Global Sourcing and International Retail Trade

Course Description

Economic perspective of textile products, production and global sourcing, with emphasis on United States fashion industries.
With the globalization of the apparel industry it is critical for students to understand the ways in which historical events and economic and political policies are shaping and changing the industry. This course is developed using academic rigor, knowledge integration, and critical thinking to enhance the learning experience of senior students. The course is designed to integrate economic, political, and historical influences on the global production of textile and apparel products, emphasizing the United States’ fashion industry. In addition, discussion include varying retailing models in industrial and developing countries throughout the world. Enhancement of the learning experience will be accomplished through reading assignments, intensive writing assignments, and class discussions.

This course taught Yelissa the global scale of fashion. By taking this course, she gained the ability to look the bigger picture rather than only small details.

Here is Yelissa’s course project:

Regional Textile and Apparel Outlook

For this assignment, students worked in groups to research the textile and apparel industry in different regions of the world. To complete the project, each group had to identify the demographics of the area, the history of the region’s textile industry, how the textile industry is now, and how it has impacted the people and land of the region.

Yelissa’s group decided on Mumbai, India. Below is a summary of their research:

High Street Phoenix - Contact
Figure 6. Full view of main entrance for High Street Phoenix Mall

Mumbai, a cosmopolitan city, has a populations of over 22 million ‘s and size is roughly 223 square miles. It’s first cotton textile mills were created by Parsi (Persian descendant) cotton merchants in 1854 and thrived for a decade. Due to different industries in the area developing technology faster and a vast amount of textile workers going on strike, mills started to close their doors, leaving the 600 acres of mills and worker housing empty. As of recently, these historic mills are either being renovated into luxury malls (e.g. High Street Phoenix) or luxury housing, and some are in the process of becoming textile museums to commemorate Mumbai’s history. For those still working in India’s textile industry, work is strenuous and wages are unlivable. Many workers take out loans to survive, but paying the bank back is difficult as well. Lack of safety regulations are another cause for worry and one of the reasons behind India textile industry disasters such as Rana Plaza.

For more detail, Yelissa’s assignment is linked below:


International Retailing

Course Description

This course covers key issues affecting international retailing with consideration of the global consumer’s welfare. It provides the student with a comprehensive view of retailing and an application of marketing concepts in a practical retail managerial environment.

By taking this course, Yelissa knows how to do conduct throrouh research on countires that may be useful to conduct business.

Below is a summary of Yelissa’s term assignment:

Regional Analysis

For this assignment, students worked in groups to research a region of their choice and observe the relationship amongst the region and other countries of the world. This means taking note of countries culture and the way they live their lives, economic standing, and policies related to business.

Yelissa’s group chose Southeast Asia for their research paper. Southeast Asia consist of eleven countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Figure 5. Map of Southeast Asia (Geographic Guide, 2020)

Most of Southeast Asia has a tropical climate and conduct business mostly in agriculture (rice in particular). Their second dominant industry is in textiles, although it is important to note that Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, and Laos do not have a secondary industry, but their is a rise in the use of technology for businesses in the region. In Southeast Asia there are more than 574 million people who follow Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and others having little to no religion such as Singapore or the Philippines.

In regards to labor laws, most of these countries allow people to work at fifteen years old earning $0.84 an hour to $244 a month. Not all employers follow the minimum wage laws, if their country has it. The countries in the textile and apparel industry usually produce and export silk, cotton, and synthetic fabrics. The highest textile producers are Singapore and Vietnam and the lowest are East Timor and Laos. East Timor imports most of their clothing, but there is a small sector of Tais cloth weaving. Laos only does cut, make, and trim job.

To import and export merchandise, it is easier to be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which all except East Timor are. Involved nations agree to do business mostly with ASEAN nations and minimize tariffs for them as well. Before importing or exporting, some nations require specific licenses for the items they are sending. When vendors are ready to send their items, they must provide documents such as the commercial invoice or bill of lading and product license if their country requires it. Upon importing and exporting, goods are subject to inspection.

The link below is a PDF of Yelissa’s group research:


Product Development

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the study of product development from concept to consumer. Students learn how research is conducted in the fashion industry and how it is ultimately reflected in garment design. Trend cycles, consumer behavior, social, political and economic influences are discussed as influences on trend development.

