8 Myths about Fashion Merchandising and Design

I don’t know about ya’ll, but until I started looking for colleges, I didn’t even know that Fashion Merchandising and Design was a major. Everyone has their assumptions about this major but I want to bust some commonly believed myths

MYTH: All Fashion Majors dress nicely for class.

REALITY: No one does.

There will be pressure to look your best when you first start taking your fashion classes, but you’ll soon find out that’s not the case. Everyone understands that you are still a college kid who stays up late studying and rushes to class four hours later. It is okay to go without makeup one day or wear your work out clothes to class–in fact, you’ll hardly find people who dress nicely to class everyday.

MYTH: Fashion Merchandising and Design is something you don’t need to go to school for.

REALITY: When you study Fashion Merchandising, you are studying more than clothing… So yes, you do need a degree.

“Why are you even in school?” Yes, I have gotten this comment before from friends when I talk about my classes.

Being an FMD Major, you will take a mix of classes that most refer to as the “Easy A’s.” In reality, some of the classes we take are the same classes other majors have to take, such as economics or management theory. As everyone knows, these classes are challenging and require a lot of hard work. Tell me again how easy it is to get an A in accounting and then say our major is super easy. Fashion Merchandising and Design students have endless possibilities in the job market. We are the ones who predict the trends, develop, market, and sell product, and much more. Last I checked, you do need to go to school to be in a super competitive industry that does it all.

MYTH: Passing all of your classes is enough to make it in the professional world.

REALITY: The fashion industry is one of the most competitive. Networking is key.

Fashion Merchandising and Design is not just an academia type major.  In this field, networking and experience are necessary to success just like any other major.

MYTH: If you’re majoring in fashion, you should probably double major or minor in something else.

REALITY: You can be just as successful without one.

It may seem like everyone has a minor at first, but this is not usually the case. A lot of students choose not to minor. This does not limit their opportunities when they get into the work force. In fact, most academic advisors will tell you that minors will not push you further in the job market. Additionally, people usually ask if we’re minoring in business just because they hear we are taking a business class. Surprisingly, our major requires a large amount of business classes, so the minor isn’t really necessary. You can be just as competitive, if not more, than those with a minor or double major if you make the right connections and establish leadership roles.

MYTH: You must be really creative and good at designing to be in FMD.

REALITY: The range of creativity and artistic ability in this major ranges from none to Picasso.

Yes, many people who chose this major do it because of their artistic and creative attributes. However, there are a lot of other classes that don’t require these talents. These cater to those who want to get more heavily involved in the Merchandising part of the major, so being artistic isn’t necessary. You will pick up skills along the way that pertain to the design aspect of the industry, but the great thing about FMD is that it is your choice whether you go the design or business route.

MYTH: We are learning how to dress people and design.

REALITY: We are learning marketing strategies, how to predict trends, identify target markets etc. 


While stylist is a career path that an FMD major can take, our major isn’t about how to dress. We are learning how to establish a brand, target specific customers, and encourage them to buy product with advertising. We are learning the processes of product development, textile manufacturing, the aspects of buying, and business management. If you want to make it far in this industry, it goes far beyond knowing how to put outfits together.

MYTH: If you are majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Design, then you must want to design clothes.

REALITY: There are other career opportunities as an FMD Major

Many people instantly think “fashion designer” as a career with a fashion merchandising and design degree, but there’s much more than that. I am looking at Visual Merchandising and Fashion Journalism, but the possibilities don’t stop there. With a FMD degree you can get a job in Textile Design, Production Management, Styling, Public Relations, Marketing, Buying and the list continues to grow.

MYTH: Fashion Majors love to shop.

REALITY: Shopping isn’t for everyone.

While a lot of Fashion Majors do like to shop, that doesn’t ring true for everyone. I hate trying on clothes; I do a lot of online shopping in my free time. But this major is about more than that. This major is all about the story behind what you see in the mall. It is about how the product came to be and what went into the process.

As you can tell, there’s a lot you may not know about the Fashion Merchandising and Design major, so be sure to stay informed before making assumptions.





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