How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser

If you have a passion for fashion and love working within the retail industry, you may be able to get a lucrative career as a fashion merchandiser. Fashion merchandisers work for retail companies to identify fashion trends and maintain a comprehensive style inventory.

What Is a Fashion Merchandiser?

How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser

The field of fashion merchandising is ideal for those that are interested in both the retail industry and the fashion industry.

A fashion merchandiser often works within the retail industry to create sales, campaigns and advertisements in regards to fashion. Fashion merchandisers need to be extremely knowledgeable about seasonal changes in fashion and new trends. According to the International Academy of Design & Technology, a fashion merchandiser often has a degree or formal training in the fashion industry. A fashion merchandiser might also have a background in the retail field.

The field of fashion merchandising is ideal for those that are interested in both the retail industry and the fashion industry. Fashion merchandisers may either work for the retail industry or directly for a fashion line. Those that work within the retail industry will find merchandise for the store while those that work for a fashion line will work for a multitude of stores and focus on getting the line into stores that mesh with their brand.

What Does a Fashion Merchandiser Do?

A fashion merchandiser needs to learn about the offerings of their product line or product lines and the trends that are currently active in the fashion world. Fashion merchandisers usually need to change out their entire inventory on a seasonal basis, especially in the fields of casual fashion. Business and sports apparel may be less susceptible to seasonal changes but will still change as fashion trends adjust.

High School or GED
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The field of merchandising demands people skills. Merchandisers often have to work either with vendors to stock retail shelves or with retail companies to put their product lines into the store. A merchandiser usually works directly with someone higher up in the corporate chain. Retail merchandisers need to work within their store’s budget while fashion merchandisers may have certain goals and deadlines they need to meet for the purposes of profitability.

How Do You Become a Fashion Merchandiser?

Fashion merchandisers will often have an Associate’s Degree or higher degree related to fashion or marketing. Merchandisers also usually have at least a few years of experience within the industry. As a field related to purchase managing and buying, a fashion merchandiser usually has moderate on-the-job training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a merchandiser may work more than a traditional 40 hour work week. This is due to the extensive amounts of research a merchandiser needs to do.

The success of a business or product line will often depend on the results of the merchandiser, which makes the position extremely important and extremely powerful. The better the merchandiser does, the better they can be expected to do within the company. Merchandisers that report better sales and can generate consistent profit for their company may be able to advance within the career at a faster rate.

How Do You Advance as a Fashion Merchandiser?

Fashion merchandisers that work within retail outlets may acquire more departments within their company or may even become a buyer for multiple store locations. Those that are exceptionally good at their job and can anticipate the fashion needs of the public may become merchandisers at higher end stores and be able to raise their rates of pay.

Fashion merchandisers that work with different product lines may acquire positions with more expensive brands and luxury brands by consistently being able to sell new products and meet goals.

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