Fashion Design

Students gain interdisciplinary training that combines skills in fine arts and design with technical training in all aspects of fashion design, including aesthetic, behavioral, historic, cultural, and marketing. Skills and topics include fibers, fabrics, textile testing, and garment construction (including tailoring, flat patterning, draping, machine sewing, advanced construction techniques), ideation and conceptual development, fashion Illustration, and portfolio development.

Students learn professional practices and preparation for careers in the fashion industry while engaging in critical dialogue about the role of fashion in contemporary culture. They are regularly challenged to consider how their work can positively impact the world of fashion. Studios and labs are well-equipped to provide students the space and tools necessary to explore materials and forms that fulfill their design goals. 

Dorothea June Grossbart Historic Costume Collection is the result of collaboration between the University Libraries and the Fashion Design and Merchandising program of the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.

"There are a lot of companies and a lot of designers located here in Detroit, and they are doing a lot of really cool things for example, Donovan Dewberry, Deviate, Tracy Reese, and of course Carhartt and Shinola. We also have the auto industry and the history of manufacturing. There are a lot of possibilities."
 -Molly Broekman, BFA-Design, '22

Career opportunities

  • Fashion designer
  • Apparel designer
  • Accessory designer
  • Costume designer
  • Textile designer
  • Fashion stylist
  • Personal shopper
  • Textile performance analyst 
  • Fabric buyer


  • Fashion Design and Drafting Lab
  • Textile Performance Testing Lab
  • Sewing Lab 
  • Digital and Physical Costume Collection
  • Sergers, and Industrial and Non-Industrial Sewing Machines
  • Computer-Aided Drawing Software
  • iPads with Apple Applications for design work
  • Computer Lab with Adobe Software
  • Dress Forms
  • Gravity Irons
  • Steamers


The Grossbart Collection contains over 400 garments and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries, and is curated by the Fashion Design and Merchandising Area. This collection, from 1850 - 1979, emphasizes women's garments and accessories, and is used for study and teaching, although access is limited given the fragility of the clothes and the manner in which they are stored for preservation. The capturing of these items with digital images allowed many more students to study the pieces in detail or examine them generally, without putting the clothes in further jeopardy.


Fashion Design and Merchandising Organization (FDMO)
FDMO is a student organization that is dedicated to the ideas of collaboration, creativity and community. Students of all majors, minors, and backgrounds are welcome to join in and gain event planning knowledge and indulge in fashion culture to shine light on the vibrant students of Wayne State and help make their vision into reality. Students interested in participating in this organization should email 

Student work gallery



Margaret Hull (MFA)
Assistant Professor of Fashion