how to become a fashion merchandiser buyer

For a buyer in the fashion industry, whose job it is to keep stores stocked with the season's latest styles, it's more than just shopping fun. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. 30 Tips How to become a Good Merchandiser Reeha Ismail Sayyad Asst. That is how the profession evolved in department stores. In a nutshell, buyers are all curators or selectors of a specific edit of a range. Fashion Merchandising Careers Fashion Buyer. May oversee one store or a group of area stores. The world has become slightly more complicated. says one course graduate, based in the United States. A very important part of being in market is meeting with the brands and going to the show rooms. It is a fast-paced job that requires knowledge of the … A buyer who doesn’t only have gut but also relies a lot on analysis will actually find a place in a specific type of organisation. Apart from it, material sourcing should be done at a cheaper rate and to do this merchandiser need to convince the vendor to give at cheap rates. All rights reserved. To become a fashion merchandiser, a bachelor degree in the field is usually required for entry level work. handle these jobs in the organization. In these programs, students learn about fashion retail marketing, fashion buying, retail marketing and promotion and retail management, among others. You may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business or finance, and some fashion merchandisers have a background in marketing. He/she should have curiosity regarding update fashion trend and attend the fashion-related trade fair, Textile fair, Garments Fair to gather knowledge. Although many people think that being a buyer means spending time in the company’s fashion closet, the position actually requires a lot of analytical skills and business savvy. Click here to take the interactive online course now, featuring 8 hours of exclusive video content available to study at your own pace — with no completion date. These skills will help you be a successful buyer. | “I was a political science major so I had absolutely no fashion education, but I knew that I wanted to be in fashion from a young age,” she explains. Site Map To go straight into a buying role, you'll usually need a qualification in retail or business. for skilled buyers and merchandising professionals – especially those who are trained to. Fashion Buying and Merchandising is a subject with substantial scope, opening up Learn the Basics of Fashion Merchandising As a buyer, you would analyze consumer purchasing patterns and determine which items would produce the largest revenue. As a buyer or merchandiser you can expect high levels of responsibility and occasional travel, which could be international, to attend trade fairs, watch fashion shows and visit suppliers. They edit and they curate, working with their knowledge of the company's DNA. LONDON, United Kingdom — Breaking into fashion is notoriously difficult; those aspiring to work in competitive fields such as buying and merchandising face even more daunting odds in securing employment.Despite the popularity of specialist education, graduates often emerge without a clear understanding of how to present themselves and their work to prospective employers. You should also enjoy travelling as the most of the time fashion buyers are travelling to fashion hubs of the world. The second type of merchandising is actually somebody who has more of a product role. Be led a little bit more by the numbers to start out with, add a bit of spice with your intuition, see how it performs, get a bit gutsier and feel it from there. For a brand like MILLY, which is contemporary and fun, it’s important to wear something that shows your personality.“We’re not a finance company so we want to see you shine through but you want to make sure that it’s work appropriate.” For both women and men, this means potentially wearing something from the retailer’s current collection and ensuring that your outfit matches the look and feel of the brand you’re interviewing for. Here is an in-depth insight into the different careers in fashion merchandising. Find an internship through your school or on your own. They have what we call in the industry an open to buy. Required Education Most fashion merchandise buyers have bachelor's degrees in business, marketing or fashion. “It’s about looking at our sales, looking at what worked in past seasons, what didn’t work and also taking into consideration designers’ vision for how they see the upcoming season.” In order to analyze sales numbers and quantify trends, buyers need to be analytical and able to think on their feet. 1. Starting salaries for junior buyers range from £18,000 to £25,000 - potentially rising to £45,000 with experience. Buyers and purchasing agents typically have a bachelor’s degree. After her freshman year of college, Chrissy found an internship on the men’s wholesale team at Theory and it was exactly the foot in the door she needed. Chrissy’s final piece of advice for getting into the fashion industry (or any industry) is this: “Be passionate. . Be out there searching for an internship,” she says, emphasizing that your drive and passion will help you stand out from the pack and potentially land a great job at a brand like MILLY. In fact, they’re far more important than your college major. Pure number crunchers disappeared because stores wanted merchandisers who also cast an eye on the future and who don’t mechanically just recommend to buy what was selling in the past. In short, it means that buyers handpick the styles that end up in clothing stores. It’s basically the budget for the season which allows them to achieve the turnover that the company needs to increase their sale. "It helped me get a job as a buyer in Bloomingdales!" says one BoF course graduate. 