What Does It Take to Be A Fashion Buyer?

Fashion buyers have to travel to different places frequently, pay attention to the latest fashion trend, purchase all sorts of clothes, hats, shoes, jewelry items and conduct business transactions with different commercial organizations and clothes suppliers. It is an occupation a large number of people want to have. What does it take to be a qualified buyer in clothing industry?

A majority of students majoring in costume design aim to become a designer after graduation; however, many of them realize that it is the fashion buyer that plays a crucial role in the research and development process of clothing products. It is an ideal occupation second only to costume designer to some extent.

First, buyers in fashion industry must possess a strong sense of fashion. This is the most fundamental prerequisite in being a qaulified buyer in clothing industry. Generally speaking, world reputable clothing brands have cultivated a large number of experienced fashion buyers who are able to create fashion trend for others to follow.

Second, buyers in clothing industry must have the ability to conduct accurate market analysis. People from different age groups pursue different styles of fashion items. People in western countries attach more favor to simple styled clothes while people from oriental countries tend to like colorful clothes more. Therefore, buyers are expected to be objective when conducting apparel merchandising.

Third, buyers should have the capability to predict correctly future fashion trend. Traveling to different parts of the world to visit world-class fashion weeks is a significant channel through which fashion buyers could be inspired to predict the next popular fashion trend. The fashion buyers of Zara will return relevant feedbacks to the headquarters of the company on a daily basis so that the company could adjust in time the styles of the clothing items to win a larger market share.

Fourth, buyers must possess desirable physical strength and mental endurance. This job looks like a decent occupation, but its actual workload is considerably enormous. Buyers usually have no choice but fly frequently to different places, select clothing items, conduct business negotiation and communicate with relevant parties. A majority of people working in this industry are generally under high pressure.

Sixth, fashion buyers are required to be able to comprehensively accommodate different aspects in the apparel merchandising process. Fashion buyers have to formulate some feasible strategies when conduct apparel merchandizing in order to lower the cost and maximize profits. Buyers are believed to play a decisive role in the profitability of fashion stores.

Those who attempt to become buyers in clothing industry could refer to the above mentioned information.

Fashion Buying

Fashion buyers forecast industry trends and transform them into effective business proposals. Careers in fashion buying are extremely popular and challenging.

As a fashion buyer, you need to know what trends sold in the past and what is likely to be popular in the future. It is advisable to keep yourself updated on the changes in trends. You need to have a thorough knowledge of what’s been happening with the fashion changes in the past as this will help you decide what’s needed in the future. In fact fashion buyers must work months in advance, so that the goods are ready when the season starts. It helps to have a formal degree in fashion buying. You can also opt for an internship with the major stores and established companies to gain sufficient experience.

Attend fashion shows and keep yourself updated on all the latest aspects of fashion. Make a meticulous research on the quick selling styles, fads and other trends in the past and the present. Also, be original, inventive, organized and be primed to take risks. Work on your communication and interpersonal skills, as you might have to take bold decisions.

A fashion buyer gets to know about the newest and hot trends before anybody else does. You get the privilege of setting trends and predict what the next hot thing will be. You get to travel globally and meet interesting people. You also get to order interesting items from the major fashion capitals of the world. On the whole fashion buying is a very thrilling career, after all very few get the opportunity to formulate and set trends.

Determinants of a Rewarding Fashion Buyer Salary

Nature of Work

Salary of a fashion largely depends on the nature of work. Opening a fashion outlet or a boutique gives a low start, but; ensures higher returns in the long term depending on the creativity and market sense of an individual. Obviously; working for a retail garment store, private fashion outlet or a fashion store adds up to the returns of a buyer, as it provides the required practical exposure and professional training.

Skills and Experience

A degree in fashion designing or fashion management is enough to start off the career of a fashion buyer. But, a good amount of relevant experience at a retail outlet or fashion outlet is always a must to get a high start in salary. Being analytical, logical, organized and strategic also increases the monetary gains of a fashion, as these skills determine the scale of business.

