Fashion and Costume Degree Program | Albright College

Fashion and Costume

Turn Your Passion for Fashion into an Incredible Career

Your fashion and costume major prepares you for a wide range of exciting careers in this multibillion-dollar industry. Our graduates are working around the world as fashion designers, celebrity stylists, influencers, production executives, and more. Their employers include the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Swarovski Crystal, to name a few. Many have gone on to start their own thriving businesses.

As a student, you will be immersed in your fashion major from the very first day, working side by side with faculty. You will be exposed to innovative fashion coursework, and you’ll have the support of experienced professors and dedicated alumni. You’ll definitely want to get involved with Fashion Lion, Albright’s own fashion magazine.

You will also be encouraged to personalize your fashion degree by combining fashion with communications, digital media, business, education, and even psychology and political science. This broad approach will help you polish your critical-thinking skills, which are so crucial to success in this competitive, fast-paced industry. If you have a love for fashion, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration here at Albright.


“Most schools with fashion design programs are just art schools. I wanted a more well-rounded education.”

— Paul Cieri ’20, fashion major, French minor

What Can I Do With a Major in Fashion?

Our students:

  1. Develop effective oral, written, visual and digital communication skills
  2. Establish a global perspective of fashion and costume
  3. Practice and understand ethical conduct
  4. Demonstrate effective problem solving through critical thinking
  5. Demonstrate skill sets relevant to fashion and costume
  6. Set and demonstrate a high standard of professional conduct


Camille Fuller ’17
Entrepreneur, Designer

Read about Camille here

Michelle Dovale ’13
Sweater Designer, Macy’s

Read about Michelle here

Chelsey Ayres ’10
Freelance Stylist

Read about Chelsey here

Ashlyn Alessi ’15
Tommy Bahama store manager, stylist, actress

Read about Ashyln here

Photo of Erin CrillyErin Crilly ’15
Production assistant for Calvin Klein and Karl Lagerfeld handbags in New York City

Read about Erin here

Photo of Caroline VazzanaCaroline Vazzana ’14
Author, influencer, celebrity stylist, blogger at Making it in Manhattan

Read about Caroline here

photo of Erin Van OstenErin VanOsten ’12
Design Manager, Jakks Pacific in Los Angeles

Read about Erin here

Photo of Ehrin Kelly '09Ehrin Kelley ’09
Textile designer at Target

Read about Ehrin here

Kyle Bredbenner ’09
Visual Merchandising Manager, West Coast, Swarovski Crystal

Read about Kyle here

photo of Erica JonesErica Jones ’07
Founder, GoBe Design

Read about Erica here

Cleaver photoJulianne Cleaver ’01
Owner: Bella Jules boutique, West Reading, PA.

Read about Julianne here.

Photo of fashionable hatRose Q. Jamieson ’63
Author of High Fashion Hats, 1950-1980

Read about Rose here.


Kylah Freeman
Adjunct Professor in Fashion


Doreen Burdalski, M.B.A.
Chair of Fashion Department; Assistant Professor of Merchandising


Joycelyn Burdett, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Fashion Design


MeeAe Oh-Ranck, M.S.
Instructor of Fashion


Paula Trimpey, M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Theatre & Fashion, Costume Shop Coordinator


Amanda Condict
Adjunct Professor in Fashion


Sarah Mueller Buck, M.S.
Adjunct Professor in Fashion


Denise Shade
Adjunct Professor in Fashion

The Fashion Department offers the following majors:

  • Design and Merchandising
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Fashion Design
  • Costume Design
  • Combine Major in Fashion

These areas possess a commonality of mission and provide you with a curriculum that addresses issues of creative research and development, design, manufacturing, marketing and the consumerism of textiles and apparel products.

Students majoring in fashion must complete the core requirements and the requirements for one of the tracks.

