What it's Like to Work in Menswear: Fashion Buying

Career Advice
22 February 2016 | Career Advice | Guest Author

We go behind the scenes at fashion brand Ted Baker to discover what it is like to work in menswear fashion buying, specifically in the role of a Senior Menswear Buyer.

Tell us a little about what the role of a buyer at Ted Baker - what are your main responsibilities?

The role is extremely varied and can include developing product with the design team, working with the merchandising team to select product and agree store distribution, cost negotiations on fabric and samples as well as being reactive to trade and ensuring the right product is in stores at the right time.

Describe a typical day in the office

The office is fast-paced and extremely varied from day to day. We are working on multiple seasons at a time, trading one, buying another and developing a third. So the day could start with reviewing the bestsellers and figures from the previous week, reviewing the upcoming season buy based on the current sales, meeting with suppliers, negotiating costs, presenting the range to other departments, such as Wholesale, Visual Merchandising, E-commerce and the Press team.

What are the most rewarding parts of the job?

Seeing products that you have developed in-stores and on customers. It is always rewarding to see a coat that you worked on from just a drawing and fabric swatches to keeping someone warm and stylish on the street!

What are the most challenging parts of the job?

The main objectives of the role, is to buy the right product for the right time at the right quality and price. With outerwear, it is always important to be aware of the trends and the weather. When the weather is unusually warm, people will not shop for coats and the second it turns we have to make sure there are enough options to choose from.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in following a similar career path?

One thing you will need is real passion for product and for the industry. Find an area that you really enjoy and are interested in and make it your expertise. I chose to focus on outerwear, because I loved the options.

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