Fashion Buyer Career Path

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Fashion Buyer Career Path

A fashion buyer is responsible for the purchase and assimilation of products, including garments, accessories, footwear, or homeware, into an established product range. The role of a fashion buyer also involves monitoring market trends and understanding the target customer to ensure new products are met with market approval. A fashion buyer also has the responsibility of negotiating prices and ensuring profit margins are maintained.

This career is a long-term commitment that requires hard work, determination, and attention to detail. You will need to have a strong background in fashion in order to succeed at this job. It’s not an easy journey, but it is definitely worth it in the end. This blog post will provide information on how to become a fashion buyer, what skills you need to succeed in this career, and the job prospects.

1. What Is a Fashion Buyer?

A fashion buyer is someone who works for a company and buys clothing for the company to sell. They are responsible for finding different brands of clothes and bringing them into the store. Once the items arrive, they must be kept in good condition until ready to be sold. If a customer decides to purchase one of the items, the buyer will work with different people to ensure that the clothes are sized correctly and look good on a model.

The buyer also has to make sure that there is enough inventory and not too much. Fashion buyers also have to figure out how much the items will cost and add a profit margin for the company that is selling them. Different companies sell different types of fashions such as clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup, etc.

2. What Does a Fashion Buyer Do?

A fashion buyer works for a company or department store. A fashion buyer is responsible for choosing clothing, accessories, shoes, etc., that will be sold by the store. They are in charge of finding who owns the rights to sell the items they want and making sure that all of the legal procedures are taken care of. There are many different companies that sell fashion items, including apparel, shoes, accessories, and makeup.

The fashion buyer has to make sure that there is not too much of the same item in one store. For example, if two stores are selling women’s clothing and they both have a large number of dresses, then it would be easy to confuse the customers. Companies need to find different items that will attract buyers because people do not want to shop in stores that are exactly the same.

3. What Do Fashion Buyers Wear?

Fashion buyers wear business casual clothing. This means they wear button-down shirts, blazers, dress pants, pantyhose with skirts, and loafers with socks. Some people choose to dress more fashionably by adding brightly colored scarves or stylish shoes to their outfits.

4. What Is a Typical Day Like for a Fashion Buyer?

A typical day as a fashion buyer includes meeting with business owners as well as other buyers from different stores to find new items that they will sell in the store. They also have to make sure that there are enough of each item and not too many, so it doesn’t look like a storage facility. They also have to make sure that all of the items are kept in good condition so they will still look nice when someone wants to buy them.

Fashion buyers also have to go through the current inventory of items that are being sold in the store and see what can be discontinued or changed. They have to check on models that will be wearing the new clothes they choose so they aren’t damaged when they get there.

Finally, they attend meetings with other managers from different stores, and they talk about how the company’s sales are doing and any new ideas that might make it better.

5. How Much Do Fashion Buyers Make?

A fashion buyer’s salary depends on the company they work for and how many years of experience they have. The average yearly salary is around $42,000-$82,000 a year. A person with four or more years of experience will make an average of $94,568 a year.

Fashion buyers also earn an average salary of $75,944 a year, and the pay range is between $52,000 and $105,000. Some jobs would require more education or experience than others will. A fashion buyer can also work for free for many years while they work their way up to being a buyer.

6. What Are the Requirements to Be a Fashion Buyer?

The requirements for being a fashion buyer include experience in retail or buying clothes. The companies that are hiring also want people who have graduated from college with degrees in business, merchandising, economics, etc. Some places will hire someone right out of school if they have good grades and some experience.

People can also get hired for a fashion buyer job if they worked in another area of the store and worked their way up to it. The company will train someone on what to do if this happens. For example, some buyers started out as cashiers or salespeople who were interested in clothes and retail stores.

Some companies will hire people with less experience if the buyer only wants to do it for a short period of time until they find something better. Usually, someone who is interested in fashion and retail would be good at this job because they understand what people want and how to sell items.

7. When Did Fashion Buyers Originate?

People have been buying and selling fashion items since the beginning of time. In Ancient Rome, people would buy items from merchants who traveled from far away countries to sell their goods. People also bought clothing from what we now call boutiques, where there were small shops that sold unique items made by local tailors or seamstresses.

Fashion buyers started in a more organized way when stores came into being. Sometimes, retailers would get an order for a certain number of items from a store because they liked what they saw and wanted to sell it there. Other times, people who own department stores would go out to different villages where people sold their handmade clothes and bought the ones they wanted. They would take them back to the store and sell them for a profit.

In the most recent years, fashion buyers have been going out to different places where they can find new items that will be useful in department stores. In earlier times, they went to local villages or into people’s homes. Now, they go to different countries and cities where they can find new items that will sell in retail stores.