By taking thsi course, Yelissa demonstrates the abilty take customers into consideration when creating a product.

The term assignment for this class is below:

Collection Development

For this assignment, students broke into groups to create a product from idea to “conception”. This meant finding out who is the target market, designing the product, who are competitors with similar products, the fabrics used, the cost for making the product, and the retail price.

After brainstorming, Yelissa’s group decided to create fall and winter coat brand called Haute & Hoot. The brands mission was to add a bit of laughter to life.

Haute & Hoot coats were designed for students in their 20’s who like to be fashionable, warm, and incorporate a bit of laughter into their day. The coats were all designed as 3 in 1 coats: An outer shell and inner shell that can be worn together or separate. To allow customers to control the amount of warmth they want with their cute outer shells, Haute & Hoot offers inner shells named Cozy (warm), Toasty (warmer), and Fuego (warmest). Recommended outer and inner shell combinations have fun names like “The Oven” and “Roasting by the Fire” to help brighten up the wearers day.

Each outer shell is made using different materials such as Nylon, Primaloft, and Silnylon while the inner shells are made of different amounts of Primaloft. To make the coats ( meaning outer and inner shells), the cost is between $30 – $100 retailing at $75 to $215.


Merchandise Planning and Buying

Course Description

Provides an overview of modern inventory control systems and sales records. Topics include the retail method of inventory, operating statements, techniques of planning, and methods of figuring mark-ups, markdowns, open-to-buy, and terms of sales. 

Because Yelissa completed this course in four weeks, she demonstrates her ability to easily learn new concepts.

Below is one Yelissa’s assignment:

Six Month Plan

In order to demonstrate their knowledge of retail math, students were instructed to creates a six month plan using the figures provided. To have a complete assignment, there needed to be an open to buy and percent markdown for each month as well as the average monthly sales and average monthly merchandise on order.

Here are the numbers provided to solve these calculations and how Yelissa solved them:


Introduction to Fashion Industry

Course Description

This course focuses on the organization and operation of the fashion industry—how fashion brands(apparel, accessories, and home fashions) are designed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed within a global context. This course captures the dynamics of the fashion industry, with its various components, by emphasizing the changing nature of the industries technological changes, organizational changes, and changes in the global nature of the industries involved.

The following project demonstrates Yelissa’s marketing research and creative skills:

Marketing Mix Analysis

For the term project, students had to analyze a brand of their choice marketing mix. To understand the brand better, students collected information about how the brand started and who the target market was. Using this data, students created a mood board for the brands fall/winter 2017 collection.

For this assignment, Yelissa choose Zara as her brand because it’s a global company everyone should know! Here’s a summary of her project:

Mood board description

For the Fall 2017 collection, Yelissa put together a mood board wit the city of New York in mind. Wearers of this collection would be trendy city dwellers. Walking around with coffee in hand and enjoying the changing season is their favorite pass time. Their second is getting cozy at home after a long day at work with a warm drink. The collection would feature cashmere, Burberry like plaids, soft knits, and colors from city fall nature walks. This mood board is called “A walk through the city”.

Zara, the first brand of Industria de Diseño Textil (INDITEX), did not start as a retailer when it came to be in 1974. The brand first came into the fashion world as a manufacturer called Confecciones GOA, created by Amancio Ortega Gaona, Antonio Gaona, and Rosalia Mera (Amancio’s wife). After 12 years of successful business, Confecciones GOA became a women’s fashion retail store due to a major order cancellation. Zara used their old own factory from Confecciones GOA to manufacture their clothing and later on created another factory due to expansion and high demand.

Fun fact: Zara was the second option for the global retailer. The original name they wanted was Zorba (named after the movie Zorba the Greek) but a bar nearby already had the name.

Now, Zara has more than 2,000 stores all over the world! The brand is famous for doing almost nothing in terms of marketing. Zara relies on store window displays and customer word of mouth. Because of this, Zara’s target market is mainly social and professional women and men who like to keep up with trends. Since the store rarely has promotions, the brand feels more exclusive, only the trendiest know of it. Those who want to purchase affordable basic and fashion forward pieces are welcome to shop at Zara.