Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design


Kapstein, Claire, L.

Advisor Department

Textile, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Mead, Art

Advisor Department





Microsoft Excel, Fashion, Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


How to Excel in the Fashion Industry

Elizabeth Weaver

Faculty Sponsor: Claire Lacoste Kapstein, Textiles, Merchandising and Design

Co-sponsor: Art Mead, Economics

The fashion industry is most often thought of as a glamorous business filled with successful designers and supermodels. For fashion students, however, the industry they seek to enter upon graduation is drastically different. Students entering merchandising and retailing related careers will spend a large portion of their time analyzing data and working in Microsoft Excel.
As a graduating senior with a dual degree in Textiles, Merchandising and Design and Economics, I wanted to create a project that could incorporate both majors. This came with a realization that data analysis and Microsoft Excel skills for fashion were not adequately covered in my courses. This fact was manifested during my internship with Coach Inc. in 2010, which required extensive data analysis and Microsoft Excel manipulation. Thus, the idea for “How to Excel in the Fashion Industry” was born.

With this project, I sought to identify the Microsoft Excel skills and formulas most widely used throughout the fashion industry. To gather this information surveys were completed by fashion industry professionals and Textiles, Merchandising and Design alumni. Curricula from competing universities and fashion schools were also analyzed to determine if this aspect of the industry was taught to fashion students. A course outline was created that integrated these skills vital for a successful career in fashion. Additionally, I will be presenting the findings to the Textiles, Merchandising and Design department for possible incorporation into TMD courses.

After extensive research, data analysis and work in Microsoft Excel, I now realize how I can truly excel in the highly competitive fashion industry. My presentation today will take you through my research process, present examples and teach you all you need to know to excel in the fashion industry.