An ideal career path for the fashion-forward or trendsetting individual, the fashion industry is fast-paced and constantly evolving. If you’re looking to turn your keen eye for style into your dream job, VCAD’s Fashion Design with Specialization in Marketing program will help you refine your skills in garment creation and branding strategies.
In the first five terms, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the practical and technical skills involved in pattern making, garment construction, and apparel production. The last two terms will focus on marketing, business, and fashion show production — including staging and marketing a runway show.
By the end of the program, you will have created a professional portfolio that highlights your unique ideas and concepts, and will help you apply for positions in apparel design, product development, retail management, visual display, and much more.
Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:
- Apply knowledge and skills resulting from the study of modern fashion illustration, fashion design, design concepts and techniques in the creation of original garments that exceed industry design and quality standards
- Understand the relationship between fashion illustration, apparel design and product development and be able to communicate effectively design ideas between various manufacturing, marketing and merchandising components of the industry
- Construct and analyze garments so as to comment on the quality of construction, efficacy of the design, finishing techniques, and price point
- Analyze different classifications of apparel: men’s, women’s and children’s and discount in regard to price points, fit, construction and the market
- Understand the product development, apparel production, and textile life cycles in the context of their impact on design, merchandising and marketing
- Describe the importance of fashion forecasting, on the design, marketing and merchandising of apparel
- Develop a portfolio containing original design work, flats and specifications, photographs, a promotional kit and a final themed collection consisting of at least four original garments
- Describe and demonstrate the role of target marketing, market segmentation, and niche markets in the effective placement of sales product
- Articulate the role of branding and private labels in generating sales
- Describe the role of costing and merchandise management on ROI
- Source, negotiate and select fashion show venues
- Schedule, budget and coordinate a runway production
- And more!
This program consists of seven 12-week terms. Most courses are worth three credits. 90 credits are required to complete this diploma program.
Admissions Requirements in BC
- High school graduation or equivalent (from an English language teaching institution) or
- Mature student status (19 years of age upon starting classes and pass the college's admission test).
This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
CM10B - Drawing I
This course is an introductory level drawing course designed to have students apply the fundamental concepts of drawing. Students will experiment with the use of basic shapes and techniques in drawing simple objects comprised of lines, shapes, forms and shading patterns. This course will cover the notions of perspective, scale, and proportions and their role in the production of realistic looking drawings. Students will gain an understanding of light source placement and shadow casting and how these translate into a final drawing. Students will also receive instruction on the basics of composition. Students will be able to practice the various techniques learned throughout the course by developing drawings in a progressive manner.
CM10C - Photoshop I
This course introduces the students to the popular imageediting software Adobe Photoshop. The main objective of this course is to teach graphical image production. Through this ‘hands-on’ course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, as well as advanced features and tips, to prepare images for print production and web delivery. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create and enhance sophisticated images using Photoshop’s tools and features. You will learn how to correct and modify print and web images using various techniques and tools, such as layers, selection tools, brushes and masks, as well as how to apply special effects, blending options, and filters to original and composite images.
CM10D - Colour & Design
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the fundamental principles of design and color theory. Students will be introduced to the principle concepts of design such as layout, composition, and balance as well as the theories of color and how to use color creatively. These concepts will be presented in theory as well as reinforced through specific practical exercises and activities that will serve to demonstrate how each of the concepts is integrated into good design. Topical coverage includes terminology of design, composition, negative space, colour systems and theory, colour and light, tone, hue, saturation and value of colour, human element of colour.
CM10E - Illustrator IThis course presents Illustrator as an industry standard tool for the production of professional quality illustrations such as technical illustrations, mapping, illustrating from photographic reference, and colorizing bitmapped images. Students will not only learn how to create precise, organized and professional illustrations that will meet the demands and standards of art directors and advertising agencies, but they will also learn to express their creativity in design by using the advanced distortion, blends, fills masks and effects tools offered by the software. Students will understand how the production of graphics ties in within the overall design process.
