FASHION COMMUNICATION & BUYING 2018-01-19T06:02:00+00:00

  • Fashion Communication & Buying students will complete all the FASHION COMMUNICATION SUBJECTS which will ensure a strong foundation for creative, communication, administrative and technical skills required by the global industry.
  • Fashion Communication & Buying students must complete at least one of the SELECTIVE-SUBJECTS per year. These Selective-subjects are presented as evening courses and are also open to the public.


  • Students develop the skill to engineer (design, plan and construct) patterns for garments to appropriate standards.
  • Students begin by learning basics of measuring and to apply this to a basic block pattern which is then manipulated into any garment style.
  • Students learn to compile and follow pattern specifications.
  • Taking a pattern from a completed garment and combining existing patterns also forms part of intensive pattern classes.



  • Without any depth, understanding and knowledge of how clothes are constructed, a future in fashion is no more that an illusion. Fashion Buyers and retailers are not responsible for the sewing of garments, but detailed knowledge and experience on various methods of construction is vital. Students develop experience in constructing different parts of the garment and the construction of different garment types.
  • Students learn various factory methods of construction as well as couture methods.
  • Students learn to compile plans for the correct procedures when identifying, preparing, joining & disposing of sewn components. (Construction plans)
  • 1st year students complete a sewing programme whereby up to 120 sewing techniques are completed as to prepare students for sewing of complete garments.
  • Students learn how to set and maintain a quality system in the clothing industry. Understanding of SABS Quality standards. Financial implications of quality. Quality audits.
  • Working with and applying the Markham™ Quality Standards manual and other retail manuals
  • 1st year students are introduced to the principals of Quality Control and Fitting remedies.
  • 2nd year students learn to set and follow quality standards for couture exclusives as well as mass produced garments
  • 3rd year students compile a Retail Quality Standards manual as production planning of their mass producible fashion range.


  • In the fashion industry, sketching of garments is the language we use to communicate detail, fit and construction. This is not only a creative, artistic approach, but more importantly a technical process as students have to consider the 3 dimensional form of the figure, the reaction of different fabric types and suitable construction techniques, whilst sketching a garment.
  • Students learn the principles of illustration including, proportion, technical drawings, shading, fabric rendering and a variety of story-board presentations.



  • Students learn various computer illustration & presentation techniques using Vector-based software programmes.
  • Once all techniques have been mastered on manual systems, students learn to plan, draw and present designs using Illustrator, Corel Draw and other specialized industry CAD Software.


Students develop an understanding of the operation and application of CAD systems for patternmaking, grading and marker making.



  • An overview of the role of buyers in fashion, including merchandising, promotion and interpretation of trends
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of international trade documents
  • Apply basic principles of local and international trade
  • Buying & planning functions in the wholesale and retail industry
  • Determine selling prices
  • Buying merchandise
  • Sourcing and selecting & developing of international suppliers
  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • Range planning
  • Importing merchandise
  • Internet purchasing
  • Manage the financial performance of a range


  • Analyse & respond to merchandise performance
  • Accurately forecast merchandise
  • Allocate stock to stores
  • Producing a financial budget for a range of merchandise.
  • Monitoring the performance of a range of merchandise.
  • Recommending action required to improve the performance.


  • Understand the future so you can create it and not react to it
  • Concept of trends, global trends and contemporary fashion
  • Cultural studies & analysis
  • Fashion analysis and consumer behavior. Sociology of fashion is a key element to understanding fashion movements and changes in fashion
  • Forecast assessments and case studies
  • Detect threats
  • Graphic design for visual ( and written and oral) communication and presentations
  • An introduction to project management where trend analysis as a mathematical technique that uses historical results to predict future outcome. This is achieved by tracking variances in cost and schedule performance.
  • Trend analysis often refers to the science of studying changes in social patterns, including fashion, technology and the consumer behavior
  • Students use project management tools to statistically investigate and prove how a range is performing in the market



