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Landon Diaz
Landon Diaz

Assistant Buyer In Fashion Jobs

Explore Buying Jobs within fashion today from a selection of roles on BoF Careers. Ranging from internship level to kickstart your career all the way up to senior management roles, BoF Careers will be able to help you find your next fashion buyer role.

assistant buyer in fashion jobs

We are looking for a passionate assistant buyer to support our purchasing department with the selection and procurement of products. The assistant buyer's responsibilities include maintaining positive vendor relations, preparing retail and pricing strategies, placing and tracking purchase orders, managing inventory and keeping track of market trends.

To be successful as an assistant buyer, you should be confident, highly organized and an excellent communicator. An outstanding assistant buyer has an analytical mind and excellent negotiating skills.

In the retail industry, a buyer is an individual who selects what items are stocked and their key responsibility is dealing with all the products that come into the store. Buyers usually work closely with designers and their designated sales representatives and attend trade fairs, wholesale showrooms and fashion shows to observe trends. They are employed by large department stores, chain stores or smaller boutiques. For smaller independent stores, a buyer may participate in sales as well as promotion, whereas in a major fashion store there may be different levels of seniority such as trainee buyers, assistant buyers, senior buyers and buying managers, and buying directors.[1] Decisions about what to stock can greatly affect fashion businesses.

For buyers at department stores like Harrods or Saks, responsibilities may include ensuring that the store is properly stocked with a wide variety of designer clothing. However, if they support a fashion brand such as Tommy Hilfiger, they may be responsible for directing the entire product development process and then managing the delivery of the products. Their role is also heavily influenced by the structure of their organization; for example, a Christian Dior buyer in the Paris office may supervise the entire development process of the collection. However, in the New York office, a buyer may only source completed product that is suitable for the American market.[2]

The role of a buyer is influenced by the type of retail and business. A buyer is required to possess visual creativity, analytical skills, negotiation skills, business acumen, and a keen awareness of fashion. Retail businesses are generally classified as manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. These organizations vary in the scope of their activities and their range of responsibilities within their particular segment of the market.[2]

According to The Role of the Fashion Buyer,[clarification needed] buyers typically specialize in one type of merchandise such as women's dresses. However, in a smaller retailer a buyer may buy for a larger, less specialized range such as women's casualwear which may include shirts, skirts, pants, and jackets. The larger the retailer, the more specific the product area is for a buyer. Large companies that have a broad range of products often have separate buying departments for menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear. A buyer at a smaller retailer may buy name brand products while a large company buyer may have the opportunity to be involved in the design and development of the products. A buyer with experience will travel to learn new fashion trends and to visit clothing suppliers.[1]

According to Peter Vogt, buyers predict months and in some cases years in advance what accessories and apparel will sell, and at what prices. The buyers need to stay current with the fashion industry.[3] Depending on the item and season, buyers purchase merchandise six months before it sold in stores.[4] Therefore, they must be able to anticipate fashion trends and consumer needs. In order for buyers to anticipate future trends, they familiarize themselves with current merchandise in catalogs and line sheets[5] and travel to seasonal fashion weeks[6] and shows to view new styles. Companies such as Zara have drastically shortened the buying and production time lines.[7] It is also necessary for a buyer to know his/her customers. They can achieve this by viewing sales records and by spending time on the selling floors.

Fashion buyers interact frequently with other departments within the company to get advice. It is important to have a large fashion range and to achieve that requires team effort. Buyers coordinate and discuss ideas with the merchandising, marketing, and quality control departments. The internal departments are dependent of one another and they need to work together if the company is to be successful.[1]

A bachelor's degree in retail, buy, marketing, fashion, business, or related field is preferred for a buyer position. One's major does not necessarily matter if the person is familiar with the fashion industry. It is beneficial if one has retail experience such as the executive training program or a previous sales associate position since it is helpful to have an understanding of the selling floor. The executive training program is sometimes offered by larger retailers and it prepares participants for jobs as assistant buyers and eventually buyers for the company.[8]

Advancement in a company depends mainly on performance. Therefore, an assistant buyer can easily work their way up to senior buyer within three to five years. Higher levels of management in a company usually require a graduate degree in business.

Anyone who loves fashion has often wished that their favourite department store, dress boutique or online shop had more options from a particular designer, or better sizing, or something a little more on-trend. As a fashion buyer, you could be in charge of all those decisions, curating the perfect collection of clothing and accessories for your customers.

Only 26.7% of US workers with a degree have additional certifications, and only 12.7% of nondegree workers have them, so continuing education can set you apart from your competitors for roles at the best companies. The added credentials in your field can also help you land fashion buyer jobs with more responsibility and a higher salary.

Above all, show your passion and dedication to the world of fashion and sharing that joy with your customer base. Fashion buyers have a complex and labour-intensive job, so your new bosses will want to be sure that you have enough enthusiasm for the role to stay focused and productive.

In this new episode of The Glam Observer Podcast,we talk about one of the most requested careers in fashion: the role of the buyer. I asked Calypso Barnum-Bobb who is Assistant Buyer at Asos, to join me for the episode and talk about this exciting and interesting role. She was Assistant Buyer at Topshop, then Buyer Admin Assistant and then Assistant Buyer Concessions before getting her job at Asos where she works in the sneakers department with brands such as Nike and Converse, I asked her to explain the difference between all these buying jobs, what is the first job for buyers, how deep your knowledge on numbers and excel is requested during the application of a buying job or internship. We also talked about her work travels and what she likes the most about her job and working in London.

Examples of an assistant buyer's responsibilities include shopping for potentially popular items and building vendor relationships. Assistant buyer positions may require a college degree, but experience in retail is always a plus. An assistant buyer might be promoted to head buyer, and from there, a purchasing manager, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

Head buyers make important decisions for buying offices based on market trends, as explained by the Lucie Jordan Buying Office. Since buying managers are busy juggling many duties, a key responsibility in the assistant buyer's job description is staying abreast of fashion or market trends.

An assistant buyer helps organize trips necessary to see new retail items and purchase them to sell. Certain industries, such as fashion, travel to outside locations to see what is new in the market. Other industries have trade shows that accomplish the same goal. A buying office within a retail chain may have the assistant buyer arrange the details to attend these shows. Some buying offices work for many different retailers and offer this service through their buyer assistants as well.

Assistant buyer responsibilities include keeping track of the entire ordering process. The head buyer has his influence in choosing items, but it is typically the assistant buyer's responsibility to follow up on these orders. Monitoring the paperwork involved is a significant part of the ordering process. Handling issues with inventory, returns and making sure order numbers are correct is also a part of the assistant buyer's responsibilities.

Buying offices interact with outside vendors on a daily basis. Because of this frequent interaction, cooperative relationships with vendors are key. For example, the buying office for a major chain of hardware stores has a vendor for specific areas such as hand tools, plumbing accessories and landscaping supplies. Each one of these vendors typically has a representative with a different way of doing business. An assistant buyer has to adapt to each personality in order to have orders processed promptly and efficiently.

There are several education requirements to become a fashion buyer. Fashion buyers usually study specialized sales and merchandising, graphic design or business. 71% of fashion buyers hold a bachelor's degree and 20% hold a associate degree. We found these by analyzing 258 fashion buyer resumes to investigate the topic of fashion buyer education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a fashion buyer are Fashion Institute of Technology and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Francisco. For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in fashion buyer education paths. 041b061a72


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