Becoming a fashion buyer is not a hard shell to crack if you have the right skill and qualification. This article will help you to learn how to become a fashion buyer. Read on!

How To Become A Fashion Buyer

The fashion industry offers a wide range of opportunities and fashion buyer is one of the remunerative career options in this industry. This is a highly sought after profession by all the fashion industry aspirers. If you enjoy working in fashion industry, love travel and dream of mingling with the world’s most creative fashion designers then this is the best career option for you. A fashion buyer is the person who selects and purchases fashionable apparels for the clothing lines and departmental stores. Premonitions (or forecasts) and a lot of research are involved in predicting what will be popular in the fashion world during the coming days/months. It is not easy to anticipate the future in the world of fashion. You obviously need to have a strong fashion sense to detect the current trends and predict the drifts and stay abreast with all the latest developments in the fashion world. A fashion buyer who works for fashion stores/boutiques is also expected to calculate the suitable price range of the various items in the store such as men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear, etc. More about this profession is detailed in the following section. So, browse down and read on!
Becoming a Fashion Buyer
The fashion Industry is not a place for mediocrity because it is populated by highly skilled professionals and tight competition. The most important qualification to become a successful fashion professional is to have a passion for fashion and a keen interest to monitor the changing trends. These skills should be adequately backed by suitable educational qualifications and work experiences. Courses on buying, retail, business, merchandising and fashion would be suitable for this career. But a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in fashion merchandising or fashion buying is the most suitable qualification. Seeking internships would help you to gain experience.
  • A degree in fashion merchandising and communication or an advanced diploma in fashion and textile merchandising, a PG certificate in fashion buying and merchandising and in marketing management for fashion buying could add that extra value to your resume.
  • Master’s programs in fashion and sales or marketing can also give you an edge over others. 
Skills Required
  • Understanding customer target market, the contemporary market and forecasting fashion trends
  • Planning and sourcing skills for merchandise handling and management skills for people handling
  • Budget allocation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Strong fashion sense and the knowledge of the important terms and concepts of the fashion world.
  • Knowledge of the profit margin concept
  • Good communication skills and strong interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to work in a group
  • Adaptability and confidence
  • Creative and artistic skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Good learning and listening
Roles And Responsibilities
  • There may be a hierarchical arrangement of roles in larger stores with each role having a set of defined responsibility. While in most of these places, senior buyers control and coordinate the overall departmental performance, assistant buyers help seniors manage the whole team. At the senior levels of the management, buying directors keep pace with the trend driven fashion purchases by maintaining and nurturing close relationships with suppliers.
  • Negotiate with the fashion suppliers on a regular basis. Strong relationship with the suppliers can cause mutual benefits.
  • Fashion buyers predict the fashion trend months in advance. This is particularly useful since it helps the unit in collecting the required materials 5-6 months in advance.
  • Attending fashion fairs and travelling to stay up-to-date with both national and international trends and also attend meetings with fashion designers.
  • Controlling and managing a team of suppliers, inventory allocators and support staff and monitor their growth and performance.
  • Product assortment reviews
  • Interacting with other internal departments like merchandising, marketing and quality control to discuss sales volume and quality of the products.
  • Evaluating suppliers to select the best and the most profitable option/s.
Career Prospects
Fashion buyers can work for large departmental stores, fashion stores, retail units and even boutiques. In larger stores, fashion buyers specialize in particular ranges of products such as women’s wear, men’s wear, kid’s wear, etc. There are numerous opportunities for fashion buyers as there is a marked increase in the number and volume of retail stores all over the world. The role of a fashion buyer is vital in the total business volume of these retail units. The salary of a fashion buyer depends on the location, qualification and experience. As with all other professions, a lucrative salary comes with experience and skill.
Hope this article helps you in tracing the requirements and career prospects of becoming a fashion buyer. All the best for a bright future!

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