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School of Fashion

Fashion Merchandising and Management

Fashion and Retail Merchandising

Fashion Merchandising and Management at Lasell

A B.A. in Fashion Merchandising and Management from Lasell prepares you with the knowledge and skillsets for leading business operations in the fashion industry.

Through industry-oriented projects, you will apply all elements of merchandising, marketing, and management of the fashion enterprise. Topics include retail and wholesale, visual and digital merchandising, supply chain logistics, and omnichannel operations — with an emphasis on strategic management for optimized business results. 

Program Features

  • Earn industry-recognized certificates as part of your coursework through HubSpot, National Retail Federation, and more.
  • Gain professional experience through internships; sites have included New Balance, TESstylist, and NewStore among many others. 
  • Travel to NYC to visit fashion corporate offices and showrooms; study abroad with international fashion institutions.
  • Volunteer and work in local fashion events, like Boston Fashion Week. 
  • Learn from experienced faculty who are seasoned professionals, opening doors to the industry.  
  • Work with a real company and its executives during the Capstone experience.  

What You'll Learn

From your first day, you’ll take courses in your major and advance towards graduation with a yearly plan. Not sure what classes to take? We’ll help you create the perfect plan. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an awareness of aesthetic and style, yielding a 'trained eye' for the fashion industry.
  • Understand and develop merchandising strategies, both visual and digital. 
  • Leverage analytics skills to make strategic merchandising decisions, including merchandise planning, control, allocation, and buying.
  • Demonstrate fashion forecasting and analysis ability, understanding the role of data analytics and trend forecasting insights.
  • Assess the challenges of sourcing, supply chain management, and elements of the fashion system’s value chain, considering issues that impact it, including sustainability.
  • Work collaboratively with peers and industry professionals in the design, execution, and presentation of a Capstone project.

For a complete list of courses and learning outcomes, view the Academic Catalog >>


Accelerated Master's Program

Save time and money — earn your graduate degree in just 1 year with the Master's Acceleration program. Learn more and how to apply >>

Career Success in the Fashion Industry

Lasell’s program in Fashion Merchandising and Management prepares students for careers in eCommerce Merchandising, Showroom Management, Retail Operations, Product Development, Inventory Control, and more.

Our students have interned with:

  • Karhu 
  • NewStore  
  • TESstylist  
  • New Balance 
  • KB Fashion Productions
  • Wayfair
  • Marc Jacobs

Our alumni work for:

  • The TJX Companies, Inc. 
  • Nic+Zoe 
  • PUMA Group 
  • Rue Gilt Groupe  
  • Converse 
  • Wolverine Worldwide 
  • Ann Inc. 

Request more information about the Fashion Merchandising and Management major:

ARTS126 - Fundamentals of Visual Art (KP)

This course is an introduction to the basic principles and strategies for visual art-making and art appreciation, 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 course with studio art-making modules designed to complement visual material, critical essays, museum/gallery trips and impart basic skills in visual communication.

BUSS105 - Excel for Business

This course introduces students to basic Microsoft Excel skills. Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program used for storing, organizing and manipulating data. It is critical to the business world today as the volume of data generated has exploded. This introductory course will provide students with information and skills needed to create basic workbooks and worksheets, create simple formulas, copy and move data, format data and cells, work in large spreadsheets and with data series, create pivot tables, and more. As part of this course, all students will have the opportunity to become certified in Microsoft Excel through the professional certification called Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016 – Core Data Analysis, Manipulation, and Presentation. The certification also comes with an electronic badge. Students are also introduced to Income Statements, Balance Sheets, Statement of Cash Flows, Ratios, and the Basic Accounting Cycle.

BUSS220 - Principles of Marketing

In this course, the fundamentals of marketing are explored for practical application in today's business environment. The process of creating value for customers by utilizing the tools of marketing -- market segmentation, targeting and positioning, marketing research and communications, product development, channels of distribution, and pricing -- are explored with a project-based, interactive approach. Additionally, there is a service learning component included in this course that enables students to further apply the course concepts while working to advance a participating non-profit organization. Prerequisites: BUSS101, COM101, HEM101, HEM102, FASH101, or SMGT102 AND ENG102 or WRT102.

BUSS325 - Sales Principles

Students in this course will analyze salesmanship in modern business with emphasis placed on the principles and techniques of individual selling styles in both retail and wholesale markets. Topics covered include: dramatization of the sale presentation; the selling role; buyer characteristics and motivations; modern sales practices; corporate sales planning; sales-force policies; time and territory management; forecasting, budgeting; and expense control. Prerequisite: BUSS220

DSCI202 - Business Analytics

This course provides the conceptual and technical foundations of various aspects of Data Analytics. The purpose is to prepare students with foundation skills in Big Data, a skill widely needed and valued across the business world. The course will expose students to the data analytics practices executed in the business world and explores key areas of the analytical process, how data is created, stored, accessed, and how organizations work with data and creates the environment in which analytics can flourish. This course will provide students with a strong foundation in all the areas that support analytics and will help them to better position themselves for success within any organization. This course provides the conceptual and technical foundations of various aspects of Big Data Analytics, including cloud computing, NoSQL Databases, predictive and prescriptive analytics. Prerequisite: MATH208 or MATH209.