Core Requirements

  • FAS105 Visual Literacy
  • FAS200 Textile Fundamentals
  • FAS283 Fashion History
  • FAS482 Internship

Track Requirements
Design and Merchandising

  • ACC101 Accounting(General Studies Math)
  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals (with lab)
  • FAS208 Fashion Business
  • FAS225 CAD
  • FAS230 Fashion Illustration
  • FAS284 Intermediate Construction
  • FAS372 Concept Development
  • BUS247 Marketing Management
  • FAS490 Senior Seminar(Design OR Merchandising)
  • Two of the following:
    • FAS218 Visual Merchandising
    • FAS210 Fashion Product Develop.
    • FAS376 Retailing
    • FAS315 Fashion Merch. Communications
    • FAS309 Lifestyle Marketing
    • FAS342 Patternmaking
    • FAS340 Draping
    • FAS345 Electronic Patternmaking
    • BUS365 Entrepreneurship
    • BUS374 International Marketing

* Students should choose one track for their internship and the other track for their senior seminar.

Fashion Merchandising

  • ECO105 Economics(General Studies Soc. Sci.)
  • ACC101 Accounting(General Studies Math)
  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals (with lab)
  • FAS208 Fashion Business
  • FAS210 Fashion Product Development
  • FAS376 Retailing
  • FAS315 Fashion Communications
  • FAS309 Lifestyle Marketing
  • BUS247 Marketing Management
  • FAS490C Senior Seminar, Merch.
  • One of the following:
    • FAS218 Visual Merchandising
    • BUS365 Entrepreneurship
    • BUS246 Management Principles
    • BUS374 International Marketing

Fashion Design

  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals (with lab)
  • FAS225 CAD I
  • FAS230 Fashion Illustration
  • FAS284 Intermediate Construction
  • FAS340 Draping
  • FAS342 Patternmaking
  • FAS350 Advanced Construction
  • FAS372 Concept Dev, Fashion Design
  • FAS3XX 300 Level Design Special Topics
  • FAS490A Senior Seminar Design

Costume Design

  • THR101 Creative Process (General Studies ART)
  • THR201 Production Experience
  • THR210 Design Fundamentals
  • FAS/THR220 Costume Construction
  • FAS230 Design & Illustration
  • THR288 Great Ages of Theater I OR THR289 Great Ages of Theater II
  • THR/FAS320 Stage Costuming
  • FAS225 CAD
  • FAS340 Draping
  • FAS342 Patternmaking
  • FAS490C Senior Seminar Costume Design
  • Suggested Elective: THR214 Stage Make Up

Combined Major

The following requirements are for students matriculating Fall 2018 and after. Students who matriculated before Fall 2018 see the requirements below.

  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals
  • FAS105 Visual Literacy
  • FAS200 Textile Fundamentals
  • FAS283 Fashion History
  • FAS49 Seminar Design or Merchandising
  • ECO105 Economics OR ART103 Design I (captured Gen Ed.)
  • Two of the following:
    • FAS208 Fashion Business
    • FAS210 Fashion Product Development
    • FAS218 Visual Merchandising
    • FAS225 CAD
    • FAS230 Fashion Illustration
    • FAS340 Draping
    • FAS342 Patternmaking
    • FAS315 Fashion Merchandising Communications
    • FAS376 Retailing

The following requirements are for students matriculating before Fall 2018.

Combined Majors
Fashion Merchandising Combined Major

  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals
  • FAS105 Visual Literacy
  • FAS200 Textile Fundamentals
  • FAS203 Fashion History I (Prehistoric-18th Century) OR FAS204 Fashion History II (19th- 21st Century)
  • FAS490C Senior Seminar in Merchandising
  • ECO105 Economics (General Studies Foundations Social Science) OR ACC101 Accounting (General Studies Foundations Quantitative)
  • Select two of the following:
    • FAS208 Fashion Business
    • FAS218 Visual Merchandising
    • FAS210 Product Development
    • FAS376 Retailing
    • FAS309 Lifestyle Marketing
    • FAS315 Fashion Communications
    • BUS347 Marketing Management
    • BUS365 Small Business Management

