Search
Work as a Fashion Buyer

Work as a Fashion Buyer

When you were a child, a family member probably decided which clothes you would wear every day. In a roundabout way, professional fashion buyers do the same thing, though on a larger, more complicated scale.

Let's say you need to buy a new shirt. All you have to do is go down to the nearest department store or apparel shop. But did you ever wonder how the dozens or even hundreds of available shirts ended up at the store in the first place? And who decided which shirts would be sold at that store and which ones wouldn't? Chances are it was a fashion buyer, indirectly determining your wardrobe.

The Job

Fashion buyers typically work for department stores, retail chains, independently owned stores or wholesale distributors. Their jobs might seem easy; after all, what's not to like about buying apparel with someone else's money, to the tune of thousands or even millions of dollars?

But fashion buying goes far beyond the clothes themselves. And if you're not willing to work hard, you just won't make it in this field. Indeed, the key skills and traits you'll need to succeed aren't generally associated with apparel, and they're not typically mentioned in the more glamorous descriptions of fashion buying, says Connie Passarella, director of career services at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

"You must be highly analytical, have a strong working knowledge of computers and have the ability to work under pressure," says Passarella. As a fashion buyer, you're responsible for:

  • The Past: You need to understand how certain items have sold in previous years to predict how similar items might sell.
  • The Present: You must be in constant contact with the retail staffers who are actually selling the apparel you've purchased to determine if it's moving. You also have to continuously analyze complex sales reports to see if your company should buy more of a particular item or sell it to customers at a higher or lower price.
  • The Future: In many ways, you're a fortune-teller. Using your knowledge of industry trends and forecasts, you have to predict two or even three years out which apparel and accessories will sell and at what price. So you need "to continually stay educated on the industry and trends by reading as many of the top fashion and industry publications as possible and attending various fashion events," says Todd Kellogg, senior buyer for Beach Bums, a clothing and accessories retailer with nine California locations.

Breaking In

A bachelor's degree is generally the minimum educational requirement for a career in fashion buying, where salaries generally begin in the mid-$30,000 range but "can reach the $100,000 range with ease," Passarella says. Prospective employers won't be too particular about your major, she adds, but if you have a general idea of how the fashion industry works, you'll be "in a better position than those who have never dealt with any segment of the industry."

One avenue you'll definitely want to pursue is the executive training program. Many retailers, particularly larger ones, offer these programs, which will help you work your way up to a buying position over several years. The executive training program at national retailer Neiman Marcus, for instance, prepares participants for jobs as assistant buyers and, ultimately, buyers for the company.

But perhaps the best place to start is with a sales associate job at that store where you bought your new shirt. "It's not a requirement, but companies like to see retail experience on an individual's resume" Passarella says. "That way, they know you have a basic understanding of the selling floor."

Latest Jobs

Parker and Lynch
Posted: 04/17/2014
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 04/17/2014
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 04/17/2014
Deerfield, IL, 60015
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 04/17/2014
Deerfield, IL, 60015
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 04/17/2014
Houston, TX, 77079

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.1.40.6-313
eTrustLogo