If you are blessed with both fashion sense and business savvy, you could be cut out for a career as a fashion merchandiser. Fashion merchandisers are artistically creative and adept at marketing strategies, combining two unique talents for an exciting and fun career.
Fashion Merchandising Job Description
A fashion merchandiser has the enviable task of helping retail stores determine what they should keep in stock, and how to display their items creatively in a way that will appeal to customers. A major part of the job is being knowledgeable about different materials—that is, knowing what something feels like and how the material flows. A good eye for textiles is also important, as is the historical and socio-economical implications of certain textiles.
A fashion merchandiser needs to make a designer’s vision a reality by finding the most innovative ways to sell their products. Selling fashion may sound easy, but the fashion merchandiser needs to be savvy in marketing strategies. Careers in fashion merchandising include: visual merchandiser, fashion merchandise buyer, and assistant fashion buyer.
Fashion Merchandising Degree
Being successful in fashion merchandising means a lot more than having great taste and a good sense of fashion—it means having a keen sense of business savvy and perspective. These qualities are sometimes inherent, but they are more easily gained through training in fashion with either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
Fashion merchandising programs may focus on one or all of the following areas: retail management, trend forecasting, pricing strategies, fashion product development and global sourcing.
When you have culminated in your fashion merchandising degree program, you should have a firm understanding of the ins and outs of the business side of the fashion industry. Graduates will be able to negotiate and communicate effectively with manufacturers and retail outlets, predict fashion trends, and manage the visual aspect of marketing merchandise.
Fashion Merchandising Salary
According to Payscale.com, as of 2011, the average fashion merchandising salary is $47,000 annually. This national average is lowered by entry-level salaries and salaries in less fashion-centric parts of the United States. Fashion merchandisers in high-level positions with ample experience and seniority can earn up to $116,750 annually.
A visual merchandiser will make $33,000 to $53,000 per year, a merchandise buyer assistant will make $37,000 to $46,000 per year, a senior merchandise buyer assistant will make $47,000 to $63,000 per year, a merchandise buyer will make $69,000 to $92,000 per year and a senior merchandise buyer will make $83,000 to $117,000.