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Why Study Fashion Design in Nashville?
Already known as a leader in the music and healthcare industries, Nashville is quickly emerging as a hub for technology and a home for aspiring creatives and entrepreneurs. With the growth of Nashville, students have unrivaled access to established fashion businesses in the city and one of the most exciting markets to intern and pursue a career as an alum.
The Fashion Design BFA program will prepare you to find success in the demanding fashion industry through practical skills and experiential learning in our well-rounded program that intertwines design, business and the latest technologies. Fashion-Schools.org ranked O'More college as a Top 50 fashion program in the nation and Top 10 in the South.
Our graduates use their advanced skills with Fortune 500 companies and others that include, but are not limited to, Dollar General, Tractor Supply, Genesco, Inc., Workwear Outfitters, ABLE, Kirkland's, Hanesbrands, Inc., Starboard Cruise Services, Natural Life, Tao Footwear and Johnathan Kayne.
A curriculum with a mission-based approach and focused on collaboration, we prepare our students to lead in the area of design or the business of fashion.
What You'll Learn
The Fashion Design major is a four-year program that prepares you for a successful career in the fashion industry. Graduates of the program will:
- Demonstrate an advanced skill level of design that meets professional standards in the fashion industry and specialized markets
- Attain knowledge of design and how it correlates to successfully producing a quality product to the end consumer
- Proficiently communicate their ideas through a full range of written, verbal and technological skills
- Execute decisions in the fashion industry using design thinking to analyze, conceptualize and solve problems
- Acquire the business acumen necessary to compete in the global world of fashion
- Technical Designers
- Apparel Designers
- Product Developers
- Pattern Makers
- Accessory Designers
- Alteration Specialists
- Costume Designers
- Sourcing Managers
- Digital Designers
- Wardrobe Stylists
- Creative Directors
"The O'More classroom is truly a supportive and collaborative environment. My amazing professors have met me where I struggle and pushed me in my strengths, and each studio space is so inspiring. As a Freshman, I’ve already held an internship position and doors have opened to incredible opportunities. I feel like an important part of something so special here where creativity is cultivated daily." - Laura Finley Hasenbank, Class of 2025
"The O'More College has stretched and grown me in so many ways. The small class sizes have allowed me to cultivate strong relationships with professors and peers and have pushed me to grow as a designer. I have felt supported by the tight-knit community of O'More, and I credit my professors and peers for helping me land dream fashion design internships that have empowered me to take on the fashion industry when I graduate." - Marian Anderson, Class of 2022
The Fashion Design (B.F.A) does not require you to complete a minor. The degree requires 128 credit hours of coursework:
- BELL core requirements: 38 hours
- Major requirements: 87 hours
- Electives: 3 hours
Courses You'll Take
- FSD 1314, Flat Pattern I
A basic course with an emphasis on pattern drafting skills focusing on the upper body while developing a series of bodice, torso, collar and sleeve patterns to be critiqued for neatness and precision in drafting, truing and cutting. Students will also be involved with the annual Fashion Show.
- FSD 1400, Introduction to Fashion
An overview of the fashion industry’s structure and functions, operations, practices and career opportunities. The interrelationships between the consumer and the primary, secondary, retailing and auxiliary segments of the fashion industry will also be explored.
- FSD 1420, Evolution of Fashion I
The sociological, political, economic and technological forces will be explored to demonstrate how they have shaped the evolution of dress and will be a chronological study and research of historic costume from the origin of clothing beginning in the Mesopotamian Civilization through the 19th century.
- FSD 1430, Evolution of Fashion II
Evolution of Fashion II will be a continuation of the discussion where sociological, political, economic and technological forces will be explored to demonstrate how the history of costume has influenced the 20th and 21st centuries.
- FSD 1440, Fashion Illustration I
An introduction to fashion design and illustration. The basics of drawing the fashion figure, proportion, rendering fabrics and flat sketching will be emphasized during the course of the semester.
- FSD 2100, Fashion Forecasting
An in-depth examination of how fashion professionals analyze, plan and project fashion trends. Students explore the social and psychological aspects of consumers, learning why and how fashion changes. The World Global Sourcing Network-WGSN, the industry’s leading trend forecasting service will be used throughout the course.
