Fashion Design - Specialization in

  • 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

    84 Weeks

  • Program Location

    mississauga Campus

Program Overview

An ideal career path for the fashion-forward trendsetter, 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 – 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.


  • Apparel Designer Apparel Designers or Fashion Designers, conceptualize and produce clothing items and typically will specialize in one design category, such as activewear, casual, or evening wear.
  • Pattern Maker Pattern Maker creates patterns on paper or fabric for clothing industry use. These patterns are typically derived from a designer's sketch and refined by a pattern maker.
  • Assistant Designer Assistant Designers work closely with fashion designers to help designers create new styles, designs, materials, colours, patterns and prints for fashion brands and labels.
  • Production Assistant Production Assistants are the link between designers and suppliers by monitoring stock, placing production orders, and ensuring things run smoothly by providing materials, factory production, and ensuring all services are up to date.
  • Fashion Retail Management Fashion Retail Management involves the complete processes of designing, manufacturing, marketing, distributing and retailing various fashion products.
  • Fashion Marketing Fashion Marketing involves curating merchandise from selection to production and the presentation of products to retail customers, including POP, displays and other marketing materials to maximize a company's sales and profitability.
  • Fashion Buyer Fashion Buyer or Purchaser makes buying decisions for clothing retailer by combining their analytical mind with their eye for style.


  • 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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Program Magazine

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.

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. This term is about applying your skills and building your vision from scratch to execution. We start building your portfolio and professional development.

This term is about honing your craft and getting ready to enter the industry. This semester consists of final projects, portfolio building, and job preparation through career development and training. Here you present to the industry and begin your career.

This term is about honing your specialized skillset in preparation for a fruitful and successful career in the fashion industry.

  • Garment Construction I

    This course introduces students to garment construction concepts and techniques by completing garment projects. Students learn to use and care for the fundamental tools of the garment production industry, basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing, with emphasis on sewing precision. Students practice the techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini-projects while developing and completing their first garment proje...

  • Fundamentals of Fashion Illustration

    This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of drawing and fashion illustration. Students learn visual vocabulary, rendering, art concepts, 2D and 3D perspectives, lines, shapes, textures, patterns, fashion body vs. human form and croquis, technical drawings, and shading by exploring a variety of mixed media and drawing techniques to enable them to create a signature illustration style.

  • Textiles & Design

    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.

  • 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...

  • Pattern Making & Drafting I

    This course introduces students to pattern-making using standard accepted industry practices, basic principles of flat pattern drafting, development of industry blocks and their use in pattern development by addressing professional standards. Students will learn to develop basic pattern blocks and manipulate these drafts to create various design styles with an emphasis on correct terminology and markings.

  • Garment Construction II

    This course furthers basic garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects, samples, pattern layout, marking, fitting, material economizing, and emphasis on sewing precision. Students practice techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini projects and a fully lined sleeveless V-neck shift dress. A final construction exam at the end of the term will further test the student’s knowledge.

  • Illustrator I

    This 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...

  • Fashion Industry

    Students learn garment styles, fashion elements, fashion forecasting, and the 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 learn the science and art of fashion forecasting, which affects decision-making in the apparel industry, to help students uncover trends in marketing, technology, and popular culture.

  • Collection Design & Development

    Students learn fashion design principles, R.T.W, Couture, and the entire Fashion Cycle from concept through design and production with a specific demographic and market through fashion mood boards, research files, and analysis to form a brand DNA. Students will create a 20-look mini apparel collection with original concepts, develop and refine the croquis into a personalized style in preparation for Fashion Design Studio I, and draw accurate technical specs.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting II

    Students apply their knowledge from the previous pattern-making class to bodice manipulation by creating multiple bodice styles in both ½ and ¼ scales, utilizing the basic foundation blocks as a base. Flat pattern drafting, correct terminology and markings following professional standards are emphasized continually.

  • Garment Construction III

    This project-based course focuses on new fabrics and construction sequencing by creating two knitwear pieces (a basic swimsuit and jersey dress), a pair of woman’s trousers, and a blouse. Students utilize their skills with construction and different types of fabrics and materials, emphasizing sewing precision, pattern layout, marking, and material economizing.

  • Digital Pattern Making I

    This course introduces students to computer-aided design for pattern making. Students learn to transfer pattern drafts to a computer with industry-standard software, digital equivalents of pattern creation and alterations to existing product patterns through handson experience with the system’s capabilities to digitize and modify designs and manage files.

  • 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.

  • Fashion Design Studio I

    Students learn fabric swatching and experimenting with textile development using unique fashion croquis created in Collection Design & Development. Students research, create mood boards, establish brand development, a consumer demographic, market analysis, trend reports and inspiration resulting in a 40-look cohesive collection.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting III

    Students learn to interpret a variety of design propositions front and back in ½ scale and interpretation of complex tailoring and asymmetrical design propositions via demonstration and lecture. In addition, students learn to correct seam allowances, patterns, and notch, label a professional factory-ready production pattern, and develop facings, fusing and linings with engineered ease covered in soft and tailored garments.