Fashion Design Combined Major 

  • FAS112 Fashion Fundamentals
  • FAS105 Visual Literacy
  • FAS200 Textile Fundamentals
  • FAS203 Fashion History I (Prehistoric-18th Century) OR FAS204 Fashion History II (19th-21st Century)
  • FAS490A Senior Seminar in Design
  • ART102 Life Drawing
  • Select two of the following:
    • FAS230 Design and Illustration
    • FAS244 Patternmaking/Draping
    • FAS325 CAD
    • FAS372 Concept Development, Fashion Design
    • FAS350 Advanced Construction
    • FAS355 Brand Development

Costume Design Combined Major 

  • FAS220 Costume Construction
  • FAS105 Visual Literacy
  • FAS200 Textile Fundamentals
  • FAS203 Fashion History I (prehistoric-18th Century) OR FAS204 Fashion History II (19th-21st Century)
  • FAS490B Senior Seminar in Costume
  • THR101 Creative Process (General Studies Foundations Fine Arts)
  • Select two of the following:
    • FAS230 Design and Illustration
    • FAS244 Patternmaking/Draping
    • FAS325 CAD
    • FAS320 Stage Costuming
    • THR201 Production Experience (four productions)
    • THR288 Great Ages of Theatre I or THR289 Great Ages of Theatre II

FAS 105
Visual Literacy for Fashion
The focus of this foundation design course is to explore the basic elements and principles of 2D and 3D design and their application in the fashion design process. Visual communication—using messages that combine words and pictures—is an essential skill in the fashion industry. It is the language most often used by designers and merchandisers in communicating with each other and their clients. Line, shape, texture, value, color and their interrelationships are studied and applied to solving design problems. Students learn to use these components to demonstrate thoughts and concepts through visual illustrations and graphic design.

FAS 112
Fashion Fundamentals
This course serves as a general introduction to the fashion industry and to the study of fashion. The course outlines the factors, processes and considerations involved in taking fashion products from concept to the customer. In addition to the lecture, students must attend one three-hour lab session, where they gain hands-on experience in the conception and production of a fashion product.

FAS 200
Textile Fundamentals
A study of fabrics with emphasis on the interrelationships of fibers, yarn structures, fabric construction and finishes. Students examine the physical and chemical structures of natural and man-made fibers. They explore how the different physical characteristics and components of different fabrics relate to end-use. Government legislation related to textiles is discussed. Concurrent enrollment in FAS200L, Textile Fundamentals Lab is required.

FAS 202
History of Fashion
This survey course focuses on the influence of fashion and dress throughout history. The course covers a timeline starting with Ancient Civilizations and ending with the 21st century. The purpose is to not only gain knowledge of the actual garments of the time, but also gain an understanding of why they were worn as well as the factors which influenced the changes in fashion styles through time. Knowledge of the historical context will be an important thread throughout this course. The course will use an interdisciplinary approach to studying fashion history that combines lectures, in-class activities, exams, presentations, extant garment research, and a final project.

FAS 203
Costume and Fashion History to 1800
This course focuses on the influence of fashion and dress throughout history. The course covers a timeline starting around 3000 BC and continuing to the 18th century. The purpose is to gain not only knowledge of the actual garments of the time, but also an understanding of why they were worn. Knowledge of the historical context will be an important thread throughout this course. The course will use an interdisciplinary approach to studying fashion history that combines lectures, activities, exams and a presentation.

FAS 204
Costume and Fashion History from 1800
This course focuses on the development of western fashion, from the French Revolution to the present, and to the evolution from custom-made clothing to ready-to-wear. It stresses the relationship of historic occurrences with changes in the arts, particularly in the development of American fashion. Specific silhouettes and details of each period of fashion are studied, in addition to fashion designers and theatrical costume interpretation of various periods of history.

