Fashion merchandising is a field that focuses on the marketing and selling of clothing. It is often considered an art form because it involves creativity, fashion design, branding, and retailing.
Fashion merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that clothes are displayed to attract customers to buy them. They also work closely with the people who manufacture these items to keep up with current trends in style and demand.
Creativity in Fashion Merchandising
Creativity is an important element in fashion merchandising. Fashion designers create clothes and then give them to a person who works as the designer’s agent or representative, called a stylist. The style team presents these items for sale on runways at fashion shows. They also dress models in clothing that has just been marketed, or they may redesign existing garments with new colors, patterns, or fabrics to keep up with current trends.
Another aspect of creativity comes into play when it is time for the retail store owner to put together their window displays and racks so customers will be drawn inside by what catches their eye from outside. These people are visual merchandisers because they use pictures, graphics, and other visuals to make the products more appealing to the passing customer.
How Do Fashion Merchandisers Work?
A person who is a fashion merchandiser can work in one of three ways: they might buy and sell clothes from many different designers, or an individual designer may employ them to help them take their product line to market. It may also be someone who works with a retailer on designing window displays, racks, and other visual methods for making products more appealing.
To succeed as a fashion merchandiser, you will need both creativity and savvy business skills, such as negotiating terms with suppliers where prices are set but not limited by what your competitors charge. It’s about finding deals that won’t spoil your margins while still having access to good quality merchandise. You also have strong people management skills because you’ll often be managing.
How Fashion Merchandising Involves Branding
Branding is essential to any business and especially important for fashion merchandisers. Your company logo will be everywhere. Your product is shown, from the packaging you ship it in, through advertising campaigns that promote its use – both digital and traditional media – to where it’s displayed in stores or online.
And if this isn’t enough pressure on you as a fashion merchandiser, then consider how many store owners want their brands to shine; they’ll often ask for exclusive rights with certain suppliers so that only they can sell those products within a specific geographical area.
How Fashion Merchandising Involves Supply Chain Management
One of the most crucial aspects of any manufacturing industry, but perhaps even more so when dealing directly with customers: supply chain management becomes an essential part of fashion merchandising.
A visual representation of supply chain management that includes the process flow for a single finished product from raw material to delivery to customers can be found in Figure 01.
The first stage is creating products out of materials and fabric, which requires sourcing suppliers with reliable access to high-quality materials and skilled labor who can create the desired designs.
The second step in this process is having these items produced by manufacturers or subcontractors – often overseas. Production costs are lower than those domestically associated with wages, taxes, and other overhead factors such as office space rent.
To fulfill orders on time while maximizing margins (two goals at odds when considering allocating more resources towards higher quality goods), retailers rely on a sophisticated supply chain.
Fashion merchandising is a dynamic and creative career with various entry points that suit any skill set. There are many opportunities for fashion merchandisers to work in the creative industries or want a more corporate environment.
Michelle works as a fashion designer. She had assisted and interned with some big names in the fashion industry before. She also writes articles for certain fashion columns in magazines.