  • Garment Construction IV

    This project-based course focuses on new fabrics and construction sequencing by creating a fitted women's blazer and a constructed cocktail dress. Students utilize their skills with construction and different types of fabrics and materials, emphasizing sewing precision, pattern layout, marking, and material economizing.

  • 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.

  • Web Development I

    This course introduces the fundamentals of web site development. The students will learn about the structure, and components of code-based languages, and website programming. Students will learn to work with text, tables, tags, images, forms, and hyperlinks to design, and create a fully functional website.

  • Fashion Design Studio II

    Students focus on the patterning, draping and construction process of 4 toile looks from the 40 look collection by working from fashion croquis and technical spec drawings. Students learn to decode a sketch, manipulate a block, lay, cut and construct a toile. Students learn construction sequences, sewing, pressing techniques, and fabric yields. Fittings will be executed on a cabine model by the instructor.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting IV

    Students create patterns and toiles of three designs previously selected. Students pattern draft and sew toiles for their original design ideas and learn the proper fall and fit of a garment, alteration and correct fit issues, techniques to add or reduce fullness/draglines, and create figure-pleasing proportions on the body by laying pattern pieces and creating a fabric yield.

  • 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.

  • Digital Design Technology

    Students explore digital design techniques and tools for developing professional fashion-appropriate content by exploring composition layout, textile design and technical drawing. Students visualize, plan and communicate multifaceted design concepts efficiently and creatively and are introduced to CLO 3D software to instantly review changes and modifications to 2D patterns, colours, textures and finishing details, and fabric simulation in 3D and export for sampling...

  • Final Collection Capstone

    During the final term, this capstone course provides studio time and individual mentoring allowing for revisions, high-level detail and sewing accuracy and precision. Students will be able to perfect advanced techniques learned throughout the program and present their final collection to the industry.

  • 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.

  • Portfolio & Professional Development

    Students develop a professional fashion portfolio demonstrating their skills through copywriting, planning and organizing a digital project, professional layouts, marketing collateral, and translating fashion ideas into visual design elements. This portfolio will endorse the values of the student’s fashion knowledge to enable them to highlight their designs and achievements and present them to potential buyers, partners and audiences.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Fashion Design Studio III

    Students will continue to build upon the technical skills developed throughout the course. Utilizing a concept from their 40-look collection, they will pattern and sew two additional complimentary editorial press pieces. This course aims to support designers in completing a comprehensive capsule collection for presentation to clients, buyers, and editors or feature their designs at VCAD Fashion week.

  • Business of Fashion

    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 the fashion business, with emphasis on sales (lobbying and closing clients) and the legalities.

  • Brand Strategy

    Brand strategy is a long-term plan for developing a successful brand and affects all aspects of a business and its consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. The brand strategy involves audit, expression, activation, measurements, long and short-term goals, and architecture for international expansion, amongst many others. In this course, students learn business strategy frameworks and conclude them for the brand’s short and long-term goals.

  • Runway Production

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • E-Commerce & Retail Business

    E-commerce is growing exponentially in B2B and B2C contexts. Retailing industry and fashion retail have jumped on the bandwagon and offer E-trading or online shopping. E-commerce as a model is different from traditional shopping in all respects. Retail companies have realized the need to have an E-commerce strategy separately but as a part of the overall retail strategy. This class will focus on setting up an online and brick-and-mortar retail business to cover det...

  • Social Media and Marketing

    Social media has changed the marketing landscape and is an effective connection, brandbuilding, and customer engagement tool. In this course, students explore social network theory, digital storytelling, and social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Students learn to plan, create, and manage a social media campaign on multiple platforms

Costs & Requirements

  • 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.

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

  • 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
  • We have very important classes that are very useful in the industry. Really good hands-on and technical classes.

    - Jae Esmane
  • The teachers, being a part of the industry, have really amazing contacts with people working in the industry, and I have been able to take advantage of opportunities that I have received through VCAD.

    - Alisha Rempel
  • Coming to VCAD allowed me to have an international environment around me, international influences in my learning and international instructors. That was my goal because you can't learn design in a silo; I wanted influenc...

    - Crystal Dauphinee
  • VCAD was very hands-on. We were constantly working on our portfolio. I had classes with actual game designers - teachers who taught animations and were actual working as animators in the industry.

    - Carlos Alejandro


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

  • Student Portfolio

    Sade D.
    Fashion Design - Specialization in Marketing

  • Student Portfolio

    Jessie L.
    Fashion Design - Specialization in Marketing

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