So you want to spend your days and nights immersed in
the purse? It's definitely possible, as long as you know that most handbag
buyers already have experience in purchasing purses or accessories. Not for
their personal collection, of course as a junior buyer or senior buyer's
administrative staff. If you have at least three years as a junior buyer or
buyer's admin, then you could have this job, ahem, in the bag.
If you're looking at this as a career, you are probably
already an ambitious assistant buyer with six months experience or more, or
an accessories buyer who is looking to find a niche. 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.
Apparel Search isn't looking to discourage you - if you
have experience in handbags or accessories either in a purchasing or retail
environment at all, it could prove helpful to purse purchasing prospects, so
The handbag buyer may also be responsible for buying a
range of accessories, most of which will probably have a direct relation to
handbags, such as wallets and cell phone cases, and some which are more
general accessories, like scarves.
Your enthusiasm for fashion is a key factor in your
success as and handbag buyer. In strategy meetings, you will be called upon
to think ahead to what consumers will be looking for in the coming season.
You will order pre-season merchandise, so stocking the stores with enough
inventory in each product category will be in your hands. The latest purse
is harder to find than just about any other fashion accessory. Women will
get on waiting lists for the right bag. And the right handbag can change
faster than event the right pants or dress.
Successful handbag buyers know what is hot, and what is
about to 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 a brand identity to keep in the forefront. The culture is going
to vary depending on if you are shopping for a mass retailer, or picking the
next Kate Spade or Louis Vuitton to carry.
The senior handbag buyer will want to stay up on market
research and continue to source new brands and designs within current brands
that your customers/retailers are carrying. Even women who don't pay much
attention to clothing fads know what a good impression the right handbag
You don't want to be a negotiating novice, either. What
does a handbag buyer negotiate? A senior handbag buyer will negotiate with
suppliers for optimum discounts and payment terms, and for quick delivery.
Good communication and people skills are a must.
Although a handbag buyer must possess the ability to handle a large degree
of autonomy, you also need to function well in a team environment. Your
department's strategy is part of a bigger picture that of the company. If
a handbag 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 commercial needs.
In addition to working out the basics with the
designer(s), the handbag buyer will display strong presentation skills for
the senior managers. The ability to interpret numerical data is as important
to the job of handbag buyer as creativity is. Handbag buyers must be
mentally ambidextrous, so to speak. The best projections and presentations
are informed ones, and you want your decisions to be easy to present to
senior execs, and ultimately more profitable for the company.
You may have to attend photo shoots and be familiar
enough with visual merchandising to select items for print catalogs and
promotions. In that case, you will work with the merchandising team to plan
pricing and promotional strategies.
Most handbag buyers have an assistant buyer. If you
have past experience as an assistant buyer, you understand the drive
required for that position. That knowledge makes managing and developing an
assistant buyer less daunting. You will be better equipped to give them a,
Welcome to the handbag 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 handbag buyer.
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 handbag 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.
Please only post educational
information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a