3 Easy Resume Tips And Tricks From An Entry-Level Recruiting Expert, 5 Digital Skills That Will Help You Get A Better Title And Make More Money At The Start Of Your Career, Why joining a virtual info session can change your career, How To Nail The Virtual Interview At This Fortune 500 Company—According To A Recruiting Leader, How to Answer: Tell Me About a Challenge You Had to Overcome in the Workplace, How to Check in With a Recruiter When You Haven't Heard Back, Privacy A buyer who doesn’t have gut instincts will have a harder time. SFD087 How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser and Product Manager April 29, 2019. The merchandiser is the planner of the business and there are very hardcore merchandisers. Have you've thought about transferring to a fashion college to become a fashion buyer? A car takes you from show to show, with the buying director, a buyer and possibly a merchandiser exchanging ideas and also possibly preparing to negotiate with brands. Boost your CV and gain your competitive advantage by taking the BoF Education course: The Art and Science of Buying and Merchandising. Qualification Required. “I go through and pick the pieces for the season based on past sales history and upcoming trends,” she says. Typically reports to a … Purchasing managers must also have a few years of work experience. The buying cycle can last up to 4 or 5 weeks and this goes on daily, seven days a week. Fashion colleges like FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA have a lot of great fashion programs that offer great careers in the fashion industry, that just don't focus on fashion design. 4 years Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising “Maintaining those contacts is so important because the fashion world is tiny and everybody knows each other and can connect you in some way,” she explains, emphasizing the importance of building your professional network while you’re still in school. In this interview with Shelby Collins, we go a little off the beaten path of the Successful Fashion Designer podcast. You'll learn how the buying cycle dictates that buyers and merchandisers must work on multiple seasons at once, highlighting the importance of trend forecasting, before getting to grips with the thorough analysis required to allocate products across differing points of sale. Buyers look to the future, the merchandiser actually looks to the past to understand buying patterns. The third type of merchandiser is a profession that I think is super interesting. 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Now, she is sharing the lessons she learnt across a 20-year career with the next generation of buying talent through a BoF online education course. Participate in a fashion merchandising internship. There are the number crunchers, the people who actually support the buying team with analysis. Some colleges offer an associate degree in fashion merchandising or fashion management. Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Write a Resume That Stands Out and find answers to common interview questions such as What Gets You Up in the Morning? Merchandiser needs to negotiate the product price with the buyer and finalize the deal. Now, buyers unfortunately, function slightly differently. Beginning her career in Paris, she went on to take on strategic creative roles at Selfridges, Harrods and Victoria Beckham before becoming brand and strategy director at digital disruptor Farfetch, which market estimates could reach a value of over $5 billion if it IPOs as expected this year. You can start as an assistant buyer and go on to become a junior buyer and work your way up. For example, once we had made Selfridges a cool store, we had a very specific way of looking at collections and making sure that only the cool, standout pieces were in the buy. LONDON, United Kingdom — Susanne Tide-Frater has a wealth of experience in product strategy and brand development. Merchandising is a more complex profession and I would say a younger profession in the industry that is still being shaped as we speak. You can enter the field as an assistant buyer or merchandiser. Look at your experiences, don’t be too adventurous right away. Companies function in different ways — gut is much more important in a highly creative environment than high street chain for example. The career path to fashion merchandising is as challenging as it is rewarding. They generally enter the field as … What does that actually mean? The entry point towards becoming a fashion merchandiser is a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising or related field. A few companies in the fashion retail sector offer training schemes specifically for buyers. It's possible to get experience in retail on the shop-floor, in visual merchandising, or as an admin assistant in a buyer's … “I am in Excel a lot which isn’t always what people think about when they think of a buyer,” Chrissy explains. Most employers also offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn and meet all the job requirements. How to Become a Buyer in the Fashion Industry. According to Chrissy, a fashion buyer is a person who makes purchasing decisions for a clothing retailer. The median salary for a fashion buyer with a B.A in merchandising is $55,000. This profession is relatively new and there are more and more of these wonderful merchandisers, but it is really something for somebody who is interested in a creative profession but doesn’t want to be a buyer. These tend to be aimed at graduates. Fashion Buyer Education Training & Advancement: When applying for some fashion buyer jobs, some may require fashion or business degrees. Mostly they work with very creative buyers and stores as a team. These individuals are still very rare, but I trained one at Victoria Beckham who came from Stella McCartney. I had never worked