A fashion buyer works for a boutique or a department store and is responsible for stocking up the store with new items on regular basis. The buyer must be familiar with their clientele and their buying habits. They need to know what sold well in the past and figure out what will sell well in the future. This knowledge can help the buyer purchase items accordingly and the merchandise is bound to sell quickly. The buyer must also be aware of the latest trends that are in par with the fashion. As the seasons change, they need to look out for new items to stock. They must work months in advance, so that the stock is ready when the season starts.
In a nutshell, fashion buyers predict industry trends and turn them into workable business proposals. Fashion buying positions are quite popular and exceedingly sought after by the fashion fraternity.
The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising or marketing. You can also opt for an internship with an established buyer, major stores or a boutique to gain sufficient experience. Usually these are done by the college. Classes in business and fashion designing are an added advantage to show potential employers that you are well-informed.
What should one do?
Be aware of the changes in trends in fashion. Stay current on industry news. Try to evaluate your own fashion sense. Another aspect is to get some good retail experience. Working in retail as a salesperson helps in getting employed as a fashion buyer. You can do this at the early stages, when you are in college or as soon as you graduate. Many companies and stores prefer to promote someone from within the organization rather than newly hiring people. You can also start off by stocking shelves. If you are determined enough, you can easily move up to the post of an assistant buyer and finally as a buyer.
If you are hoping to be a fashion buyer, you also need to know what’s been happening with the fashion changes in the past. Make a thorough research on the fast selling styles, fads and other trends in the past and the present. This will help you determine what’s needed in the future. Always keep yourself updated on all these aspects. Also, be imaginative, creative, organized and be prepared to take risks. Work on your communication skills as well, as you might have to negotiate and make bold decisions.
A fashion buyer happens to see the latest and the fresh trends before anybody else does. They get the privilege of setting trends in a particular area and formulate what the next hot thing will be. You get to travel and mingle with the world’s most creative people. You will also be ordering items from exclusive manufacturers from the major fashion capitals, France, Italy, Europe etc. If you can prove yourself, you have the benefits of an established job. After all, very few get the opportunity to set trends.