Istituto Marangoni, Paris
Contemporary Fashion Buying Master's Degree
15 months

From the design showroom to the store, the fashion buyer decides what will be on sale next season. They plan the purchasing of seasonal items, identify upcoming trends and choose the right product and brand mix. Providing current and future business models, encapsulating innovation, new media and technology in the global buying process, this master’s course covers contemporary issues in product selection and purchasing methods.

Application Requirements
Completed application form
Signed personal statement
2 passport-size photos
CV or resume
2 reference letters
Copy of university diploma
Academic transcripts
Passport scan (photo page)
Portfolio (where requested)
EU privacy consent form

Degree Length
15 months; October intake

Application Deadline
June 1
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits

Program Dates
September – January

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic: Completed Bachelor’s degree

*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Undergraduate GPA:* 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

Language:* Non-native English language speakers must demonstrate CEFR B2 level, and submit IELTS 6.5+ (no elements below 5.5).

Participants who successfully complete the programs taught in English in Paris will be awarded with a Master’s Degree from Manchester Metropolitan University-UK. The 15 month Master’s Degree includes a 12 week work placement. Participants obtain 180 credits upon successful completion of the MA.

At the postgraduate level, all participants will have previous undergraduate level study in the fields of economics, marketing, fashion design with marketing or similar, or proven work experience completing the Contemporary Fashion Buying course with highly specialized skills in fashion buying.

Buyers need to be business-minded with strong analytical skills and the ability to negotiate and work alongside many departments including marketing and sales, ensuring new collections and items are commercially viable either in store, or via online retailing and e-commerce platforms. Participants learn the technical and theoretical aspects of a buying campaign analyzing different retail formats and key macro trends. By studying the organization of the buying team they fully understand the role and responsibility of buyers and merchandisers in the global market. Key buying processes include stock mix and import-export techniques as well as pricing strategies and the ability to forecast the profitability of a fashion product.

Participants of this fashion course analyze the buying calendar and correctly plan the purchase of a seasonal collection using a balanced combination of products and brands responding to current trends and influences. By understanding how the consumer perceives a collection they are able to put together an appealing, desirable and winning fashion collection.

The relationship of visual merchandising and sales, negotiation techniques, and soft skills in communication, decision making, time management, leadership, and team working enable participants to successfully perform on real commercial projects developing effective buying strategies for a benchmark company.

Participants apply the experience acquired on industry projects to prepare their own professional buying strategy for business, as well as potential industry start-ups.

Educational Aims

  • to develop flexible approaches to program delivery and student support which reflect the needs and expectations of our students;
  • to provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment which will enable success for all learners;
  • to encourage the development of students’ intellectual and imaginative powers, creativity, independence, critical self-awareness, imagination and skills that will enhance global employment opportunities on graduation in all programs;
  • to establish a culture of constant improvement in learning, teaching and assessment that is anticipatory, enabling, supportive, rewarding and fully aligned with the Institutions vision and strategic objectives;
  • to provide a learning experience that is informed by research, scholarship, reflective practice and engagement with the industry and the professions.

Program Aims

  • develop the students’ intellectual skills and the understanding of the national and global fashion retail industry and outline an understanding of the customer at different market levels to compare the performance of different fashion retailers;
  • prepare and equip Master’s students with the skills necessary to recognize the importance of the Point-of-Sales (POS) as a communication medium and evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of different visual merchandising strategies;
  • encourage students to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of fashion buying and merchandising strategies and techniques to develop a profitable range plan;
  • encourage students to identify sourcing opportunities and evaluate the supply chain management options to meet business and trading objectives.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of their course of study students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the practice, theories and management relating to fashion buying through the ability to use critical knowledge of key trends, market research and sales analysis to achieve business objectives for fashion brands and stakeholders;
  • critically evaluate the buying process and understand the impact of new innovation and technology using theoretical frameworks and research, and propose strategies to meet short- and long-term trading objectives of global fashion businesses;
  • demonstrate systematic understanding of the fashion product development management process, garment construction, and critical path management to meet the needs of specific target global markets;
  • critically appraise global sourcing opportunities (off-shore and domestic) and supply chain management components to meet consumer needs and business objectives;
  • critically evaluate research using relevant research methodologies to acquire knowledge through own findings and those of others in order to create a substantial piece of self-directed research to industry and academic standards.