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

The Business of Fashion is a survey course that 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 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

The Fashion Consumer examines the psychological and sociological variables that shape the fashion consumer’s decision-making process. The wants and needs of consumers are explored through an understanding of attitudes, and purchase motivation. Students 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 is at the heart of the conversation.

FASH200 - Fashion History I:Imperial Societies to Industrial Revolution

Fashion History I: Imperial Societies to Industrial Revolution surveys the history of prevailing dress and material culture 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 develop a context for fashion and its relation to aesthetic expression and function within various societies over time. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students examine a range of scholarly resources that pertain to the field, including The Lasell Fashion Collection. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: WRT102 or Permission of Instructor

FASH201 - Merchandise Planning and Control

Merchandise Planning and Control provides an understanding of business strategies related to assortment planning, buying, and allocating inventory. Building upon retail math and excel 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 Microsoft Excel. Prerequisites: FASH101, MATH116, & BUSS105 or FASH105

FASH207 - Digital Tools for Fashion

Digital Tools for Fashion equips students with the technical skills and understanding of how to use a variety of software applications, an increasingly in-demand skill in all capacities of the fashion industry. The course introduces students to software used in apparel manufacturing, retail, and media. With a focus on methods of visual communication, projects include technical drawing, colorization, editing, integration and manipulation of photographic images, and video editing basics.

FASH210 - Textiles

Textiles 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 - Omnichannel Management and Operations

Omnichannel Management and Operations provides students with an understanding of the principles of Retail Management and Operations in both the physical and digital realms. Topics include: the changing nature of the omnichannel environment, principles of strategic planning, organizational structures and design, management skills and HR practices, store planning both on and offline, customer service in a world of connected platforms, global impact of the industry, and an introduction to backend operations and supply chain management. Applications of these principles are explored through course discussion, case studies, papers, and readings. Prerequisites: FASH101 & ECON101

FASH212 - Visual and Digital Merchandising

Visual and Digital Merchandising introduces students to the art of visual and digital presentation as a tool to support business strategy and enhance brand and messaging. Students develop and apply color, aesthetic, and design awareness to develop impactful visual messages and presentations in varied environments – both on and offline. Students are challenged to think about visual and digital merchandising as a way to create engaging experiences that prompt product discovery and inspire purchase. Creating brand aesthetic, strategically positioning product, communicating design concepts, styling merchandise for optimal salability, and all modes of creative visual solutions are central to visual and digital merchandising. The curation of these efforts is explored relative to the various platforms that consumers engage with: social, mobile, traditional retail, and ecommerce. Prerequisites: ARTS126 & FASH101

FASH219 - Fashion Industry Professional Development

Fashion Industry Professional Development is designed to prepare students for entering and building careers in the professional work environment. Students reflect and analyze both themselves and the industry to identify and develop a comprehensive plan for pursuing professional objectives. Students’ professional strategies yield specific, actionable plans and a suite of materials to prepare them for entering the job market. The final outcome is a personal branding suite, including traditional job application materials as well as a digital brand presence and portfolio of industry-relevant course outcomes. Professional communication skills are developed, including networking, job searching, and interviewing. Upon completion of the course, students demonstrate a preparedness for a required internship experience. Prerequisite: FASH102

FASH307 - Fashion Brand Management

Fashion Brand Management introduces students to the myriad of concepts associated with fashion branding and an analysis of brand management theory. Methods for building brand identity, awareness, recognition, loyalty, extensions, and equity are explored, including an examination of the impact of advertising, marketing, thematic control and integrated marketing communications on the perceived value of fashion brands. The course considers influences such as social media, iconic brand ambassadors, cultural branding, and omnichannel communications. Tactics and techniques for influencing brand perception and associations as well as developing a brand ethos and strategy are also covered. External environmental factors that influence brand and the branding process are studied. The brand management process is discussed from inception to consumption and analyzed through contemporary case studies. This course is writing-intensive. Prerequisite: FASH102

FASH308 - Fashion Event Production

Fashion Event Production explores the dynamic components of fashion events. Students develop a working knowledge of event planning and management. A major outcome of the course is a professional large-scale event that is planned, coordinated, managed, and produced by students in the course. Students are responsible for all elements of event preparation, promotion, and all logistics of event execution. Students think strategically about events, from concept to structure to audience experience, and more. The course emphasizes hands-on learning experiences, teamwork, communication, and collaboration as essential elements of successful event production. Prerequisite: FASH211 or FASM218

