Merchandise Management

What's different about Mount Mary's Merchandise Management Program?

Mount Mary University’s fashion bachelor’s degree program was the first four-year fashion degree program in the nation. Our fashion merchandise management major blends the excitement of change, challenges of new technology and skill in merchandising and manufacturing to create innovative and functional solutions.

Student Fashion Show

Each year Fashion Design and Merchandise Management majors collaborate to plan, produce and manage a professional caliber fashion show featuring student modeling the work of design students. This show, is a part of a larger celebration of the School of Arts and Sciences which showcases work of all the School departments with an exhibit of art and design student achievement. Branded as CREO, this annual tradition offers many learning opportunities and draws over 1000 guests.

 Experience Fashion in New York City and Paris

Experience Fashion in New York City and Paris

Each year fashion students travel to either New York City or Paris for a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry and to explore social justice issues related to fashion and textiles. Destinations alternate each year. These unique study experiences typically occur during winter break.

In New York City visit textile and apparel museums, fabric fairs, forecasting services, design studios, apparel show rooms and influential shopping districts.

In Paris take classes in apparel and accessory design and trend analysis through a partnership between Mount Mary faculty and the Paris American Academy. Also meet European designers, couture drapers, accessory designers, costume historians and trend forecasters, as well as help with a runway fashion show.

Fashion Archive

Our Fashion Archives with over 10,000 items showcases 20th century designers, which students and faculty regularly access for design inspiration, technical analysis and historical research.

Ranging from the 18th century to present day, the Archive exhibits an array of women's couture and ready-to-wear garments from notable women with Wisconsin ties to famous designers such as Chanel, Patou, Adrian, Irene, Charles James, Madame Gres, and Karl Lagerfeld.

Fashion Archive

Alumnae in action

Donna Ricco '81 sold her first dress to a small boutique and turned her NYC apartment into a studio. It was only a matter of time before her designs were carried by practically every major store in every city across the United States.

Learn more about Mount Mary's Fashion Merchandising Degree

Our curriculum emphasizes student understanding of the global impact and issues in our society from sourcing, manufacturing and sustainability. We also incorporate five attributes of creativity: agility, exploration/experimentation, imagination, open-mindedness, and navigating complexity. The result is a fashion industry professional who is prepared to be challenged by the marketplace and by a career in a highly competitive industry. With small class sizes, you get the most of your education because you're surrounded by a close-knit group of women who help you every step of the way.

Mount Mary offers a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandise Management degree, which requires a completion of:

  • a minimum of 53 credits
  • Mount Mary's core curriculum requirements
  • a business administration minor
  • an internship

Business courses cover accounting, microeconomics, human resources management, advertising, marketing and consumer behavior. Fashion merchandising courses cover product analysis, trend analysis, buying and assortment planning, inventory management and fashion show coordination. Complete degree requirements and a listing of courses are available in the Undergraduate Bulletin (PDF).

Some academic programs require a GPA higher than what is required for general admission to Mount Mary University. Contact your admission counselor for more information.

Fashion Certificate Requirements

Post-baccalaureate certificates are available in fashion design and fashion merchandise management. Certificate programs are open to women who already hold a bachelor’s degree. You will work directly with the fashion program chairperson to design a certificate curriculum that matches your experience and meet your long-term career goals. Learn more about fashion post-baccalaureate certificate requirements.


The School of Arts and Sciences at Mount Mary is rich with talented faculty who care about their students.

The Business Merchandising minor is designed for Fashion Merchandise Management, Interior Design, and Graphic Design majors to meet the student’s business knowledge requirements. These business programs offer students the opportunity to prepare for a variety of business related careers.

Merchandise Management: It is recommended that students in the Merchandise Management program have the option of obtaining a Business Merchandising minor specifically tailored for fashion majors or they may, with permission of their advisor, choose other minors that complement the fashion major including Communications, Writing for New Media, Studio Art and Graphic Design. A minor in these areas will require students to work closely with the chair of the chosen program and their major advisor to ensure that the proper classes are taken to fulfill the requirements. A Business Merchandising minor complements the Merchandise Management major incorporating business administration and entrepreneurship classes.

Fashion merchandise management graduates work in retail management, visual merchandising, buying, product development, assortment planning, event planning, fashion styling or even fashion magazine editing.

Mount Mary fashion program graduates have found exciting and challenging positions with companies such as:

  • A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz
  • Bon Ton stores
  • Discovery World Center for Public Innovation
  • Donna Ricco
  • Fashion Angels Enterprises
  • Florence Eiseman
  • Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
  • Jockey International
  • Kohl’s Department Stores
  • Land’s End
  • Macy’s
  • Patagonia
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Reliable of Milwaukee
  • Target Corporation

Mount Mary fashion program graduates have found exciting and challenging positions in creative design, technical design and product development with companies such as:

Experiences outside the classroom for fashion design majors involve student, clubs and organizations on campus, as well as several networking and career-related activities. Contact the department for more information on these opportunities, (414) 930-3243.

Networking & Career-Related Activities

Fashion design students have many opportunities to show off their skills and designs. Students also have competed in regional, national and international competitions such as the International Textiles and Apparel Association annual conference, Fashion Group International - Chicago. Students have won an impressive array of awards and been featured in professional publications.

Additionally, you can participate in workshops by internationally known designers or clothing companies who visit campus. In the summer, you can volunteer to help with Fashion Academy for high school students.

CREO Student-Designer Fashion Show

Latin for "to make, create, produce," CREO is an annual celebration of creativity that showcases student work from Mount Mary fine art, fashion, graphic design, art therapy and interior design programs. CREO is forward-thinking and ever-developing. It's an opportunity for a cross-generational audience to experience a cross-disciplinary slice of Milwaukee's creative talent.

Fashion students design and construct clothing and coordinate all aspects of a live fashion show. The event attracts hundreds of visitors and fashion enthusiasts each year. Awards for outstanding designs in a variety of categories are given to student designers each year—with prizes ranging from cash to products from manufacturers and retailers. A professional jury selects the award recipients.

Fashion Association

The student Fashion Association promotes networking to create professional contacts and friendships among members. The group’s activities include rising money through closet sales, fundraisers to support middle and high school students to pursue fashion, notable speakers and a variety of social and service events. Past social activities have included craft making, bake sales, internship discussions and costume contests.

Contact any fashion faculty member to learn more about this club.

Contact us to hear from your Admission Counselor: