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Fashion Design

B.S. Fashion and Textile Design

Fashion Design + So Much More

One of two concentrations offered within our Bachelor of Science in Fashion and Textile Design (FTD), our fashion design program is grounded in the real world and changing to meet global industry demands. 

Of course, our curriculum has a foundation in studio practice. That studio practice includes not only garment construction, but also digital printing, body scanning and automated pattern cutting. Our faculty are leaders in the emerging field of 2D and 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and its applications.

As an FD student, you’ll use our industry-level fashion studio and textile labs filled with state-of-the-art equipment and software to develop a portfolio, create your own collection, conduct research and more. 

FTD Emerging Designers collection on runway
Photo Courtesy: Veritas Digital Photography

However, our bachelor of science program is also grounded in fabric science and color chemistry. Why? So you can make intelligent and informed decisions about the materials you’re using and the structures you’re designing.

A comprehensive understanding of textiles – from their chemical makeup all the way to how garments are manufactured and marketed – will equip you with the business sense and technical know-how needed to seamlessly transition into industry. You’ll graduate with an understanding of the creative concept, from initial customer research to delivery of the final product and all the steps in between. 

You’ll learn about: 

Trend and market research; fashion illustration; pattern making and draping; Computer-Aided Design (CAD); garment construction; product development; fiber science and textile technology; dyeing and color chemistry; retail principles, branding and marketing. 

Popular minors: 

Textile Technology; Art + Design; Business Entrepreneurship; Arts Entrepreneurship; Foreign Languages; Environmental Sciences

First-Year Experience

Our year-long program immerses our newest FTD cohort in the fundamentals of the creative process, builds community and lays the foundation of their education.

A student using a paint stick on a textile

An unmatched combination of student experience and design education: 

You don’t have to give up on a classic college experience to earn a premiere fashion design education. Get involved with one (or more) of our university’s 600+ organizations. Cheer on the Wolfpack at a football or basketball game. Meet students from all walks of life. Enjoy the resources, activities and pride that come with attending North Carolina’s land grant school. 

Students cheering during an NC State versus ECU football game at Carter Finely stadium
Students cheering during the NC State/ECU football game at Carter Finely stadium. Photo by Marc Hall

At the same time, gain hands-on experience and valuable connections through juried competitions and internships. Develop a global perspective on the industry through study abroad opportunities at international design institutions. Build tight bonds with a small cohort of FTD students. That’s the power of a small college within a large university. 

Making a difference through fashion design:

Our students and faculty use fashion design as a force for good. 

Tackling the fashion industry’s contributions to pollution and waste is a key priority for our college. Wilson College students develop their collections with sustainability in mind through implementing no-waste-pattern-making techniques or sourcing found and thrifted materials. 

Fashion also provides the opportunity to design a more inclusive world where authentic self-expression is accessible to everyone. Students and faculty apply that principle to their designs and research. 

Two Wilson College of Textiles students in cap and gown at commencement

What can I do with my degree? 

Do you dream of creating your own fashion brand and becoming the next designer to capture the world’s attention? That’s certainly possible with our FTD degree, especially considering NC State’s reputation for entrepreneurship

But you don’t have to strike out on your own to make your mark as a fashion designer. Our graduates also design for leading brands ranging from The North Face to Belk to Anthropologie

Other alumni even apply their fashion knowledge to become stylists or magazine editors. With a $3 trillion industry, the opportunities are endless. 

Sample Careers 

  • Creative Director: Use trend and market research and creative vision to develop the amount and type of garment that will be designed as well as the aesthetic concepts that will drive that design. 
  • Assistant/Associate Designer: Develop patterns and sketches for garments that fit within the creative director’s vision. 
  • 3D/CAD Artist: Interpret inspiration and design sketches into computer-aided designs that can be used to help product development team in fit prototyping and maintain digital catalog of brand designs. 
  • Costume Designer: Design, develop garments for use in television, movie and stage productions. 
  • Fashion Stylist: Apply the creative process principles of market research to develop looks for their clients that are both on trend and fit within that public figure’s personal brand. 
  • Fashion Editor: Apply skills in market, trend research to develop, select looks for editorial photoshoots in fashion magazines.
  • Fashion Influencer/Blogger