If you desire to have a successful and reputed career in fashion, then becoming a fashion buyer is what you can start from. The right kind of fashion knowledge and passion to work for hours surrounded by fashion designers is sufficient to make you eligible for entering the fashion industry. As a fashion buyer, you will get an opportunity to travel and indulge in exclusive communication with top fashion designers and mingle with the world’s most innovative people. Thus, if you love shopping and being surrounded in a shopping environment, then you will enjoy working and prospering in this industry. And with the increasing demand for unique and exclusive apparels by designers and people, job opportunities for a buyer in fashion are just on the hike. Though this job sounds exciting and easy, one requires extensive experience and knowledge of the retail field to flourish and make a good stand in the industry.
Becoming A Fashion Buyer
To be eligible for a buyer in fashion, you should obtain a Bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising. With some retail experience in a fashion boutique, you will be able to make better decisions; hence, it will be a positive start for you as an applicant. There are some department stores and various fashion boutiques that offer internship and training programs for students interested in taking up fashion as a career. You can complete your studies and undergo some on-the-job training for becoming a better fashion buyer in the future. Most of the times, internship and training is organized by the institution, as part of the curriculum. Apart from the diploma, it is your skills and taste for fashion that will help you prosper in this industry.
Pursue a Bachelor’s degree or a diploma in fashion design or fashion merchandising from an institution that is recognized by the fashion industry. If you have a university degree, it is easier to get admission in a prestigious accredited fashion institution. A business degree in public relations, promotions, and merchandise planning will be an added advantage to show potential employers that you know how the industry works.
For qualifying as a fashion buyer, you need to have the drive and craze for working for long hours and traveling frequently. You should have keen eyes looking constantly for a good sense of fashion and creativity. A presentable personality and good communications skills are always an added advantage while dealing with customers and clients. You should be capable of maintaining effective communication with suppliers so that you can negotiate on the price. You should be able to forecast the kind of demand for clothing ahead of time and get them prepared in advance before the season changes, as most fashion trends change with the change in the season. As such, you should be able to get the apparels ready at least six months in advance. For this, you should be creative and flexible as you may have to travel and interact with several people to get your work done.
Roles & Responsibilities
As a fashion buyer, you will be required to decide what products to offer to the customers and where to purchase them from. You will be working for a specific company or store and asked to predict what will sell in the future. As such, you should have thorough details about what has been sold in the past, what customers prefer presently, and what they are likely to look out for in the future. Depending upon the size of your company, you may have to work individually or with a team of fashion buyers to oversee what clothes and price range the company would carry. Most fashion buyers are required to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. As such, you will be responsible for interacting within the team, with clothing suppliers, and manufacturers to avoid any kind of misunderstandings that is essential to have a good hold in the fashion industry. You have to work in cordial relations with clothing suppliers to select the proper clothing materials for the target market. These pieces are selected after overseeing the current fashion trends that can fit with the clothing perfectly. You should maintain a good rapport with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of materials and negotiate on the price with them.
After you are done with your studies in the fashion industry and the requisite training or internship, you can apply for jobs through online job portals. Alternatively, you can apply for a job at various shops and boutiques if gaining meaningful professional experience is on your mind rather than worrying about the low initial salary. You can also look for available positions in department stores and retail outlets. Those employers, finding your qualifications apt for the job, may employ you as an assistant fashion buyer. With experience and knowledge, you will be promoted as a fashion buyer and thereafter, as a divisional merchandise manager.
A fashion buyer is solely responsible for the products that his company sells. Hence, he should always be updated on the ever-changing fashion trends, budgets constraints, and projected profits. Last but not the least, a complete know-how about fashion is crucial to survive in the industry. Good luck, as the senior positions in fashion are eagerly awaiting the fashion aficionados!