Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing

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  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    61 Weeks

  • Program Location

    calgary Campus

Program Overview

Prepare to excel in the dynamic fashion retail field with our Marketing & Merchandising for Fashion Diploma - Merchandising Specialization. This program will ensure you have the vital skills to succeed in the fashion business and retail experience. The program explores consumer buying, sales events and promotions, fashion styling, pricing, apparel production, and product and consumer merchandising. You'll also develop a strong foundation in customer and channel relationships, strategic planning for retail, and the fashion product life cycle.


Your first four terms will focus on the essentials like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, fashion history, textiles, mathematics for retail, fashion forecasting, and brand development. In your final term, you'll delve deeper into merchandising with courses such as Apparel Production, Store layout and planning, and Fashion Styling.


  • Fashion Stylist A Fashion Stylist curates style for models and wardrobes for tv or theatre and differs from a personal stylist in that they are hands-on and involved in the project. 
  • Stylist Stylists are consultants who curate looks for editorial features, print or advertising campaigns, visuals, performances, and public appearances for celebrities, models or other public figures.
  • Retail Space Planner Retail Space Planner creates planograms, guidelines, and information for retail stores using approved merchandise and ensure the accuracy of execution of plans.
  • Visual Display Assistant Visual Display Assistant designs the visual look of the sales floor and the placement of its merchandise. 
  • Marketing Assistant A Marketing Assistant ensures marketing campaigns reach their target audience through research, feedback and support. 


  • Use design theory to solve fashion design problems
  • Create original garments that exceed industry design and quality standards
  • Understand the relationship between fashion illustration, apparel design and product development
  • Effectively communicate design ideas between various manufacturing, marketing and merchandising components of the industry
  • Describe the role fashion history plays in fashion styling, design and display
  • Analyze garment construction for quality, efficacy of design, and price point
  • Understand the product development, apparel production, and textile life cycles
  • Understand 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
  • The program consists of five 12-week terms. Most courses are worth three credits. 90 credits are required to complete this diploma program.
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Courses Timeline

Your program begins with teaching you the fundamental skills necessary for your future in fashion. These traditional, digital and informational skills give you a strong foundation in colour theory, pattern making and garment construction — all are focused on building your skills and knowledge to succeed in the fashion industry.

Now we build on the basic skills we have developed. We continue to build upon these foundational skills. You begin to draw, design and create at a higher level. The foundation is now in place.

You continue to expand your skill set. You learn the fundamentals of the design process and start to see it executed in your work. Technology becomes more important as we move our work onto our computers. We use many programs to give you industry experience and teach you how to design and build.

Now you have the tools and skills to ideate and execute your designs, specifically how to make garments and patterns.

Here you will start to learn about the specialties in our industry. You have the skills and foundation. Term 5 is about applying them and building your vision from scratch to execution. We start building your portfolio and professional development.

  • Photoshop I

    In this course, students will gain an understanding of the application and importance of image editing and construction as a universal skill in across diverse design genres. This course introduces students to raster image-editing software, Adobe Photoshop. Through this 'hands-on' course, students will acquire skills with workflow fundamentals, as well as advanced features, and tips, and acquire the skills to prepare images for digital output and print. Emph...

  • Colour & Design

    This course will build students’ understanding of colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied practice. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science and theory and teach them how to apply these principles. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises and activities that will...

  • Canadian Retailing

    In this course, students are introduced to the multifaceted aspects of the Canadian fashion retailing industry, including types of retailers, retail organizations, fashion consumers, merchandise management and retail promotion.

  • Illustrator

    In this course students will learn the basic Adobe Illustrator concepts and tools necessary to begin now and further develop in later courses technical packages in fashion such as technical drawings, retail floor plans, promotional materials, catalogues.

  • Sustainability

    Sustainable fashion is becoming integral to fashion design philosophies, technologies, and trends in manageable sustainability. The fashion industry has recognized that being socially responsible should minimize the human impact on the environment and people. In this course, students conduct market research examining political, economic, social, and technological sustainability issues using PESTLE analytical techniques.

  • Fashion Illustration

    Fashion illustration is vital in the product development and marketing of apparel and accessories. Illustration represents the product visually: it is a form of stylized drawing that communicates not only an artistic representation but also a sense of style. In this course, students will learn the basics of this fashion art form: • Illustration as a form of fashion communication • Fashion illustration basics • Fashion body vs. human form &b...

  • Fashion Marketing & Promotion

    This course introduces students to basic fashion marketing principles. Fashion Marketing is defined as more than just “selling”: it is creating in the consumer the need and want to purchase fashion goods using a strategy of correct pricing and placement of goods, product offerings and promotional techniques targeted to the marketing segment.

  • Fashion Writing

    This course introduces students to print-based media and develops the skills to write promotional or reporting material for fashion by learning writing in the communication process, newspapers and fashion journalism, fashion advertising, and new media and blogs.