FD100 - Fundamentals of Fashion Illustration
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of drawing and fashion illustration. Students will develop a visual vocabulary by exploring a variety of mixed media and drawing techniques to enable them to create a signature illustration style. Rendering and art concepts such as 2D and 3D perspectives, lines, shapes, textures, patterns and shading will be explored to aid in this creative expression. By gaining an understanding of proportions through the breakdown and blocking of the elongated fashion croquis and accessories, students will produce imaginative and visually dynamic illustrations that successfully communicates their personal unique style and ideas.
FD10E - Garment Construction I
This is an introductory course designed to introduce students to basic garment construction concepts and techniques by completing garment projects. Students will learn how to use and care for the fundamental tools of the garment production industry. Basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing will be taught. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Students will be able to practice the various techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini-projects, while developing and completing their first garment project.
FD30D - Pattern Making & Drafting I
This is an introduction to pattern making using standard accepted industry practices. Basic principles of flat pattern drafting, development of industry blocks and their use in pattern development in accordance with professional standards are addressed. Students will learn to develop basic pattern blocks and manipulate these drafts to create various design styles. Correct terminology and markings are emphasized.
FD200 - Fashion Industry
This course provides an understanding of garment styles, fashion elements, fashion forecasting, and an ability to recognize brands and people from within the industry. Fashion forecasting is a process that includes knowledge of changing colours and styles, lifestyles, and consumer buying patterns. Students will learn the science and art of fashion forecasting and how this affects decision making in the apparel industry. Digital forecasting techniques will be covered to help students uncover trends in marketing, technology, and popular culture.
FD210 - Textiles & Design
Students will explore both natural and synthetic fibres, their primary and secondary characteristics and properties, how fibres become fabrics, fabric names and usages, care, labelling, life and hand. Yarn production, weaves, knits, printing, dyes, and the new technologies in fibre production are examined. Eco-friendly trends in fabrication in the 21st Century are emphasized.
FD40E - Collection Design & Development
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students are introduced to fashion design principles, R.T.W, Couture as well as the entire Fashion Cycle from concept through design and production with a specific demographic and market. Fashion mood boards, research files, and analysis are utilized to form a brand DNA. Students will create a 20 look mini apparel collection, designed with original concepts that are suitable for a determined market. Fabrication of the line, fabric swatching and sourcing will be discussed on an individual basis. Students will develop and refine the croquis into a personalized style in preparation for Fashion Design Studio I. Students will learn how to draw accurate technical specs. Student will be exposed to the process of critique, selfanalysis and editing a collection.
FD500 - Garment Construction II
This course continues to develop both theoretical and practical construction techniques. It is designed to further basic garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects and samples. Basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking, fitting and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Students will be able to practice various techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini projects and a fully lined sleevless V-neck shift dress. A final construction exam at the end of the term will further test the student’s knowledge.
FD40D - Pattern Making & Drafting II
This course continues to develop further patterning techniques. Students will apply the knowledge learned from previous pattern making class on bodice manipulation. Students will create multiple bodice styles in both ½ and ¼ scale, utilizing the basic foundation blocks as a base. Flat pattern drafting, correct terminology and markings in accordance with professional standards are emphasized continually.
FD40B - Digital Pattern Making I
This course introduces students to computer-aided design for pattern making. Students will learn how to transfer pattern drafts to a computer with industry standard software. This course introduces the digital equivalents of pattern creation, alterations on existing product patterns. Through hands-on experience, students will gain knowledge of the system’s capabilities to digitize and modify designs, manage files.
PD340 - Product Development
Product development is a process that begins with a design concept and follows through to production. In this course, students are introduced to technical drawings, technical specification packages, production boards, garment design elements and product organizational flows, all of which are integral to the manufacturing, marketing and merchandising of apparel.
FD290 - Fashion Styling
Fashion stylists are responsible for organizing and preparing people, and assembling accessories and garments worn by models at a photo shoot. In creating “the look”, stylists must be up-to-date in all aspects of fashion forecasting. In this class, students will learn what is involved in fashion styling, turning theory into practice while working on a real-life photo shoot and magazine spread which will become a portfolio piece.
FD440 - Garment Construction III
This course is project based. New fabrics and construction sequencing will be introduced. Students will be using the techniques learned from previous garment construction classes and apply their knowledge on construction of four garments. Two knit wear pieces (basic swimsuit and jersey dress) will be introduced. A pair of woman’s trouser and blouse are also included. Pattern layout, marking, and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Student will experiment working with different types of fabrics and learn how to handle the materials.
