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What is Fashion Merchandising?

Fashion merchandising is a rather broad term that can be used to describe the business side of the fashion industry. Professionals with a fashion merchandising career must still have an eye for style, but they should also have a head for business as well.

This field involves buying, pricing, marketing, displaying, and selling certain types of garments and accessories.

What Does a Fashion Merchandiser Do?

A fashion merchandiser may have several different duties.

Most fashion merchandisers must be able to predict future fashion and market trends. In order to do this, these professionals will often need to rely on their own research as well as current trend reports.

After predicting future fashion trends, fashion merchandisers will also determine which fashions and garments that a particular store should stock. The type of merchandise that a garment store will stock is not only determined by fashion trends, but also by the type of clientel that a store caters to. For instance, a chic boutique will usually stock high end expensive fashions, while a large chain retailer will typically stock trendy yet affordable fashions.

Buying different garments in order to stock stores is another responsibility of some fashion merchandisers. Buyers will usually need to travel often and interact with suppliers and manufacturers. When purchasing the different fashions, a fashion merchandiser must usually follow a strict budget. Finding the best deals for the merchandise usually requires a certain type of charisma and assertiveness.

Fashion merchandisers will also usually have a hand in setting prices and displaying the different types of fashion as well. Pricing garments can be somewhat difficult, as the prices must reflect the quality of the garment as well as be affordable for the intended clientele  Some fashion merchandisers will also help create window displays and direct fashion photography shoots.

What is the Average Salary for a Fashion Merchandiser?

According to Salary.com, fashion merchandisers can make anywhere from $40,384 to $124,728 annually. As with most professions, very successful and experienced fashion merchandisers are usually able to command higher salaries.

The salary of a fashion merchandiser might also be affected by her location as well. For instance, fashion merchandisers located in large “Fashion Meccas”, like Milan or New York City, will also usually make more money than merchandisers that live in small rural or suburban towns.

What are the Education Requirements for a Fashion Merchandising Career?

A degree in fashion merchandising is usually an intricate blend of fashion and business. Many traditional colleges and universities, as well as art schools, offer targeted fashion merchandising degree programs. Some individuals may prefer to specialize in specific areas of fashion merchandising, like marketing or buying, while others may prefer to do it all.

Some retail stores also offer special fashion merchandising training programs in lieu of a degree. In these training programs, individuals will often be able to learn the ins and outs of fashion merchandising while they earn money as well. Upon successful completion of this type of program, a participant will often be able to secure steady employment with the company that offered it.

What can I do With a Degree in Fashion Merchandising?

A degree in fashion merchandising is generally the one of the first steps toward a fashion merchandising career. Several different types of garment industries hire individuals with these types of degrees, including garment manufacturers, wholesalers, and retail stores. If you are more interested in high fashion rather than mainstream fashion, you can also try to secure employment with high end specialty boutiques or fashion designers.

Hard working fashion merchandisers will often be offered promotions and be able to take positions with more responsibilities as well as more generous wages.

Those interested in a fashion merchandising career may also want to consider opening their own garment store. This business move allows them to utilize their fashion merchandising degree, but also be in complete control of their career.

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