  • Fashion writing and communication has never been so exciting or had such career potential, ranging from print and broadcast to fashion film and online media.
  • This subject is designed to equip students with the practical and critical skills needed to success in various areas of fashion journalism.
  • Introduction to various media types (magazines, news, blogs, etc) Students will be versatile enough to meet the demands and challenges of today’s fashion journalism in its different forms and to contribute meaningfully to the discipline. Understanding of fashion writing and communication, within the changing framework of digital technologies and Innovation.
  • Report – Interview – Inquiry – News, Information – Fashion (including an analysis of clothes) – Fashion Description (photo collage, words, starching or drawing) – Advertising etc.
  • Criticisms, judgments, opinions will be discussed openly in the class.
  • Students learn communication skills in writing for blogs or news portals.
  • Introduction to all on line communication opportunities
  • Case Studies
  • The role of the fashion blogger and on line editor
  • Keeping track of the on line fashion world and interacting on blogs and news portals
  • Fashion Writing – Fashion Critics


  • 1st year students develop a clear understanding of the principles of design including proportion, balance, colour, etc. Students develop an understanding of their creativity and its influence of their designs.
  • 2nd year students learn how a range is developed.
  • Practical styling projects will include fashion show and visual displays
  • Students are introduced to the basics of styling
  • The role of the stylist in the global fashion world.



  • 1st year students develop an understanding of design and manufacturing processes and systems. Logical flow of all product development and quality control documents forms an integral part of product development for 1st year students.
  • The evaluation, researching, comparing and optimizing of production systems forms part of the 2nd year syllabus. Further to this is the issue and receive of materials. Waste reduction management. Stock taking systems. Handling systems, Cutting room control, production plans.
  • 3rd year students get the opportunity to apply all of the above in various projects that link subjects to enable students to apply all practical and academic theory into a realistic product development assignment.
  • 3rd year students learn to identify strategies to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for a clothing company. Establish standards and plan, measure and monitor productivity. Practical application of work measurements, method studies and specialised studies. Setting and maintaining acceptable levels of productivity against set times, methods and quality.nwsd-collage-fashion-communications-and-buying-production


  • Fashion marketing has a major contribution to make towards business success in the ever-changing global and domestic marketplace. Students learn to plan, conduct and analyse market surveys. Student will learn brand building, advertising and promotion techniques.
  • Fashion Brand Marketing considers the design, development and marketing strategies of diverse fashion brands.
  • Marketing Communications considers new and old media ways of communicating fashion brands to different consumer target groups.
  • International Marketing and Retailing Strategies examine case studies of successful international fashion corporations in different global markets and contexts. All units are assessed by a mix of academic papers and presentations.
  • Psychology of fashion will show students how to get customers to buy and to identify product features and what advantages and benefits the product has to the consumer.
  • Fashion PR: Fashion publicists work with fashion companies and designers to help them build a positive image and develop and create many promotional offers and publicity to create awareness among the targeted audience. Being a fashion publicist is more specialized than fashion marketing as the fashion publicists represents his client to media exposure as the main objective.
  • Students are introduced to mass communication strategies
  • Customer profiling
  • Identifying the differences between PR & marketing
  • How to build up a media data base.
  • How to write efficient press releases for an assorted range of media
  • Networking as a PR or publicist
  • Case studies