PD330 - Pattern Making & Drafting III
In this advanced pattern drafting course students will learn how to interpret a variety of design propositions front and back in ½ scale. Further study and interpretation of complex tailoring and asymmetrical design propositions will be covered via demonstration and lecture. Correct seam allowances, developing facings, fusing and linings with engineered ease will be covered in both soft and tailored garments. Students will learn how to properly walk back a pattern and reconcile seams, notch, and label a professional factory ready production pattern.
FD50B - Digital Pattern Making II
This course builds on the concepts and tools introduced in Digital Patten Making I. Students will be expanding their knowledge of the AccuMark Explorer and Pattern Design Systems to develop, manipulate and modify digital garment patterns.
FD40C - Fashion Design Studio I
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students build on the design techniques, research and brand development learned in collection design development. Fabric swatching, experimentation and textile development will be used as a creative tool to generate original ideas. Utilizing the unique fashion croquis created in Collection Design & Development, students will research, create mood boards, establish brand development, a consumer demographic, market analysis, trend reports and an inspiration resulting in a 40 look cohesive collection.
FD400 - Digital Design Technology
In this course, students will explore various digital design techniques and tools necessary for developing professional fashion appropriate content. These key digital design skills will ensure the students are marketable and easily move forward into their respective fashion industries with the ability to create impactful presentations, layouts and designs. By exploring topics such as composition layout, textile design and technical drawing, students will learn how to visualise, plan and communicate multifaceted design concepts efficiently and creatively. In the second half of the course, students will be introduced to CLO 3D software which gives one the ability to instantly review changes and modifications to 2D patterns, colours, textures and finishing details. One can reduce design preparation time, review new designs and automatically generate pattern pieces. Lessons covered include software overview, avatar and patterns. Fabric simulation in 3D and export for sampling and manufacturing.
FD50E - Garment Construction IV
This course is project based. New fabrics and construction sequencing will be introduced. Students will be using the techniques learned from previous garment construction classes and apply their knowledge on construction of two garments. The first six weeks will be on tailoring a fitted women’s blazer, focusing on fusing, cutting, sewing, pressing, shaping/molding seams to ensure perfect garments for wear. The remaining six weeks will be on constructing a cocktail dress. Basic pattern layout, marking, and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Student will experiment working with different types of fabrics and learn how to handle the materials.
FD510 - Pattern Making & Drafting IV
In this advanced drafting course students will continue to build on the skills and aptitudes gained from Pattern Making & Drafting III. As a continuation of Pattern making and Drafting III, students will create patterns and toiles of the three designs selected from Collection Design & Development and digitized in Digital Pattern Making II. This will be an opportunity for students will pattern draft and sew toiles for their own original design ideas. Students will understand proper fall and fit of a garment as well as techniques to add or reduce fullness/drag lines, and create figure pleasing proportion on the body. Students will learn how to lay pattern pieces and create a fabric yield. Designers will utilize proper patterning and alteration techniques in order to create a toile, identify and correcting fit issues, and create industry production patterns.
FD50C - Fashion Design Studio II
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students are guided through the patterning, draping and construction process of 4 toile looks from the 40 look collection. Working from a fashion croquis and technical spec drawing students will learn how to decode a sketch, manipulate a block, lay, cut and construct a toile. Sequence of construction, sewing and pressing techniques, fabric yields and fitting will be covered in this class. Fittings will be executed on a cabine model by the instructor and notes will be recorded by students.
FD520 - Portfolio & Professional Development
Knowledge and technical skills learned from previous terms will be applied in the development and production of a portfolio containing original design work that reflects the student’s strengths and abilities. Topics include copy writing; planning and organising a digital project; professional layouts; marketing collateral and translating fashion ideas into visual design elements. Concepts will be executed using industry relevant software as well as implementing photographic, hand rendered and multi-media elements into a single digital medium. This course will encourage students to further develop their brand matrix, content and technical skills. This portfolio will endorse the values of the student’s fashion knowledge to enable them to highlight their designs, achievements and presence to potential buyers, partners and audience.
