What is there not to love about being a fashion buyer, right? You get to travel the world, attend glamorous fashion shows, and shop all day. My first thought was, “Seriously, how hard can this be?”
Wrong. So Wrong. I would like to welcome you to the world of vendor negotiations, purchases orders, fashion showrooms, huge trade shows and excel spreadsheets that end up becoming your best friend.
I’ve got to say that being a fashion buyer is not glamorous as most tend to believe. Of course, there are many ups and downs about being a fashion buyer, but I’ve got to say that there is so much more than what people normally take into account.
Travelling to Paris sounds amazing, until you check your schedule and realize that you’ll barely have time to breathe. With tight deadlines, you end up running all around a huge city, realizing there is so much to see and explore but you are not able to really appreciate anything around you. You can only focus on the numerous showrooms you have to visit each day. “Sorry for being late”, becomes the most usual and common phrase you’ll use during the trip.
I must admit there are stunning and fascinating showrooms, but there are also some horrendous ones. In each we look around the entire collections and have to not only think on what we like, but really consider and take into account our customers perspectives. It is hard. As a buyer I am constantly asking myself “What were the best sellers from last season and what is going to be the next big trend?”. There are times when you see things you never thought people would actually buy, but then they end up sold out and a customers’ favorite.
In each show room we try the clothes on to make sure they fit nicely, are good quality, etc. Then we take photos of the pieces we liked and of their tags to make the orders. Believe me when I say this is exhausting and this is the fun part. Upon my return, I have to order all the pieces we selected after carefully analyzing each product and how much of each to order keeping in mind our customers.
There is nothing really glamorous about this job. Just imagine having to go through this entire process of long hours, jetlag, tight deadlines, non-stop running. Just think about doing this 6 times per year. It certainly is one of the most exhausting jobs inside the fashion industry
You never really understand what you are going into; until you experience first-hand the craziness of this entire process. Being a buyer has many downs, but the limited incredible ups you get to experience make it completely worthwhile.
I have to say it’s pretty awesome being able to see the collections before anyone else and there is nothing more rewarding than selling all the products I selected and purchased. As people say, “You must be willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve greatness. It’s part of the process”. Even though my life as a fashion buyer is not glamorous, I’ve learned and experienced so much that I’d be lying if I said I would take any of this back. It’s certainly not a job for anyone but if you have the passion and the right mind-set, you’ll be able to enjoy every single step of the way. Especially when I see our clients being so happy for what we chose for them, it’s all worth it afterall.