Have you always wondered what a Fashion Buyer does?  Maybe you have some idea, but not sure?  Have you thought about a career as a Fashion Buyer?  Well, let’s take a look at what it takes to land a position as a fashion Buyer.


If you’re passionate about fashion but more interested in the business side than the design side, then chances are you’ve already started researching different merchandising roles and wondering whether becoming a fashion buyer might be right for you.

What exactly is a fashion buyer?

A fashion buyer is a person who makes purchasing decisions for a clothing retailer. “A buyer is someone who goes to market.”  What does that actually mean? In short, it means that buyers handpick the styles that end up in clothing stores.  They go through and pick the pieces for the season based on past sales history and upcoming trends.  The best part of the role: being able to showcase the unique aspects of the brand you work for and demonstrate how you’re making a difference to consumers.

What kind of skills do you need in order to be a fashion buyer?

Although many people think that being a buyer means spending time in the company’s fashion closet, the position actually requires a lot of analytical skills and business savvy.  It’s about looking at the sales, looking at what worked in past seasons, what didn’t work and also taking into consideration designers’ vision for how they see the upcoming season.  In order to analyze sales numbers and quantify trends, buyers need to be analytical and able to think on their feet. For example, if there is a specific trend that they select is not selling well, they have to be able to adjust their strategy mid-season while also trying to find ways to boost sales.

adult beautiful elegant eyewear

How can college students and recent grads break into the fashion industry?

Internships are the most important thing.  In fact, they’re far more important than your college major.  The key was finding an internship that would get you exposed to the buyers world.  Be a sponge, soaking up everything everybody says in a meeting, and that’s how you learn. Maintaining those contacts is important because the fashion world is tiny and everybody knows each other and can connect you in some way, it’s important to build a professional network while you’re still in school or interning

A final piece of advice for getting into the fashion industry (or any industry) is this: Be passionate.  Be out there searching for an internship and connections, your drive and passion will help you stand out from the pack and potentially land a great job.


If you want to work as a retail buyer, the skills employers look for include:

Good analytical skills.


The ability to recognize future trends.

Excellent commercial awareness.

Communication skills.

Confidence and presentation skills.

Ability to make decisions under pressure.

Negotiation skills.

By Sofia Davis and Photo Credit:  Pixel

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