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Fashion is in a state of disruption. For a successful career in this industry, it’s crucial to not only keep pace but be three steps ahead. Fashion brands are looking to hire innovative talent who can connect with consumers in unique and unexpected ways and help their company make critical business decisions in response to the impacts of technology, social media, and progressive consumer values.

With our new Certificate in Fashion Innovation, prime yourself with the in-demand knowledge and competencies that fashion hiring managers will be looking for.

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Still shopping around? Here’s a list of comparative fashion programs for your one-stop shop:

School Name Program Name Duration Price Format Affiliation
The Chang School Certificate in Fashion Innovation - the only fashion program in Canada focused on decolonization and sustainability 6 courses in total (3 terms), but you have the flexibility to take it at your own pace and in your preferred sequence. You have up to four years to complete the certificate so you can work while you learn. There is also a summer-intensive option available. $650.65 per course (~$3900 total). No commitment to pay all at once–just pay for the courses you enrol in. Online. Great if you prefer flexibility, the ability/freedom to work at your own pace, and receiving feedback on your own time. Ryerson’s School of Fashion, one of the top fashion schools in the world
Seneca College Fashion Studies (Certificate) 8 months (2 terms) ~$4,500 for full program Hybrid (in-class and online)
  • Apparel Affinity Group
  • Fashion Group International
  • Fashion Takes Action
  • Textile Museum of Canada
  • Toronto Fashion Incubator
Humber College Fashion Management (Graduate Certificate) 3 terms ~$5,500 for full program Online Association of Fashion Business Students
George Brown College Fashion TECH (Certificate) 3 terms Tuition funded based on eligibility In-class (when available) n/a
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Fashion Design & Technology (Diploma) 4 terms Tuition ~$9,938 for 60 credits to earn a diploma In-class (closed for Fall 2021) n/a

What You'll Learn

  • Develop an understanding of the fashion landscape and business of fashion as it aligns with core consumer/corporate values, including sustainability, equality, diversity, gender fluidity, radical inclusion, and community.
  • Design and implement meaningful digital fashion experiences and in-person events that drive customer engagement and enhance brand loyalty.
  • Learn about brand imagery and how to market your personal brand to win - and hold - focus in an oversaturated marketplace.
  • Analyze data sets to help inform marketing and sales strategies as they apply to supply chain, consumer analytics, and trend forecasting.
  • Develop a portfolio that showcases an understanding of fashion styling, including product sourcing, location shooting, organizing styling resources and more.

Career Pathways

This certificate can help you build the skills needed to become employed in the following areas:

  • Trend forecasting
  • Merchandising
  • Fashion buying
  • Events management
  • Fashion journalism/Magazine contributor
  • Styling
  • Brand coordination/management

Who Should Take This Certificate?

  • Those working in retail looking for career advancement in the fashion industry.
  • People who have a passion for fashion and want to complement their existing education or professional experience in the following areas:
    • Marketing/event planning
    • Business management/entrepreneurship
    • Design management
    • Research and analytics
    • Public relations
    • Journalism/professional communication
    • User experience (UX) or user interface (UI)
  • Those interested in Ryerson University’s School of Fashion undergraduate program, but unsure if they want to apply for the full program

Certificate Requirements

  • 6 required courses
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

To graduate, you must successfully complete, within your official time span, the requirements from the year you registered in the program. For more information, refer to Time Span in our Glossary of Terms. If certificate requirements change and courses are no longer available, you may request Course Substitutions/Directives. You must apply to graduate on my.ryerson (RAMSS) within the appropriate application deadlines (refer to Important Dates). Visit Graduation for details.

Awards and Bursaries

If you require financial assistance, you may apply for merit-based awards and/or need-based financial aid.

Instructors

Our instructors are fashion professionals who are deeply rooted in Canada’s fashion landscape. Meet a few of the instructors who are teaching courses in this certificate.

James Fowler

James has spent over a decade as a noted Canadian fashion designer, primarily creating under the JAMESFOWLER label and, in 2005, starting TEXT I’LL. He has exhibited and sold through numerous group and solo shows in Ontario. At The Academy of Design and Technology, James held various roles, including instructor, Chair of Fashion Design, and Director – School of Fashion. James is currently the Academic Coordinator for the Certificate in Fashion Innovation at Ryerson University’s Chang School.

Charmaine Gooden

Charmaine has worked in the fashion and beauty industry for over three decades, specializing in fashion media, PR, and events. Charmaine has held positions as the Fashion and Beauty Editor at Chatelaine, Editor-in-Chief of Images magazine, and host of The Beauty Guide on W Network. She also managed high-profile special events as Holt Renfrew’s Special Events and Publicity Coordinator and Club Monaco’s Manager of Promotions and Public Relations.

Jennifer Pilkington

With over 18 years in the global retail industry, Jennifer has accumulated a wealth of experience working for and with Holt Renfrew, Aritzia, LVMH, adidas, Kenneth Cole, TOMS, and OXO. Jennifer also has extensive experience as an instructor and is an advisor for both The Fashion Zone and Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation at Ryerson University.

Iris Simpson

Iris is intrinsic to the Toronto fashion and culture scene. Iris has an expansive career as a buyer and stylist for companies including Holt Renfrew, Yves Saint Laurent, and Creeds. She recently co-founded the fashion retail site Hello, COUTURE! with a mission to redefine modern couture.

Partners

We’re thankful to our partners whose support and expertise helped guide the development of this certificate program.

  • The Certificate in Fashion Innovation was built in collaboration with The School of Fashion, one of the top fashion schools in the world.

Admission Criteria

Recommended:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits (including English)

OR

  • Continuous learners with relevant professional experience

Contact Us

We’re here to help! Have questions? For program questions, reach out to James B. Fowler, Academic Coordinator, at jamesbfowler8@ryerson.ca.

Additional Details