Roski School of Art and Design adds interdisciplinary minor in fashion

Roski faculty and staff share excitement for the brand new minor.

Entrance to the Roski School of Art and Design building.

The Roski School of Art and Design announced its new interdisciplinary minor in fashion last month.

Despite the program’s absence in the past, students in various majors have found ways to integrate their passion for fashion into their work, which prompted the creation of the minor, said Antonio Bartolome, Roski student services director.

“We started to notice that there were a bunch of classes offered throughout USC from the partner schools that now are collaborating under this interdisciplinary minor,” he said.

While the minor is housed in Roski, students in the minor can take classes at the Iovine and Young Academy, Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The schools worked together to provide students with classes that allow for them to explore fashion in various ways depending on their interests. These courses give students opportunities and experiences in designing, analyzing and utilizing fashion in different ways.

“We’ve collected these classes that already exist that our students have been gravitating towards to do fashion projects and fashion initiatives and brought them together into this minor program,” Bartolome said.

There are 37 courses students can take to fulfill the minor’s requirements that range from marketing to costume construction and even extended reality design.

For Imre Meszaros, assistant dean of graduate and professional programs at the Iovine and Young Academy, the wide variety of courses contributes to the minor’s appeal.

“The beauty of the structure is that it’s intentionally going to draw in people from all over the place,” Meszaros said. “The students from these different perspectives are going to help each other to sort of jointly think outside of the box.”

“You’re going to have business people, you’re going to have psychology, you’re going to have communication, you’re going to have dance, you’re going to have the art, the tech people together,” he continued. “And together they can come up with solutions that they otherwise would not have been able to imagine.”

Each school is bringing its own niche to the minor. For instance, the School of Dramatic Arts courses will mainly focus on costume construction, whereas the Marshall School of Business courses will focus more on business management. Communications professor Alison Trope said she felt a communication class was valuable to the minor because of fashion’s role in visual communication.

“How we dress communicates something about who we are, about our identities,” she said. “So I think it’s really important to think about fashion in our everyday lives and in our everyday culture so that it’s not just about the materiality or the technology or the tailoring, but that we see it as part of, you know, this broader kind of environment that we live in.”

Since the program was only recently announced, applications are not currently open. Bartolome said there would be more knowledge on the number of students accepted into the minor later this semester.

Although the minor is not yet available for students to declare, Bartolome said students have been excited to learn more about the program with emails about the course hitting his inbox after the announcement was made.

“It’s an overwhelming and intimidating undertaking because I feel like fashion is very different for whoever you’re talking to,” he said. “What we’re hoping to do is not to create a program that is replicating another program at another school or another institution, but really wanting to be able to allow students to start thinking about what they think fashion is and how they can start solving problems that relate to fashion.”