The creative spark present within a candidate makes him earn a large amount of money in the long run. That means, higher the creative ideas, higher the returns of a buyer. In addition to these elements, a high degree of self motivation is required to face the highs and lows of this hectic profession.

Knowledge of Market Trend

Understanding the past, present and future market and fashion trends is equally important for a fashion. Tapping the scope of innovation, launch of new fashion design, identification of new fashion apparel markets and timely elimination of the outdated fashion apparel makes up the market sense of a fashion buyer. More the fashion sense and knowledge of market trends, more the fashion buyer salary.

How To Get Your Fashion Designs in Boutiques: The Inside Scoop From a Fashion Buyer!

Getting your fashion designs in stores can give you major credibility, exposure and prestige! Retail stores have large customer bases, lots of foot traffic, and well-marketed online sites that can really help to launch your brand!

For new designers, I recommend that you focus on getting your designs sold in small boutiques before trying to get into department stores to gain exposure and to learn the ropes. Small boutiques are usually more flexible for new designers and you can use the exposure in their store to help build up press about your brand.

Trend & Lifestyle
Do your designs cater to the stores target demographic? Do your designs fit into the lifestyle of the consumer? Does your product work with what is fashionable/ on trend in their stores? Make sure that you visit stores to make sure your brand makes sense there before setting up meetings with Fashion Buyers. You don’t want to waste a ton of time trying to sell your hipster clothing line to a store, only to realize that they focus on purchasing wear-to-work clothing for businesswomen.

Price Range
Do you understand what customers are willing to pay for your product? How much are customers paying right now for similar products? Have you done your research? Stores have to be able to make a profit and you need to make sure you have priced your designs for you to make a profit before even meeting with any buyers. In a tough economy, Buyers are playing it safe when it comes to price, so this can make or break you.

Hanger Appeal
Does your product sell itself just by being on a hanger or is it tricky and only looks good when a customer tries it on? Your product must function and look fabulous with no explanation/convincing from sales people. Product needs to have hanger appeal that will convince buyers that customers will see your product in their stores and will just have to buy it on the spot!

Distribution
Fashion Buyers will want to know who else you sell your designs to. Are you established in other stores, like small boutiques or do have a big online following? Will your designs be exclusive to their store or is it the same product that you are selling in other stores?

Delivery
You have to be able to ship your product on the agreed date. You cannot be late. Trust me, you don’t want to be late…it can become a very, very expensive mistake! If you are late on shipping your product, a buyer might decide to just cancel their order all together, which can potentially put you out of business if it’s a big order because you’ve already spent the money to make the product and now you have nowhere to sent it. Also, how often will you ship new collections? Generally, most brands ship new designs monthly, some ship new product twice a month.

Are you Ready?
Fashion Buyers want to make sure you are really ready to be in business. Their stores credibility is at stake if something goes wrong with your product (such as quality issues, late shipments, etc). Stores are taking a risk by doing business with you and do not want to be let down if you can’t deliver on your agreements.

Next Steps
If Fashion Buyers are excited about your line and you meet all of the applicable criteria that I mentioned in the post, they may want to give you an order. Buyers may want to “test” or try your product in 1 of their stores or in a handful of their stores. You will sell the product to them at a cost price (set by you) and you and the buyer will work out the rest of the details from there.

It can be a difficult for a brand new designer to launch their designs in well-known stores because of the lack of credibility and selling history as a newbie. This is why I recommend that new designers start out trying to sell to small boutiques. You can start out with a small order, as a test and hopefully grow from there.

Some new designers may decide to start out by doing consignment with small boutiques. Selling on consignment basically means that your designs will be put up for sale in the store and you will only get paid for what sells. Just be aware that this concept works to the stores advantage, not yours (there is basically no risk for the store if the product doesn’t sell). You will have to take back what doesn’t sell (or you can try sell it to the store at a discounted price).