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  • Fashion Business Management

    Fashion Business Management

Program Code:FBM
Duration:6 Semesters (3 Years)
Start Dates:Fall,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Advanced Diploma

Program Description

Seneca’s Fashion Business Management program prepares you for the increasingly competitive, global and innovative fashion and retail industries. You’ll gain a strong foundation in business and fashion studies in the first four semesters, and then you’ll delve into specialized areas such as fashion product development (including ethical sourcing and the applications of creative software) and marketing communications (including social media and fashion show production). In the Field Capstone project, you’ll apply your marketing and product development skills to help a fashion industry "client" find new ways to do business. FBM Work Study exposes you to a head office environment and what executives do at this level in our industry.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand the basic functions of retail store operation, including store location, layout, shopping centre analysis, marketing segmentation and merchandising mix.
  • Understand the evolution of fashion in the current market place including contemporary designers and retailers in the fashion industry and vocabulary and terminology associated with fashion retailing.
  • Study the concepts of merchandise presentation through design projects and activities related to promotion.
  • Understand the sociological and psychological factors which influence the shape of fashion historically and the relationship of current fashion trends to current society.
  • Compose business communication in standard English which communicates effectively with a particular audience for a specific purpose, demonstrate the ability to read and comprehend written English in the business environment.
  • Understand the essentials of a retail bookkeeping system including calculation of invoice discounts, determination of markup, inventory, stock control and turnover, and the retail method of inventory.
  • Understand the basic of sales management and promotion including motivation, evaluation, and the psychology of salesmanship.
  • Be able to use word processing and electronic spreadsheet program on microcomputers with business applications software.
  • Understand the organization of business including legal and accounting procedures, credits, insurance, and governmental laws relating to retailers.
  • Be able to identify the components of apparel and household fabrics and their performance in use, be able to identify fibre and yarn types and fabric construction.
  • Understand human relations and personnel including basic theories of motivation, communication, leadership and problem solving, and techniques of interviewing.
  • Be able to understand the construction of fashion merchandise and the relationship of design, workmanship and price range to consumer satisfaction.
  • Apply the principles of retail advertising to point of purchase, national media, copywriting, layout and other production techniques.
  • Examine how the internet can be used for selling, marketing, customer service, and for strengthening brand loyalty.
  • Compose an ‘integrated marketing plan’ for a business.
  • Analyze an international market and design a business marketing strategy for entrance into that market.
  • Create a design presentation that incorporates a working knowledge of design software used in the fashion industry.
  • Examine the process of physical distribution of goods in international and manufacturing environments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economic principles and theories as they impact business decisions.
  • Analyze the factors that affect the sourcing of a product for the global marketplace.
  • Conduct market research to facilitate effective marketing decisions.
  • Implement a strategic plan for change management in the workplace.
  • Understand Canadian law and the social obligation to act responsibly in a business environment.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
    • Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U) or Grade 11 Mathematics: (U) or (M)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).


  • Although not required for admission, business, computer, and fashion studies, are considered assets. • Work experience in the field is also beneficial.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

As a graduate of the FBM program, you’ll have the technical and transferable skills you need to pursue the widest range of career opportunities in the fashion business industry today. These include product development, buying, merchandise planning and allocation, category management, merchandising for manufacturing, sourcing, importing, logistics, wholesale sales management, and marketing communications.

Pathway From 2-Year Diploma at Seneca and Other Ontario Colleges

With your existing diploma in Fashion Business, or directly related fashion discipline and experience, you may qualify to fast track your studies and be given direct entry into the third year of the Fashion Business Management program.

Affiliations and Associations

  • Apparel Affinity Group
  • Costume Society of Ontario
  • Fashion Group International
  • Retail Council of Canada
  • Textile Society of Canada

General Education

One of the general education courses must be a literature course (from any category) for which EAC150 is a pre-requisite.

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):



University/CollegeDegrees Available
Ryerson University• Bachelor of Commerce, Retail Management


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Wilfrid Laurier University - Brantford Campus• Honours Bachelor of Arts

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 College English 3
FBF100 Business of Fashion 3
FPF150 Psychology of Fashion 3
RBC152 Business Communications I 2
RRM153 Retail Marketing 4
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FSH200 Evolution of Fashion 3
RBC261 Business Communications II 2
RCS255 Exceptional Customer Service 3
REM253 Retail Mathematics 4
RVS351 Visual Merchandising and Space Planning 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
  Field Placement
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
AMA411 Applied Marketing I 4
FTX252 Fabric Fundamentals I 3
RFB353 Fashion Buying 4
ROM300 Organizational Management I 3
RSO354 * Retail Store Operations 4
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
  Field Placement
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FCA454* Design Applications/Introduction 3
FPD451 Product Development I 3
FTX352 Fabric Fundamentals II 4
RMC561 Fashion Marketing Communications 3
ROM400 Organizational Management II 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
FPL400 Field Placement**
Semester 5 Course Name Hrs/Wk
AMA501 Applied Marketing II 4
FCA554 Design Applications for Product Development 3
FDM510 Digital Marketing 4
FIN500 Forecasting and Innovation 3
FLD510 Field Capstone Project 3
FME551 Merchandise Evaluation 3
  Field Placement
Semester 6 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FLD610 Field Capstone Project 3
FPR601 Public Relations 2
FPD660 Advanced Product Development 5
RIR555 International Fashion Retailing 4
RLO565 Global Logistics Management 3
FPL600 Field Placement**


* * Offered in semesters 3 or 4

** Field Placements (FPL400 and FPL600) In order to gain exposure to key functions in the fashion industry, students complete FPL400 by the end of semester four. Students will complete FPL600 at the end of semester six in order to graduate. Additional hour to be timetabled as "RES".

Contact Us

For more information, please visit our website at:
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Maureen Massicot
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22014
International Admissions Advisor: Simona Cojanu
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22758
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Eric Kiely
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22465
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Judy Cameron
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22172
Program Chair: Gitte Hansen
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22160
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"My job is to bring an apparel collection to market by developing the catalogue, doing competition analysis and trend research and preparing mood boards for presentations. My third year helped me to do these tasks successfully. Learning Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop was amazing as it gave me the ability to be more creative and bring my ideas to the table. I am using my product development knowledge when I work with our technical development department."

Alia Shah
2011 Graduate
Merchandiser, Ash City


Seneca's Fashion Business

Seneca graduate Jennie talks about her program and working in Seneca's on-campus fashion boutique. Video


Seneca's Fashion Resource Centre

Seneca's Fashion Resource Centre is a collection of more than 10,000 garments and fashion accessories dating from the mid-1800s to present day. Everything in the collection, from the Victorian corsets to the designer originals, is used as teaching aids for student in Seneca's fashion programs. Video


Fashion Business Management

Highlights from Fashion Business Management on flckr

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