Globalization is invigorating Michigan with new opportunities—and fashion is one of the most exciting. You no longer have to be in New York or LA to pursue a career in fashion. Get started in Grand Rapids, and get connected in New York City.
The BFA in Fashion Studies from KCAD's Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion extends KCAD's legacy of design excellence into the fashion industry, where several of our graduates are already successfully employed. It also gives KCAD students the advantages of preparing for their careers with a full, four-year design program. This strong foundation means you’re not left to “sink or swim” on your own. You’re set up to succeed.
With the strong portfolio you’ll build at KCAD, you'll be an excellent candidate to study away at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Continue reading for more information, or click to download the brochure.
As a “3+1” program, the BFA in Fashion Studies combines the design expertise of KCAD with the fashion industry immersion of FIT. You’ll spend time in both locations, building on what you learn at Kcad to complete your education with a year in the heart of the fashion industry, New York City.
Click to learn more about getting the best of KCAD and FIT.
The process of drawing as observation and conceptualization through eye-hand coordination. Emphasizes linear construction with concern for accurate proportion and simple positive-negative/figure-ground relationships. Includes an in-depth study of linear perspective. (Students who have earned FSU credit for VISC 112 Drawing I, may not use credit earned in KCDR 131 to meet graduation requirements.
Emphasis on development of convincing illusion of three-dimensional objects, through the combined use of line, value, proportion, and composition. This course focuses on the further refinement of the concepts, processes, and techniques introduced in Drawing I. Expanded exploration of perspective, composition, color investigation, media exploration, and idea development within traditional subject matter will be emphasized.
To explore the elements, principles and aesthetic concepts integral to three-dimensional design and to consider relationships between concept, process, materials, tools and technical skills. (Students who have earned credit for ARTS 120, 3-D Design, may not use credit earned in KCSF 11 to meet graduation requirements.)
Emphasizes gesture drawing, sighting the figure, basic compositional concerns, precise linear construction, and structural aspects of the figure. Anatomical focus is on the skeletal structure and its effect on surface form. Tonal construction introduced late in the semester.
An introduction to the visual and verbal vocabularies of design and color theory as they relate to graphic design.
An introduction to the computer as a design tool using the industry standards in page layout and digital illustration, and photo manipulation software, the Adobe Creative Suite. File transport (PDF) and font management software will also be introduced.
Students will be exposed to the full range of design disciplines, their history of development, how they interact, differ, converge and lead to change in accommodating new needs. Students will explore design principles and processes, including product innovation and development, sustainability, form and function, and discover how design is an asset to the economy and works with business.
An introduction to the language, materials, and trends of fashion with an integrated overview. Includes concept development, sketching, and studio production.
Provides a solid foundation in fashion concept, design, and garment construction. Includes development of basic pattern blocks, introduction to draping techniques, and finishing methods.
Continues development of fashion concept, design, and garment construction. It reinforces core competency in pattern-making, draping, and construction techniques.
An advanced course in fashion design, construction, and presentation culminating in the creation and presentation of a fashion collection and portfolio.
Students will advance their illustration skills and use software to recreate the illustration process using digital components.
Students will use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and/or other software to recreate the design and illustration processes using digital components.
This course integrates design and construction skills placing a special focus on sustainability in garment production. Emphasis will be placed on the application of fabric and construction for garments utilizing reduce, reuse, recycle principles in creating an environmentally-friendly apparel line.
This course integrates design and construction skills placing a special focus on innovative techniques in apparel design. Emphasis will be placed on specialized fabric applications and construction for garments utilizing technology.
This course integrates design and construction skills to thematic fashion design problems. Emphasis will be placed on the student developing and articulating their personal design aesthetic and voice.
This course is an introduction to retail buying and its opportunities for the purposes of career planning and preparation. It includes an understanding of the retail industry structure, decision making for retail and the development and implementation of promotional strategies and sales forecasting.
This is a capstone course that explores the responsibilities, ethics and evaluation of a professional in fashion studies. It includes resource identification, information retrieval, development of professional representation and communication with established industry professionals to create a resource network.
This course integrates design and construction skills placing a special focus on sustainability in garment production. Emphasis will be placed on the application of fabric and contruction for garments utilizing reduce, reuse and recycle principles in creating a sustainable apparel line.
An overview of the Western Art tradition from prehistory through the Renaissance using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 110, Prehistoric through Middle Ages, may not use credit earned in KCAH 111 to meet graduation requirements.)
A survey of Western art from the Baroque to the present, this course will continue building upon the foundation of Western Art I; Prehistoric through the Renaissance, using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 111, Renaissance through 20th Century, may not use credit earned in KCAH 112 to meet graduation requirements.)
A study of male and female fashion as an art form, related to the fine arts and reflective of the changing cultural and aesthetic values of Western history.
A seminar dealing with select topics in art history, theory, and/or criticism.
An indepth study of fine art and theory from 1960 to the present.
Focuses on using writing both to develop critical thinking skills and to express ideas clearly and appropriately according to audience and purpose. Students will engage in a variety of writing modes and will spend a portion of the semester engaging in scholarly research and the documentation of source-based materials. (Students who have earned credit for ENG 150, English I, may not use credit earned in KCHU 120 to meet graduation requirements.)
Presents concepts and develops oral and rhetorical skills appropriate for formal presentations, with emphasis on prepared, extemporaneous, and impromptu speaking. (Students who have earned credit for COMM 121. Fundamentals of Public Speaking, may not use credit earned in KCHU 121 to meet graduation requirements.)
Focuses on the analysis of numerous forms of visual discourse, including their rhetorical effectiveness, impact on audiences, and social/cultural influences.
An exploration of the philosophical nature of beauty, art, and taste.
Students will continue development of their fashion illustration skills. Coursework will include development of a unique set of figures and continue exploration with various media to create comprehensive and cohesive collections.
Download the catalog for the most recent course listings and prerequisites.
Fashion design, creative direction, art direction, production design, styling, blogging, trend forecasting, window displays and personal styling