associated with the fashion and retail industries. The concepts and practices developed are equally applicable to the many career paths possible within the Fashion Industry. Topics include: technological applications, environmental influences on fashion; the fashion cycle; trend forecasting; fashion marketing; women's, men's, and children's apparel; supply chain management; product development, foreign and domestic market centers; and retail merchandising on multiple platforms.

FASH102 - The Fashion Consumer

This course examines the psychological and sociological variables that shape the fashion consumer’s decision making process. The wants and needs of consumers will be explored through an understanding of attitudes, and purchase motivation. Students will consider internal and external influencing factors, including the influence of social media and technology, the potential impact of government regulation, the consumer’s perception of self, and their perceived social and ethical responsibilities. The goal of building a strategy towards a satisfied and loyal customer will be at the heart of the conversation.

FASH105 - Excel for the Industry

Microsoft Excel is the foundation of business analytical software and has become the number one required skill for industry professionals. This course will introduce basic spreadsheet functions such as; formatting, data entry, pivot tables and analytical graphical display. Projects will directly reflect best industry practices. Students will apply developed skills to projects throughout the fashion curriculum.

FASH200 - Fash Hist I:Imperial Societies to Indust

This course surveys the history of prevailing dress from Ancient Egypt into the nineteenth century, expanding upon a general understanding of shifting modes to examine the symbolism of fashion from extensive perspectives. Students will develop a context for fashion and its relation to aesthetic expression and function within various societies over time. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students will examine a range of scholarly resources that pertain to the field, including The Lasell Fashion Collection. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: ENG 102, or permission of instructor.

FASH201 - Merchandise Planning & Control

This course provides an understanding of business strategies related to assortment planning, buying, and allocating inventory. Building upon retail math fundamentals, students create stock and sales plans in accordance with the goals and objectives of a given seasonal sales strategy, including methods of figuring markups, sales projections, turnover, average stock, stock-to-sales ratios, open-to-buy, markdowns, and gross margin. Negotiation skills related to terms of sale, shipping and pricing strategies are explored within the wholesale/retail business relationship. Both manual and computer-based calculations are explored through the use of Excel and other industry-based software. Concepts related to retail analytics and predictive modeling as they relate to consumer buying patterns will also be discussed. Prerequisite: FASH 101 & MATH116

FASH207 - Digital Tools for Fashion

Technical skills are becoming more and more a required proficiency in all capacities of the fashion industry. This course introduces Fashion & Retail Merchandising and Fashion Communication & Promotion students to software prominently used for apparel manufacturing, retail and media. With a focus on methods of visual communication, projects include technical drawing, colorization, editing, and integration and manipulation of photographic images.

FASH210 - Textiles

This course introduces the study of textiles through exploration of the production of fibers and methods of creating fabrics. Students learn to identify fiber content, properties and various types of weaving and knitting applications. Other topics include the study of fiber characteristics, quality and care of fabric finishes, and a practical assessment of fabrics in relationship to particular end uses.

FASH211 - Fashion Retail Management

This course explores the principles of retail management. Topics include; technological applications, marketing strategies, store image considerations, competitive analysis, legal constraints, consumer behavior, decision making and critical reasoning associated with retail store practices. Concepts are explored such as operating in an omnichannel environment and the use of retail analytics. Principles are examined and applied through class discussion and lecture, group projects and case studies. Prerequisite: FASH101

FASH212 - Visual Merchandising

This course builds a foundation to communicate design concepts and create visual solutions for promoting merchandise or ideas. Observation and critiques foster understanding of visual merchandising as a promotional tool. Hands on projects require research, synthesis of technical, aesthetic and conceptual knowledge to create effective solutions through use of color theories and design principles. Students become familiar with journalistic reporting and written analysis through various media applications.Prerequisite: FASH 101, ARTS 120.

FASH219 - Fash Industry Professional Development

This course is designed to prepare students for the professional work environment through researching career opportunities and identifying the qualifications necessary to be competitive. Students reflect on personal abilities and characteristics, which will help them to be successful and create a plan to acquire skills they may not already have. They will design a personal digital portfolio including resume, cover letter, and biographical statement, and will begin to build a professional network through LinkedIn. The course also explores career development and professional strategies, designed to prepare students for their required internship in senior year. Prerequisites: FASH211 or FASH218. May be taken concurrently.

