Fashion design and merchandising go hand in hand down the runway of the fashion world. Fashion merchandising involves the business side of fashion and offers great opportunities for people who love fashion and want to have a career in buying, product development, management, or fashion marketing. Fashion design and merchandising are demanding jobs but also very rewarding.
The Job Of A Merchandiser
A merchandiser is involved in every stage of the process. Fashion design and merchandising are connected from design to sales. The merchandisers advise the designer on market trends, get all specifications from the project buyers, get samples approved and negotiate the price of the final sale. They are also responsible for making sure that consignments are delivered to the customers according to schedule. In the world of fashion design and merchandising it is the merchandisers who will usually have bottom-line responsibility for all projects or departments during the various levels of their careers. Most work in fashion design and merchandising involves juggling past, present, and future work. Merchandisers spend a great deal of time evaluating sales from previous time periods in order to properly plan and decide goals for future sales. In fashion design and merchandising, it isn’t just about shopping; with fashion design and merchandising the merchandisers must be able to analyze and create a complex business plan aimed at specific buying habits and customers. This requires an ability to forecast trends and then translate them into a profitable business plan for the company.
Anytime a decision is made to create a fashion product and offer it to the consumer, even if it is a kids fashion design or a costume, fashion merchandising is involved, including product development, buying, marketing, or management of the product. Even if it’s just deciding which mannequin should face which direction — odds are good that someone involved with fashion merchandising has the final “OK”.
As with most fashion jobs, the key is to start with disciplined study to direct your talent into a successful career. With the fashion design and merchandising fields there are also many opportunities — whether you’re in school or not — for internships. These internships should be considered vital for advancing your career. Indeed, any work with experienced industry connections — be it in a design house or in retail — provides a key stepping stone for students to meet important industry personnel who have open positions and knowledge to share within the fashion design and merchandising field.