Fashion buyers use their sense of style, knowledge of fashion trends, and understanding of their target customers' desires to create an attractive selection of apparel for retail stores. Due to the length of time it takes for a designer or manufacturer to fill all orders, buyers often make their purchases up to 1 or 2 years in advance, so it is important for fashion buyers to be able to understand past, present, and future fashion trends. Buyers must also be good at budgeting and planning inventory so that a good selection of clothing is always available for customers. Fashion buyers typically work for department stores, retail chains, independently owned stores or wholesale distributors. Their jobs might seem easy; after all, what's not to like about buying apparel with someone else's money, to the tune of thousands or even millions of dollars? Apparel buyers are responsible for selecting and purchasing apparel and accessories from manufacturers, designers, or wholesalers for retail sale. Buyers for larger department stores usually specialize in a specific line of clothes or accessories (e.g., men's suits or women's denim), depending on their specialties or interests. Buyer’s earnings are potential up to $100,000. The outlook is good to excellent. The overall number of fashion buyer positions available is expected to decrease, but new positions become available as a result of internal promotions of experienced buyers. Advancement opportunities are good: Those who start at the assistant buyer level have a good chance of becoming full-fledged buyers within 3 to 5 years. Qualifications in education are a college degree in Fashion Merchandising or a related field. Coursework in Fashion Design and Business is very helpful to enter the fashion buying career. Experience is important also, retail sales experience is very helpful because understanding customers' buying behavior is key to being a successful apparel buyer. Fashion buyers must be...
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