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3 Ways to Work in the Fashion Industry

Updated on May 7, 2012

Those fresh out of apparel merchandising schools seek jobs inside the fashion industry where positions range from retail clerk to management positions. They earn anywhere from $10.73 per hour to $34.24 hourly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Merchandising majors find work in department stores, boutique clothing stores and retail warehouses where workers design, make and produce apparel. Jobs found within this sector include, but are not limited to, fashion merchandisers and retail managers.

Fashion Buyer

Fashion buyers, or purchasing agents, select the appropriate apparel for whichever avenue the merchandise will sell from. They work closely with the company's management team to determine what needs to go on the sales floor. Very experienced fashion buyers land employment with well-known fashion designers and they often travel to attend shows in order to select which clothing will get sold at high-end department stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Fashion Merchandiser

Fashion merchandisers predict fashion trends for the spring, summer, fall and winter seasons. Once they determine which item will garner the most sales, they then figure out how to produce the apparel. Production procedures include calculating how much the piece will cost from start (making the piece) to finish (sales floor price). Many fashion merchandisers find employment at department stores and accessory shops.

Retail Managers

Retail managers find employment in department stores and other clothing venues. They have the responsibility of hiring new employees and letting them go if the person does not work out. These managers train workers to handle the sales floor and stock rooms. Retail managers often work alone in smaller stores, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who work in department stores oversee item pricing and tell upper management any concerns that crop up in the area that they oversee.


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    • KelLightningbug profile image

      KelLightningbug 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Johnkadu, I agree about passion being the deciding factor between what will make you or break you in an industry such as this one. Thanks for the comment.

    • Johnkadu123 profile image

      Johnkadu123 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I like the fact that the article has differentiated between the different departments. The fashion industry first and foremost requires someone that loves it. You do not necessarily have to have the best talent in the world but must certainly have some passion for the job. Otherwise the long hours can get to you after a few years.