So You Want To Be A Fashion Buyer?

fashion buyer mfw

You’ve heard the name, but what does a fashion buyer do?


The long fashion month has come to an end and now serious work begins, the work of a fashion buyer. They’ve sat front row at the shows, met the designers, saw the collection up close and now have to make a decision of what we, as consumers, actually want in our wardrobes.

I am very excited to introduce to a good friend, fellow fashion blogger and a buyer for some of the top brands for Dubai. Heidi, aka Doll In The Desert shares her MFW schedule and all you need to know if you ever fancied a career in buying.

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What does a fashion buyer actually do?
I analyses global and market trends and bring products for different brands to the region. I travel every two months to Europe to review the collections of different brands and see what is appropriate to bring back to our stores. This includes working with designers, product teams and key brands all over the world.

What is a common misconception about being a fashion buyer?
That we go shopping when 80% of my day is actually looking at figures and analysing trends. 

How do you get ready for fashion week? 
I review all my stores current performances and what activities are coming up so once we see the fashion show collections we are good to go. Once I have an idea of what we need, I review all the budgets before I go to the show, so I know straight away what I will spend the money on for my brand.

What do you pack?
Two looks per day. I have my fashion show look, then I usually go and change before I get into my work / business mode for meetings at the HQ. I always pack my trainers and my lunch for the flight, I never eat airline food #diva.

Describe your normal daily routine during fashion week.
5am Wake up, check the sales from the day before, respond to emails, Whatsapp, have an espresso macchiato.
5.30-6.00am I go for a run around the park in Milano prior to the shows. I keep my routine when travelling because I travel so much.
7am I come home get ready, create my look, review the figures before leaving the hotel.
9am-rest of the day Show, show re-cap, store visit to review the collections, meetings at the HQ to go over the styles and collections.
8pm I head for an aperitivo with my colleagues before bed to repeat day after.

Is it all as glamorous as it looks? 
I wish! One word comes to mind… running. I’m always on the go and you should see me sneak behind a wall and change out of my stilettos after the show or how much I sweat due to all the layers I need to wear for my “look” when it is a comfortable 20oC. However, the city of Milano has the best vibe during fashion week, in my opinion it’s the best.

How do you know what consumers want to buy? Do you check what’s be snapped on Instagram?
I spend every day analyzing what our customer likes and don’t, so once the clothes come down the runway you know straight away what are the best and worst sellers. Social media influences our buying decisions so much these days, its a fantastic market research tool.

What is the process of buying once you’ve been to the shows?
I go to the showroom to see the full collection. From here models try on on the samples and we create total looks for the stores.

What is the most memorable moment from fashion week?
Going to the shows obviously, and sitting behind Anna Wintour. I love her!

What are the perks of the job? What are the downsides of the job?
Perks are being able to travel the world, seeing new trends, styles and clothes emerging. But you can’t always predict the future, you may buy a whole collection nine months earlier and then a political or economic situation may occur which affects the spending power of the consumer, and as a result your buying. But you learn to turn negative into a positive.

Okay, I still want to be a fashion buyer, where do I start?
Start at the bottom, sorry, it is the only way. Intern with a buying department and work your ass off. 

What is the most valuable piece of advice that you can share?
From a business perspective, don’t try to solve everything yourself. With every problem, ask your team to give you two solutions, it frees you up to focus on your tasks and the bigger picture.

What is the most precious piece in your wardrobe?
My Chanel bags of course. 

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