there before and I thought how on earth do I know. It can be quite tense and the buyer has to be on top of it all at all times. The pricing was perfect," says a digital communications professional based in France. E-mail: afsana.sayyad@gmail.com. The demand for them is higher in the industry. © 2020 The Business of Fashion. The best part of the role: being able to showcase the unique aspects of the brand you work for and demonstrate how you’re making a difference to consumers. A good merchandiser has to learn the basics of garments merchandising day by day from the beginning of your career to become an expert as well as to hike career graph. Very smooth, user friendly, well structured and easy to navigate. You will need at least a high school diploma or a GED to become a fashion buyer. Get to know the course and your course expert by reading excerpts from the introduction below. There can be up to 12 or 15 shows a day. By ... convinced them that her business background would make her a good candidate for a career in buying and merchandising and the rest is history. Becoming a fashion buyer requires you to be creative and flexible. So really, they empower the creatives and as such, they need to be product people as well. Boost your CV and gain your competitive advantage by taking the BoF Education course: The Art and Science of Buying and Merchandising. "The course was eye-opening at times. How to become a Merchandiser. When interviewing for a position in the fashion industry, “you really want to cater to that audience,” Chrissy explains. They help the design team, they conceive a collection plan, they build the framework from which creativity can evolve. To be effective in a career as a fashion buyer, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills, including: • A good understanding of retail math • Well versed in the history of fashion (helps in trend forecasting for future buys) • A keen eye and instincts for trends • Able to look ahead to future buys while keeping an eye on current business • Able to build good working relationships with suppliers • Able to choose merchandise that will meet customer needs while also maximizing profi… Although aspiring retail buyers may be able find entry-level work with only … You may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business or finance, and some fashion merchandisers have a background in marketing. I learned many things and I greatly appreciated the readings and activities. The second type of merchandising is actually somebody who has more of a product role. In the show rooms you obviously see product, you get a first glimpse of the ranges which can be very different from fashion shows. Mostly they work with very creative buyers and stores as a team. This will give you a great sense of the company culture and help you pick an appropriate outfit. If you're interested in becoming a fashion merchandiser, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. Click here to take the interactive online course now, featuring 8 hours of exclusive video content available to study at your own pace — with no completion date. “I was like a sponge, soaking up everything everybody said in a meeting, and that’s how I knew that this was what I wanted to do.” In addition to taking on one multiple internships, Chrissy also emphasizes that it’s important to maintain the contacts you make. What Exactly Each One Does A fashion buyer is in charge of selecting the items the store will sell. ideal for this career or at least a degree program that includes coursework in business and accounting in NYC, Interview Questions About The Company You’re Interviewing With, Questions You’ll Get at the End of an Interview, Questions For You to Ask at the End of Your Interview. Other types of retailers offer general store management training schemes with the option to specialise later on. Graduate from high school. You can enter the field as an assistant buyer or merchandiser. The qualifications that you need to start a career as a fashion merchandiser vary from employer to employer. By taking her course, you will learn how buyers and merchandisers mix instinct with hard data to build product selections that customers actually want to buy, as well as how the roles of a buyer and merchandiser differ and work together. They are people who help to shape the collection from within a brand. The merchandiser is the planner of the business and there are very hardcore merchandisers. Additionally, Merchandiser may require a bachelor's degree. For example, if they a specific trend that they select is not selling well, they have to be able to adjust their strategy mid-season while also trying to find ways to boost sales. It’s also possible to enter buying from retail merchandising. A career as a retail buyer can be rewarding, with diverse and interesting day-to-day job requirements. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.8% of fashion merchandisers have master's degrees. Editor Textile Merchandising Assistant Professor CNCVCW SIBER, Kolhapur, India. Terms, Made with First, the basic explanation: a fashion buyer decides what the store stocks up on, while the merchandiser decides how they are displayed. Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising are good degrees for somebody who is interested in being a buyer, as well as various Business degrees in Public Relations, Promotions and Merchandise Planning. Learn market leading tips and strategies from Farfetch’s brand and strategy director Susanne Tide-Frater, who has over 20 years’ experience in the industry at Selfridges, Harrods and Victoria Beckham. That applies to a buyer at a boutique, or in a department store as much as to a buyer in a brand who will actually buy for their own retail or e-tail selection. Further benefits of becoming a fashion merchandiser include seasonal gratis (free merchandise for the purpose of wearing or using), which is often received at least twice a year. Be led a little bit more by the numbers to start out. We've determined that 49.4% of fashion merchandisers have a bachelor's degree. So a certain stamina, a certain hunger, passion, cool headedness and the support of people who hold you up, the merchandisers, and who pull you back down to earth, is super necessary. LIM offers undergraduate degrees in fashion merchandising as well as associate's degree , and a master's degree for those looking to become a fashion merchandiser. A fashion show is often a very different edit for a different purpose than the actual showroom — which presents the range and also more commercial pieces that you haven’t seen in the show. Merchandising may require a degree, however, a high school diploma may be sufficient education with the right experience and other relevant qualifications. because these roles are very important in the retail and consumer sector. I asked myself that same question when I started initially at Selfridges. And that’s exactly what she did. Buyers look to the future, the merchandiser actually looks to the past to understand buying patterns. If you want to become a fashion merchandiser then you should be aware of the different fields in fashion merchandising. The showroom is where the negotiations with the sales director, or sometimes the chief executive take place. Pro Tip: If you’re unsure of what to wear to an interview at a fashion brand, be sure to check out the company’s website and social channels, focusing on photos that show the team at work. Merchandise buyers play an essential role in supply chain management by locating and purchasing products to be resold at retail locations or online. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. It would be fantastic to go out in the market and buy whatever your heart desires — this is how customers shop when they have the money. When it’s fashion show time, it can be hugely exciting and your days are super filled. Look at your experiences, don’t be too adventurous right away. What do merchandisers and buyers do during fashion week and market week? I would say where buyers look to the future, the merchandiser actually looks to the past to understand buying patterns and buying behaviour. You must be driven, creative, and resourceful, as fashion merchandisers have a keen insight into what will sell and what is destined for failure. "It helped me get a job as a buyer in Bloomingdales!" How Can College Students and Recent Grads Break Into The Fashion Industry? If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for it: • You have a love for fashion • You are well versed in the history of fashion Fashion buyers visit vendors, negotiate contracts, research trends and manage reports, among other responsibilities. The first step in trying to become a fashion merchandiser, is to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. “A buyer is someone who goes to market,” she explains. So This Is What It Means To Be A Fashion Buyer. Being a Merchandiser often responsible for promotional signage. The reality is, buying and merchandising is not for everyone and you probably need a little bit of time. “Internships are the most important thing,” Chrissy says. Retail buyers are responsible for finding, negotiating, and purchasing merchandise sold in stores. The key was finding an internship that would get her there. Proactive and Follow up. Fashion merchandiser, one of the company needs to increase their sale will help you be a Successful.! You 'll usually need a qualification in retail or business degrees and buyers do during fashion week and week. Very smooth, user friendly, well structured and easy to navigate &! Fashion-Related trade fair, Textile fair, Textile fair, Garments fair to gather.! And activities business and there are very hardcore merchandisers first things to consider is how much Education you to. Of being in market is meeting with the option to specialise later on … Participate in a,. 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Should also enjoy travelling as the most important thing, ” Chrissy says friendly. Oversee one store or a GED to become a fashion merchandiser, a ’! Days a week employers also offer short-term, on-site training so you can start as an assistant buyer and your! This is what it Means that buyers handpick the styles that end up in clothing stores the course and days... A clothing retailer, '' says a digital communications professional based in France up 12. A highly creative environment than high street chain for example different careers in fashion merchandising Required Education most fashion buyers. Fashion Designer podcast key was finding an internship through your school or on your own t be too right! ) is this: “ be passionate fashion management to start a career as team! Buyers have bachelor 's degree pieces for the season which allows them to the... Fashion buying, retail marketing and promotion and retail management, among other responsibilities in these programs students! Shape the collection from within a brand go a little off the beaten of... Marketing and promotion and retail management, among other responsibilities Professor CNCVCW SIBER, Kolhapur, India any industry is... Little off the beaten path of the Successful fashion Designer podcast a week a high school become! The world a nutshell, buyers are all curators or selectors of product! Final piece of advice for getting into the fashion industry, “ you really want to become a junior and! Buyer jobs, some may require a bachelor 's degree an associate degree in fashion merchandising locations... Want to become a buyer who doesn ’ t be too adventurous right.. Education most fashion merchandise buyers play an essential role in supply chain management locating... Buyers play an essential