Fashion Business Program

VCUarts Qatar’s Fashion Business Program (FBP) offers unique courses catering to the needs of fashion industry professionals. The program focuses on business development and was created in response to the requirements of the growing local entrepreneurial market.

This program aims to provide participants with entry-level business skills for the fashion enterprise market.

Learning Objectives

The Fashion Business program provides a chance for participants to learn how to set up their own fashion businesses. It introduces them to the key elements of professional fashion drawing, the role of a fashion buyer, and the fundamentals of producing a line of apparel.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of the application form
  • Motivation letter
  • Full-time participation with mandatory attendance and successful completion of course projects

All the courses are taught in English.


Module One: Drawing for the Fashion Professionals

By Yang Soon Ju

This introductory course focuses on the key elements of basic fashion drawing, such as sketching, fashion illustration, and technical drawing, all of which are important for communicating design ideas in the fashion industry. Participants will first be introduced to the overall fashion process. Next, they will learn about the design process, basic fashion drawing, and how to use the technical drawing for both production and merchandising. They will then move to more professional presentation formats of fashion design as communication tools by using computer technology.

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, the students should be able to:

  1. Understand the creative design process
  2. Understand the importance of research in design practices
  3. Show competency in basic fashion drawing both by hand and by digital tools to effectively and clearly communicate the design ideas
  4. Learn to construct and deliver design ideas to a wider audience, including sector specific presentations.

Start: July 2, 2019

End: July 28, 2019

Lessons: Eight classes

Days:  Sundays & Tuesdays  (twice a week over the four weeks in July)

Time: 5pm – 8pm


Course Structure

Week 1

An introduction to the fashion processes and professional terminologies. Participants will study a wide variety of communication tools which are used by the fashion industry ranging from design development technologies to merchandising applications.

Week 2

An introduction to creative design development and sketching processes (proportions, cut, fit, and details)

Week 3

Illustrating with different media (stylistic variations)

Week 4

An introduction to the basic technical drawing by hand for basic shirts, skirts, pants, and T-shirts.

Week 5

A continuation of Week 4 with an emphasis on dresses, jackets, or coats (Computer Lab: to be confirmed).

Week 6

A demonstration of basic fabric patterns and knitwear textures for technical drawing (Computer Lab: to be confirmed).

Week 7

Project 1: Creating line sheets (Computer Lab: to be confirmed).

Week 8

Project 2: Making specification sheets (Computer Lab: to be confirmed).





Module Two: Developing & Presenting A Fashion Line

By Sonali Raman

Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of producing a line of apparel and accessories from conception to consumer. An emphasis will be placed on market research, specification sheets, costing, sourcing, production, and sales.

Course Objectives

1. Understanding the phases and processes of apparel design and development

2. Researching and defining target markets and target customers, as well as product lines

3. Appreciating apparel quality and value

4. Being comfortable with the dynamics of working in product development teams

5. Sourcing materials, components, and production for apparel lines and completing a specification package

6. Understanding apparel product development terminology

7. Learning to communicate with outsourced production facilities in order to translate designs correctly into end products

8. Learning how to present collections to stores/store buyers.


Start: 1st July 2019

End: 24th July 2019

Lessons: Six classes

Days: Mondays & Wednesday

Time: 5-8 pm

Course Structure

Week 1

Understanding the market and target consumer. How to plan a line for a store, while keeping in mind market requirements.

Week 2

Planning a range for a particular store. Students will work in groups and in a simulated retail situation.

Weeks 3 & 4

Learning how to create specification sheets for outsourcing production.

Weeks 5 & 6

Working on moods, theme directions, costings, and simulating the process from fit samples to final production while working in groups.

Presenting the final line in illustration form with specification sheets, and line sheets for marketing and sales.




Module Three: How to Start a Fashion Business

By Yang Soon Ju

This comprehensive course is an introduction to setting up a fashion business. It will focus on the key elements of the fashion business, such as sourcing, prototyping and marketing. Participants will start by researching global trends in fashion businesses and examining case studies. They will design business models, analyze their chosen target markets, develop their budgets, define their value propositions, and other relevant factors.


Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify entrepreneurial characteristics and self-evaluate strengths and weaknesses for future development and improvement
  2. Identify and use key entrepreneurial skills
  3. Recognize and apply the use of research
  4. Explore creative and innovative developments in the fashion business
  5. Understand the necessary entrepreneurial strategies for startups
  6. Complete a well-developed preliminary plan for an innovative fashion business

Start: Oct 19, 2019

End: Dec 7, 2019

Lessons: Eight classes

Days: Saturdays 

Time: 5pm - 8pm

Course Structure

Week 1

Discussing the global trend of the fashion business, analyzing target markets, and understanding entrepreneurial skills

Week 2

Analyzing case studies

Week 3

Investigating the key elements of market analysis

Week 4

Discussing design thinking and its practice

Week 5

Researching local fashion entrepreneurs

Week 6

Exploring steps for setting up a fashion brand

Week 7

Designing a fashion business model: from ideas to final launch

Week 8

Students' presentations




Module Four: Retail Buying

By Sonali Raman

Course Description

This retail buying course will introduce participants to the role of a fashion buyer and will help them to identify trends, understand marketing and merchandising, inventory control, supply chain and seasonal buying strategies.

Course Objectives

1. Apply technical knowledge and skills in purchasing management to meet the demands of the market

2. An insight into global retail business models

3. Applying initiative and judgment in planning, problem-solving and decision-making

4. Organizing a successful step-by-step buying process

5. Establishing assortment stock policies and building a merchandising model stock plan

6. Identifying a correct buying plan with the correct assortment of products within company budgets and target market requirements

Start: 4th September or

End: 23rd October 2019

Lessons: Eight classes

Days: Wednesday

Time: 5-8 pm

Course Structure

Week 1

An introduction to the principles of retail buying, customer profiling, the role of the buyer, trend analysis and seasonal calendars

• Customer Profiling - an examination of population measurements

(geodemographic, demographics, psycho-graphics)

• The Role of the Buyer – the responsibilities of the buyer within the retail organization and the key skills required. Day-to-day tasks are described for all levels of buying within a variety of fashion retail businesses and sectors

• Trend Analysis –understanding the buyer’s perspectives.

Week 2

The role of a merchandiser, supply chain provider, sourcing, costings, margin and mark up, promotions, markdowns.

  • The role of the merchandiser and allocator – the key responsibilities of the merchandiser and allocator within the retail organization including the key skills required, and setting objectives.

• Range Plans   - strategy, product hierarchy, store groupings

• Seasonal Calendars - selecting the most effective seasonal layout.

• Sourcing and Costing – understating supply chain management, elements of product cost, the supplier's cost and cost sheets

• Margin & Mark-up - calculating a selling price, understanding margin principles, calculating mark-ups, estimating hidden costs and learning how to improve margin.

• Promotions & Markdowns - planning and forecasting markdowns, calculating a markdown and estimating the effectiveness of a markdown


Weeks 3 & 4


Introducing tools for making effective buying decisions, store groupings, product development including buying cycles, lead times, competitive analysis

• Range Planning - an exploration of the creative aspects of range planning that are required to create a balanced and commercial range. A practical task is set to bring range planning processes to life

• The tools for making effective buying decisions and driving the sales of a fashion range will also be discussed

• Product Development – including a discussion on buying cycles, buying trips, competitor analysis, critical path management, buyers packs, quality control and lead times

Week 5


Organizing a step-by-step buying process, establishing an assortment of stocks and a stock plan, identifying a correct buying plan, sales analysis, and profit management

  • Sourcing - examining strategic sourcing, internal and external considerations, supply chain management, factory visits and current issues affecting sourcing

Weeks 6,7 & 8


Creating a six-month buying plan and simulating sales projection, estimating and calculating stock levels, purchases, gross margins, markups, and markdowns.