  • Fashion History

    This course is an overview of fashion history, its effect on contemporary trends and the marketing and merchandising of fashion apparel and accessories. Students learn the roles of costuming through the ages, the influence of costuming on designers, fashion as an evolutionary process, and costuming in fashion promotion, styling, product development, and visual display.

  • Textiles

    Students will explore natural and synthetic fibres, their characteristics and properties, the transition between fibre to fabric, fabric names and usages, care, labelling, life and handling, yarn production weaves, knits, printing, dyes, and new technologies in fibre production with an emphasis on 21st Century trends.

  • Consumer Buying

    This course explores the consumer buying process and the fashion industry: consumer behavior, internal and external factors influencing fashion consumers and consumer buying decisions.

  • Fashion Forecasting

    Fashion forecasting is a process that includes knowledge of changing colours and styles, lifestyles and consumer buying patterns, and varying methods of retailing merchandise. Students learn the components of fashion forecasting, decision-making in the apparel industry, the role of fashion forecasting in the textile apparel industries, forecasting techniques and technologies, and limitations of forecasting.

  • Fashion Public Relations

    Public Relations (PR) is the management and marketing function that links the fashion business with the buying public. Publicity is a communication method that tells the public about an apparel line, an emerging designer, a service, an event or an idea. In this course, students learn to generate effective PR in fashion through public relations, planning, budgeting and scheduling, news releases, media kits and announcements.

  • Mathematics for Retail

    In this course students will learn mathematical concepts and procedures and how they are applied to achieve profitable fashion retail merchandising.

  • 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. Students learn the role of visual merchandising in effective marketing, visual displays, planning, budgeting, mannequins, window and in-store displays.

  • Brand Development and Management

    This course introduces students to brand development and management within the fashion and related industries by exploring brand creation, perception, branding principles and techniques such as logos, colour, semiotics, retail spaces, web presence, promotion and marketing, product development, brand alliances and language. Students learn to identify a successful branding strategy and will propose a new branding strategy for an existing brand.

  • Fashion Buying

    Buying involves complex decision-making involving 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, the responsibilities of a buyer, fashion buying for retail outlets, applying marketing research, merchandising mix, buying plans, inventory control, and negotiation.

  • 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.

  • Fashion Promotion

    Fashion shows produce to sell merchandise and are one of the most visual forms of promotion, making a statement to consumers at all levels: retailers, buyers, manufacturers, and designers down to the fashion-forward customer. In this course, students learn to plan and execute a fashion show as a promotional tool.

  • Business Communication

    Fashion is an industry that involves teamwork and working with diverse people making communication skills essential. This course focuses on written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills as they apply to new media, resume writing, interview skills, customer service, the workplace, ethical and social responsibilities, and conflict resolution. Students learn communication using new media and negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

  • Apparel Production

    Fashion students gain knowledge of ready-to-wear apparel production: critical paths, quality control, mass production techniques, garment sequencing, assembly and costing, private labels, branding, and industry-standard product and garment specifications.

  • E-Business

    24/7 is a fashion business buzzword, and e-business provides the solution to satisfy this vital consumer need. This course focuses on the product, placement, pricing, promotion and how the consumer purchases in the cyber world.

  • Global Marketing

    In this course, students examine the movement of goods into the international marketplace from a Canadian perspective, focusing on the legal, political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects, the development of a marketing campaign, global marketing and the fashion business, and marketing strategies in the international marketplace.

  • Portfolio

    In this course, students will first develop a professional fashion portfolio demonstrating their skills in fashion marketing or merchandising.

  • Fashion Styling

    Fashion stylists are responsible for organizing and preparing people, accessories and garments worn by models at photoshoots. In creating “the look,” stylists must be up-to-date in all aspects of fashion forecasting. Students learn styling and trend forecasting, apparel advertising, theory, and practice while working on a photo shoot and magazine spread, which will become a portfolio piece.

Costs & Requirements

For tuition prices and costs, fill out the request info form to speak with an admissions representative.



Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • If it wasn't for VCAD I don't think I would be where I am today. I've had some amazing opportunities, I've met some wonderful people - amazing connections, and I'll be forever grateful.

    - Sabrina Laprise
  • The most important thing that I learned at VCAD was how to use software - graphic design software.

    - Ewa Wawryszuk
  • What drew me to the interior design program was that it was a creative industry and also that it's business oriented.

    - Luc Kwan
  • I chose VCAD because of all the options and programs that they offered, and I wanted to succeed and through not just my classes but also making like really cool things that I'm proud of.

    - Luke Johnston
  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk


Learn from VCAD graduates what it's like to study fashion.

  • Student Portfolio

    Omama A.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Autumn K.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Kaitlyn H.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Liam P.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Andrea D.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Andrea R.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Amelework S.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

Meet our Instructors

  • Victoria Patterson

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Carol Parchewsky

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Louise Hood

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Julie Berg

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Delayne Dixon

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Brian Cheng

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

  • Alice Scheuerman

    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Marketing Specialization

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