Fashion Studies

Fordham offers a unique, interdisciplinary approach to fashion education. We recognize that fashion is so much more than just clothing. It’s an art form, a complex cultural phenomenon, and a trillion dollar industry. Accordingly, our fashion studies courses are offered by departments across the University. In addition to the required classes in business, culture, and design, students have the opportunity to learn about topics such as the psychology of consumer behavior, the sociological function of fashion trends, the historical significance of style, the environmental impact of garment production, and how to utilize clothing as a means of communication. 

Like so many other fields, the fashion industry is in a time of transformation. Growth in emerging markets, the rise of new media and social networks, and increasing pressure to develop merchandise that is produced and marketed ethically and sustainably are among the various challenges impacting the world of fashion today. Understanding fashion from a variety of perspectives and thinking critically about how the industry functions in the world today empowers our students to meet these challenges with the intelligence, innovation, and humanity necessary to bring about positive change in the industry.

For more information 

Visit the Fashion Studies program web page.

Our Courses

FASH 1000. Fashion Essentials. (3 Credits)

Fashion Essentials is designed to teach students the necessary skills that are required to enter the fashion industry. Students will learn the ins and outs of the fashion calendar and production cycle, industry-specific vocabulary, how to recognize and care for a variety of textiles, how to conduct credible fashion research, and the basics of fashion photography and content creation.

FASH 1500. Fashion Topics. (1.5 Credits)

This course is an opportunity for students to stay up to date on what is going on in the ever-changing world of fashion. Each semester features a new, pertinent topic. Topics may include tracing the history of a current trend, investigating the effects of a recent event on the industry, or predicting the impact of new technologies on production and/or consumption. Students will learn how to perform reliable short-term research, synthesize information in real time, and use the breadth of their Fordham education to contribute original perspectives. Fashion Topics prepares students to operate in an industry that always changes in the city that never sleeps.

FASH 1800. Internship. (1 Credit)


FASH 3100. History of Cosmetics and Grooming. (3 Credits)

This course examines how cosmetics and personal grooming have been employed throughout history and across the world to construct and enforce standards of beauty, gender, race, age, and class. A variety of body modifications and adornments including tattoos, piercings, make-up, hair styling, facial hair, and nail care are explored. Particular attention is paid to how beauty has evolved from a cottage industry into a global behemoth generating hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

FASH 3200. Dressing the Gendered Body. (3 Credits)

This course explores how clothing has changed throughout history to adapt to evolving ideas about gender and sexuality. Topics include the implementation of bifurcated garments as menswear, the strategic designation of fashion as a feminine pursuit, undergarments created to emphasize gender from cod pieces to push-up bras, and the emergence of drag costumes, unisex garments, and androgynous styles.

FASH 3800. Fashion Studies Internship. (3 Credits)

This internship is an elective course offered to students currently enrolled in the fashion studies minor. Students participate in an unpaid, three-credit fashion internship for 15 to 20 hours per week for the duration of the semester. Coursework includes regular meetings with the fashion studies adviser, weekly journal entries, a resume review, and a final paper.

FASH 3999. Fashion Studies Tutorial. (3 Credits)

Students minoring in fashion studies who wish to pursue independent study may apply to participate in this course. Students will work with the fashion studies adviser to design a course including objectives, course requirements, and a bibliography.

FASH 4000. Fashion in Museums. (4 Credits)

Explore the history, logistics, and purpose of clothing and accessories in museum collections. Visit fashion exhibitions at art, design, cultural, history, and fashion museums throughout the city. Learn about how museums collect, conserve, and display fashion in order to educate their audiences about a wide variety of topics. Note: Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Courses in Other Areas

Course Title Credits
ANTH 2400Introduction to Fashion and Culture4
ARHI 2620Introduction to Fashion History4
ARHI 2621Art and Fashion in the Modern Age4
ARHI 3621Museum Collaboration4
COMC 3174Public Relations4
DTEM 2443Fashion and Digital Media4
ENGL 3038Latinx Performance Studies: Image, Fashion, and Politics4
FITV 2533Fashion Costuming in Film4
FITV 3534Fashion in British Film and Television4
JOUR 2787Fashion Journalism4
JOUR 3727Writing for Magazines4
JOUR 4767History of Women's Magazines4
MKBU 3435Consumer Behavior3
MKBU 3436ST: The Business of Fashion3
MKBU 3439ST: Branding3
MKBU 3461ST: Sustainable Fashion3
MVST 3215Medieval Fashion and Its Meanings3
PSYC 3320Consumer Behavior4
THEA 1210Introduction to Fashion Design3
THEA 1220Fashion Techniques3
THEA 2230Costume Design I3
THEA 2235Costume Design II3
THEA 2350The History of Our Outfits3