Apparel and Textiles Program Information

Apparel and Textiles Program Information


Our mission in The University of Alabama’s Apparel & Textiles Program is to cultivate an inclusive and innovative educational environment. We celebrate diversity and foster creative and critical thinking. We aim to empower students to:

  • Utilize technology effectively
  • Communicate proficiently
  • Analyze fashion retailing and fashion design critically and creatively

All within a global, cultural, and historical context.

Primary Educational Goal

The primary educational goal of The University of Alabama’s Apparel & Textiles Program is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive learning environment. We ensure that students graduate with a robust skill set and deep knowledge, preparing them for various roles within the dynamic and ever-evolving fashion industry.

Our meticulously designed curriculum provides a structured pathway for students, progressing from foundational concepts to advanced techniques in both fashion retailing and innovative fashion design. In our sequential course offerings, students explore fundamental principles such as garment construction, emerging technologies, textiles, trend forecasting, and consumer behavior, laying a solid groundwork for their understanding of the industry.

We emphasize diversity and inclusivity by integrating perspectives from various cultures and historical contexts to enrich the learning experience and promote a more inclusive fashion industry.

As students advance, they engage with complex topics such as retail management strategies, sustainable fashion practices, digital design tools, and fashion-specific marketing techniques. Our program blends theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience through practical projects, internships, and industry collaborations.

This approach ensures students develop technical skills alongside critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and a keen eye for creativity and innovation. Graduates are prepared to navigate diverse roles and challenges, from merchandising and brand management to fashion entrepreneurship and design leadership, while fostering a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and social responsibility within the fashion industry.


Our vision for The University of Alabama’s Apparel & Textiles Program is to nurture students into adept professionals who excel in both the strategic business acumen of fashion retailing and the creative finesse of fashion design. Through rigorous training, we aim to develop their ability to integrate technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge, employing innovative research methodologies that prioritize sustainable business practices and creative ingenuity.

We empower our students to critically evaluate fashion retailing strategies and fashion design concepts using a sophisticated professional vocabulary. They will gain a profound understanding of the historical and contemporary cultural and aesthetic influences on fashion retail products and design decisions.

Equipped with advanced business acumen, creative vision, global market insights, and a strong commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, our graduates will confidently lead and innovate within the dynamic and competitive fashion industry.

Alumni will demonstrate mastery in effective communication, leveraging visual, oral, and written presentation skills tailored specifically to the fashion sector. With a significant emphasis on promoting diversity and inclusivity, they will make strategic decisions rooted in art and fashion design principles. Our graduates will seamlessly integrate their understanding of consumer behavior, market trends, sustainability practices, and ethical considerations into their business strategies and design processes.

Major in Apparel and Textiles (AT)

Fashion Retailing Concentration

The Fashion Retailing Concentration, a specialized track within the broader Apparel and Textiles program, offers students a comprehensive curriculum tailored to the intricacies of the retail side of the fashion industry. This concentration equips students with an in-depth understanding of retail management, merchandising, marketing, buying, and e-retailing strategies, preparing them for diverse and exciting careers in the fashion retail sector. Key features of our Fashion Retailing concentration include:

Retail Strategy and Management: Students delve into the core principles of retail management, learning how to effectively operate and manage various types of fashion retail establishments. Topics covered include inventory management, visual merchandising, and customer service strategies.

Merchandising Expertise: The curriculum focuses on the art and science of merchandising. Students gain insights into buying and assortment planning, trend forecasting, and product selection, enabling them to make informed decisions that drive sales and profitability.

Digital and E-Retailing: In an increasingly digital marketplace, our program addresses the nuances of e-retailing and online marketing. Students explore strategies for successful e-commerce, digital marketing, and the use of technology in retail operations.

Consumer Behavior and Market Research: Understanding consumer preferences and behaviors is critical in the fashion retail sector. Students examine consumer psychology and market research methodologies, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and create tailored shopping experiences.

Fashion Marketing and Promotion: Students explore various marketing and promotional techniques specific to the fashion industry. This includes branding, advertising, social media marketing, and event planning, all within the context of fashion retailing.

Industry Exposure: Our program fosters strong connections with fashion retail businesses, providing opportunities for internships, guest lectures, and industry projects. These experiences offer students valuable insights into the inner workings of the fashion retail world.

Case Studies and Simulations: Students engage in real-world case studies and retail simulations, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios and develop critical problem-solving skills

Global Perspective: We emphasize the global nature of the fashion industry, teaching students about international retail markets, supply chain management, and the impact of globalization on fashion retailing.

In summary, our Fashion Retailing concentration offers a rigorous and specialized curriculum that prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and insights required for successful careers in fashion retailing. Graduates are well-prepared to pursue roles in merchandising, marketing, buying, product development, retail management, and e-retailing, making a meaningful impact in the ever-evolving world of fashion commerce.

Apparel Design Concentration

The Apparel Design concentration within the broader Apparel and Textiles program offers students a focused and comprehensive educational experience in the field of fashion design. This specialized curriculum is designed to nurture creativity, develop technical expertise, and prepare students for a wide range of roles in the fashion industry. Key highlights of our Apparel Design concentration include:

Design Thinking Emphasis: The curriculum places a strong emphasis on design thinking principles, encouraging students to approach fashion design with innovation and problem-solving in mind. Students learn to conceptualize, develop, and execute creative fashion designs while considering market trends and consumer needs.

Experiential Learning: Practical, hands-on learning is at the heart of our program. Through studio courses, students gain the technical skills required for garment construction, pattern making, and fabric manipulation. They also have opportunities to work with industry-standard tools and equipment.

Portfolio Development: Throughout the program, students build a comprehensive portfolio showcasing their design projects. This portfolio becomes a valuable asset when seeking internships or employment within the fashion industry.

Fashion Showcases: Students have the opportunity to participate in and organize fashion showcases and runway events, allowing them to present their creations to a broader audience and gain experience in event planning and management.

Industry Connections: We foster strong connections with the fashion industry, providing students with networking opportunities, internships, and exposure to real-world fashion professionals. This exposure helps students understand industry dynamics and trends.

Advanced Design Projects: In the latter stages of the program, students engage in advanced design projects that challenge their creativity and problem-solving abilities. These projects often tackle contemporary issues in fashion, sustainability, and technology.

Faculty Expertise: Our dedicated faculty members bring a wealth of industry experience and academic knowledge to the classroom, offering mentorship and guidance to students throughout their academic journey.

In summary, our Apparel Design concentration offers a holistic and immersive educational experience that equips students with the skills, mindset, and portfolio necessary for success in the dynamic and competitive world of fashion design. Whether aspiring to become designers, creative directors, or entrepreneurs in the fashion industry, our program prepares students for a fulfilling and impactful career in fashion.