Outerwear Buyer Job Description for the fashion industry
Find employment in the fashion industry as a Outerwear Buyer
Have you already obtained strong credentials and experience in a clothing purchasing position, either as a senior buyer or assistant? Would you like to find a product area in which to specialize? Then a career as an outerwear buyer could be in your fashion future.
You should possess a minimum of two years experience in outerwear, or as an adult clothing product manager or buyer. Previous retail experience and a stellar track record for customer service can help you stand out from the rest. Being cloaked with energy, confidence, and an intense love for seasonal fashion will help you warm right up to the position.
Fashion passion combined with experience equals fashion foresight. A clear understanding of your company's culture and objectives, as well as market trends in outerwear, and the concept of branding (or brand personalities), will help you guide both your decisions and those of your assistant buyer(s) and buyer's administrator(s). (For example, outerwear for Patagonia, Obermeyer, and L.L. Bean will differ from Gap or discount department stores.) Your ideas will contribute to pre-season discussions on development and expansion of the outerwear range.
Beyond sourcing products, you will need to keep up with fit specification changes, (average weights, etc., do change over time). You may also have a say in the most basic stages of product development, including choice of fabrics and silhouettes. (Keeping up with the exciting changes in climate-protection fabrics will be a fun part of your position.)
Effective presentation of products and ideas to senior management and later to clients will be an integral part of this position. 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. Your ability to present your ideas will rely in part in your ability to interpret the data and translate it into how profits will be maximized in your company's favor.
Your organizational and communication skills will also come into play in your interactions with suppliers and other departments. A senior outerwear buyer will negotiate with suppliers for optimum discounts, acceptable payment terms, and quick delivery. You will collaborate with the merchandising team to plan pricing strategies, as well as promotional ones. The outerwear buyer may have to attend photo shoots and be familiar enough with visual merchandising to select items for print catalogs and promotions.
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 are seeking a career in the field of outerwear. 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.)
Do you have the flexibility for travel to source new products and develop ideas? Or to check out your company's competitors? Or to attend international trade shows, etc.?
Although outerwear tends to have its classics, like the
trench and the peacoat, it is not without its trends and fun. More and
more, outerwear has become less utilitarian and more an outer expression of
one's over-all fashion aesthetic. If you are excited about the changes in
the outerwear climate, then an outerwear buyer position may ride the tide in
Find employment in the fashion industry as a Outerwear Buyer.