Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Merchandising

  • Student Collections

    100 Grads

    collections showcased at International Fashion Gala
  • 100 Grads

    showcased their collections at Paris Fashion Week
  • 500 Grads

    showcased their collections at Vancouver Fashion Week
  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    61 Weeks

  • Program Location

    calgary Campus

Program Overview

The global fashion industry relies on marketing and merchandising professionals who have an eye for style and a brain for business. If you're ready to combine your joint passions for fashion and marketing, VCAD's Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion diploma program is for you.


The Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion program introduce students to the foundations of the fashion industry, including design theory, retailing, industry-standard software marketing, event promotions, displays and merchandising.


Graduates of this program will build a portfolio of work and be prepared to apply for fashion jobs in areas like public relations, marketing, merchandising, retailing, event and promotions planning, or as a fashion writer.


  • Fashion Merchandising & Buying
  • Retail Management
  • Fashion Marketing 
  • Fashion Promotions & Publicity
  • Visual Display
  • Assistant Store Manager


  • Illustrate fashion design concepts
  • Provide a history of the influence of fashion on each generation of designers
  • Deconstruct garments and finishing techniques
  •  Map different classifications of apparel to target markets and promotions
  • Articulate the role of branding and private labels in generating sales
  • Describe the role of costing and merchandise management on ROI
  • Define retailing and explain the steps in strategic planning for meeting ROI
  • Write, present, and critique plans and proposals
  • Successfully participate and contribute to the success of a team
  • Develop a professional network
  • Describe the product development, apparel production, and textile life cycles and the impact these have on successful merchandising and marketing
  • Apply the knowledge and skills resulting from the study of modern fashion illustration concepts and techniques to present-day marketing problems
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Program Magazine

Courses Timeline

  • Student Success Strategies

    This course will cover the importance of goal setting, prioritizing tasks, and managing time and stress from study and work situations — accomplished through the exploration and practice of active participation. Students taking this course will benefit from completing the Enriched Academy© program, which provides comprehensive coverage of financial and money management skills that will allow them to save, budget, and manage their money and time.

  • 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.

  • Colour & Design

    Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to d...

  • Photoshop I

    Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, advanced features and tips to prepare images for digital output and print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • 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.

  • Fashion Retail Management

    While fashion is a fast changing industry, what is constant is the demand for skilled and knowledgeable retail people and managers who have the ability to adjust to this fast paced industry. In this course students will focus on the real world essentials of management as they apply within the modern retail environment.

  • Store Planning & Layout

    Store planning and layouts can transform the retail experience, whether it is a department store, a high end fashion house or a local boutique. Correct store positioning, interior design for merchandise assortments, and exterior design plus staffing help to attract customers and generate sales. In this course students will develop a theoretical and practical knowledge of store layouts, planning and design.

  • 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

Standard Admission

Alberta high school diploma or equivalent verified by transcript or DAR  OR A minimum of 50% in the following courses that can be verified by transcript or DAR:

  • Math 30-1, Math 30-2, Pure Math 30, Applied Math 30, or equivalent*
  • English Language Arts 30-1, English Language Arts 30-2 or equivalent**

*Equivalents may include academic upgrading courses.  

Mature Admission

Students must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age prior to admission (19 for out-of-province)
  • Successful completion of the VCAD Admissions Test.
    * Manitoba applicants must also have been out of school for one year in addition to the above.

To learn more about tuition, click here.
For international student tuition, click here.


VCAD's Refund Policy abides by the Private Training Regulation of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) Private Training Act.
For more information, click here.

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

  • <p>I feel like I've gained a lot of amazing incredible opportunities from going to school here I've met incredible people and I've made wonderful connections</p>

    - Sarah Arkinstall
  • Learning so many of the different programs....learning AUTOCAD....I have that confidence because I came here.

    - Tamara Vollin
  • For the program, they teach us everything that is involved in the industry. Whether you're gaming, film or just TV. They teach you how the pipeline works, the people you'll be working with and the programs you'll be working w...

    - Simone Van Der Linden
  • The teachers are nice to me and they're always available to help me for whatever question I have and the knowledge is pretty good. I feel like I learned a lot.

    - My An Ha
  • The career services here at VCAD helped me connect with people and now I have upcoming interviews. It's good to know that I'm going to be able to find a job after school.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • My favourite thing about VCAD is how tight-knit the students can be and how tight-knit the teachers can be with the students. I find it means a lot more one-on-one time, more working together to make sure you have the best pr...

    - Katrina Selkirk


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

  • Student Portfolio

    Sumaya A.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Merchandising Specialization

  • Student Portfolio

    Michael C.
    Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion - Merchandising Specialization

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