Class Outline

Course Topics

Module One: July 2nd, 2019 - July 28th, 2019  “Drawing for Fashion Professionals” by Yang Soon Ju 

Module Two: July 1st, 2019 - July 24th, 2019 “Developing and Presenting a Fashion Line” by Sonali Raman

Module Three: October 19th, 2019 - December 7th, 2019 “How to Start a Fashion Business” by Yang Soon Ju

Module Four: September 4th, 2019 - October 23th, 2019 ” Retail Buying” by Sonali Raman


Program Format

Lectures, classroom exercises, case studiesdiscussions, readings, consultations, resources, and online materials and demonstration.


Participants who successfully complete the program will be presented with a certificate of accomplishment.

Program Details


July 1st, 2019


December 7th, 2019

Total Lessons

30 lessons

Total Hours

90 hours

Please note: VCUQatar reserves the right to cancel classes for which not enough participants are registered. Already paid fees will be refunded.

Please do not purchase materials until VCUQatar has sent final course confirmation.

Items to buy for this class

On occasions, there may be some more materials to be bought and brought in if and when advised by the instructor.

Where to buy your materials

Most of the materials are available from any art supply shop, for example:

  • Cass Art (Fire station): Community Classes students get a 15% discount upon presenting the registration ticket
  • Jarir Bookstore: on Rayyan Road or Salwa Road
  • Color Note: on Al Nasser Street
  • Ibn Al Qayyim: at Markhiya Roundabout
  • Al Rawnaq

Register & Pay »

Terms & Conditions apply

Participants must buy their own materials

Sat, 1 Jun, 2019
Sat, 7 Dec, 2019
each course has a diffrent
QAR 5000


Yang Soon Ju

Yang Soon Ju is an interdisciplinary designer and entrepreneur with a Masters of Fine Art degree, in Design Studies and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, minoring in Art History, from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar).

Besides her design practices, she has more than ten years of experience in watercolor painting, drawing, oil painting, and fashion illustration. She worked for the Hazawi project by Doha Film Institute, the Mshreib project with Tim Makower, and the Sidra uniform project with VCUQatar (VCUarts Qatar now).  Her entrepreneurial positions in Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Qatar span two decades, ranging from founding an English-speaking school; textile trading; and designing/producing household items and specialty clothing, as well as marketing those products, to consulting in financial auditing/ bookkeeping and business management. In addition to her entrepreneurial experiences, she has various teaching careers as an applied scientist, artist, and designer, in several places including VCUartsQatar for both community/continuing education and fashion design departments.

Her specialties include:
Garment construction; fashion drawing including sketches, fashion illustration, and technical drawing both by computer or by hand; digital jewelry using Adobe Illustrator, laser cutters, Rhino, and 3D printers; and creating surface design for textiles using digital tools: Microsoft Suite, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop & InDesign.


Sonali Raman

Sonali has been in the fashion business for over 28 years with diverse experiences spanning client side, retail, consultancy, interacting with manufacturers, sourcing and designing both in India and the Middle East.

She worked for nearly two decades with a fashion-buying house in India representing European retail brands, sourcing textiles, developing sample lines and finding the right sources to manufacture them. Being an alumnus of NIFT, New Delhi, she has been associated as a jury member and guest faculty to the fashion students at NIFT, Chennai for ten years.

She then moved to live in Doha, Qatar fourteen years ago and since has worked as a fashion consultant on several prestigious design projects related to fashion and garments such as the Qatar Armed Forces Military Uniforms Project amongst others. She has also covered fashion trends for magazines in Doha (Glam and Woman Today).

Sonali has worked as a retail buyer for over four years, buying worldwide from several brands spanning women’s wear, menswear, kids wear and home décor for stores in Doha. She has also been teaching in the Department of Fashion at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar as adjunct faculty for the last nine years.  Sonali launched her own fashion brand in 2014 to find ways to sustain the dying craft and textile traditions of her country.

Sonali’s brand also carries a line of handcrafted fashion jewelry using traditional craft techniques in contemporary designs.  The line of fashion ready-to-wear is a blend of modern silhouettes with natural fabrics and traditional embroidery techniques. This is an effort to keep the traditional crafts sustainable and yet relevant to the times. She works with craft persons and artisans to create these products.