Fashion Merchandising & Buying Master’s Course
9 months

Fashion Merchandising & Buying is an operative program that aims to prepare passionate professionals in the elusive art of buying and selling. This is someone who knows what customers want, even before they do, and is equipped with an accurate knowledge of fashion trends, total awareness of current industry developments and superior forecasting ability.

Application Requirements
Completed online application
Personal statement
Curriculum vitae/resume
Digital portfolio (see Academic Info)
Official Undergraduate Degree transcript
Copy of Undergraduate Degree
Passport scan (photo page)
Digital photo (passport style)
Italian privacy consent form
Interview with course leader

Degree Length
9 months

Application Deadline
June intake: March 1
January intake: October 1

Apps accepted after deadline as space permits

Program Dates
June intake: June – March
January intake: January – September

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic: Completed Bachelor’s degree

*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Undergraduate GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

English Language:* Non-native English language speakers must submit IELTS: 5.6+ or equivalent.

Coming soon

Digital Portfolio
Students must submit a digital portfolio as part of their completed application. The portfolio should accurately reflect the applicant’s current skill level and creative identity. In addition, the portfolio should be adapted to the specific program of interest.

Master’s Course Details
This course integrates two teaching areas, Fashion Panorama (trends, brands, trade fairs and calendars, fashion shows, online and offline shops and e-commerce) and Operative Tools (merchandising and buying techniques, retail management, fashion marketing, visual merchandising, operations, fashion styling, advertising and marketing strategy), which both draw focus to different categories, from apparel to accessories.

Taught by teachers from the industry and including international guest lecturers, Fashion Merchandising & Buying features two main projects: the first focuses on a re-merchandising plan while the second on a buying plan for a multi-brand store. The final result of each assignment can be included and presented in a personal portfolio. The course is completed by field trips to first-tier production sites and cutting-edge points of sale.

Lessons take place from October to June and amount to 700 contact hours, for a total of 80 ECTS credits. English language proficiency and attendance are required.

Career Opportunities
A career as Merchandiser or Buyer can develop from intermediate steps and roles in E-commerce, Multi-brand and Fashion Brand environments to then evolve and grow into Retail Manager. Depending on past experience and academic achievement during the course, employment placement can include contracting firms, brands, buying offices and major retailers.

The two areas, Fashion Panorama and Operative Tools, are broken down into the following modules:

Contemporary Fashion, Fashion Trend Forecasting, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Buying Techniques, Fashion Law & Trademarks, Consumer Behavior and Customer Relationship Management, Business & Retail Management, Fashion Styling, Visual Merchandising, Photoshopping, Product Development, Omnichannel Marketing and Advertising, E-Commerce, and Fashion Operations.

Fashion Merchandising & Buying also features seminars and workshops to underline the milestones of the product life-cycle: producing, showing, buying, delivering, exposing and selling.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $140
Program Fee
Includes tuition, Master’s diploma and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
Contact SAI
Optional / Additional Fees:  
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Florence
$950 $1,300
Visa & Permit to Stay Fees
$300 $300
Books, Course Fees & Supplies
$50 / course $100 / course
SAI can provide recommendations.
$1,200 / month $2,500 / month
Includes groceries and eating out.
$650 / month $800 / month
Personal Expenses $300 / month $400 / month
Transportation within Florence
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$100 / month $175 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is an SAI Select Services Program; it includes the important on-site services!

  • Academic Master’s Diploma awarded by Polimoda
  • Program tuition
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • SAI orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • US-based admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Assistance with student visa application
  • Assistance with financial aid and loan processing
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI alumni network

Housing is not included in SAI Select Services Programs. However, your SAI Admissions Counselor will be happy to provide you with information and recommendations for local housing agencies. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible.

Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 91 or more days are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.