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Fashion Design

School of Communication & The Arts

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At Marist, Fashion Design is much more than a major – it’s a hands-on, immersive learning experience. By absorbing the theories and history of design and applying it to real-world fashion design from your first semester at Marist, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful career in the Fashion Design industry. 

Image of student presenting her senior design project to fashion industry executives.

A Foundational Curriculum That Will Help You Flourish

The Fashion Design major relies upon foundational courses such as Fashion in Culture & Commerce and Creative Process, then is augmented by a combination of technical and creative design courses to create a well-balanced curriculum. You’ll develop skills in design, textiles, draping and flat pattern making, garment construction, and computer-aided design, and event present your own apparel collection at the annual Silver Needle Runway Fashion Show. Fashion Designs majors also have minors available to them in Fashion Merchandising and Product Development.

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Three Students Capture Prestigious CFDA Awards

Three Marist fashion students were honored with design scholarship awards from the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In 2022, there were 372 submissions and 26 CFDA scholarships awarded nationwide, and Marist students Allissa Divak '23, Marina Matozzo '23, and Tara Sears '23 earned three. The awards are $25,000 scholarships for undergraduate juniors and first-year graduate students who plan to graduate 2023.

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Front Row and Backstage at Milan Fashion Week

Marist students got a front-row seat and backstage access to one of the most exclusive fashion events in the world — Milan Fashion Week. Nearly two dozen students studying fashion design, fashion merchandising, and global marketing communications were immersed in what’s considered one of the "big four" global fashion events. Through the College’s partnership with Italian designer Francesca Liberatore, hands-on learning at premiere industry events has helped make Marist’s Fashion Program among the best in higher education.


Cutting-Edge Facilities

At Marist, we’re determined to provide not only the educational but the physical tools to promote your success and preparedness to enter to fashion industry. Marist has equipped the Steel Plant, the academic building in which fashion students spend much of their time, with the facilities to ensure your best work:


  • Textile Design Lab
  • Fashion Design Studios
  • Creative Resource Center
  • The MakerLab, equipped with 3D printers
  • Fashion Exhibition Gallery
  • MPorium fashion retail space

Learn More About The Steel Plant>

With technology being more and more transformative within the fashion industry, CLO3D software, which is a technology that provides true-to-life garment visualization, has been transformative in Marist’s fashion education and the industry. Bissell has developed his skills through this software and was awarded the first Fashion Scholarship Fund Marty's Light scholarship commending his work in men's fashion.

Read Mark's Story>

Image of the Silver Needle Runway fasion show.

Hands-On Industry Experience

A balanced education at Marist combines rigorous classroom experience with practical application in the desired field, and the Fashion Design major is no exception. Fashion Design students will find themselves in the Design Studios from day one, collaborating on projects with peers inside and outside their major. Internships are an essential piece of real-world experience for our Fashion Design majors; in fact, over 83% of Marist students complete at least one internship. And all their hard work culminates at the annual Silver Nedle Runway Fashion Show, a fully produced fashion show for which they design and execute an apparel collection under the guidance of a professional designer, select professional models to walk an industry-grade runway, and showcase everything they’ve learned during their time at Marist.

Develop Fashion Design Skills To Stand Out From The Crowd

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Fashion Theory

Gain a foundational-level understanding of fashion trend theories; begin to effectively anticipate, understand, and utilize basic terminology used to describe fashion, garments and textiles; and explain the process of apparel production from concept.
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Digital Fashion Design

Create technical, merchandising, spec flats, and various garment details and fashion figures using Adobe Illustrator to visually develop an understanding of garment construction and details.
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Garment Construction

Understand fabric grain, layout and cutting by utilizing hand and machine stitches in garment construction. Learn professional terminology to describe techniques, applications, materials, and garment components.
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Verbal and Visual Presentation

Experience class discussions that will further develop your oral presentation skills by addressing how you present your work in an interview setting and how you present projects.
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Portfolio Development

Determine a personal direction of style and content for a portfolio. Particular emphasis is placed on exhibiting your range in two- and three-dimensional work, creative content, experimentation, and resolution of designs.
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Fashion Collection Creation

Emphasis is placed on: concept origination, research methods, documentation of design processes and aesthetic judgment in design adoption, and more.

Career Success in the Fashion Industry

As a Fashion Design student at Marist who has completed industry experience long before graduation, you’ll have a competitive edge unlike any other student entering the field. And our students have landed the jobs to prove it. Below are only a few examples of the major fashion institutions that proudly employ Marist Fashion alumni today:


The Silver Needle Runway is the largest event production presented by Marist College. Since 1984, the show has continued to heighten levels of expertise, professionalism, and creativity. The runway features garments designed and realized by our talented senior Fashion Design students in a professional runway setting. In the Spring of 2021, the dedicated Fashion Show Production class took a new approach to the show, creating digital and physical platforms for the immensely talented senior design students to showcase their work. This new approach was further expanded in 2022 with SNR36.

Watch the video to see the trailer for the SNR36 documentary, or visit the SNR36 website.

"Just north of NYC, the Marist campus overlooks the Hudson River providing a more serene setting to focus on your creative process. How serious is the college about its commitment to fashion? A brand-new, dedicated Digital Arts & Fashion Building opened in January 2019 with all the state-of-the-art tech at the students’ thimble-topped fingertips. You can catch the 35th anniversary Silver Needle Runway presentation of fashion graduates to experience the Marist style for yourself."

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At Marist, we pride ourselves on our dedication to providing our students with a well-rounded liberal arts education that prepares them for practical experience and profound success in their field. But don't just take our word for it - the numbers speak for themselves.


Of current students are satisfied with their Marist Experience


Graduation rate, higher than the average for public and private colleges


Employed or attending grad school 6 months after graduation

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