Women's Clothing Buyer Job Description
Fashion & Apparel Industry Job Descriptions

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Women's Wear Buyer

Find a job as a Womenswear Buyer

A women's wear or ladies wear buyer may have one of the more difficult jobs in the fashion apparel buying industry.  Why would Apparel Search make such a claim?  Because women do most of the household purchasing and budgeting, and in general, if they are going to allocate time or money for themselves, it will only be on quality, well-made items that will not fade with a few launderings or a few months of changing fashion dictates.

In order to be successful in this position, the ideal candidate will already have experience in ladies wear.  Ideally, this would include recent experience in buying a mix of casual items (woven/knits, or jerseys) and dressier women's wear.  If you have at least three years experience with purchasing women's pants, shorts, dresses, or blouses, it will greatly benefit your company.  Alternately, a junior buyer or a senior buyer (outside of women's wear) who is eager to accept a new challenge could also find herself excelling as a women's wear buyer.  Some companies will even be willing to consider any women's clothing background for the purchasing position, as long as your skills include strong management acumen.

You must also possess outstanding communication and relationship-building skills.  You will be required to build relationships internally.  These include relationships with the other members of your buying team, and with the principals in other teams, with whom you will work at various stages in the buying process, in order to bring your company maximum profits. You will also communicate extensively with suppliers outside of your company.

The coin has two sides; to be successful as a women's wear buyer, you have to be comfortable with autonomy, but must also function beautifully within a team environment.  As the senior buyer, you will probably find yourself managing a team of at least two assistant buyers, plus a buyers administrator.  Their training, needs, and skill levels will vary, and your patience, flexibility, and communication will be tested.

Any successful women's wear buyer (in fact, any senior buyer in the fashion industry) is clothed with negotiation skills of the highest quality.  Your negotiation skills must be well-developed, as you will need to pull out all the communication and relationship-building stops when dealing with suppliers.  It is your job to make sure that orders are accurate and delivered on time.  And that must be arranged with the suppliers.

You will also find yourself working consistently with the merchandising team of your company.  The buying team and merchandising teams work together on pre-season orders and in-season repeat orders.  They work together to create pricing and promotional strategies that will, in turn, create the highest profit margins for the company.

ApparelSearch.com can not stress enough that a women's wear buyer must know their rapidly changing market.  You will be called upon daily to think on your feet and make quick decisions.  These should be informed decisions.  If you can translate numerical data into practical and profitable decisions, it will ultimately increase sales margins for clients within their women's wear departments, and profit margins for your company.

How do you increase profit margins?  By sourcing products that compete in both the fashion and financial realms.  You can do the latter because you are an informed women's wear buyer who stays on top of market research.  You do the former by consistently going into the market to find new product.   Most companies seeking ladies
wear buyers prefer that potential candidates for the position have already gained direct experience in sourcing with companies from the Far East.  You will also find yourself at trade shows and other events.  Your technical eye will help you build solid product and category ranges for your company and your clients. 

Find a fashion job as a Women's Clothing Buyer

Fashion Industry Buyers

Welcome to the womenswear 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 womenswear 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 of the fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the job descriptions by using the comment area below.

If you have previously or currently work as a womenswear 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 fashion careers.  More specifically, let's education regarding this particular career path.

Please only post educational information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a womenswear buyer.
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