Fashion Buyer

Fashion is a trend that comes and goes and good fashion buyers are able to predict or force the next trend or fashion.   To do this, fashion buyers need to be artistic, fashion-conscious, imaginative, creative, have excellent business sense, be self-assured, perceptive and possess sound judgement.


A fashion buyer is responsible for selecting merchandise, planning the long-term buying strategy and negotiating contractual terms with suppliers. Mistakes can cost a company a great deal of money if the purchased goods remain on the shelves because no one wants to buy them or they are out-of-date. Prediction about sizes and colours are also often vital so fashion buyers need to have a very good idea of what the local market needs and wants.

Fashion buyers interpret the trends of seasonal fashion by being in constant contact with the market. The selection of styles is done to conform with planned assortment requirements, unit and size breakdown requirements, quality and finish. Fashion buyers must understand the market and contribute to the overall buying strategy in financial, styling and distribution terms. They contribute to merchandise distribution plans and assist in budget formulation.

The working conditions are usually hectic as time is very often essential when planning a new sales strategy and delivery deadlines have to be met but it is an exciting career for an enterprising person. Fashion buyers usually work in friendly office environments and they can travel a lot to attend fashion shows and to keep abreast of new trends. Successful buyers are in great demand by the clothing industry.


Personal Requirements

  • creative and imaginative
  • perceptive and objective
  • interest in fashion and the market
  • negotiating skills and sound judgement
  • prepared to take risks
  • self-assured, persuasive
  • planning and organisational abilities
  • physical and mental stamina
  • show good taste
  • good business sense


Employment

  • department stores
  • retail firms
  • self-employment, with the necessary experience and capital, can start own business, for example a boutique


Getting Started

  • try to obtain part-time or vacation work in a clothing retail shop
  • make an appointment to speak to a fashion buyer in a clothing chain store about this type of career.


Programmes

Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to taryn@boston.co.za and a Student Advisor will call you back.


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