Fashion Buyer

Job Description:

A Fashion Buyer selects and purchases clothing and accessories for retail stores, ensuring they align with current trends and customer preferences while maximising sales and profitability.

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

As a fashion buyer, you will be:

  • Curating a collection of clothing and accessories that align with the brand’s style and target audience
  • Researching and identifying current and upcoming fashion trends to guide purchasing decisions
  • Analysing consumer preferences, competitor offerings, and market trends to make informed buying choices
  • Building relationships with suppliers, negotiating terms, and managing orders and deliveries
  • Creating budgets, monitoring expenses, and maximizing profitability while minimising costs
  • Monitoring stock levels, ensuring adequate product availability, and minimising excess inventory
  • Strategically planning product assortments for different seasons and target markets
  • Determining optimal pricing strategies that balance consumer value and profitability
  • Collaborating with visual merchandisers to ensure products are displayed effectively in stores
  • Reviewing sales data and performance to make adjustments to future buying decisions
  • Maintaining positive relationships with suppliers, addressing issues, and negotiating terms
  • Attending fashion shows and industry events to stay updated with trends and discover new designers
  • Visiting suppliers, trade shows, and fashion hubs to source new products and ideas
  • Working with marketing teams to ensure products align with promotional campaigns
  • Increasingly, considering sustainable and ethical practices in sourcing and purchasing decisions


You will need:

  • knowledge of fashion trends, product details and consumer behaviour
  • knowledge in market research
  • knowledge of retail industry practices
  • understanding of business concepts like budgeting, pricing, and inventory management
  • knowledge of sourcing strategies and supply chain management

As well as:

  • creativity
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • negotiation skills
  • effective communication skills
  • decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • time management (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • adaptability skills
  • a strong work ethic
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a fashion buyer, a strong educational foundation is important. While specific requirements can vary, the following GCSE subjects are generally beneficial:

  1. Business Studies or Economics: Understanding business principles, market dynamics, and consumer behavior.
  2. Mathematics: Developing analytical skills for budgeting, pricing, and financial analysis.
  3. Art or Textiles: Gaining insight into design aesthetics and materials used in fashion.
  4. English: Enhancing communication skills for interacting with suppliers and colleagues.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with technology and data analysis tools used in the fashion industry.

While these subjects provide a solid foundation, remember that becoming a fashion buyer typically requires higher education, often in fashion merchandising, business, marketing, or related fields. Universities or colleges might consider your GCSE subjects alongside A-levels (or equivalent qualifications) when evaluating your application. It’s advisable to research the specific requirements of institutions you’re interested in and seek guidance from academic advisors to tailor your educational path accordingly.

To become a fashion buyer, you need the following qualifications and requirements:


Start with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising, business, marketing, or a related field.

Retail Experience

Gain experience through internships, retail roles, or entry-level positions in fashion buying or merchandising.

Working Hours and Environment:

Fashion buyers typically work standard office hours, but they may vary due to busy seasons, involve fieldwork attending events and trade shows, and occasional travel to meet suppliers, with a fast-paced and collaborative environment in the dynamic fashion industry.

Career Path & Progression:

The fashion buyer career path often begins with entry-level assistant roles, progresses to associate buyer and buyer positions, and can advance to senior buyer, category manager, merchandising manager, buying director, general merchandising manager, retail executive, or entrepreneurship based on experience and leadership opportunities.