Do people always tell you that you have an eye for fashion? Do you tend to spot trends before they really start? Are you addicted to fashion reality TV, fashion mags, and live fashion events? While you might answer yes to all of these questions, you can’t sketch or sew to save your life, so a career in fashion is out of reach. Or is it?
Learn what a career in fashion merchandising is all about, and decide if it’s just the entry intothe fashion world you’ve been looking for.
How do I become a fashion merchandiser?
Becoming a fashion merchandiser means you have expert knowledge about the business side of the fashion world. You’re not the designer, but you’re the one who can spot which designs will spark the next hottest trend. You might not know how to sketch or sew, but you know how to sell and promote your product. You may not be the star of the fashion week runway, but you’ll be behind the scenes, watching, researching and making connections in the industry.
In short, to get started in the field of fashion merchandising, you’ll need to become immersed in the fashion world, and all of the business interactions and transactions that take place beyond the runway. All of that knowledge begins with training and education from a fashion merchandising school. During and immediately after you complete a program of study at a fashion merchandising college, you’ll need to earn your spot by interning and working in the field, and learning from the best of the best in the fashion world.
Only then will you be truly ready to become a fashion merchandiser, on the cutting edge of new trends and styles. More important, you’ll be well versed in how to get retailers and ultimately consumers to buy into those trends, and make fashion decisions that are profitable for your clients or employer.
What will I learn in fashion merchandising school?
Both technical schools and traditional colleges alike offer fashion merchandising programs; what you choose to enroll in is dependent upon how far you wish to go in the industry. Technical and trade schools may grant you an associate degree in fashion merchandising, while traditional colleges will prep you for more advanced positions in the industry by awarding you with a bachelor’s degree. You may also wish to increase your potential by earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) though this is not a requirement for gaining a position in the field.
Fashion merchandising students will take lots of general courses in fashion, like fashion history, fashion design, and textiles. In addition – and here’s what sets fashion merchandising apart – you’ll take real deal business courses like marketing, management, branding, and accounting. The mix of fashion and business will help prepare you to work with others over the life cycle of a fashion item, from designers, to distributors, to retail buyers, etc.
Most reputable fashion merchandising degree programs give students the chance to work hands on with simulated or real life fashion projects. Students may also get to attend fashion shows, tour fashion magazines, meet representatives from major clothing and accessory companies, and attend industry events. What’s more is that fashion merchandising students often learn from working fashion merchandisers who share their knowledge as professors.