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TCU fashion students adjust to a fashion industry changed by COVID-19

The College of Fine Arts building, which houses the department of fashion merchandising. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

TCU fashion merchandising students are navigating changes in market and fashion courses caused by COVID-19.

“Not much as the curriculum but the department has made several changes in several fashion courses to help students prepare for what’s next,” said Leslie Browning-Samoni, a fashion merchandising professor.

Students are now depending on technology and other resources to gain a virtual experience similar to one they would get in person. 

Most classes are taught remotely, and only a few are in-person. Textile test and analysis, for example, would normally have in-person labs but have transitioned to an online format where students are testing the performance of textile products from home.

From virtual fashion week shows to brands changing their traditional schedules, COVID-19 has reinvented the fashion industry.

Read more: Second-Hand September: Clothing outlets encourage eco-friendly fashion

Fashion merchandising major Izzy Fleming said much of the merchandise brands put on the market before COVID-19 will continue “to recycle within the market for the coming seasons due to the pandemic.”

“These times are a lot harder because some of us don’t know what the fashion world is going to look like today or even next year,” said Fleming.

According to the Business of Fashion, TCU is not the only university adjusting to the new changes within fashion schooling.

Fashion students at other universities have experienced fashion labs in a remote setting where staff and faculty are developing “creative techniques with students to make fashion more accessible.” 

Browning-Samoni said students should start asking themselves what they want to do when they begin working in the field and if they are prepared to adjust to a slightly different job.

“Opportunities are going to look different; things are going to look different,” she said. “You might not get that dream job in New York City. They may want you working from home.”

To find out more changes regarding the TCU fashion merchandising department, click here.

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