FASH309 - Apparel Product Development

Apparel Product Development explores the global product development matrix in the apparel industry. Students work together in teams to explore the product lifecycle in terms of sourcing and production. Topics covered include: 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. Prerequisite: FASH211 or FASD220

FASH315 - Trend Forecasting and Analytics

Trend Forecasting and Analytics introduces students to theories, frameworks, and methodologies used to analyze and forecast fashion trends and change. Major macro themes that impact trends are explored, including cultural and societal issues and all elements of zeitgeist. The ability to recognize emerging trends and anticipate aesthetic preferences coupled with the aptitude to ground style intel in concrete numbers and analysis via sales and inventory level forecasts, market data, predictive analytics, and other tools prepares students for both the art and science of formulating a sound fashion forecast. Students also explore the applications, function, and purpose of forecasts within the fashion company. Prerequisite: FASH200, May Take Concurrently

FASH406 - Global Perspectives and Markets in the Fashion Industry

Global Perspectives and Markets in the Fashion Industry explores varied facets of global fashion. Students interpret world perspectives through the study of international markets, including fashion marketing and the global consumer, and omnichannel management in a dynamic business environment. This includes discussion topics of importing and exporting in the retail sector, world economies’ impact on intercontinental commerce, and the diverse cultural contexts of the industry. Prerequisite: FASH211

FASH407 - Digital Commerce and Analytics

Digital Commerce and Analytics explores the dynamics of the fast growing digital space in the retail industry. The course prepares students to understand the underpinnings of both the front and back end of ecommerce website and app development, the digital consumer and their behaviors, UX design (user experience) and the end-to-end consumer journey. Students apply critical thinking skills to assess web and app functionality, ease of navigation, and ways to engage the consumer in the virtual world. Students analyze the impact of ecommerce on business models and strategy, as well as the infrastructure of these operations. The course includes retail analytics with an emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative analysis used to track behavior and conversion. Prerequisites: BUSS 105, MATH 209, & FASH 211

FASH410 - Fashion Supply Chain Management

Fashion Supply Chain Management exposes students to elements of the global supply chain. Students learn supply chain functions, from raw materials to consumer. Content includes organizational logistics, sourcing and production, inventory and information systems. The course focuses on the apparel and textile industry and discusses Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and associated global factors that impact the supply chain. Students gain an understanding of how the fashion industry supply chain relates to various roles in a fashion company, from designer to merchandiser and beyond, creating value for the consumer and to the benefit of the organization. Prerequisites: FASH309 & MATH209

FASH415 - Fashion Industry Internship Seminar

Fashion Industry Internship Seminar is four-credits and includes a field placement and course. Fashion industry exposure and real-world experience is paramount to the fashion student. Supported with resources, students explore the job market to identify challenging, value-adding internship positions during which they gain practical, hands-on industry experience. On-the-job industry exposure is an opportunity to synthesize and apply concepts, theories, and techniques previously learned, both leveraging and adding to industry skill sets and knowledge. Internship experience and seminar learning outcomes include: (1) exposure to and strengthened command of industry dynamics and fashion business operations, (2) first-hand experience in the professional working environment, (3) acquisition of professional skills required for industry and career readiness, and (4) resume and professional network growth. Students complete self-reflection and critical analysis of the internship organization and experience, as well as receive feedback and evaluation from the internship site supervisor. A minimum of 150 hours of supervised onsite work is required and should be in an area of the industry aligned with students’ career objectives. Internship field placement is subject to the approval of the Internship Coordinator and the Lasell University application process and requirements outlined therein. Prerequisites: FASH219 & FASH207 or FASD220

FASH427 - Fashion Industry Capstone

Fashion Industry Capstone is the culmination of the Fashion Merchandising and Management and Fashion Media and Marketing programs. The course synthesizes previous academic, professional, and relevant co-curricular experiences, leveraging knowledge and skills from prior courses, specializations and minors, internship experiences, industry engagement and employment, etc. The course partners with a real company for the duration of the semester and students act as a consulting agency for the firm. Following initial meetings with the company and from analysis and diagnostic assessment of the organization’s position, a comprehensive strategic plan is developed and ultimately presented to senior executive management members within the company. The project involves a company analysis, a review of the competitive landscape, a study of market conditions and trend analysis, and development of a promotional strategy, product mix planning, the proposal of options for new strategic initiatives and an outline of benchmarks to measure feasibility, success, and outcomes. Prerequisite: FASH415, May Take concurrently

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.

MATH209 - Business Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics focused on applications in business. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, time-series analysis, trend and seasonality analysis, simple and multiple correlation and regression analysis, sales and cost forecasting, probability, expected monetary value, and the Normal distribution. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102. With permission of the instructor only.