FAS 208
Fashion Business
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of the financial aspects of the fashion business. Special emphasis is placed on understanding and making managerial decisions based on review of the income statement, focusing on both gross margin and profit before taxes. Pricing and markdown strategies are discussed, and the basic retail math concepts of initial mark-up and maintained mark-up are covered in depth. Students create a six-month merchandising plan that teaches them to forecast sales, inventory levels and reductions, enabling them to calculate planned purchases and open to buy. Also discussed are measures of productivity such as sales per square foot and GMROI.

FAS 210
Fashion Product Development
This course analyzes the process of creating fashion products from trend research through design to production/sourcing to distribution. It introduces concepts and methods used by buyers, merchandisers and designers to create merchandise for targeted customer segments. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 218
Visual Merchandising
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the practices and effective strategies in the field of retail visual merchandising. Students learn to look, compare and innovate as they implement proven principles used in the presentation of merchandise through free expression utilizing both solo and group activities to develop critical thinking and communications skills. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

Costume Construction
This course will explore the techniques of costume and period clothing construction. The class will cover history of garment pattern development, sewing techniques and the creation of historic clothing using modern patterning and sewing techniques. As a final project for this class, students will be expected to create a complete period costume from concept to wearable three dimensional garment.

FAS 230
Fashion Illustration
The focus of this course is to give students a thorough knowledge of fashion of figure proportions, fashion poses and proficiency in illustrating them including: understanding the difference in illustration styles and skills required for marketing and designing; choosing the best media and employing it skillfully; and using their fashion illustrations in presentations that effectively communicate their ideas. Prerequisite: FAS 105

FAS 340
This course introduces the student to the technique of draping: creating a flowing, three-dimensional garment by manipulating, molding, and shaping flat fabric on a full size three-dimensional dress form or a live model. Steps for developing and producing patterns and garments implementing this technique will be practiced. The course will introduce the student to the dress form, draping tools and how to use them, draping terminology, use of body measurements in developing a pattern and the characteristics of fabrics in relationship to the curves of the body. Prerequisites: FAS112 and FAS283 Intermediate Construction.

FAS 342
This course introduces the student to techniques and skills in flat patternmaking. The student will learn how to create and manipulate a sloper set and become familiar with fitting garments on a full size dress form and the human body to produce creative and innovative designs. This course also teaches students a common language of correct terminology so they will be able to communicate accurately with patternmakers and designers within the fashion industry. Steps for producing a flat pattern from a flat sketch to completed pattern are practiced.

FAS 290
Art and Fashion in Europe
This course focuses on an essential collection of globalization and cross-cultural educational concepts. Students visit cultural and fashion industry sites to learn about cultural influences on modern art and fashion. Students will also visually immerse in European art and artifacts that will be utilized in their fashion study. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore the street art and fashion in European communities. Finally, the purpose of this course serves to offer students a chance to combine their multicultural and global perspective with a design ideation, concept development, research, and presentation. Photo documentation and journal entries will be used to visualize and explore their study abroad experiences. Personal study and investigation will be important in the success of this course. At the end of the course, students will have a versatile sketchbook journal of the trip that exhibits their experiences and will be shared through a power point presentation. General Studies Connections-Global-Humanities

FAS 309
Lifestyle Marketing
This course introduces the theories and practices of meeting the consumers’ lifestyle needs by creating and managing branded fashion product.  It explores how to build new fashion brands and how to develop existing brands in a global and digital world.  It emphasizes the importance of market orientation versus product orientation.  This course fulfills a track requirement for the B.A. degree in Fashion Merchandising. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 315
Fashion Communications
This is a study of the marketing and promotional strategies used within the fashion communication field. Students study the purposes, procedures, methods and techniques used in various fashion promotional activities. Special attention is given to writing techniques and layouts used in printed fashion communications. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

