Fashion merchandising is an interesting career option for those of you who are interested not only in
fashion design, but also the business activities involved in this field. When pursuing fashion
merchandising as a career, you should know that simply a passion for fashion is not enough. You have to
be passionate about what you do, and there is a lot of action involved in the business front. Simply put,
the fashion industry is not as glamorous as it appears, and in careers such as fashion merchandising, the
glamor is extremely low, and the hard work involved, equally high. What do fashion merchandising jobs
entail? Let's take a look.
Fashion Merchandising: Job Description
The prime job of a fashion merchandiser is to bring together all areas of the fashion biz and manage it.
The main roles involved are those of designing, development of new and unique products, production,
and creating and developing sales and marketing plans. While these are the broad roles, some fashion
merchandisers have specific roles pertaining to one particular area. In detail, the following are the key
roles played by fashion merchandisers.
Attending various fashion shows to pick up the latest in style and utilizing this knowledge in the
development of new products.
Analyzing and predicting trends and fashion clothing styles, and collaborating with fashion designers to
create and introduce new and unique products in the fashion industry.
Working with suppliers to strike cost effective deals for production.
Developing marketing strategies that will enhance overall sales.
Working in close contact with other professionals in the fashion industry.
Managing the retail store by designing the store layout and engaging in visual merchandising (enhancing
sales through store displays).
Working in close contact with the media, by utilizing photography, magazine publications, and other such
techniques to promote new products and the store.
Analyzing fashion trends to develop products to cater to a target or niche market.
As you can see, designing is only one aspect of fashion merchandising, and there is a lot more involved
in this career field. All these skills will be taught to you at fashion merchandising schools/colleges.
However, these skills really be developed and honed only when on the job. A school cannot prepare you
for real life situations and issues that you may have to face on the job. However, it will give you a strong
knowledge base to be able to analyze and effectively deal with the situation.
While most of the requirements for your job as a fashion merchandiser are taught to you at school, you do
require some basic skills that will give you the edge in this job. For one, you must have a strong passion
not only for fashion, but also for business and finance. As you can see, this job is not only about
designing apparel, it also includes a host of other functions that are as essential. It would be helpful if you
had good communication skills because a lot of this job depends on clear and effective communication.
Analytical skills to predict upcoming trends in the fashion industry are important, as are creative thinking
abilities to apply this knowledge in a unique manner. It is also important that you have the knowledge of
the history of fashion and its various trends over time. Having good decision making and problem solving
skills are imperative, though these are skills that are learned by experience. Knowledge of brands that
make up the fashion industry is important, and if you do have a true passion for fashion, you would
probably already know about what's hot and what's not. Apart from these, certain skills that will be taught
to you in school are accounting skills, use of basic softwares such as MS Office, the basics of colors and
design, and marketing skills.
Fashion Merchandising: Employment and Salary Outlook
As much as the fashion industry continues to grow, the job outlook for those wishing to enter this the
many careers in fashion designing, including fashion merchandising, is not that bright. This is because
the demand for professionals in this industry is lesser than the number of people available to fill up these
positions. This still does not mean that you cannot pursue fashion merchandising as a career. If you do
have a true passion for this field, there is no reason this should dissuade you from pursuing your dream
career. The idea is to be as creative and innovative as possible. Your personal talent, skills and abilities
are what will get you a good fashion merchandising salary, and will give you an edge over your peers in
As long as you are sure that you are meant for the fashion industry, nothing should dissuade you from
pursuing any of the many careers, including fashion merchandising, and making the amount of money
you truly deserve.