FD300 - Final Collection Capstone
During the final term this capstone course provides studio time and individual mentoring, so that advanced sewing techniques can be applied in a measured manner to each garment. This studio time will allow for revisions and a level of detail and sewing accuracy and precision expected in a final collection that is to be presented to industry. Students will be able to perfect advanced techniques learned throughout the program.
FD610 - Business of Fashion
Fashion is a highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold worldwide. Presently, with the help of education and technology a lot individuals have the opportunity to learn the needed skills and are either opening their own small business or being employed at an apparel organization. In this course students will learn how to run a fashion business as an entrepreneur and an employee of an organization. This course focuses on learning about the front end (B2C) and back end (B2B) of a fashion business. A large section of the course will focus on sales (lobbying and closing clients) and on legalities involved in the business of fashion.
FM30E - Visual Display and Merchandising
Visual display and merchandising is the artistic staging that makes the shopper stop, look and buy. All promotional marketing ends up with this point of sale display of merchandise, therefore knowledge is vital to any student entering the merchandising or marketing retail environment. Topical coverage includes: role of visual merchandising in effective marketing; effective visual displays; planning and budgeting effective visual displays; mannequins and window displays; and in-store displays.
FD620 - Social Media and Marketing
Social media has changed the landscape of marketing in the fashion industry. Social media is a tool for connection, brand building, and customer engagement. In this course, students will explore social network theory, digital storytelling, and key social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Students will learn how to plan, create, and manage a social media campaign on multiple platforms.
DP300 - Digital Pattern Making III
Computer pattern drafting techniques are further enhanced in this course. Through hands-on experience students will gain advanced knowledge of the pattern design system and will acquire additional computer-based pattern drafting skills. Students will complete a garment pre-production cycle in digital format.
FD630 - Fashion Design Studio III
In this advanced level studio class, students will continue to build upon the technical skills developed throughout the course and create a minimum of two cohesive looks that support the Final Capstone collection. Utilizing a concept from their 40-look collection, students will pattern and sew two additional advanced editorial press pieces that complement the overall feel of the collection. The goal of this course is to support designers in completing a comprehensive capsule collection for presentation to clients, buyers, editors or feature their designs at VCAD Fashion week.
FM40B - Fashion Buying
Buying involves complex decision making, which involves fashion forecasting, consumer buying trends, vendor selection and negotiation, pricing, sales, inventory record-keeping and ordering. This course introduces students to retail buying and the role of the buyer who makes daily merchandising decisions. Topical coverage includes: responsibilities of a buyer; fashion buying for retail outlets; applying marketing research; merchandising mix; and buying plans, inventory control, and negotiation.
FM50C - Global Marketing
In this course students will examine, from a Canadian perspective, the movement of goods into the international marketplace, with a focus on understanding the legal, political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects, as well as the development of a marketing campaign. Topical coverage includes: global marketing and the fashion business; social, political, economic, legal and cultural aspect of the movement of goods; emerging international markets; and marketing strategies in the international market place.
FD700 - E-Commerce & Retail Business
E-commerce is growing day by day in both B-to-B and B-to-C context. Retailing industry including fashion retail has jumped on the bandwagon and has begun to offer E-trading or online shopping. E-commerce as a model is totally different from the traditional shopping in all respect. Retail companies have fast realized the need to have E-commerce strategy separately but as a part of overall retail strategy. This class will focus on setting up an online as well as brick and mortar retail business, and will cover in detail strategy development for each.
FD710 - Brand Strategy
Brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A welldefined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. Brand strategy involves various factors such as audit, expression, activation, measurements, long and short term goals, architecture for international expansion, amongst many others. In this course students will explore various business strategy frameworks, how they work and how to draw conclusions from them for the brand’s short and long term goals.
FD720 - Runway Production
In this course students will learn about all the factors involved in conceiving, producing and publicizing a fashion show event, with the objective of strategically merchandising a new apparel collection. By examining, implementing and coordinating the various stages of production, including front-of-house organization, backstage management, planning and staging a runway presentation, and marketing a fashion event, students will develop the real-world industry competencies required to produce an effective runway show.