- FSD 2200, Fashion Textiles
A course devoted to the study of fibers (natural and man-made), yarns and fabric construction. Students will investigate fiber performance, aesthetics and suitability for a variety of applications. Fibers and fabrics will be tested and evaluated in an experiential learning environment.
- FSD 2306, Clothing Construction I
A fundamental course involving the completion of a variety of garments from commercial patterns focusing on fabric, fit and master of basic techniques in construction. The discussion will also encompass an introduction to terminology, design elements and principles.
- FSD 2307, Clothing Construction II
Students learn more advanced construction techniques, completing several garments of their own design and patterns. Emphasis is given to finishing and detail.
- FSD 2308, Basic Draping
Students learn the basics of draping in muslin on a dressmaker form, completing several garments in fashion fabric from their original designs. Emphasis is given to embellishment and custom sewing techniques. Students will also be involved with the annual Fashion Show.
- FSD 2315, Flat Pattern II
Students apply basic pattern techniques to develop technical skills by completing advanced pattern drafting projects: designing and creating garment patterns, sewing muslin samples and learning pattern corrections to achieve a proper fit.
- FSD 2410, Fashion Technology I
An introduction to the software programs that will be used in the fashion program, and currently utilized in the fashion industry. Software programs will include, but not limited to Microsoft Office and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
- FSD 2420, Fashion Technology II
Students will advance their technology skills in software programs that include Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. They will also be introduced to additional programs used in the fashion industry.
- FSD 2440, Fashion Illustration II
Students develop a personal sketching style in manual and digital form using a variety of artistic mediums and techniques. The focus is on rendering, color, fabrics, textures, patterns and construction details.
- FSD 3000, Fashion Entrepreneurship
This course focuses on understanding the process of creativity and opportunity recognition and introduces students to the entrepreneurship process. Students will create an elevator pitch to present and evaluate their model to others. Students will also acquire an understanding of business ethics and social responsibility in business creation.
- FSD 3300, Marketing Fashion Brands
Students will define fashion marketing and how it works. Build a fashion marketing strategy and learn how to focus the marketing mix on the fashion consumer and communicate the value through promotion within an evolving industry and consumer shopping behaviors.
- FSD 3310, Fashion Design Studio I
Students will demonstrate their ability to collaborate in the research, design and development of creative clothing solutions for individuals with special requirements not currently being met by the apparel industry.
- FSD 3330, Fashion Design Studio II
Advanced Design Studio is where all aspects of the student’s previous coursework are integrated. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in market research, design, illustration, patterning, draping, construction, presentation and styling. Emphasis will be placed on design thinking and the creation of work that is well-designed, well made and beautiful.
- FSD 3410, Advanced Fashion Technologies
Students will be introduced to the latest technological innovations. Topics will include computerized pattern drafting, grading, marker making and 3D virtual prototyping.
- FSD 4015, Senior Capstone in Fashion
BELL Core, taken in the final year of the Fashion degree programs. Investigation of intersections of fashion and general studies. Students will reflect on both their personal and professional development and the impact that BELL core had on rounding out their education and will provide evidence of their preparation to enter their chosen career field from the creation of their digital portfolios, website and internship experiences.
- FSD 4211, Fashion Portfolio Development
Emphasis will be placed on the development of the student’s personal style and creating an online portfolio. A study of business etiquette, communication techniques and professional skills will also be discussed to prepare students for interviewing and networking in the industry.
- FSD 4270, Fashion Internship
The goal of the internship program is to establish a link between business and education. Students will complete 180 hours and apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom to a professional environment. In addition, they will gain experience working directly with and under the supervision of a design or merchandising professional in a business environment, network with the industry to establish contacts and learn the importance of developing business communication skills within a professional environment.
- FSD 4350, Fashion Technical Design
The role of the technical designer is explored. This course focuses on writing development packages for manufacturing with emphasis on offshore production using Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word and Excel. The course includes specification writing, design product evaluation, quality control and basic fit and garment construction issues.
- FSD 4472, Fashion Design Studio III
The capstone course will test students’ ability to solve a problem using design-thinking strategies and competency of their chosen field of study. The project has to demonstrate the full breadth of the knowledge and skills acquired in the design or merchandising degree program. Throughout the semester mentors who are industry professionals and the instructor will be reviewing the students’ progress and providing feedback and guidance. Students will further develop their concept in FSD 4473.