8. What Are Other Names for Fashion Buyers?

Other titles for fashion buyers include “fashion merchandiser,” “fashion coordinator,” and “merchandise analyst.” Other people who have the same job are called “buying assistants” or “assistant buyers.”

9. What Skills Do I Need to Become a Fashion Buyer?

Some of the skills do you need to become a fashion buyer include:

  • Quick thinking- You have to make quick decisions because you might only have a few minutes to decide if you want an item or not.
  • Great communication skills– You have to be able to sell the item to stores, and they need to want it. If you can’t communicate what you find in a fashionably way, then no one will buy it from you or from the company.
  • Strong math skills- In order to calculate how much money you are going for each item, your math skills have to be strong.
  • Strong negotiation skills- You have to be able to get the best price for each item that you are selling.
  • People skills- You have to be able to work with others, even if they are your employees or department stores.
  • Creativity- When you go out on buying trips, you have to bring back items that people will want to buy. You do this by finding new places to shop and looking for vintage items that people may like.
  • Time management skills- You need to know how to organize your time when you are on buying trips because you will be busy all the time.
  • Computer skills- If the company uses computer programs, then you’ll need to know how to use them so you can enter the information for each item.

10. What Are the Educational Requirements of a Fashion Buyer?

There aren’t any real requirements for becoming a fashion buyer. You can do this job with just a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However, you might need some work experience before getting hired. For example, if the company only wants to hire people when they are in between jobs, then you would need to have had some sort of retail or fashion experience before you could get the job.

11. What Is a Job Outlook for a Fashion Buyer?

The job outlook for a fashion buyer is that it will be in demand in the years to come. More and more people are buying new clothes instead of making them themselves. They also like to dress up in unique things when they go out, so this industry will continue to make sure there are enough items for everyone who wants them.

The job outlook overall is good if you are in the United States. The occupation is seeing growth in employment of about 14%, which means that the number of job openings will be increasing very fast for this particular career path.

12. What Are the Best Colleges and Courses to Become a Fashion Buyer?

If you want to become a fashion buyer, then you will most likely need to go to college. However, there is not a set course that you have to take in order for this career path. The best thing would be if you took general courses such as English and math because these are the ones that will help you when it comes time to negotiate prices and communicate with others. You also might want to take classes in retail or fashion merchandising for this particular career path.

Some of the best colleges you can refer to:

  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Delaware
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Parsons School of Design
  • SUNY New Paltz

Some of the best courses you can refer to:

  • Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
  • Apparel Production Techniques and Management
  • Retail Buying and Merchandising
  • Fashion Design Fundamentals
  • Senior Seminar in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
  • Accounting for Fashion Industry
  • Brand Management

13. What Are the Top Recruiting Companies for a Fashion Buyer?

Some of the top recruiting companies for a fashion buyer are:

Kohl’s Department Stores- Kohl’s is one of the top department store chains in the United States. It has over 1,000 stores stateside and hires thousands of people every year. The company offers opportunities in almost every department, including management, design, marketing, and buying.

TJX Companies- TJX operates over 3,500 stores worldwide, which means that they are always looking for new people. The company is actually the parent company of stores such as T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and A.J.Ourfalian in the United States and Winners in Canada, just to name a few.

The Children’s Place- This specialty retailer has over 1,000 locations nationwide. The company specializes in apparel for children who are up to the age of 12. People who work there usually don’t stay for more than five years because they can move up very fast with this particular retailer.

14. Online Courses to Study Fashion Retailing

Online courses are another great way to learn more about fashion retailing. Here are some of the best online courses to study fashion retailing:

Become a Fashion Buyer Learn the Essentials by Udemy

This is an eight-hour course on fashion retailing. It teaches you how to work as a buyer and what steps you need to make in order for it to happen, like learning about your target audience, competitors, and more.

Apply Now

Basic Fashion Illustration by Udemy

This course teaches you the basics of fashion illustration. Fashion illustrators make sketches of clothing and accessories before they are made to help customers know what they will look like after they are created.

Apply Now

Transforming the Fashion Business Specialization by Coursera

This course is part of a specialization that you get when you sign up. It takes four courses to complete this specialization, and each one teaches you about different aspects of the fashion business, like merchandising production and more.

Apply Now


The fashion buyer career path is a long-term, in-depth, and ever-changing process. You should be prepared for all of the ups and downs that come with this job because it can sometimes feel like you are riding on an emotional rollercoaster. The good news is there are many opportunities to learn from other people who have experienced similar struggles as well as marketing techniques that will help bring more success your way! Good luck on your journey!

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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