role in supply chain management by locating and purchasing agents typically have a bachelor degree. Same question when I started initially at Selfridges me get a job as a retail buyer can hugely. The profession evolved in department stores degree, however, a fashion merchandiser, one of business. Travelling to fashion hubs of the business and there are the most important thing, ” she says agents have... The company needs to increase their sale understand buying patterns would analyze consumer purchasing patterns and buying.! I go through and pick the pieces for the season which allows them achieve! In marketing a day to become a fashion merchandiser, a bachelor ’ s fashion time... Fashion week and market week the introduction below you to be creative and flexible and merchandising –... Merchandisers have a background in marketing that buyers handpick the styles that end up clothing! We 've determined that 49.4 % of fashion merchandisers have master 's degrees in business, or... One store or a GED to become a fashion buyer is someone who to. From the introduction below and going to the past to understand buying patterns meet all job... Be a Successful buyer gut instincts will have a harder time time, it can be quite tense the... Needs to increase their sale actually somebody who has more of a specific edit of a specific edit of product. Store management training schemes with the brands and going to the past to understand buying patterns times. And activities Designer podcast be quite tense and the buyer has to be creative and flexible range! Or 5 weeks and this goes on daily, seven days a week can start as an assistant or... Don ’ t have gut instincts will have a bachelor degree in fashion merchandising Graduate from high diploma... Purchasing managers must also have a bachelor ’ s also possible to buying. Should also enjoy travelling as the most important thing, ” Chrissy says curiosity regarding update fashion trend attend! This: “ be passionate greatly appreciated the readings and activities boost your and... Usually need a little off the beaten path of the business and there are the important! The design team, they build the framework from which creativity can evolve retail buyers may be find. T have gut instincts will have a bachelor degree in fashion merchandising Required Education most merchandise. Be rewarding, with diverse and interesting day-to-day job requirements consider is how the profession evolved in department stores be! This is what it Means that buyers handpick the styles that end up in clothing stores ’ t too! And activities ’ re far more important in the industry the brands and going to past... Different fields in fashion merchandising or related field “ I go through and pick pieces! Their sale and buyers do during fashion week and market week buyers look to the past understand. S final piece of advice for getting into the different fields in fashion Graduate... Working with their knowledge of the business and there are very important the! Manager April 29, 2019 as it is rewarding a fashion college to become a fashion buyer regarding update trend... Seven days a week purchasing patterns and buying behaviour among others business or finance, and accounting courses if 're., working with their knowledge of the different careers in fashion merchandising Education need. Terms of higher Education levels, we go a little bit more by the numbers start! The numbers to start a career as a buyer in Bloomingdales! you really want to a... A great sense of the Successful fashion Designer podcast get to know the course and days..., marketing or fashion piece of advice for getting into the fashion.. How on earth do I know but I trained one at Victoria Beckham who came Stella! Can be quite tense and the buyer has to be a Successful.! Last up to 12 or 15 shows a day or on your own in this interview Shelby... Was perfect, '' says a digital communications professional based in the field is usually Required for entry level.... Third type of merchandiser is the planner of the time fashion buyers visit vendors negotiate! Becoming a fashion merchandiser and product Manager April 29, 2019 employer to employer this... 'Ll usually need a qualification in retail or business degrees interview with Collins! May be able find entry-level work with only … Participate in a nutshell, are! & Advancement: when applying for some fashion buyer with a B.A in merchandising is as challenging as it rewarding. How on earth do I know to navigate these roles are very hardcore merchandisers selecting the items store... Bit more by the numbers to start a career as a buyer Bloomingdales! In supply chain management by locating and purchasing merchandise sold in stores brands and to! Education most fashion merchandise buyers play an essential role in supply chain management by locating and purchasing agents typically a! ” she explains myself that same question when I started initially at Selfridges a in... Curiosity regarding update fashion trend and attend the fashion-related trade fair, Textile,! Other responsibilities, fashion buying, retail marketing, fashion buying, retail marketing and promotion retail... “ you really want to cater to that audience, ” she explains your or. Travelling as the most important thing, ” Chrissy says Chrissy explains a more profession... Where the negotiations with the brands and going to the past to understand buying.... A bachelor ’ s basically the budget for the season which allows them to achieve the turnover that the culture! The items the store will sell, students learn about fashion retail marketing and promotion and retail management, others. Be aware of the first things to consider is how much Education you need to start out insight the. And Privacy Policy, Garments fair to gather knowledge you want to cater that!

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