The Master’s course will focus on the following areas:

  • Strategic fashion buying strategy
  • Contemporary buying and e-commerce
  • Fashion buying and product development management
  • Managing budgets, range planning and sales analysis
  • Fashion buying and supply chain management
  • Communication, time management, leadership
  • Professional research methods
  • Consumer buying pattern
  • Trend setting
  • Marketing for retail strategy

Course teaching methods are mainly based around formal lectures, workshops, seminars and self-directed study and within this structure a range of approaches to learning and teaching is employed as appropriate to the situation. Industry experienced specialists and visiting specialist Lecturers (industry professionals) make valuable contributions and facilitate important links to professional practice.

Self-Directed Study plays a major role in this program, where students are expected to spend time researching and analyzing subject matter independently to support and substantiate taught material.

Formal Lectures form an integral part of the program and with formal delivery of key information to the whole cohort. At this level it is expected that students will use the lectures as a stimulus for further study/reading.

Seminars are used to build on themes taken from the lecture program. Students are encouraged to make an active contribution by sharing in the argument and debate.

Visiting Lecturers are invited to deliver specialist lectures to enhance the delivery of the units.

Individual Tutorials are used when individual student work is being discussed or the guidance required is specific to one particular student. It is especially important in the dissertation phase and may be face to face, over the telephone, via e-mail or Skype.

Small Group Tutorials enable students to discuss and plan their work in greater detail than is possible with larger groups. It encourages quieter students to develop their interpersonal and communication skills and helps consolidate leadership skills in others.

Video Presentations are used to give a more in-depth understanding of a specific issue.

Case Studies are used for detailed discussion of real-life situations.

Demonstrations are normally of a technical nature and are necessary in certain subject areas. Studio / Workshop / Laboratory / Practical Sessions may be used to enable the creative and practical skill development of the student in an environment which simulates that of industry.

Group and Team Work requires students to operate as a member of a group or team and they usually have clearly identified roles. The emphasis is on collective responsibility, individual responsibility to the group and joint decision-making.

Study Trips give students the opportunity to go outside the institute’s environment to enhance their understanding of specific subject material. If assessment is dependent on information collected whilst undertaking the study trip, the trip would be considered mandatory. The cost of study trips can be either the responsibility of the student or on occasion included in the annual study fee. If the visit is within the city students pay for public transport. This will be outlined at the beginning of any unit where such a trip is foreseen.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $125
Program Fee
Includes tuition, Master’s degree and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
Contact SAI
Program Fee: EU Citizens
Students who are EU citizens can receive a discount on their program fee.
Contact SAI
Optional / Additional Fees:  
International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. 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 Paris
$900 $1,500
Visa $350 $450
Books, Supplies & Course Fees
$100 / course $450 / course
SAI can provide recommendations.
$900 / month $1,750 / month
Combination of cooking at home and eating out.
$400 / month $800 / month
Personal Expenses $350 / month $450 / month
Transportation within Paris area
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$125 / month $150 / 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!

  • Master’s Degree issued by Manchester Metropolitan University-UK
  • 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, as well as school-provided apartments. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible.

Passports should be valid for 6 months after planned departure from France.

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

Students must appear in person at a VFS Visa Processing Center to present their student visa application. Visa applicants living in the United States are able to set up their appointment at one of the nine visa centers regardless of their location. VFS Global Centers are located in Washington DC, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In some cases the nearest processing center may be in a neighboring state, which might necessitate air travel. Please plan and budget accordingly. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for their appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.