Fashion Merchandising as a Careerfashioncareers
Pic Courtesy: SERA
A trained fashion designer is now expected to be multifunctional. S/he should combine her/ his design skills with other managerial functions,such as coordination and merchandising.
Though the concept of fashion merchandising is relatively new in India, and took off only in the mid-‘80s, it provides a wide range of job opportunities in India as the garment market is becoming very competitive, with the entry of multi-national companies.
And so, selling products in the market requires quality merchandising, which means making the right decisions in retailing, presentation, quality control,costing and after sale service, along with promotion of the products through pics, videos and audios..
No wonder then, that merchandising the garments is a safe bet for all those entering the fashion industry which include activities such as advising the designer on trends in vogue, collect orders from the fashion buyers, collaborate with designers and the production team to churn samples and get the same approved by the buyers and calculate the manufacturing price and determine the price on which the products are to be sold.
Training Centres: To train the aspiring professionals in the art of merchandising fashion products, have come up a number of institutes which offer post-graduate and graduate diploma courses in the field including short duration ones.
Those undergoing such courses learn how to buy, produce, sell and promote merchandise. They also learn about various textiles and fabrics.
National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru offers one-year course in Garment Export Merchandising Management.
The programme aims to train students in areas of international marketing, brand and retail management, product development and presentation, fashion marketing strategies and export merchandising.
There are a number of other government as well as private institutes which offer courses in fashion merchandising.
Job opportunities: Once a trainee is through with the training programme, one can be employed at garment manufacturing companies, export house, big retail showrooms etc.However the nature of the job varies as per the nature of the organization one is working in.For example, the primary task of those working in export houses is to coordinate between the company and the buyer, while in the showrooms their job is linked with the availability, stocking and sales of the product.Besides, a fashion merchandiser also works as Sample Coordinator, Quality Controller, Pattern Cutter, Production Assistant, Pattern Grader etc most of which are related to production of garments.Again they may also take up the responsibility as Store Manager, Visual Merchandiser, Fashion Journalist, Fashion Editor, Fashion Product Developer and Fashion Promotion Specialist, Personal Stylist etc.
Success Mantra: Aspiring fashion merchandisers need to be highly creative, possess good sketching skills; outstanding sense of colour and style; superb advertising, marketing and promotional abilities; flexibility in personality and behaviour besides strong math skills.