Fashion Merchandising Requires Passion, Marketing and Communication Skills
If you love fashion and you love business you might want to consider a career in fashion merchandising. An over-the-top dose of enthusiasm for clothing designs, and an eye to the future to predict trends will help you do your job and do it well. As a fashion merchandiser, you’ll be selling various fashions to clothing retailers and wholesale outlets.
To know what fashions will be right for what stores takes some know-how. That is, however, only one part of your job as a merchandiser. You also have to be savvy about marketing techniques, which these days, means being up on social media, SEO, and website optimization.
One of the key components of clothing is the fabric. Choice of fabric can make or break the design. Certain fabrics, too, such as silk and linen, have an upscale panache, while cotton is often a more casual choice. To prepare for a career in fashion merchandising, bone up on your knowledge of fabrics.
Needless to say, a knowledge of classic design principles is also a must for a budding fashion merchandiser. Knowing various cultures, too, will help. A frilly design that may sell like hotcakes in the South may be a no-sale to no-nonsense New Yorkers or Londoners.
Not only do you need to know how to communicate online, but you also need to have fine in-person communication skills. As you pitch your wares to buyers from various stores, you will need to be able to get your point across to them in a way that doesn’t come across as a high-octane sales pitch. You will also need to communicate well with designers, with your supervisors, and with your fellow workers.
Now for the fun part. Your job in fashion merchandising will take you to various parts of the country and around the world to fashion shows, to stores, and to corporate offices. You may even need to try your hand at window dressing to make sure that the fashions you represent get seen in the best possible light.
Because fashion merchandising is such a competitive field, you need to prepare well. Check out prospective schools before you enroll to make sure that their career services personnel can help you find a job once you graduate. Start building your network now. Make some contacts in the fashion industry even before you head off to school. You may also want to take a part-time job in retail fashion to help you build those connections, as well as stretching your fashion knowledge.