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Introduction to Fashion: Research, Culture, and Commerce

You are fortunate to be entering a fast-paced, sometimes even exciting, multifaceted and fun industry.  It’s also a lot of hard work. Starting your career in the fashion industry with a solid knowledge base is crucial, as once the ball starts rolling, you’ll need to be able to keep up!


  • History, iconic designers, and designs
  • Social influences, including the roles of culture and celebrity 
  • Fashion trends
  • Proper research techniques for the fashion industry
  • Identity building and brand positioning
  • Basic production structure
  • Industry terminology

Issues discussed will include art, popular culture, branding, ethics, globalization, and sustainability.

Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

Course learning goals are assessed using a variety of performance-based tasks, multimedia object based projects (Coggle, Padlet discussions, infographics, Pinterest etc.) and a few quizzes. Students must follow instructions, show critical thinking and be prepared to actively research in this course, including one individual project (writing a brief), one group project (multimedia problem solving presentation) and one individual written critique.


Assignments will be handled no differently than if you were working in the fashion industry. I recommend that you not wait until the last minute. Your lack of planning does not create urgency on the part of your instructor. Assuming so would mean that your time is more valuable than your instructor’s, and we prefer to think that the time of all involved is valuable.

Grading and Behavior Policies

Care, respect, and integrity are expected in written and classroom exchanges. All written work, including postings in discussions, should be proofread for clarity, spelling, and grammatical errors. Language that is appropriate for the classroom setting is expected within this class in all forms of communication, postings, and assignments.  Cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication of facts will not be tolerated. This is an online course and you are responsible for all required work therein.

Outside sources, in any assignment, must be referenced appropriately (APA style.)
See Purdue Owl for an APA Guide.

Please note how work on this class website is credited and familiarize yourself with the copyright laws as explained by Christopher B. Skvarka in his article, The Mystery Behind the © and the Creative Commons ruleshere.

Learning Materials to be Used by Students

Required Books

  • Seivewright, S., & Sorger, R. (2017). Research and Design for Fashion (3rd ed., p. 200 pages). Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
  • Zaccagnini Flynn, J., & Foster, I. M. (2009). Research Methods for the Fashion Industry (1st ed., p. 352 pages). Fairchild Books.

Additional Media & Articles:

Additional articles and multimedia items will be provided as needed. This site is mobile optimized, so you may also watch the videos and read the linked articles on your mobile devices.

It is important to read and watch all assigned material in order to properly complete each week’s assignments. This course is cumulative and we will refer back to past lessons in future weeks.

Course Timing

This course runs on a weekly basis from Monday (Day 1) to Sunday (Day 7). All coursework and assignments are due at 11:59pm EST unless otherwise noted.


Syllabus found here. Please review and save for handy reference as you are responsible for all contents held within.


Photo credit Kris Atomic