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Description of Fashion Merchandising Jobs

Find out what a fashion merchandiser really does in a day's work.
mannequins displaying a fashion merchandisers outfits

Every great boutique or department store needs a Wizard of Oz—someone behind the curtain making everything appear as impressive as possible—someone deciding to stock ruby slippers because they're the next big thing.

This is what fashion merchandising is all about: knowing what your customers want, even before they know it, and using your skills to persuade them.

Fashion merchandising jobs require a blend of fashion sense and business expertise. Staying ahead of the fashion curve is a feat involving both art and science. Strategy and marketing know-how are an integral part of fashion merchandising.

Fashion Merchandising Tasks

In a fashion merchandising job, your task is to make fashion relatable to your customers.To do this, you may perform the following tasks:

  • Going to fashion shows
  • Researching and predicting fashion trends
  • Directing and negotiating with suppliers, manufacturers and retailers
  • Working with design, planning and sales teams
  • Buying fashion
  • Managing retail outlets
  • Creating store displays
  • Directing fashion photo shoots
  • Determining a store's type of clientele
  • Pricing garments based on quality and affordability
  • Finding the best prices to stay within budgets
  • Developing advertising and marketing strategies

Necessary Skills

  • Forecasting Ability: While more scientific than fortune telling, fashion merchandising jobs do have a forecasting element. In order to improve your accuracy, you'll need a thorough knowledge of past fashion trends and an awareness of current industry developments.
  • Analytical Ability: A good sense of style obviously helps you; however, you must also determine how things fit into a budget and whether they meet the functional needs of consumers. Other criteria may also influence your fashion merchandising decisions, so you will need to be able to analyze a complex set of issues and stand behind your choices.
  • Communication Skills: From negotiating with manufacturers to getting your marketing message out to customers, there is ample opportunity to exercise your powers of communication in the fashion merchandising field.

Fashion Merchandising Degree & Career Guide