Essential Program Information
The Global Fashion Management program is designed to advance middle-management professionals to executive-level positions within the apparel and related industries, based on a curriculum of applied and theoretical study. By expanding a student’s knowledge to areas of the industry which may not be as familiar as their own specialty, the program goal is to gain a more integrated and global perspective. Through class and seminar lectures, research, guest speakers, and onsite visits, students will receive the most current information available, pertaining not only to the apparel industry, but to global trends in finance, economics, management, marketing, and other related areas.
Students enter the program from their respective career track with the goal of moving into an executive position in their own, or another company. The program is not designed to train those without relevant industry experience; our partner schools in Hong Kong and Paris maintain the same standard. New York students typically retain their professional positions throughout the program, taking classes in the evening. Some, however, change companies and positions during or after completing the program.
Does the program assist in finding employment for students?
The program does not accept responsibility for finding positions for those who are seeking employment or interested in changing employers. The program provides a vast network of professional colleagues worldwide, professors (full time and adjunct), and speakers.
Students have the opportunity to make meaningful and lasting affiliations among this talented and connected group of professionals, leading to life-long friendships and future employment opportunities. In addition, networking sessions are held on a regular basis featuring industry speakers and attended by students and alumni from professional programs at Cornell, Parsons, and Columbia Business School, in addition to FIT’s Global Fashion Management graduate students and alumni.
What do we mean by "industry-related experience?"
Industry-related applies to professions in retail, apparel production, marketing and merchandising, textiles, operations, supply chain management, and accessories industries. In addition, we consider experience in design, fashion journalism, luxury goods marketing, brand management, import/export, and (industry-related) economic development. The ideal candidate will be in a managerial role in any of these areas. Three years of experience as a sales associate and internships (even if they are industry related) do not qualify as acceptable professional experience. We will also consider those with professional experience in areas such as public relations, business, and law if clients or accounts included brands and/or retailers from the apparel and related industries (including accessories, jewelry, and beauty).
Why do you require a minimum of three years of professional experience?
Although preference is given to candidates with greater than three years of experience–even if a portion of that experience is from outside of the industry in managerial, financial, or marketing functions–the level of responsibility, frequency of promotions, and longevity of positions are all taken into account in reviewing applications.
Applicants are assumed to be more knowledgeable in their field and more comfortable with business principles with greater years of experience. Our objective is for classes to be composed of professionals who “speak the same language” based on a general knowledge of the apparel industry and specific knowledge of their function. This level of expertise is more likely to be attained only after several years of professional and industry experience.
What is the M.P.S. degree?
The Masters of Professional Studies at FIT is an industry-related degree which is application rather than research driven. The M.P.S. equivalent among professional degrees includes the M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration), the M.S.W. (Master of Social Work), and the M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts), among many others.
When are classes held?
Classes are scheduled in the evening (6:20-9:10), three evenings per week, to allow professionals to complete the degree while remaining active in their jobs and in the industry. The exception to this schedule is the 10-day or two-week seminar which takes place every semester in New York, Paris, and Hong Kong. No classes take place during the summer. Many courses require team meetings, which often take place on weekends.
How large are the classes and who attends?
Each cohort is comprised of 15 to 20 students. Approximately 40% of students are international, reflecting the diversity of New York City. International students also offer valuable insights into the apparel industry in their respective countries. Among New Yorkers, students and alumni represent major brands and retailers including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Brooks Brothers, Tiffany, Loehmann’s, Barney’s, Kohl’s, Coach, Li & Fung and Ralph Lauren. Among European brands, students work for Ferragamo and Hermès. Students are also employed by textile mills, specialty retailers, trend analysts, and accessories companies in positions such as operations, planning, product development, design, production, public relations, marketing, buying, and sales. Many design and produce their own collections as entrepreneurs and participate in the program in order to strengthen their business capability.
Are the seminars mandatory?
The 10-day seminars are mandatory; students must participate in the New York, Paris, and Hong Kong seminars within the sequence of the program curriculum.
Is it possible to accelerate the program? It is not possible to accelerate the program. Courses must be taken within the recommended sequence of the program curriculum.
What is the cost of the seminars?
It is recommended to budget approximately $4,000 for Paris and $5,000 for Hong Kong, in addition to the cost of tuition. These figures are approximations and will vary according to individual spending habits. An additional administrative fee of $350-$500 will be in effect for travel to Paris and Hong Kong.