Fashion Accessories Buyer Jobs ...
One of the most important
qualifications for becoming an accessories buyer is experience either in
purchasing or accessories. It's the old Catch-22 how does one get the
experience if you can't get hired without it? Three or more years
either as a junior buyer or doing a buyer's administrative work is a
general prerequisite to snagging a senior buyer position in the
accessories field. If you're looking at an accessories buyer position,
you are likely to already be an ambitious assistant buyer with at least
six months to a year experience. Many firms prefer that their buyers be
graduates in fashion design, although this requirement varies by
company, and is often disregarded in lieu of experience. If you're
trying for an accessories buyer position without any experience as an
assistant, buyer's admin, or fashion education, people with that
experience and skill set are who you are up against.
Apparel Search isn't looking to
discourage you - if you have experience in accessories either in a
purchasing or retail environment at all, it could prove helpful. It is
possible that in a position as an accessories buyer, you will find
yourself buying accessories for several different departments.
Diversity of experience will help if you are required to purchase for
both men's and women's departments, women's and girl's, etc.
The accessories buyer will be
responsible for buying a range of accessories and jewelry items. A
passion for fashion is key. It also helps if you have contacts in
accessories manufacturing and sales in India and the Far East, but those
relationships can be created if they aren't pre-existing. (These
geographical areas tend to produce attractive accessories that are
A successful accessories buyer must be
a bit of a psychic. You will be part of strategy meetings in which you
will have to think ahead to what consumers will be looking for in the
coming season. You will make pre-season orders of merchandise, and make
decisions involving stocking the stores with enough inventory in the
right product groups. Accessories fashions change more quickly than
clothing trends. In other words, accessories buyers really have to be
on their toes. And their necks, and their wrists, and their ears, and
Successful accessories buyers keep an
eye out for what is hot, and what will be. They are as passionate about
their companies as they are about fashion, and make decisions that are
in line with the company culture and the personality of the brand. For
example, smaller brands are usually more design-led than name-led. A
smaller company will probably allow for more innovation and creativity
in design than a larger one that has specific image and brand identity
guidelines to adhere to. The culture is going to vary depending on
whether you are with a retailer like Britain's High Street shops, a mass
retailer that carries premium brand, or working in haute couture.
The senior accessories buyer will want
to stay up on market research and continue to find new brands and
products to carry. The fun part of that is meeting new people and
previewing new products.
But then it's down to negotiations.
What does an accessory buyer negotiate? A senior accessories buyer will
negotiate with suppliers for optimum discounts and payment terms, and
for quick delivery.
Good communication and people skills
are a must. Although an accessories buyer must possess the ability to
handle a large degree of autonomy, you will need to have the ability to
work well within a team. Your department's strategy is part of a bigger
picture that of the company. If an accessories buyer is working with
a designer, care must be taken to ensure an understanding between the
buyer and the designer about the best way to balance creativity with
In addition to working out the basics
with the designer(s), the accessories buyer will display strong
presentation skills for the senior managers. As important to the job of
accessories buyer as creativity is, so is the ability to interpret
numerical data. Accessories buyer is a both-sides-of-the-brain
position. The best projections and presentations are informed ones, and
you want your decisions to be defendable ones so they are easy to
present to senior executives, and ultimately more profitable for the
The accessories buyer may have to
attend photo shoots and be familiar enough with visual merchandising to
select items for print catalogs and promotions if necessary. You may
have to work with the merchandising team to plan pricing strategies, as
well as promotional ones.
You probably will not be flying this
plane alone. Most accessories buyers have a co-pilot the assistant
buyer. Past experience as an assistant buyer gives you an edge because
you know the personal and professional qualities and drive required for
that position. That knowledge makes managing and developing an
assistant buyer less daunting.
Fashion Accessories Buyer Jobs.
Fashion Industry Buyers.
If you are an accessories buyer, educator, or
knowledgeable about various aspects of fashion careers, please
share your thoughts below. Please post only educational
information or questions specifically relevant to the job of
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