Contrary to popular notion, a career in fashion industry is not limited to designing apparel and accessories. It is much more than that. The fashion business is like a well oiled machinery and like all other industry it is dependent on strong marketing and logistics. Most people see only the glitz and glamor of fashion week with the focus on haute couture and ready-to-wear apparel. But being a fashion designer is not the only career field open in the fashion industry. If you are keen on the business end of fashion, then becoming a fashion merchandiser is one of the options open to you. Fashion merchandising entails prediction and analyzing of upcoming trends, sourcing the best and latest designs and materials, determining the price of clothing and taking stock of store inventory. In addition to these, a fashion merchandiser also has to come up with marketing and advertising ideas to push a particular trend, take care of window displays in large retail stores, go to fashion shows as buyers and to track upcoming trends and to predict the next big thing in fashion. If you want to become a fashion merchandiser then you should be aware of the different fields in fashion merchandising. Here is an in-depth insight into the different careers in fashion merchandising.
Fashion Merchandising Careers
- 4 years Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- Additional certificate in Merchandise Planning and Public Relations is a bonus
One of the most important branches of fashion merchandising is that of a . A fashion buyer typically works for a fashion house, design house or a retail company that sells clothes and other fashion accessories. A fashion buyer has to predict which fashion trends will sell and purchase apparel accordingly. The job of a fashion buyer is to source apparel that are not only in fashion but also which will fly off the shelves. They have to find the right clothes for the targeted market segment at a price that guarantees maximum profit. They have to liaison with clothing suppliers, order enough merchandise for store(s) and keep a track of the inventory. To become a successful fashion buyer, you need to be able to forecast fashion trends well in advance of each season. It is a very interesting job profile and is suitable for people who have a savvy business sense as well as the ability to forecast future trends in fashion from current fashion scene.
- Average salary of $55,000
- Highest salary $110,000
- A 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Visual Merchandising
- Certificate courses on Retail Marketing and Sales would be beneficial
To increase foot traffic in high-end stores, boutiques and retail stores, the display of the store should be such that it entices people to walk in and purchase clothes. Consumers need to be wooed inside to make a purchase and for that the store displays should be eye-catching and creative. This is where a visual merchandiser does his work. A visual merchandiser is responsible for creating and conceptualizing the window and store displays of a boutique or store. Whether it is a high-end fashion boutique or a high street store, a visual merchandiser comes up with fresh ideas for merchandise displays that will encourage customers to purchase from the store. It is also the duty of a visual merchandiser to come up with unique concepts for store layout and displays as well as marketing strategies such as fashion events for promoting the store and increasing clients.
- $30,723-$47,846 for 1-4 years of experience
- $49,480-$60,000 for 5-9 years of experience
- 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- Additional certificate courses in Sales and Merchandise Planning will help in furthering your career growth
Another lucrative and fulfilling careers in is that of a retail merchandiser. A retail merchandiser works in conjunction with fashion buyers to decide which apparels and accessories should be stocked, and in what quantities. A retail merchandiser has to make sure that the right products (that is products that are forecast to be trendy and hot selling) are displayed in the store and adequate quantities of products are stocked. This is to make sure that a prospective customer does not walk out of the store without making a purchase because the product was not available. Retail merchandisers generally work in large clothing retail stores, high street stores and multi designer stores. To become a successful retail merchandiser, a person has to have a good knowledge of fashion as well as understanding about customers buying patterns. Proper understanding of the market and what the target segment of the market wants is essential to become a successful retail merchandiser.
- $31,000-$53,000 for 1-4 years of experience
- 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- 2 years Master’s degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising to further career
One of the most creative fields in fashion merchandising is that of a fashion coordinator. A fashion coordinator works in a fashion house or a publication house to create a particular look for a fashion show or fashion magazine spread. The best part of becoming a fashion coordinator is that you can work in different fields of the fashion industry, from publication houses, boutiques to fashion houses. The role of a is to promote, market and coordinate different events that are related to fashion. He not only has to communicate with the designers to evaluate whether the new line that they are coming up with is trendy and will be successful. He also has to coordinate and liaison the different members of the fashion industry from the fashion designer, buyer and supplier. In addition to this a fashion coordinator has to be knowledgeable about the latest trends in fashion and should have creative vision.
- Average salary is between $48,000-$52,000
These were some of the careers in fashion merchandising that is open to you. If you want to work in the fashion industry, not as a designer but as someone who oversees the business end of it, then a fashion merchandising career is right for you. As with any field, to become successful, you need to work hard and have the right attitude. Although fashion merchandising involves working on the business end of fashion, having an eye for the latest trends, creative vision and a passion for style is essential.