- FSD 4473, Fashion Design Studio IV
A continuation of the seniors’ design projects. Students are required to communicate their ideas through a full range of written, verbal and technological skills. Execute decisions through research, critical thinking and analysis. Produce advanced work that meets professional standards and demonstrate an understanding of how the areas of design and business are intertwined. Senior design projects will be juried by a panel of industry professionals, the course instructor and the chair of the department.
- FSD 4492, Fashion Illustration III
Emphasis is placed on advanced development of personal style through an examination of content, materials and techniques. Students engage in the illustrative process from concept to completion as they enhance their illustration portfolio in manual and digital form.
- FSD 4550, Apparel Manufacturing
Analysis of apparel manufacturing processes related to product development, production planning, quality assurance and sourcing.
Go beyond the classroom. In Nashville and around the world, you’ll find opportunities to learn and grow.
- Partner with the local community. The Fashion department has partnered with numerous Nashville non-profits and companies such as GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center to Eastman Chemical Company, Atelier & Repairs, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, New Dialect Dance Company and Olah, Inc.
- Explore the world. Experience other cultures and cities through study abroad opportunities in London, Italy and beyond.
- Join a student organization. With more than 180 to choose from, there is no shortage of opportunities to get plugged in on campus. The Belmont chapter of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA) is a great way to make connections in the college.
There is no portfolio requirement for admittance into the O'More College of Architecture and Design's programs. All you have to do is complete your application to Belmont and indicate Fashion Design as your major when applying.
If you are admitted to the university, then you are admitted to our Fashion Design program!
Each year, the O’More College awards a number of scholarships to incoming fall undergraduates majoring in one of its academic programs. These awards are renewable for four years (five for B.Arch. majors), provided the recipient maintains all required academic and citizenship expectations. To qualify, you must submit your Belmont application and scholarship essay by December 1.
- What is the difference between fashion design and fashion merchandising?
Fashion Design is the process of creating a product in the area of apparel, outwear, accessories, jewelry or footwear using critical thinking skills with free-hand or computerized skills with a number of materials for brick and mortar that includes specialty and department stores, or direct to consumer. Fashion Design is finding a void in the market to meet the needs and wants of individuals in an ever-changing world. Nothing is more exciting than selling creations to consumers and seeing your designs displayed in a store, visually merchandised online or showcased on the runway.
Fashion Merchandising is the business of fashion that includes the analysis, management, marketing and distribution of items with the end goal of maximizing profit. Students interested in pursuing a degree in Merchandising also need skill sets in digital design to be able to compete with graduates from other top programs. Professionals in the area of Fashion Merchandising are the backbone to the success of a fashion brand and product.
The curriculum for both the Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs begin with the same introductory courses, typically taken in the first semester, which offer students in both areas a foundational understanding of the fashion industry. At the end of the first semester, students typically know if they want to switch their major from Design to Merchandising or vice versa and are encouraged to talk with their advisor in order to do so without falling behind in their coursework.
- When does the term start for the fashion programs?
Students may begin the Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising program in the Fall or Spring term.
See the official Academic Calendar for more important dates.
- What laptop/software will I need for my coursework?
Students who enroll in the Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising program are required to bring a laptop (either PC or Mac) for use in and outside of the classroom to avoid falling behind in coursework.
Many of the courses require students to have a laptop for in-class projects. Software needed for coursework includes the most updated versions of Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. Students may need additional software as they progress through the curriculum.
- I have a degree in another field. Can I transfer my current credits toward this degree?
We have many students who hold associate or bachelor’s degrees prior to enrolling in an O'More program. All credits from a previously earned associate or bachelor's degree programs are evaluated on an individual basis by the Office of the Registrar and applied as appropriate toward the B.F.A. degree. In addition, if a student has completed design-based courses at another institution, he or she may be asked to submit class work completed in classes to determine skill level and transferability of courses.
While credits earned from previous coursework may be transferred in, it is important to note that earning a B.F.A. in Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising at Belmont will likely take 8 semesters as studio and lab courses must be taken sequentially and the curriculum is planned as a four-year degree program.