29 June, 2022 | Posted by Colm McDonnell

Key Skills Needed to be a Fashion Buyer

To be a good fashion buyer, you need a diverse set of skills. In the world of retail fashion, life is fast-paced, and it requires people who are able to keep up with the demand of that lifestyle. In this article, we shall take a closer look at what makes a good fashion buyer.

Knowledge of the History of Retail Fashion

Like with any industry, one must be aware of the history that has preceded their entry into it. Having a grasp of the history of retail fashion, from both a theoretical and practical point of view, will you give the foundational understanding and context needed to be able to work in retail fashion successfully.

Knowledge of Fashion Trends

In retail fashion, there is a constant battle between retailers to be ahead of each other and the first to get to the latest fashion trends. As a fashion buyer, one of your main responsibilities will be identifying and forecasting the latest trends by analysing consumer behaviour and making informed decisions based on your research.


One of the key aspects of successful retail fashion is having an effective marketing strategy. The way a retailer markets their product(s) to their consumer will have a direct impact on the sales they can achieve. As a fashion buyer, you will need to have a firm grasp of how to market your brand well, understanding the different needs of different sections of your consumer base.

Sustainability and CSR

Sustainability is a word that has infiltrated almost every industry in the world and retail fashion is no different. In fact, retail fashion may be where sustainability is most prevalent. The world is waking up to the harmful effects of fast fashion, in which retailers play a role in. Entering the world of retail fashion nowadays requires fashion buyers to be mindful of carrying out their role in a sustainable and responsible way. You will need to familiarise yourself with key concepts such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Economic, Social, and Governance (ESG).

Garment Technology

Garment technology encompasses many different activities within the supply chain from garment construction, manufacturing and assembly, machine and fabric choice, sample fitting, technical specifications and quality and cost considerations. As a fashion buyer, it is essential that you have a working knowledge of garment technology and the difference between different methodologies as it pertains to garment technology.

Financial Capabilities

The aim of any retailer is to make as much money as they possibly can while delivering quality products to their customers. A fashion buyer needs to be able to show financial responsibility when making decisions. Retailers will look for personnel who can keep their costs low, and their sales and profits high.

Get in Contact

If you are interested in finding out more about studying Business of Fashion at Portobello Institute you can visit our course pages here or get in contact with our director of enrolment Brandon McLean at brandon.mclean@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0035.

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