Learn how to put together a successful collection range – from the design showroom to the store; the fashion buyer decides what will be on sale next season. They plan the purchasing of seasonal items, identify upcoming trends and choose the right product and brand mix. Fashion buyers are the main drivers in the fashion retail industry, a pivotal area and influential role in any successful fashion business.
At postgraduate level participants will have previous undergraduate level study in the fields of economics, marketing, fashion design with marketing or similar, or proven work experience completing the Contemporary Fashion Buying course with highly specialised skills in fashion buying. Providing current and future business models, encapsulating innovation, new media and technology in the global buying process, this one year course (lasting 15 months in London and Paris – including internship – and 12 months in Milano) covers contemporary issues in product selection and purchasing methods.
Buyers need to be business'minded with strong analytical skills and the ability to negotiate and work alongside many departments including marketing and sales, ensuring new collections and items are commercially viable either in store, or via online retailing and e'commerce platforms. Participants learn the technical and theoretical aspects of a buying campaign analysing different retail formats and key macro trends. By studying the organisation of the buying team they fully understand the role and responsibility of buyers and merchandisers in the global market. Key buying processes include stock mix and import'export techniques as well as pricing strategies and the ability to forecast the profitability of a fashion product.
Participants of this fashion course analyse the buying calendar and correctly plan the purchase of a seasonal collection using a balanced combination of products and brands responding to current trends and influences. By understanding how the consumer perceives a collection they are able to put together an appealing, desirable and winning fashion collection.
The relationship of visual merchandising and sales, negotiation techniques, and soft skills in communication, decision making, time management, leadership, and team working enable participants to successfully perform on real commercial projects developing effective buying strategies for a benchmark company.
Participants apply the experience acquired on industry projects to prepare their own professional buying strategy for business, as well as potential industry start'ups.
Course themes: Strategic fashion buying; fashion marketing management; contemporary issues in fashion; fashion buying and product development management; fashion buying and supply chain management; research methods; dissertation.
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- A 1st degree, 2.1 or above, in a relevant related subject area from a UK university or overseas equivalent; for international students for whom English is not their 1st language: IELTS at grade 6.5 or TOEFL 233 plus points on the computer-based test.