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Chris Baeza
Chris Baeza
Program Director, Assistant Teaching Professor, Design & Merchandising





Chris Baeza has had an extensive 20 plus year career as an accomplished design and merchandising executive with proven results working with iconic global brands.  Chris has a strong background in the business of fashion and has multi-tier capabilities in men's, women's, accessories and children with particular emphasis on brand-building for different channels of distribution.  Her positions in the industry allowed her to travel all over the world, working with top companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Adidas, Nordstrom, Dockers and Nautica.


Her background in branding, product merchandising, design and product development brings real-world experience to the classroom. Chris is a dynamic educator who provides opportunities to expand student’s learning with experiential and inter-disciplinary course work along with international study tours.  She has a passion for ethical fashion and “for benefit” business models which inform her teaching philosophy where she strives to spark engagement for learning and developing one’s character; to demonstrate the importance of relationships and collaboration; to ignite a sense of meaning and purpose and to create a classroom environment which fosters a strong work ethic.


Her research seeks to explore and answer the following overarching question: are students who study fashion design and merchandising better prepared after graduation when ethics and entrepreneurship are an integral part of their curricula? Most recently, she and a colleague collaborated on a paper, “USING DESIGN FICTION TO TEACH ETHICS IN DESIGN: PREPARING DESIGN STUDENTS TO BE ETHICAL ENTREPRENUERS BY STUDYING THE IMPLICATIONS OF SPECULATIVE TECHOLOGY”, which will be published on


Outside of the classroom, she serves as an advisor to several companies in the industry, is a board member for Learning to Lead/Girls Take Charge and teaches workshops to high school students who are thinking about studying fashion design or merchandising.


She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Textile Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson) and a Master’s degree in Leadership Development from Pennsylvania State University.




Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Textile Design, Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson); Master’s degree in Leadership Development, Pennsylvania State University

Recent Research & Scholarship

"Transforming the fashion industry by: THE EVOLUTION OF DESIGN & MERCHANDISING EDUCATION" Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice

Using Design to Teach Ethics in Design. Innovation the Journal of the Industrial Designers Society of America, Design Education



Fashion Forward: The Back to School Series: How leading fashion institutes expanding the boundaries of curricula, 2021.

Podcast Interview: A Branded World: Why clarity and transparency are keys to success (E43, Chris Baeza)