Top Tips on Becoming a Fashion Buyer

March 27, 2020 212 min reading

The fashion industry is a very competitive one; many people aspire to work across the various roles that the fashion sector offers. At Whispering Smith, we pride ourselves on being able to supply the latest fashion to some of the best retailers across the country. Wholesale clothing suppliers are a key part of the chain in the fashion industry, helping high street retailers and online boutiques to create unique collections and build a brand.

Breaking into the fashion industry can be difficult, particularly in roles across buying and merchandising. How can you stand out from the crowd and bag your dream career as a fashion buyer?

While you may require a degree in retail or business, there are many different avenues to explore in finding a job in fashion. Look for work experience or retail training, as well as potential apprenticeships in the industry; anything that can help you to demonstrate key skills that are usually required of a fashion buyer.

Tip 1: Understand the world around you

It’s important to be clued up on the world around you for many different careers, including fashion buying. Fashion can be heavily influenced by a number of external factors and the happenings in other industries, including the financial market, pop culture and technology.

As a fashion buyer, it’s important that you’re able to take on this information and respond accordingly. What’s happening in the world may influence your buying decisions, help you understand consumer behaviour and essentially ensure you can plan your stock.

Tip 2: Stay up to date with trends

This may sound like a very obvious tip, especially if you are already interested in the fashion trends. It’s crucial to know not only what’s on trend now, but what trends are likely to emerge in the upcoming seasons. You should also gain an understanding of consumer attitudes and buying behaviour; what is popular and when?

Spend time communicating with your peers in the fashion industry; or reach out to people working in buying roles and spark up a conversation. Industry publications can also be incredibly insightful in giving you a current picture of the fashion industry, across both menswear and womenswear.

Consider looking into more modern aspects of the fashion industry; for instance, how do influencers impact the market? How do fashion brands engage with their customers on social media, and what do customers respond well to? This can give you valuable information in building a bigger picture of the fashion landscape.

Tip 3: Show you can collaborate effectively

As a fashion buyer, you aren’t a one-man show. It’s likely that your role will include brainstorming, meetings and working across different teams to bring projects to fruition. Collaboration is key, as it is in many other industries.

Being able to demonstrate that you’re able to listen and absorb other people’s ideas, as well as providing your own input, can make a big difference. It can show that you’ve had experience in working as a team and being able to bounce ideas, cooperating effectively to meet your goals.

Tip 4: Be adaptable

Much of the fashion industry today operates online and as a whole it has become incredibly fast-paced. Being able to demonstrate flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances is crucial. As a fashion buyer, you will need to move with the trends quickly and ensure you’re buying exactly what your customers want.

If you’ve worked in a fast-paced environment before, or you can show skills in adapting to changing situations, this may give you an edge when applying to be a fashion buyer.

Tip 5: Be analytical as well as creative

Being a fashion buyer isn’t just about looking at nice clothes and deciding which to stock. While there is definitely creativity involved, fashion buyers are also expected to have analytical skills. So much of the decision making in a buyer role is driven by data; being able to analyse your past choices to determine your future ones.

Reacting to and forecasting the market trends can be a huge part of the job, and helps you to make the right buying decisions in order to drive success for the brand.

The author of this article is Anna Marianna White

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