Fashion Product and Merchandising Manager

Continuing Study Programs - Milan

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The Product Manager and Merchandising Manager are key roles in the fashion system.
The Product Manager follows the progresses of the creative process, conveys ideas into concrete concepts and at the same time is able to add value to existing products, turning them into innovative proposals. He/she has a deep knowledge of fabrics’ features and characteristics enabling him/her to use them in an optimal manner. Knowing textiles and clothing techniques, timing and production costs, he/she is able to think of possible solutions for creative, qualitative, technical and economic effects on the final product.

The Merchandising Manager follows all the creative processes originating from an idea until its production. He/she coordinates the different phases of the project implementation, starting from the choice of materials to the development of the first samples, the production and the final commercialization. He/she defines strategic directions in distribution policy, the timing and the pricing policy, playing a strategic role in the positioning of a brand in the market, securing a cost-effective investment in innovation and industrialization. 

Language: The lessons are held in Italian language; to attend the course, is required a good knowledge of Italian language reading and oral comprehension.

  • Start date
    November 2021
  • Duration
    200 hours
  • Attendance
  • Language

Strategic elements combine with the knowledge of technical aspects of the product. It is of primary importance that both professional figures are able to interact with designers, pattern makers, purchase department, production and marketing.
Covering key roles in the production process, product managers and merchandising managers should have an extensive knowledge of the fashion system and a broad view of the market and of its dynamics. What is also crucial is the capacity of observing changes in life-styles and of seizing opportunities that are useful for their reference target, while taking into account the necessities of the marketing and sales area.

Therefore, the Fashion Product and Merchandising Manager course develops around different phases of a clothing collection, exactly as it happens in a fashion company. It will examine timings, processes, research phases, market analysis, budgeting, cool hunting and the creation of a collection, realization techniques, launching times for sample collections, research and coding of the materials and fabrics, technical production sheets and the interaction between different institutions and actors involved in the process. 

The teaching methodology combines frontal lessons with practical lessons aiming at enhancing the course contents through practical experience. Students will be asked to actively participate and contribute to the learning process through intermediate tests, researches and in-depth analysis of one or more topics of the course, to be presented and discussed during lessons.

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    • Fashion Marketing Management

      The course has the objective of analysing the main aspects of the market plan of a brand, from the definition to the launch of a product, through aIl the main strategic and operational aspects characterizing the fashion system.

    • Fashion Merchandising

      By analysing the key concepts of brand management in fashion, the course gives awareness of the main distribution dynamics of a brand. It will cover the distribution system in fashion industry, unveiling its characteristics, typologies, professional figures, and commercial aspects. Starting from taxonomies of fashion merchandising, the course will provide students with key elements for the understanding of a distribution plan. This result will be achieved by analysing the different phases of the distribution system as key variable.

    • Cool Hunting

      The course aims at developing students’ cross-sector reception abilities and lead them to identify, recognise and decode the characteristics of a country, a city or an environment, which are likely to succeed at a global level and to become “fashion”. After that, the students will have to rearrange and translate such characteristics into a shared language, so as to propose new product and visual communication concepts for the emerging and/or leading markets in the various areas of specialisation.

    • Fashion Product Design

      The course has the objective of analysing which factors merge into the structuring process of a fashion collection, analysing the relationship between a product and the main features of the manufacturing processes. The course will examine functional, technological and formal aspects, starting from the identification of a concept to the creative development of a fashion collection.

    • Product Management

      The course objective is to introduce students to the fashion-product and to allow them to understand timing, design, budget, sampling design and its realization. Strong emphasis will be given to the knowledge of collections’ production processes in the fashion system, including the interaction among the style and design, merchandising and marketing departments. Starting from an analysis of the manufacturing process of the fashion-product, the course focuses on quantitative and commercial parameters present in the market and on company needs.

    • Product Development

      The course covers the study and application of a collection’s structuring parameters, analysing different phases and timings, merchandising sectors, production, product packaging, technical sheets, costs, materials and accessories. Key topics will be the acquisition of cataloguing and material coding tools, the compilation and detailed description of technical sheets for fabrics, accessories, components etc. and how to create a technical drawing with real measures and details.

    • Material Technology

      Based on the study and research of materials used in a fashion collection, the course explores fibres, fabrics, materials, the main classification processes and their production and elaboration techniques. All these elements enable students to recognize yarn specifications and to familiarize with different materials.

    • Tailoring Techniques

      The course has the objective of fostering an adequate comprehension of basic types of clothing items and of their potential tri-dimensional development through a practical experience in laboratory. Students will apply modelling and tailoring manufacturing techniques. Approaching the relationship between shape and volume, the course will also allow to understand the tri-dimensionality of a clothing item, its sense of proportions and fit.

    • Illustrator

      The course will develop specific technical competences allowing students to use Adobe Illustrator in Fashion Design. Laboratory activities will enable students to learn the program’s controls and functions. The knowledge of Illustrator will allow students to create vector images using geometric shapes and outlines.

Remarkable is that teacher who accomplishes himself what he teaches to others.
(Italian proverb)

IED faculty are professionals that daily face the market. Here you can read their bios.

Bianka Renn

Bianka Renn
Graduated in Economics in Germany with a Dipl. Kauffrau qualification, she specialized in International Management and Management Consulting and obtained a Master in Fashion Marketing. She worked as Brand Manager and International Sales Executive in the Fashion Department of Designer Brands. She also worked in consultancy, development and wholesale distribution for apparel, shoes and accessory brands in the Prêt-à-porter sector. She gained extensive experiences in Private Wealth Management, City, Event, and Sport-Marketing. Since 2006 she teaches at IED the following courses: System and Distribution Channels, Fashion Merchandising, Retail and Management and Fashion Buying.