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Fashion Development and Product Management

B.S. Fashion and Textile Management

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What is fashion development and product management?

Fashion is a $3 trillion industry that can take you all over the world, and it requires entire teams of design, apparel, management and marketing experts to keep it going. Our fashion development and product management (FDPM) students graduate uniquely equipped to lead in a variety of these industry roles because of their unmatched, interdisciplinary education in technical design and management. 

In the FDPM concentration of the B.S. Fashion and Textile Management degree program, students:

  • Become familiar with all the stages of fashion product development – from concept to final product – and understand how each of those stages affect one another.
  • Learn to conduct consumer, trend and market research and analyze those findings to make smart business decisions.
  • Develop valuable business skills that, combined with their creativity, will make them a unique asset in the fashion industry. 
  • Gain experience applying what they learn through hands-on courses. 
  • Make connections valuable to starting a career through the college’s range of industry contacts. 

Courses in fashion product development are balanced with an economic and supply chain management curriculum to give our students an understanding of all sides of the apparel and retail industry. Students also gain knowledge of the industry’s textile science and processes in a way that no other college can offer.

From computer aided-design to pattern making, industry-leading technology and contemporary industry topics drive what students will Think and Do in and out of the classroom.

Our students apply an FDPM education to make a difference in sustainability and inclusivity. Whether it’s no-waste pattern making or apparel design for customers with different abilities, our students are equipped to affect change on a larger scale.

Ready to Apply? 

Unlike our fashion design and textile design programs, students interested in FDPM do not have to submit a portfolio.

The short answer: Don’t worry! You have time to choose!
It’s easy to switch between fashion development and product management (FDPM) and brand management and marketing (BMM) during your first year at the Wilson College. 

Here’s what our advisors recommend if you can’t decide:
Enroll in the FDPM concentration and take FTM 219: Fashion Product Analysis during the second semester of your first year. FTM 219 will help you decide if you prefer spending time in the fashion studio – making you a better fit for FDPM – or learning more advanced management skills – making you a better fit for BMM. This course will count towards your degree no matter which concentration you land on.

Lookbook model wearing FDPM student's design made from all found materials.
Morgan Paris ’22 developed an apparel line entirely from donated materials.
Photo Courtesy: Veritas Digital Photography

You’ll learn about:

Market, consumer and trend research; Computer-Aided Design (CAD); fashion product development; body scanning; pattern making; automated pattern cutting; garment construction; color chemistry; digital printing; supply chain management; brand management; marketing; economics; statistics for data analysis

Students minor in:

Art + Design; Arts Entrepreneurship; Business Administration; Business Entrepreneurship; Environmental Sciences; Foreign Languages; Global Leadership and Team Decision-Making; Textile Technology

What can I do with my degree?

Because of their broad range of knowledge and experience, our FDPM graduates become valuable candidates for jobs all along the fashion and apparel supply chain. Nike, Gap, Kohl’s, Under Armour, Target, Adidas, Natick, and Abercrombie & Fitch are just some of the household brands that frequently hire our students in technical design, production and research capacities.

Sample Careers

  • Fashion Technical Designer/Product Developer: Member of a team that takes a product from concept to sales, including research and ideation, development, marketing, inventory and production. 
  • Fashion Product Manager: Create and execute a fashion product vision by overseeing a team of fashion technical designers/product developers. 
  • Fashion Planner: Analyze sales performance of store products and predict customer behavior to help a retailer determine when to drop, expand or alter a product line. 
  • Fashion Buyer: Combine industry knowledge, consumer research and creativity to decide what clothes, accessories footwear and other items retailers sell. 
  • Fashion 3D Developer: Use 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology to design garments and perfect their draping and fit to ready them for manufacturing and production.
  • Fashion Merchandiser: Analyze data and conduct market research to optimize store layouts and displays, set item prices and manage product stock in order to maximize store profits. 
  • Fashion Stylist/Editor: Apply trend forecasting and principles of market research to develop looks for clients that are both on trend and fit within that public figure’s personal brand.

Ranked #1 in the Southeast for Entrepreneurship Education

NC State is ranked No. 1 in the Southeast and No. 15 in the nation for both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine for 2022.