Stage Costuming
This course is an introduction to the process of costume design and production. Topics covered include period costume research, play analysis, budgeting and costume rendering. The course will also introduce costume studio personnel and their responsibilities in the costume design/production process. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 325
CAD Concepts
This course focuses on the purpose of CAD technology in the fashion industry for design ideation, concept development, research and presentation. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop will be used to emphasis visualization and exploration of design ideas, along with knowledge of technical skills. Students will apply appropriate CAD techniques to create artistic and technical flat illustrations. Personal study and investigation will be important in the success of this course. At the end of the course, students should have a versatile portfolio of projects that exhibit knowledge and skill of CAD as used in the fashion industry. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 326
CAD Concepts II
This course is a continuation of CAD I. Utilizing Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, students will further develop their computer-aided technical drawing skills. Additionally, they will study the basics of creating and utilizing textile patterns and textures and will develop techniques to create professional presentations. Computer skills are employed in the implementation of in-depth design projects. Each project is designed to promote individual creativity and thoughtful market and creative research, and to develop effective verbal and visual presentation techniques. For each project, students are required to present written and visual research and to show their process of exploration and refinement in creating and presenting a collection based on that research. Prerequisite: FAS 325

FAS 345
Electronic Patternmaking
The students will learn the skill sets of computerized patternmaking as it applies to the fashion industry. A focus will be given to the interpretation of design flats as they influence the design of pattern. At the end of the course, students will produce design garment by using Modaris Patternmaking software. Students should also have a versatile patternmaking portfolio of projects that exhibit knowledge and skill of CAD as used in the fashion industry.

FAS 350
Advanced Construction Techniques
This course emphasizes development of apparel construction skills at an intermediate level. Students continue to evolve principles by which flat pattern method is used in the development of design idea. Emphasis is on tailoring procedures, which are used in everyday dressmaking. In course work, students will learn how to select the tailoring method most appropriate for their fabric and pattern choice, as well as for their skill level and available sewing time.

FAS 355
Brand Development
In this course, students will develop a professional fashion portfolio that showcases their best skills by incorporating previous completed work. It includes learning about presentation layout styles and focuses on developing a strong personal brand identity that reflects the visual narrative of work. Execution of the portfolio will be explored in both visual and electronic web formats.

FAS 360
Digital Print Design
There are three major components in this course; learning to repeat pattern with CAD, textile design development and product development by using the most current digital printing technology. The course focuses on research methods and their impact on the development of textile design motifs in the fashion and textile design field as well computerized design processes. Visual presentation and concept development skills will be addressed for developing design motifs. Visits to design resources such as library and analysis of trend forecast sources and current influences will provide inspiration for development. In addition, product development of textile design will be also stressed in class. Prerequisite: FAS325

FAS 372
Concept Development, Fashion Design
This course focuses on the process of forming an idea and bringing that idea from concept to reality, specifically with regard to end products related to the fashion business. Students learn how to research, recognize or create trends, and apply aesthetics, taste, design techniques, practical considerations and problem-solving strategies in the implementation of targeted concept development projects. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 373
Concept Development, Costuming
Techniques and principles of fashion design are applied to the special demands of costuming for the theater, emphasizing the need for durability while creating the appropriate visual image. The day-to-day problems of assembling a show are explored. Students work on a current play by the Theatre Department and collaborate to design and also create the costumes for specific themes or time periods. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 376
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the retailing industry. It focuses on the development of retail strategy and familiarizes the student with all the major decisions retailers must make as they strive to compete in an ever-changing environment. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

FAS 482
Students serve an internship in the fashion industry or a fashion industry-related business under the supervision of a faculty member and on-site personnel. Active participation and a significant level of responsibilities are expected in the internship setting. Reports and projects are required.

FAS 490
Senior Seminar
The senior seminar is a capstone course for all fashion students. Building on previous knowledge from the program, this course prepares students to enter the fashion industry. Special emphasis is placed on discussing issues current to the industry and researching the job market. Industry guest speakers are scheduled throughout the semester to enhance this experience. Working with instructor direction and approval, each student is required to complete a capstone project that requires intense research and a final presentation. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

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Fashion Lion

Click below to read one of Albright College’s award-winning, student-created Fashion publications.



