Do you have a passion for fashion, and a knack for business too? You’re exactly the type of student a fashion merchandising school or employer is looking for!
The term “fashion merchandising” can be confusing, because it includes several steps in the process between the creation of a fashion item and when a customer actually brings the item home. There are several different careers within the role of a fashion merchandiser, depending on who you work for and what your job focus is. Depending on your interests, you could focus on manufacturing, selling, or buying fashion merchandise.
The merchandiser who works for a clothing manufacturer is often involved at least to some degree in the creation of the item, sometimes personalizing the fabric type, colors, or designs to better fit their clients. You may be responsible for getting fabrics from various marketplaces or suppliers and working with designers to make sure the products they create will actually sell. You might also promote them to buyers on behalf of, or in conjunction with, designers.
If you’re involved primarily with purchasing fashions (a job also sometimes called a fashion buyer), you have to have a good idea what types of items your company sells, what the demographics of your audience are, what’s popular with that audience right now (particularly in junior fashions), and what won’t sell. Sometimes, your job security or bonuses will depend on how well the items you purchase sell in the stores, so you might even be involved with creating attractive displays that highlight the items you purchased.
The necessity of having good fashion sense almost goes without saying. Fashion merchandising involves selling clothes to people who also care a lot about fashion, so you have to be able to think outside the conventional boundaries, but not too far outside them. If you can predict that professional women who shop at your store chain will be loving off-the-shoulder tops in a particular season but don’t want to wear them to work, then find a fashion style that’s very similar that is work-appropriate, you’ll do very well.
Business principles are still crucial to understand, however. Fashion merchandising involves budgeting properly so you can spend money on items and make money back, without too many unsold items being left over at the end of the season. If you’re working with a designer, you’ll need to help keep costs down and profits up for items, and if you’re working with a retail chain, your goals will be similar, but you will have a different budget to work with.
Taking courses in fashion merchandising can help you find a job after you graduate, and will make it much easier to perform your job. An accredited, reputable school can help you learn more about what fashion merchandising is, decide what sector you want to work in, and learn the job skills you need to succeed in fashion merchandising.
The industry of fashion, and thus fashion merchandising, is always changing. If you love fashion and business, you might just be the right kind of person to go with the flow and succeed at it!