fashion styling & visual merchandising

ba (hons) degree* ** · three year course

Present, display and promote fashion

The course

Fashion visual merchandising is the ‘art’ of presenting products in both physical and digital retail stores and environments, in order to attract, engage, and sell to the fashion consumer. Participants fully understand the role and responsibilities of the visual merchandiser and fashion stylist through an in-depth study of the fashion retail market, looking
at all types of retailing, brand positioning and the Omni channels of communication and selling, as well as creative techniques and new practices employed within the industry.

The three year Fashion Styling & Visual Merchandising course covers external communication strategies in window display: from styling a product, to communicating the brand message and identity through methods of graphic communication and technology. Methods of composition, colour theory, propping, and display dynamics are also taught and applied. Internal communication investigates the physical store design and layout, fixtures, use of POS and product presentation as well as, engaging the customer through experiential and sensory environment design, learning how to communicate brand message, sell a product, and evoke an emotive response to the customer through narrative and story telling.

Participants also create, develop and manage live photo shoots working to a design brief informed by top industry brands. They learn how to construct an immediately identifiable and recognisable style gained through the study of trends and fashion image; this is explored through photographic techniques in still-life set design, and specific merchandising choices in make-up, hair and accessories, relevant to the brand, product or look. As well as interpreting company briefs, participants are also encouraged to decode brand stereotypes and to think about image positioning from a different perspective, in order to discover unique selling points and create interest and desire with their target audience.

This fashion course provides a solid base in fashion styling and the fashion system, a model that embraces many aspects of the industry, not only in traditional business practices including brand identity, positioning and marketing, but also interpreting art and craft in fashion, consumer habits, and trends and influences in street style, trend spotting, and photo blogging; creative research methods for product communication are key.

Cultural studies in the history of art, design, dress and fashion culture provide the necessary skills to make a critical assessment of a brand or client’s lifestyle and legacy.
Communication and presentation skills cover methods of ‘pitching’ a concept via visual skills in CAD and 3D design.

This course is part of the fashion styling study pathways. With fashion styling as the core subject, participants specialise in the chosen area of interest (visual merchandising), positioning themselves as an industry expert with a specific and highly sought after professional profile.

This course is also available as a BA (Hons) four year course (including placement sandwich year)*  **.

LEARNING FOCUS

  • Photography, image development, selection and editing
  • Fashion styling & photo shoot
  • Visual merchandising strategies
  • Graphic design and commercial media presence
  • Brand identity and image
  • Fashion marketing and communication
  • Trends, customer profiling and forecasting
  • Professional design portfolio
  • Omni channel retailing: physical/digital
  • Visual outcomes: CAD, 2D, 3D.

Profession

  • Fashion visual merchandiser
  • Dsplay designer
  • Fashion stylist
  • Creative team: retail
  • Creative/art director
  • Fashion business entrepreneur

* Subject to validation.

** Participants who successfully complete the programmes taught in English in Paris and London will be awarded with a BA (Hons) Degree by Manchester Metropolitan University-UK; BA (Hons) Degree (sandwich) is a four-year course which includes a 36-week placement. 120 credits points are available each year of study in order to gain
an honours degree, obtaining 360 credits upon successful completion of the three year course. Participants on the four-year sandwich course will receive 120 practice credits for the additional year. All candidates should meet specific entry requirements (please check www2.mmu.ac.uk/international/ for international equivalents); for further details please do not hesitate to contact the information office at the chosen school.