FASH302 - Retail Operations

This course builds on the concepts learned in FASH 201 Merchandise Planning & Control and FASH 211 Retail Management extending into retail store planning, trading area and site analysis, financial management, omnichannel retailing and performance metrics. All phases of merchandising and sales management, including merchandise logistics, enabling technology, distribution channels, retail assortment planning and labor administration are incorporated into a comprehensive study of retail operations. Technological applications that are industry specific are utilized throughout this course. Prerequisite: FASH 211

FASH307 - Fashion Brand Management

This course introduces concepts related to fashion branding and brand recognition achieved by engagement of brand management theory; essentially the notion that perceived value or equity of a fashion brand can be increased through advertising, marketing, thematic control and integrated marketing communications. This creates a promise of style, perceived value and product quality that translates into brand loyalty. The course considers influences such as social media, iconic brand ambassadors, cultural branding and Omni-channel communications. The course also builds skills, which lead to creation of brand strategy, ethos and the ability to re-tool a brand when it saturates the marketplace. The brand management process will be discussed from inception to consumption and analyzed through contemporary case studies. Prerequisites: FASH212, FASH310

FASH308 - Fashion Show Production

This course focuses on development of a working knowledge of planning, management, and organizational skills required to produce successful fashion shows. Hands on experiences throughout the semester address the importance of teamwork, communication, and professionalism demanded in the fashion industry. Students plan, organize, and produce the annual fashion show as final project. Prerequisite: FASH 211 or FASH218

FASH309 - Apparel Product Development

Exploring the global product development matrix, students in this course work together in teams to explore the product lifecycle in terms of sourcing and production. Class sessions combine lectures and cases with hands-on exercises to reinforce key concepts. This survey course covers topics including supply chain management, design calendars, apparel product price points, brand differentiation, product distribution channels, trend forecasting services, color management, specification and technical package development, sizing, quality control, ethics, and evaluation of the global production environment. Pre-requisite: FASD 220, FASH211, or FASH218

FASH310 - Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a comprehensive course that concentrates on marketing within the virtual world. With a strong focus on the operational and functional aspects of this dynamic subject, the course will review tactical advice and real life examples. The course will cover key topics such as search engine optimization and marketing, retargeting, social media marketing, email marketing, lead generation and calls to action, online experiential marketing and consumer behavior in the virtual world. Students will also be introduced to the history of the internet and fundamentals of an effective digital presence. Students will discuss digital business models and learn the basics of app and website functionality and cross channel promotions. Developing strategies to create apps, websites, and virtual or augmented reality customer experiences will offer a contemporary and visionary opportunity. Integrating skills obtained in FASH207- Digital Tools, students will be fully immersed in the creation of their own fashion digital shopping channels. Prerequisite:FASH105,FASH207 & FASH211 or FASH218

FASH315 - Trend Forecasting

This course introduces students to theories and framework used to explain and predict fashion change. Course includes field trips to trade shows, museum visits , and presentations by industry professionals to help students understand the relationship of economic, artistic, technological, social and cultural influences to fashion change.Students apply creative ,research, and analytical skills to plan and develop a trend forecast. Prerequisite: FASH 101.

FASH405 - Fashion Retail & Merchandising Capstone

This course offers the student an opportunity to reflect and directly apply industry methods and practices acquired over the course of their degree studies. Students design and execute an in-depth project that engages them in research and experimentation, applying merchandising theories to a variety of situations. Prerequisite: FASH 415.

FASH407 - Digital Commerce & Analytics

Digital Commerce is today’s fastest growing business model in the retail industry. This course will prepare students to understand the underpinnings of both the front and back end of e-commerce website and app development, the digital consumer and their behaviors, UX design (user experience) and the end-to-end shopping journey from home page to shopping cart. Students will analyze the impact of e-commerce on business models and strategy as well as the infrastructure of these operations. The course will also review retail analytics with an emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative analysis used to track behavior and conversion. Students will apply critical thinking skills to assess web and app functionality, ease of navigation, and ways to engage the consumer in the virtual world. Prerequisite: FASH310, MATH208

FASH415 - Internship

The internship field assignment provides students with hands-on experience in the business of fashion, applying classroom theory to the professional work environment. Objectives for the field assignment include: (1) exposure to major components of the fashion company’s operation, (2) first-hand experience in the professional working environment, and, (3) acquisition of professional skills required for this ever-changing fashion industry. The student completes a journal, analyzes the internship company and processes, and receives feedback and evaluation from the internship site supervisor. A minimum of 150 hours of supervised onsite work is required. Collaborative experience affords students capability to maximize opportunities and explore career path optionswhile receiving four academic credits Prerequisites: FASH 401 and senior standing

MATH116 - Merchandising and Financial Mathematics

This course focuses on retail mathematics. Topics include simple and compound interest, the time-value of capital, annuities, amortization, sinking funds, bond and investment, business problem-solving and decision making. Other topics include profit, loss, and break-even analysis, pricing, inventory, and merchandise planning. The course introduces basic theories of statistics. Prerequisite: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or through placement testing.

MATH208 - Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis on applications in business and the social and biological sciences. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102.