Fashion Exploration in London 

Group photo of Fashion Merchandising students in front of a cathedral in Bath, England

Department of Fashion Merchandising students explored London’s vibrant fashion industry this summer.

Department of Fashion Merchandising students explored London’s vibrant fashion industry this summer through the courses “Global Fashion Consumers,” taught by Professor Jay Ryu, and “Advanced Topics in Merchandising – Global Fashion Retailers,” led by Department Chair Sally Fortenberry. 

Group photo of students at their final dinner in London at the Dicken’s Inn Pub.

Students concluded their trip with a dinner at the Dicken’s Inn Pub in London.

During their three-week trip, students immersed themselves in the study of global fashion consumers and retailers. They applied their knowledge and skills in real-world settings, researching retail typologies, brand personalities and consumer profiles.

This marked the first time the department offered a faculty-led study abroad program in partnership with CEA CAPA, a learning educational provider. This collaboration provided students access to a range of educational and cultural activities, including guest speakers, field trips and excursions.  

As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England offered students a firsthand experience of the historic textile mills in Derby and Whitchurch, where water power was first harnessed to run spinning and weaving machines. 

“London is truly a global city, with a diversity of consumers and retail venues to observe and study,” said Fortenberry. “The students chronicled their cultural encounters during the program, documenting the people, places and events they were exposed to.” 

Students also had the opportunity to visit a modern, sustainable apparel manufacturing facility that utilized the latest technology, including artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to conserve fabric use and enhance design efficiencies.  

“The students gained a deeper appreciation for the United Kingdom’s focus on sustainable practices, especially in the production and consumption of fashion products,” said Fortenberry. “This emphasis was evident in consumer behavior and the abundance of unique vintage, resale, and charity shops across the city. Even luxury retailers and designer brands had resale sections within their stores.”