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Exploring Design & Merchandising & Fashion 

Exploring Careers in Fashion Design and Design & Merchandising

Exploring Design & Merchandising & Fashion 

July 13th - 26th, 2014

For two exciting weeks, come live on our campus and explore the fields of Fashion Design or Design & Merchandising, hands-on. Throughout the program, you will attend classes taught by Drexel faculty in studios and labs used by our students. In the studio, you will spend valuable time sketching and designing products, projects, fashion and more. Field trips will give you an insider's look at top retailers, designer boutiques and professional design studios where fashion, products and merchandising meet. You will even get to create the beginnings of your own personal design portfolio that can play an important role in applying to college.




About the program

Design & Merchandising: Where Design Meets Business

Study the journey of fashion and accessories from the designer’s mind to the final purchase. Learn the roles of buyers, product developers, marketing professionals, fashion writers, event planners, and retail managers who make Fashion Retail happen. During your two weeks at Drexel, you will dive into the world of creativity, developing a product and designing its packaging and promotion. Explore the tools of the trade – sketching, drawing, prototyping, computer techniques and business. At the end of your stay you will have a great idea of what it takes to be successful in the business of Fashion.

At the same time, we will explore Philadelphia’s hottest shopping districts, learning from successful professionals what it takes to make it in this fast-paced business world. At the end of the two weeks, we’ll exhibit your work, and you will take home a portfolio of your accomplishments along with the experience of having created your own unique product and business!

Fashion Design: The Power to Make a Statement

To some, fashion is an art form. To others, it is almost a religion. Designers are people with a desire to create. And fashion designers possess the power to transform an image to make a social statement.

Explore the exciting world of fashion design through conceptualizing, fashion sketching, studio courses in trends, fabrics, construction, and computer aided design (CAD). Discover who and what influences fashion and how it all began. Experience the multi-faceted field of fashion through our “hands-on” approach to Fashion Design. Through field trips you will get an insider’s look at top retailers, design boutiques and gain an understanding of a designer’s dream to dress the customer. Your fabulous future is waiting for you!

Old and New Combined

The core curriculum of our program exposes you to everything from the history of art and design, to the design process and state-of-the-art computer aided design. Our special topics speakers will discuss the variety of career opportunities, along with providing insight into hot topics for the 21st century.

Philadelphia is Your Workshop and Playground

Philadelphia is a city of great music, exquisite art, fine food, and great shopping. Our instructors and teaching/resident assistants will lead you on an exploration of the city’s best shopping districts where we will meet with store managers, merchandisers and designers who will share their experience and enthusiasm for the business. The city will serve as inspiration for your creative work, and we also have some fun adventures and special meals planned so you can experience Philadelphia to its fullest.



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Program Format 

Studio as the Focus: Design studio is the heart of our program. Most afternoons will be spent in the studio developing design projects through sketching, computer aided design, and product development. Studio time involves group interaction and presentations along with one-on-one time with instructors.

Technology as a Tool: Students will be introduced to computer design in their area of concentration. As part of the core curriculum, students will explore graphics packages that are used in the design industry today.

Lectures for Deeper Understanding: Lecturers from Drexel’s faculty as well as industry professionals will give you an overview of trends in fashion and merchandising. Specific topics will be presented in small group sessions with opportunities for discussion.

Field Explorations to See "What’s Out There": We will travel about the region visiting boutiques and studios where fashion and design & merchandising come together in one exciting package.

Cultural Events to Awaken the Spirit: As a group, we will take-in the latest gallery shows and have dinner at one of Philadelphia’s exciting restaurants. We will explore the rich and diverse museums in Philadelphia, taking time to observe and understand art’s role and influence in fashion and merchandising.

Of course, there will be some time to kick back and relax. Drexel’s pool, basketball and volleyball courts will be available in the evenings. In general, we will spend our leisure time as a group as we have a lot to explore in a short period of time.



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General Information 

Eligibility: We welcome high school students who are at least 16 years of age who have completed their sophomore year by July, prior to the start of the program. We encourage anyone who is excited about design to apply and we limit each program to 16 students.

Faculty: Students will be taught by Drexel faculty from the Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. The faculty will be assisted by teaching assistants all of whom will spend one-on-one time with every student.

Housing & Meals: Students will live together in a Drexel Residence Hall with separate accommodations for females and males. We are located in University City, adjacent to Center City Philadelphia and many cultural sites. We have around-the-clock supervision including faculty, teaching and resident assistants. Students will also enjoy access to the Drexel Library and athletic facilities. Meals will be provided through Drexel Dining Services as well as through caterers for field trips.

What will you bring home with you: Students who successfully complete the 2-week program will receive a program certificate from Drexel University’s Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising, presented at the student gallery exhibition. You will also take away the foundation of a diverse student portfolio with original art and digital files along with a lot of career insights and happy memories, too.

Registration and Payment: You may apply by completing the downloadable PDF application, or the online application, and submitting a copy of your high school transcript, and your 300 word personal statement of interest.

A deposit of $300 is required with your application. Your deposit will be returned if you are not accepted into the program. Upon acceptance, your deposit is nonrefundable. The balance of $2,700 must be paid by June 20th, 2014. A final balance payment form will be provided. No refunds will be made after June 20th, 2014. Apply online or use the PDF Application.

Send Items to:

  • ATTN: Summer Program Coordinator
  • Drexel University
  • URBN Center #71-1A10C
  • 3501 Market Street
  • Philadelphia, PA 19104

How soon will you hear from us? All applications will be reviewed as we receive them and applicants will be notified within 3 weeks from receipt. Admissions decisions are based upon academic preparation and commitment to explore design. We will limit the program to approximately 16 students per concentration. We will mail an acceptance letter and an information package to you and your family with additional program information, and of course, more forms to complete. Enrollment is limited and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis upon review and acceptance of the application.



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Tuition Registration 

Tuition: The tuition of $3,000.00 covers everything, including:

  • Supervised accommodations in residence halls
  • Three meals a day
  • Classes, seminars, and lectures
  • Field trips, museums and office tours
  • Use of computer resources, library, and athletic facilities
  • Recreational field trips and social events
  • Cultural events and social events
  • Select Supplies and Materials: We will also provide a list of items students should bring with them

Tuition does not include student health care coverage. All students must provide proof of insurance in order to enroll in the session (form will be provided).

Application, Registration, Payment: You may apply by completing the downloadable PDF application, or the online application, and submitting a copy of your high school transcript, and your 300 word personal statement of interest.

A deposit of $300 is required with your application. Your deposit will be returned if you are not accepted into the program. Upon acceptance, your deposit is nonrefundable. The balance of $2,700 must be paid by June 20th, 2014. A final balance payment form will be provided. No refunds will be made after June 20th, 2014. Apply online or use the PDF Application.

Questions? Call 215-895-1834 or E-mail Tia James at tjm22@drexel.edu.



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