  • The success of a designer is measured in sales, to obtain this success; students develop business skills and entrepreneurial opportunities in order to apply basic business principles that are focused on the fashion industry.
  • Students get to explore career opportunities and gain an understanding of how the industry works, by means of the annual Entrepreneurship week whereby industry leaders are invited to present their careers to students by presentation and a Q & A session.
  • Students learn to foster and maintain customer relations for couture, mass production and retail. Various aspects of customer psychology are explored.
  • Write and present a business plan and business proposal,
  • Compile a design portfolio and CV.
  • Produce and use spreadsheets for the designers bookkeeping systems.
  • Develop and update a supplier’s file. Global supply chain management for sourcing of materials and supplies.
  • Students are introduced to human resource management and public relations.
  • Students are introduced to case studies and success stories of fundraising projects run by organizations and individuals.
  • Students are introduced to fashion related fundraising opportunities and contracts and learn how to work with fundraising organizations like Hospice, Round Table etc.
  • Students learn how to plan, manage and complete large fashion related fundraising events and how to use such events as brand building and community up-liftment projects.
  • 1st year students plan, manage and complete individual fundraising projects for funds towards fashion show expenses.
  • 2nd year students plan, manage and complete group fundraising projects for funds towards fashion show expenses and resources levies
  • 3 rd year students plan, manage and complete fundraising projects that involves sourcing of external sponsors to assist in future business endeavors, fashion show expenses, resources levies


  • Research is fundamental to the pursuit of academic, entrepreneurial and creative excellence. With strong research approaches, students generate, communicate and transfer new and advanced knowledge.
  • 1st year students are introduced to various research methods and are shown how to do research and how to use research in a project.
  • 1st year research projects allows for research to be presented in written form
  • 2nd year research projects allows for research to be presented in written, oral and visual form
  • 3rd year research projects are linked with other projects and subjects, by means of a combined-subject project that will be researched, developed and presented
  • Various design influences that occur around the world are researched and applied.
  • Students also develop an in depth knowledge of the design style of the world’s top designers, chain stores and fashion brands in order to differentiate between markets and trends.
  • Period costume and fashion history is also researched.
  • Contemporary history is fundamental.
  • Students learn to work effectively with others as a member of a team and to plan and conduct investigation by applying research techniques.
  • This subject further includes the fashion dictionary and fashion lingo.
  • Students are also encouraged to report on world and social news. This is to set a custom for news tracking as it is an integral part not only for research but also for forecasting and trend setting.



  • Students learn to identify and use appropriate materials in the manufacturing process and gain familiarity with the characteristics and textures of fabrics.
  • Students learn the technical aspects of textiles and the methods and techniques of production.
  • Fabrics are analyzed for purposes of developing an understanding of the characteristics of fabric and how the design is influenced by this.
  • Classifying of various types of fabrics, their handling and care.
  • Fabric modification, weaving and fabric testing form part of the practical applications for this subject.



  • The annual Graduation Fashion show forms part of an Awards Ceremony at year-end. Fashion Management students plan and manage this (and other) fashion event
  • The history and business of fashion shows and fashion weeks
  • Different Categories of fashion shows
  • The role of the show producer or director
  • The show production team
  • All the production services
  • Timelines and budgets
  • Target market and audience
  • Public relations and marketing
  • Models and Merchandise
  • Front of house
  • Backstage and dressing rooms
  • Showtime


Fashion Communication & Buying students learn the hands-on approaches to managing an online store. The iWearNwsd Fashion Online store is managed by students as this is a platform where students sell their collections to the public.

  • Stock taking
  • Pricing for retail
  • Planning of Photoshoots
  • Styling for Photoshoots
  • Uploading of styles to website
  • Stock & Inventory control
  • Promotional strategies
  • Quality Control and Management
  • Dispatch
  • After Sales Service
  • Social Media Marketing



Fashion Communication & Buying students must select subjects from this list. These subjects are presented as part time courses and are all 2 month part time courses, twice weekly. Students must complete one of these subjects per year.

Window Dressing
Principles of window display, allocation of windows. Planning & preparation of displays
Props and lighting, Selecting stock for displays. Promotional signage, marking & ticketing
Fashion Photography What is fashion photography & commercial photography? The role of the fashion photographer. Developing a style. How to get the right shot. Photography techniques. Formulate & style a fashion shoot. Styling.

Bridal Couture
The course is aimed to prepare professionals in design, pattern making, sewing and fitting for wedding dresses.
The plan of study covers different subjects from the basic notions, through to veils and other accessories.


