Fashion and Engineering

Dear Ms. Bisantz,

I am currently an undergraduate Biology major at Georgia State University and am considering changing my major to industrial engineering. I am considering this change due to my interests with the cosmetic and fashion industries. I am passionate about the math and science as well as the creativity embedded in the field of engineering and am looking to tie these passions towards a career in fashion.

I recently read a post where an 8th grader asked questions about makeup which is why I am reaching out to you. I am confused about which path would best suit my journey towards a engineering career in fashion. I am searching for programs and institutions that will offer more hands on opportunities and more resources to better prepare my decision and am hoping you can lend your expertise on the matter. I would love any advice or suggestions you may have as well as any contacts you think I should try to connect with to get a professional understanding of a engineering career in fashion and cosmetics.

Thank you in advance for any feedback you have the time to offer me. It is much appreciated.
posted by D'Asia, Atlanta on August 10, 2013

Answer by Dr. Ann Bisantz

Industrial Engineering could support manufacturing of cosmetics and potentially textiles; also IEs might work in the logistics of clothing inventory & shipping (e.g., how many jeans of each type should be made and shipped to stores around the world). The development of cosmetics may be related to a career in chemical engineering - I would recommend you contact a chemical engineer to see if they work in that industry.

You could also investigate textile engineering - they develop methods for creating textiles and also work in research on aspects such as "smart" fabrics that can sense medical conditions, for instance. I believe there is a textile engineering program at Georgia Tech.

Hope this helps.