The apparel and textiles program includes two areas of specialization: apparel marketing and apparel design and production. The program prepares students for professional careers in apparel design, apparel marketing, product development, merchandising, and retail management. The U.S. apparel market is the largest in the world and maintains high employment growth. The U.S. has nearly two million retail firms, many of which sell apparel and textiles products. The apparel manufacturing industry, which includes the design and manufacture of apparel is a global enterprise that takes advantage of highly sophisticated technologies.
Graduates of the apparel marketing specialization work in retail organization as buyers, planners, market researchers, retail managers, merchandisers, distribution analysts, small business owners, trend forecasters, fashion coordinators, fashion journalists, and stylists. Graduates of the apparel design and production specialization establish careers in the industry as creative designers, quality assurance technicians, technical designers, pattern makers, CAD (Computer Aided Design) specialists, and product development.
Students have the opportunity for employment throughout the United States and internationally. While the primary hubs for the apparel and textiles industry remain in large coastal cities such as New York and Los Angeles, there are industry positions in other regions throughout the country. For example, corporate retailers have established their headquarters and regional offices in various mid-sized markets throughout the United States including Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Columbus, Kansas City, Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Graduates interested in retail management or small business operations can find a position in the city of their choice.
- Student may choose to participate in summer internships, study abroad, and a variety of both domestic and foreign faculty-led study tours.
- Upper-level undergraduates can participate in the visiting student program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York
- Opportunities in coursework and experience-based learning provide exposure to diverse cultural perspectives.
- Student organization Apparel Marketing and Design Alliance (AMDA) provides opportunities for leadership and involvement with other apparel and textiles students. It offers a background about careers in textiles, apparel design and manufacturing, and apparel retail areas. Students organize an annual fashion show and other service learning experiences.
What will I study?
Apparel and textiles students have the opportunities to develop technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and leadership abilities while being challenged to excel in the specialization they have selected. Students learn about all aspects of the apparel and textile industry from the manufacture of fibers to apparel design, production, distribution, marketing and retail management. The apparel and textiles program at K-State emphasizes the importance of environmental, economic and social sustainability throughout the industry.
The goals of the apparel and textiles program are to develop individuals with creative and analytical thinking abilities and to develop competent, resourceful, business leaders who have a liberal and general education. Course work for apparel and textiles students includes a foundation in liberal and general studies, including written and oral communications, mathematics, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, and computer applications.
All students participate in an integrated core of studies in textiles, aesthetics, digital communication, apparel retailing industries, textiles and apparel evaluation, consumer behavior, historic analysis of dress, and production and marketing. The program provides both practical experiences and a solid knowledge base for the pursuit of graduate studies.
Our program offers students an academic experience that includes strong industry ties, required internships, and faculty-led study tours within the United States and abroad, an annual public exhibition of student work, and events that bring professionals and alumni to campus.
Apparel and textiles design and production selective advancement
Admission to the apparel design and production specialization is selective and based on performance criteria. Students applying to the specialization are first admitted to apparel and textiles. Those who have completed prerequisite courses may apply for advancement to the apparel design and production specialization. See website for more information.
High School Preparation
Students who meet the Kansas qualified admission requirements are prepared to enter the apparel and textiles program at K-State. For those who specialize in marketing, two years of high school algebra and work experience in retailing is recommended. Those specializing in apparel design and production are expected to have course work and other experiences in sewing, design and art. Cultural activities, travel and exposure to a wide variety of media are also encouraged for all students entering the program.
Apparel and textiles students are required to provide their own laptop computer beginning in the first year of study in the program. Please consult the apparel and textiles website for computer requirements. As technology changes, so do the computer specifications. Students are encouraged to verify the most current requirements prior to purchase prior to the beginning of their first year.
Bachelor’s degree requirements