Fashion Make Up



Candidates can register for either 2years / 3years or 4 years.

Candidates first enroll for the Fashion Design course and after the first semester of the first year, students apply to transfer to the Fashion Communication & Buying course

  • o Each year consists of 4 terms and term breaks are estimated in accordance with provincial school term-breaks.
  • 2015 Classes start on Wednesday, 25 January 2017
  • Classes are Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 16h00
  • Morning sessions are from 08h30 to 10h30
  • Afternoon sessions are from 11h00 to 13h30
  • Self-directed sessions are from 13h30 to 16:00 (With lecturer supervision)
  • All of the above sessions will be attended as essential lecturing sessions, and are compulsory class hours.
  • Attendance registers are kept at all sessions.
  • Students may take 1 hour (per week) leave absence from self directed sessions for tuition related errands.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS fashion_management_scc_1

  • The minimum academic requirement is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) – Matriculation (Grade 12) or an international equivalent.
  • The minimum institutional admission requirement is also a National Certificate (Vocational) (NCC) Level 4 issued by the Council of Further Educations and Training.
  • Candidates will be given an entrance exam which is designed to assess their admission-level capability. This entrance exam determines written communication skills, creative aptitude and technical abilities.
  • Candidates who have obtained less than 60% for this aptitude will first complete the Bridging Design Programme.
  • In order to support wider and more diverse access to higher education and efficient progression pathways with the higher education system, North West School of Design recognizes prior learning (RPL) for candidates that has not obtained a Matriculation Certificate, but is aged 22 years. These entrants are able to apply for registration based on the RPL application which includes the Entrance Exam, submission of the RPL application form, an interview with the principal, and completion of the Bridging Design Programme which will assess their knowledge, skills, values and attitudes embedded in this qualification.
  • Candidates from other institutions wishing to transfer to the North West School of Design will be considered on credit accumulation. Candidates must complete the entrance exam and submit their portfolio of work and results sheets, together with the RPL application form to the principal who will then evaluate their skills to determine if they can be admitted directly to second or third year or if they can be considered for partial exemption from the learning programme.
  • Foreign candidates must obtain the required visas and study permits as well as a valid temporary resident permits. Study permits are obtained from the South African Embassy/High Commission of Consulate in their home country. Study permits should be valid for Protocol General Sales t/a NORTH WEST SCHOOL OF DESIGN.
  • Prior training in sewing and arts are not admission requirements, but candidates must have a strong interest in fashion.
  • Candidates must read, write and understand English. A certain level of proficiency in English is required for success in Higher Education studies. This includes a pass in English at A-level or O-level. Other post-school English language qualifications will be evaluated on merit.

For more info on the Application Procedure – please click hereATTENDANCE POLICY
Students who have absenteeism problems not only suffer academically, but also socially. Absenteeism leads to inadequate learning on the part of the student and affects their overall performance. In the class or group situation, absenteeism of some of the students leads to unsatisfactory class averages and because our lecturer’s job performance is measured on class averages obtained by the group, NWSD cannot tolerate any unnecessary absenteeism and late comings of students.[/tab_item] [tab_item title=”EXAMS & QUALIFICATIONS”]



Year Qualification
1 City & Guilds 7160-12 Level 2 Certificate in Fashion
2 City & Guilds 7160-22 Level 2 Diploma in Fashion
3 City & Guilds 7160-13 Level 3 Certificate in Fashion Optional
4 City & Guilds Level 4 9200-01 Licentiateship
Year Description Examination Qualification
1 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – City & Guilds examination City & Guilds 7160-12 Level 2 Certificate in Fashion
2 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – City & Guilds examination City & Guilds 7160-22 Level 2 Diploma in Fashion
3 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – NWSD examination of projects that form part of the Level 4 assessment N/A
4 Practical year completed at the workplace within the Fashion Industry Portfolio of evidence submitted after completion of one full year fulltime employment within the fashion industry City & Guilds Level 4 9200-01 Licentiateship