Earn your Fashion Merchandising Degree in 3 years
Save the Date! Summer Fashion Studio July 28 – August 1, 2019
Project Runway Meets Albright College: Read the story here from the Albright Reporter
Albright College Again Named One of the Best Fashion Schools in the Country

Albright students compete ahead of West Reading Fashion Show, February 29, 2020

Meet Paul Cieri ’20

From California to Pennsylvania to Paris

Project Runway Meets Albright College

“Seeing what I could do and having the chance to display my capabilities is an experience I will always be grateful for.”
Olivia Connor ’18

Fashion Department Mission

Complemented by a liberal arts education and interdisciplinary studies, the Fashion Department’s mission is to prepare students with knowledge, skills and credentials for successful contribution to the costume and fashion industries.  We prepare our students with the overall purpose of developing them into the best person they can be.

Why Fashion at Albright?

Fashion students at Albright take advantage of small classes and labs, innovative courses, and the support of experienced professors and dedicated alumni. All introductory sewing labs, for example, are capped at seven students, affording you the personal attention of your professor. The impressive resumes of Albright’s faculty attest to the industry and academic expertise (from corsets and costumes to retail and advertising) they offer to their students.

Albright is known as a premier institution for interdisciplinary study, and many fashion students take advantage of the opportunity to study their other passions. Students have combined fashion with communications, digital media, business, education and even psychology and political science. All students, whether or not they are co-majoring, are exposed to a traditional liberal arts curriculum: arts, humanities, and social science and physical science courses, with a focus on the relationships among fields of study. This core of courses polishes the critical thinking skills that are demanded in all professional fields and are expected in upper-level fashion positions.

Student Research and Scholarship

Through the Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE), Albright students have the opportunity to conduct research or creative activity in partnership with nurturing faculty mentors. Recent Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) projects include:

Lindsey Jones, “Classical Ballet Tutu Construction” (with Paula Trimpey)
Camille Fuller, “Genuine Color: An Exploration of Natural Dying” (with MeeAe Oh-Ranck)
Alfredo Diaz, “The Magic of Geometric and Organic Shapes in Fashion: A Study in Haute Couture” (with MeeAe Oh-Ranck)
Kylah Freeman, “Fashion Law: U.S. Legislation Impacting the Fashion Industry” (with Doreen Burdalski)
Susie Benitez, “From Fleece to Yarn: An Exploration of Textile Hand Spinning” (with Paula Trimpey)
Alfredo Diaz, “The Simple Sheath Dress: A Challenge in Creative Pattern Making” (with Paula Trimpey)
Alexandra Seda, “Then and Now: The History and Evolution of the Clerical Stole” (with Paula Trimpey)
Susie Benitez, “From Fleece to Yarn: An Exploration of Textile Hand Spinning” (with Paula Trimpey)
Carrie Rivera, “Attire of a Female Leader in the Byzantine Era” (with Paula Trimpey)
Kayla Haruluck, “Tight Lace Corsets and Corset Construction” (with Paula Trimpey)
Jaime Goldschmidt, “Reinterpreted Adornment” (with Jocelyn Kolb)


Anna Sui, NYAnthropologie, NY, NY
Bella Jules, West Reading, PABoscov’s, Reading, PA
Eileen Fisher, NY, NYDavid’s Bridal, Conshohocken, PA
Donna Karan, NY, NYFirefly on Penn, West Reading, PA
Gucci, NYIsaac Mizrahi, NY, NY
LiliBea’s, West Reading, PAMaggie Norris Couture, NY
Majestic Athletic, Easton, PAMarie Claire, NY
Michael Kors, NYNew York & Company, NY, NY
Nordstrom, Cherry Hill, NJPalma, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
QVC, West Chester, PARipkin Baseball, Aberdeen, MD
Sorelli Jewelry, Kutztown, PATiffany & Co., Philadelphia
Utah Shakespearean Festival, UTWalt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Wet Seal, Wyomissing, PA