So You Want to Become a Fashion Buyer?

 Apart from buying clothes, a fashion buyer is responsible for buying all kinds of other fashion related items such as shoes and accessories. Fashion buyers purchase clothing and related products for retail and wholesale outlets.

What does it take to become a fashion buyer?

Fashion needs to be your first love

It goes without saying that you have to love, and that means LOVE, clothing and fashion.

You need to be creative

In addition to being creative, a flair for design and colour is also critical in this career. You also need to be well organised and analytical.

You need to possess excellent people skills

As a fashion buyer, you will meet with a lot of different people such as suppliers and sales reps, but also store managers and staff, so people and communication skills are essential.

You need to have retail experience

Anybody considering becoming a fashion buyer needs to have retail experience in the area where you would like to become a buyer. You need to have a keen eye for what's popular and be observant and interested in what buyers bring into the stores.

What does a fashion buyer's job entail?

Research is a big part of the job

Fashion buyers are responsible for doing research and use their intuition when it comes to the styles, colours and patterns that will be on-trend in the upcoming season. They are the decision makers when it comes to what will be sold in the shops during the next season.

Make sure it's profitable

Fashion buyers need to keep the clients' needs, global trends as well as prices and suppliers in mind when formulating their buying plan. They are responsible for the profits the stores make or don't make. Fashion buying is far from a 'fun shopping spree' as companies' budgets do have limitations.

Visit trade shows

To purchase clothingPandabuy APP, fashion buyers meet many different sales representatives and attend trade shows at least twice a year where clothing manufacturers have stands showcasing the styles that will be trending the following year. During fashion and trade shows, buyers take pictures and notes, after which they work out purchasing strategies before making their decisions. Other factors that are part of the decision making process are availability, supplier reliability, selection and price.

Displays and decor

When it comes to in-store clothing displays, decisions about decor, lighting, signage and fixtures are also part of the buyers' responsibilities. In addition, they are responsible for briefing store managers as well as sales staff about the upcoming fashion trends in order to maximise sales.

Stock management and inventory tracking

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A big part of a buyers' set of responsibilities is stock management and inventory tracking. Sales in different stores need to be closely monitored so that fashion merchandise that doesn't sell very well in one store can be sent to another store where it may sell better.

Regular 40-hour work weeks

While fashion buyers do work weekends and evenings to attend fashion shows or meetings, they generally work a standard 45PrWcWBvSAXGj8bD2EAcwLJEf6Bkfw9Y1EknVsZCggqiNixWMwTX9HNJQ24FVfuLa4t8eXt1HPA1iUitADJLCoS5ua3WQRmeeting with sales reps and store managers.

Lisof offers fashion related course programmes that are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority's and National Qualifications Framework and accredited by the Council of Higher Education. We also offer higher certificates as well as degrees and diplomas in a wide variety of aspects of the fashion industry such as fashion design, fashion buying, garment construction and pattern making.

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