City Tech Offers New Degree in the Business & Technology of Fashion, Addressing Industry Need for Skilled Workforce

March 13, 2017 | New York City College of Technology

Fashion has always been defined by the latest technologies—from the sewing needle to laser-etched fabrics. To keep apace with industry demand for a workforce trained in the business and technology of fashion, the Business Department at City Tech now offers a Bachelor of Science in the Business & Technology of Fashion (BTF), a program unique to the CUNY system. This new program weaves together core business competencies with fashion industry-specific coursework. An emphasis is placed on the development of technology-based proficiencies and explores the rapid changes in business practices as they adjust to new technology in the fashion industry.

Addressing the increasing importance of the fashion sector at local, state, national, and global levels, the program offers courses such as Global Fashion, Innovation: E-Commerce, and Fashion Merchandising Administration, among others. Ultimately, this program supports New York City’s role as the world’s center of fashion media, marketing, and retailing by providing well-prepared graduates ready to enter the workforce.

“I am very pleased to offer this new degree within the School of Professional Studies. As CUNY’s designated College of Technology, it is especially appropriate that we merge applied business practices with modern technologies within the context of the fashion industry. Since clothing and fashion are at the center of so many different areas, they can also serve as an organizing theme for a variety of interdisciplinary and inter-professional activities. As New York City is one of the world’s fashion centers, it can capitalize on a flow of invested, technologically astute graduates from this new program,” said Dr. David Smith, dean of the School of Professional Studies.

The new program delivers both theoretical and applied competencies. Instructional strategies range from traditional lectures to laboratory work, project development built around social media technology—and supported with a combination of industry-based activities—online and cloud-based productivity tools, big data analytics, management and accountancy tools, and design-based productivity. In addition, a seminar series with prominent experts, student-engaged projects, and field trips to key fashion retailers, showrooms, and museum exhibitions, are a part of the program curriculum.

A dynamic group of faculty members, who have a combination of industry experience and academic credentials, contribute to the cutting-edge curriculum. Dr. Alyssa Adomaitis, program director, is an expert in the social psychology of dress, consumer behavior, and retail advertising. Her latest research focuses on global sourcing and foreign policy and its impact on the fashion industry both domestically and abroad. Adomaitis’ industry experience includes positions such as a visual merchandiser at Saks Fifth Avenue New York, trend analyst at The Fashion Service, and as a consultant to Fred Segal, Fashion Business Inc., and Le Mystere.

“I applaud the collective efforts of department faculty and administrators whose vision for this much-needed program became a reality, with steadfast support from President Russell Hotzler, Provost Bonne August, and Dean David Smith. I am excited that my hometown of New York City—and its dynamic fashion industry—will benefit from this specialized program in the technology and business of fashion. An engaged and diverse group of City Tech students is already majoring in the new program, and we look forward to their future successes,” said Dr. Adomaitis.

Adomaitis recently secured a major donation from Henry Cherner, managing partner of AIMS360 and co-founder of AIMS, the only hands-on ERP software being taught in fashion schools. Cherner donated more than $800,000 worth of licenses to AIM360, one of the major ERP’s used in the fashion sector, and shopifi software as well as laptop computers for a specialized lab for students in the program.

Along with her colleagues in the Department of Business, Adomaitis is currently collaborating with a major fashion company to develop a foreign exchange program that will draw students from around the world and offer City Tech students a study abroad experience in fashion.

For more information about the Business & Technology of Fashion program, please contact Elizabeth Rohan in the Department of Business at erohan@citytech.cuny.edu or 718-260-5773, or the program director, Alyssa Adomaitis, PhD, at aadomaitis@citytech.cuny.edu