Careers in Fashion Merchandising
Contrary to popular notion, a career in fashion industry isn't limited to designing apparel and accessories. it's much more than that. The fashion business is like a well oiled machinery and like all other industry it's dependent on strong marketing and logistics. Most people see only the glitz and glamor of fashion week with the focus on haute couture and ready-to-wear apparel. But being a fashion designer isn't the only career field open in the fashion industry. If you're keen on the business end of fashion, then becoming a fashion merchandiser is one of the options open to you. Fashion merchandising entails prediction and analysing of upcoming trends, sourcing the best and latest designs and materials, determining the price of clothing and taking stock of store inventory. In addition to these, a fashion merchandiser also has to come up with marketing and advertising ideas to push a particular trend, take care of window displays in large retail stores, go to fashion shows as buyers and to track upcoming trends and to predict the next big thing in fashion. If you want to become a fashion merchandiser then you should be aware of the different fields in fashion merchandising. Here is an in-depth insight into the different careers in fashion merchandising.
Fashion Merchandising Careers
- 4 years Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- Additional certificate in Merchandise Planning and Public Relations is a bonus
One of the most important branches of fashion merchandising is that of a fashion buyer. A fashion buyer typically works for a fashion house, design house or a retail company that sells clothes and other fashion accessories. A fashion buyer has to predict which fashion trends will sell and purchase apparel accordingly. The job of a fashion buyer is to source apparel that aren't only in fashion but also which will fly off the shelves. They've to find the right clothes for the targeted market segment at a price that guarantees maximum profit. They've to liaison with clothing suppliers, order enough merchandise for store(s) and keep a track of the inventory. To become a successful fashion buyer, you need to be able to forecast fashion trends well in advance of each season. it's a very interesting job profile and is suitable for people who have a savvy business sense as well as the ability to forecast future trends in fashion from current fashion scene.
Marketing mix is a concept proposed in the 1960s by marketer, E. Jerome McCarthy and has been widely used by marketers since then. Marketing mix is nothing but a set of tools used by the marketer to rope in as many customers as possible, so as to gain maximum profits. This marketing mix comprises four components namely; Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These four components are popularly known as the 4P's of marketing mix. A marketer has to use a combination of these 4P's to develop a profit-yielding strategy. The problem is, there's no standard proportion. You have to work with different permutations and combinations of the 4P's and find out what works for your product. To understand the 4P's better, let's have a look at a fishing analogy.
Marketing Mix: An Analogy (Fishing)
In this analogy we are comparing the marketer to the man and the customer to the fish in the picture. However, it's important to remember this is just an analogy used to help comprehend the subject better and should not be taken literally. We do not intend to make fun of either the marketer or the customer. In the analogy the customer (fish) looks like he is being lured into a trap, however, this is not true in reality. 'Customer is the King' and every marketer has to consider the customer's needs, wants and desires before designing a product. This analogy just helps understand the 4P's better, which is why it has been used.
Is Your Product Attractive Enough?Product
Without a bait, don't ever dream of catching fish. Product is similar to the bait that is dangled towards the customer. Just like how the bait draws the fish towards itself, the product draws customers towards it. Product is not necessarily an item for sale, but can also be services, ideas,...
- Average salary of $55,000
- Highest salary $110,000
- A 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Visual Merchandising
- Certificate courses on Retail Marketing and Sales would be beneficial
To increase foot traffic in high-end stores, boutiques and retail stores, the display of the store should be such that it entices people to walk in and purchase clothes. Consumers need to be wooed inside to make a purchase and for that the store displays should be eye-catching and creative. This is where a visual merchandiser does his work. A visual merchandiser is responsible for creating and conceptualizing the window and store displays of a boutique or store. Whether it's a high-end fashion boutique or a high street store, a visual merchandiser comes up with fresh ideas for merchandise displays that'll encourage customers to purchase from the store. it's also the duty of a visual merchandiser to come up with unique concepts for store layout and displays as well as marketing strategies such as fashion events for promoting the store and increasing clients.
A motherboard is the most important central component of a PC (Personal Computer). It is a printed circuit board (PCB) and is the main connector to the other crucial components of a system. It is also referred to as a main board or system board and is known as the logic board in case of Apple computers. It is casually called the mobo. The components attached to the motherboard that are of significance for the normal running of the PC are the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), the memory, the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the graphics card, sound card, hard drives, disk drives and other external ports and peripherals.
Two of the largest manufacturers of CPU today are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel. They also manufacture their respective motherboards. Intel motherboard designs come in four primary sizes. The largest Intel motherboard series on the market is fabricated to host multiple Xeon server class chips, while the smallest Intel motherboard is has restricted its use to mobile CPU sockets and Netbook CPU sockets. The intermediate size groups that are ATX and Micro ATX are both used in desktop CPU sockets. Amongst these there are a few ATX motherboards and one Micro ATX Intel motherboard compatible with laptop CPU's. The larger the size of the motherboard the larger the number of features it can accommodate.
Memory is one such feature which gains increasing significance as the sales of 64-bit CPU's and 64-bit software is constantly growing. 64-bit CPU's give ample space for accommodating vast system memory. This system memory is placed on the motherboard using memory sockets that can be plugged into the motherboards. Most Intel mobo designs feature dual or triple channel memory configurations. Memory sockets are found in pairs or trios.
- $30,723-$47,846 for 1-4 years of experience
- $49,480-$60,000 for 5-9 years of experience
- 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- Additional certificate courses in Sales and Merchandise Planning will help in furthering your career growth
Another lucrative and fulfilling careers in fashion merchandising is that of a retail merchandiser. A retail merchandiser works in conjunction with fashion buyers to decide which apparels and accessories should be stocked. In what quantities. A retail merchandiser has to make sure that the right products (that's products that are forecast to be trendy and hot selling) are displayed in the store and adequate quantities of products are stocked. This is to make sure that a prospective customer doesn't walk out of the store without making a purchase because the product wasn't available. Retail merchandisers generally work in large clothing retail stores, high street stores and multi designer stores. To become a successful retail merchandiser, a person has to have a good knowledge of fashion as well as understanding about customers buying patterns. Proper understanding of the market and what the target segment of the market wants is essential to become a successful retail merchandiser.
- $31,000-$53,000 for 1-4 years of experience
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- 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
- 2 years Master’s degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising to further career
One of the most creative fields in fashion merchandising is that of a fashion coordinator. A fashion coordinator works in a fashion house or a publication house to create a particular look for a fashion show or fashion magazine spread. The best part of becoming a fashion coordinator is that you can work in different fields of the fashion industry, from publication houses, boutiques to fashion houses. The role of a fashion coordinator is to promote, market and coordinate different events that are related to fashion. He not only has to communicate with the designers to evaluate whether the new line that they're coming up with is trendy and will be successful. He also has to coordinate and liaison the different members of the fashion industry from the fashion designer, buyer and supplier. In addition to this a fashion coordinator has to be knowledgeable about the latest trends in fashion and should've creative vision.
- Average salary is between $48,000-$52,000
These were some of the careers in fashion merchandising that's open to you. If you want to work in the fashion industry, not as a designer but as someone who oversees the business end of it, then a fashion merchandising career is right for you. As with any field, to become successful, you need to work hard and have the right attitude. Although fashion merchandising involves working on the business end of fashion, having an eye for the latest trends, creative vision and a passion for style is essential.