Apparel, merchandising, and design
Iowa State University (ISU) is the place to be for textiles and clothing. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the cutting edge of education in this industry. Here are some reasons why hundreds of students choose the Iowa State apparel, merchandising, and design program:
Getting opportunities to model in, design for, and produce the annual Fashion Show — one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation.
Learning in state-of-the-art facilities, such as a textiles conservation laboratory, detailed historical garment collection, apparel production center, and clothing museum which expose you to new equipment and complex processes.
Using high-tech equipment like the 3-D body scanner, industrial-sized digital printer, and new design software. Hands-on experience with this equipment is hard to find at other schools and gives you an edge for internships, jobs, and graduate school.
Learning from some of the best experts in the field. Apparel, merchandising, and design faculty come from a variety of backgrounds (academic, industry, and publications) that will help you learn what it takes to succeed in this field.
As an apparel, merchandising, and design student, you will build a comprehensive base of knowledge about the textiles and apparel industry, including merchandising and marketing strategies, product development, and production processes. You’ll further define your career path by choosing from either the merchandising, design or product development options for this bachelor of science degree.
If you’re interested in the role marketing plays in the apparel industry, then the merchandising program is right for you. In this option you will learn how to apply marketing strategies and entrepreneurial practices when buying, displaying, promoting, and selling products.
Creative and technical design
If you like to sketch out your ideas, doodle new designs, and envision a garment before it’s made, the creative and technical design option may be for you. The design program focuses on the jobs and skills necessary to bring an apparel product to life. A background in textiles, pattern making, illustration, and aesthetics will give you the skills to create new looks and designs.
You’ll build an understanding of industry assembly methods and quality assurance standards, such as differences in fabric coloration, performance, cost, and quality. Your skills will increase the quality in apparel products and the methods in which they’re made.
Students in the product development option work to meet both the needs of consumers and designers. You’ll learn about trends and business demands and have the knowledge to plan, create, and present apparel products to fill niches within the market.
If buttons come from Russia, and fabric comes from Indonesia, what does that mean for a consumer in the United States? Students studying production and sourcing management explore the latest technology and methods used to assemble garments in mass quantities from around the world. You’ll learn the fundamentals of production, including sourcing materials, timing deliveries, and managing cost.
Accelerated degree option
An accelerated degree option is available for each of these options.
Clubs and organizations
AMD study abroad programs
The apparel, merchandising, and design program offers various international opportunities through the College of Human Sciences International Programs office.
Careers and internships
Graduates of the apparel, merchandising, and design programs are well-prepared for entrance in careers in technical and creative design, buying, visual merchandising, and sourcing careers. They are also able to pursue further education options in graduate programs.
Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff will assist you with job and internship searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter review.
Look at a list of career possibilities inside the apparel, merchandising and design industries.
Internships are available with corporate headquarters of retailers, design firms of all sizes, stores, e-commerce agencies, showrooms, costumers, stylists, public relations firms, magazines, catalog companies, fair trade firms, forecasting firms, and shopping centers. Students research potential internships and employers in two classes: AESHM 113, Professional Development, and AESHM 311, Seminar on Careers and Internships.