Children's wear is a fun area in which to be a buyer.
Not because of the adorable clothing and the bears and bunnies, though
it's fun because children's wear is a product area that is usually already a
successful seller. It's fun because children's styles don't change as
quickly as adult styles do, so you don't have to nearly predict the future,
like you do in many other fashion industry purchasing jobs.
That does not mean, however, that one can step into
this role without a healthy degree of experience. It's a bunny-eat-bunny
world out there. Most companies seek candidates for this position who
already have at least three years in either a senior purchasing position or
in children's wear, working with major retailers.
The duties of a children's wear buyer will probably
also include a selection of footwear and children's accessories. It will be
your duty to find new sources to supply these items. You will develop the
range of children's wear and children's products to best suit the needs of
your customers. In footwear, and even more in accessories, trend
forecasting comes into play quite a bit more than it does in just straight
children's apparel purchases.
You must have good communication skills, as you will
work with designers on concepts for innovating the products, merchandisers
on promotional strategies, and the rest of your buying team on reaching
sales margins and growth goals.
As is the case with many senior buyer positions, having
worked with overseas suppliers in India or other Eastern countries, is a
sizable advantage. If you don't have contacts in manufacturing and sales in
India and the Far East, those relationships can be created. (These
geographical areas tend to produce attractive apparel and accessories that
sell well due to both mass appeal and affordability.)
You will make pre-season orders of merchandise, and
make decisions involving stocking the stores with inventory in all the right
categories not too much, not too little. When you are planning for the
upcoming seasons, keep focused on the company culture and the brand
identity. The personality of an upscale children's boutique brand is very
different from that of Gap or Gymboree.
Conducting or studying market research will help in
your pre-season decision-making. You will continue to search for new brands
or products to carry, or to work with designers to create in-house designs.
The children's wear buyer communicates regularly with new people while
sourcing new products.
You will also find yourself making negotiations with
suppliers for the best discounts, payment terms, and delivery times/methods
Attendance at photo shoots could be part of your job
duties, as well. Your visual merchandising skills will be put to the test
during selection of items for print catalogs and promotions if necessary.
You may have to work with the marketing team to plan pricing and promotional
In addition, you will be a part of a team inside of a
much larger entity your company. You will need to communicate effectively
with lots of different people in several departments on a regular basis in
order to do your job. The key word is effectively quickly and clearly and
politely. It's easier to say than to do.
With so much to do, by the end of the day, most
children's wear buyers will sleep like babies!
Welcome to the children's
clothing buyer job
description section of the Apparel Search employment
directory. In this section of our guide we present
information relevant to a career as a children's
Although for many of our
career descriptions we provide
information that we have developed internally, a large
portion of this
section relies heavily on user input. No one knows a
career path better than someone that has actually worked
in the particular position. Therefore, we welcome
members of the fashion community to submit their
personal experience to this page. Active members
fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the
job descriptions by using the comment area below.
have previously or currently work as a children's
clothing buyer please add your insight
to the community discussion. Educators such as
fashion school teachers and
knowledgeable garment industry veterans are also welcome to
comment. Let's all work together to help educate
the world about various
More specifically, let's education regarding this
particular career path.