Fashion Careers – Fashion Merchandising
Are you interested in a career in fashion and have knack for determining the next hot trend? Consider a career in fashion merchandising. This article provides an overview of some popular fashion merchandising careers.
What is a fashion buyer?
A fashion buyer is one of the most prestigious positions in the fashion merchandising industry. As a fashion buyer you will be responsible for selecting and purchasing apparel from designers, manufacturers or wholesalers on behalf of a retailer. Fashion buyers are often perceived to have glamorous positions because they get to travel to exciting cities, attend runway shows and purchase goods. While there is some fun and adventure involved, fashion buyers have a tough job because the companies sales revenue is their responsibility. Fashion buyers must select items that customers will be eager buy. Then purchase products at a price that works within their budget. Lastly, sell the merchandise at a price that fits the consumers budget.
What qualities are necessary for becoming a fashion buyer?
As a fashion buyer you have to know what your customers like and will buy. Therefore, relationships with department managers and merchandisers are key. Fashion buyers must also have an understanding of the manufacturing process and be very budget conscious. As a fashion buyer you will be purchasing the current fashions that will be expected to sell quickly. When a buyer exceeds the budget or the items do not move, the buyer is held accountable.
What skills are necessary for becoming a fashion buyer?
In addition to having an awareness of current fashion trends, fashion buyers also need to have a good understanding of numbers. As a fashion buyer, you will also need to have an ability to negotiate with vendors, manage a budget and understand your buying market.
Where do fashion buyers work?
Fashion buyers are primarily employed by major department or chain stores i.e. Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap, Ann Taylor etc. In many cases a fashion buyer will start out as a department manager or assistant buyer to learn the business. As a trainee you will make small purchases, learn sales forecasting and complete paperwork until promoted to buyer. Fashion buyers are also employed by small stores and boutiques. In these cases the boutique owners hire freelance fashion buyers to procure merchandise.
How to get started as fashion buyer.
Many department and specialty stores provide training for buyers through formal management training programs. A combination of college level coursework and practical work experience in fashion retail, business, communications or design are preferred for gaining acceptance to these types of programs. Buyers may also get on the job training if working at a boutique or smaller store. In some instances the owners are the buyers and are willing provide training and mentor-ship.
What is a fashion merchandiser?
Fashion merchandisers are responsible for displaying merchandise in a manner that entices customers to buy. Fashion merchandising is a form of selling, but with a twist. As a fashion merchandiser you will be responsible for creating visual displays that draw a consumers into your store to purchase merchandise.
What qualities are necessary for becoming a fashion merchandiser?
Fashion merchandisers need to have a keen sense of style and a creative imagination. As a fashion merchandiser you must also have a sense of color, composition and aesthetic ability.
Where do fashion merchandisers work?
Fashion merchandisers are typically employed by department and specialty stores. As a fashion merchandiser you will design appealing window displays through use of apparel, accessories, props, mannequins and special lighting. Fashion merchandisers also oversee merchandise receiving, replenishment and visual display activities on the sales floor. Fashion merchandisers may be self employed and work with small stores and boutiques as freelancers.
How to get started as a fashion merchandiser.
Typically, fashion merchandisers start out as assistants or retail sales-persons and work their way up to merchandising managers. Fashion merchandisers may also be trained through retail management training programs. A combination of fashion merchandising or visual design education and practical work experience are desirable to fashion merchandising employers.
Fashion Event Coordinator
What is a fashion event coordinator?
Fashion event coordinators are responsible for putting together fashion events in an effort to increase sales and promote store and brand identities. As a fashion event coordinator you will coordinate fashion shows, trunk shows and other promotional events that draw customers into the store.
What qualities are necessary for becoming a fashion event coordinator?
Fashion event coordinators must be extremely organized and detail oriented. As a fashion coordinator you need to have excellent budgeting and negotiation skills. In addition, fashion event coordinators should have the ability network, build and maintain relationships with both internal and external clients.
Where do fashion event coordinators work?
Fashion event coordinators are typically employed by department stores and specialty retailers. As a fashion event coordinator you will use your creativity to plan events such as runway shows, shopping events, and designer trunk shows. Fashion event coordinators typically start their careers as assistants or interns and are promoted from there. As a fashion event coordinator you may also work independently as a freelancer with boutiques and smaller stores.
How to get started as a fashion event coordinator.
Fashion event coordinators typically begin by assisting or apprenticing with an experienced fashion event coordinators employed by department stores. You may also learn the business by apprenticing or offering to assist or apprenticing with established freelance fashion event coordinators. A combination of fashion knowledge, excellent communication and organizational skills are highly desirable.
Tips and considerations
Educate yourself. Each of these fashion merchandising careers requires that you have some knowledge of fashion. Conduct research by reading magazines and books to stay abreast of the latest fashion trends in the fashion industry.
Network. Get to know people who work in your local department stores. Attend workshops, seminars and industry events to meet others with similar interests that are currently working in the business.