패션을 구매하는 사람이라고 언급하였지만, 실제 바이어로 일하는 분들의 인터뷰와 생각을 한데 모아 정리해 보았다.
What do you do for a living?I’m a retail fashion buyer for a major American department store.
How would you describe what you do?At the most basic level the buyer ensures that the correct merchandise is in a store at the correct time with the correct quantities to satisfy the customer. The success of a buyer is quantified by achievement of retail sales and gross margin goals.
What does your work entail?A buyer’s in charge of a product category and you basically review the marketplace landscape per your particular customer bases or what particular customer base you may be looking to capture. Then you go out and you determine what the correct product is for your category. Then it involves lots of negotiations.You find a vendor. You create a partnership that’s mutually beneficial and create an assortment with them, again to cater to your customer. You plan the financial aspect of the from top to bottom at a seasonal level and year level and plan your goals for the big picture.You find the partner that you want to purchase the styles from. Then you purchase the styles. As a buyer you’re in charge of all the merchandising aspects, of choosing the merchandise, choosing what it looks like on the floor, and designing the floor landscape.You’re in charge of all the product information that goes to the store and any and all communication to the store about your product.Buyer’s are in charge of all the advertising and marketing too. Any promotional cadences, when you see a special on television, if they say that this is going to be $49.99 and it’s usually $79.99. The buyer’s the one that chose that. You have to do a financial forecast, understand the market and what’s happening when you have product category lists.
How did you get started?But the other thing as a buyer is you’re an executive in that corporation, especially as a department store buyer, you’re a top-level executive. Managing a large team is a huge part of your job. You routinely sit with other top level executives and report what your 2 to 3 years development goals are, who’s getting promoted when to what position on your team, etc.
As a senior in high school I job shadowed a buyer at the local luxury department store and was very interested in the dynamics of the role. While majoring in retail merchandising (a combination business/fashion degree,) I took a job as a sales associate at a department store and took the role very seriously, working about 35 hours a week. My school required a formal internship junior year and the department store agreed to move me to New York to work in their flagship store for a semester as a store-line management intern. After showing strong performance results I was granted a second internship in the buying office the next summer. This buying office internship, in addition to 6 years of part-time retail experience, opened many doors. Upon college graduation, I was given offers in big-box, specialty and department store buying offices.
What do you like about what you do?I like almost every aspect of my job but most importantly I like how dynamic it is. While there is certainly an “average” day, most days are filled with a variety of both analytical and creative work. I am regularly challenged to solve a problem that I have not come across before or develop a new business opportunity that I have identified. The ability to travel (to trade shows and visiting stores) keeps me connected to the “results” portion of my job. It is very satisfying to see a project that my team developed come to fruition in a store.
What education or skill are needed to do this?
Minimum four year degree in business or retail merchandising is best. Dependent upon varied professional experience it is a role that can be worked into. I know a retail CEO that was a history major!
Required skill set includes strong analytical skills (both quantitative and qualitative,) leadership qualities, excellent relationship building talent and the ability to form and execute a business strategy.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Think long and hard before you decide want to do this. I see girls that I mentor that are like “Oh, my god. I so want to be a fashion buyer. It will be so cool.”
You’ve got about five years before you ever touch product, before you ever see product.
To remember that maybe in your first year 70% of the job is analytical and execution. You have to really enjoy business management first and product second and understand that in your career, if you really are truly a good merchant, you should be able to buy widgets, gadgets, and designer clothing exactly the same. You should be as good a buyer buying staple guns for the Home Depot as you are buying Couture.You really should love to buy nuts and bolts the same way you buy high fashion. You have to be able to understand any sort of product that comes along and learn business models first and learn product second.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
That it’s very glamorous. Maybe 5 out of 200 major style buyers in my company get to do anything remotely like cool, as far as meeting celebrities, going to fashions shows, unique product offering and whatnot. It happens, and it’s fun when it does, but it is not as often as people think.
What are your goals and dreams for the future?
I would like to move into a multinational buying role where I can utilize my skills as a department store buyer along with some of my passion for travel.
[출처 : http://www.jobshadow.com/interview-with-a-retail-fashion-buyer/ ]
American department store에 근무 중인 한 Buyer는 ' 상품의 카테고리를 나누어 특정 고객에 해당하는 Marketplace, Landscape를 기본적으로 제공하거나 특정 고객이 바이어가 셀렉한 상품에 몰입할 수 있는 영향력을 발휘해야 한다. 그때 바이어는 카테고리의 상품을 결정할 수 있게 된다.결과적으로 많은 협상, 계약을 성사시키게 되는 것이다.' 라고 말하였다.
이는 결과적으로 특정 고객을 선정하여 그에 만족을 줄 수 있는 상품을 제공해야 고객으로부터 피드백을 제공 받을 수 있게 된다는 것이다.
그리고 바이어는 고객의 욕구를 충족시켜야 하지만 그와 동시에 적절한 Partnership, 즉 Vendor도 필요하다. 바이어가 적절한 파트너가 형성 되었을때 특정 제품군을 선택하기가 더욱 수월해 진다고 한다.
"당신은 첫번째로 비즈니스 매니지먼트에 정말 흥미가 있어야 하고, 두번째는 상품에 관심이 있어야 하며 세번째는너의 직업에 대한 이해가 필요한데, 만약 정말 당신이 훌륭한 Merchant라면, 도구, 상품, 디자이너 의류 모두를 동일하게 구매할 수 있어야 한다.
" You should be as good a buyer buying staple guns for the Home Depot as you are buying Couture."
그리고 앞으로 Fashion buyer가 되고 싶은 이들에게 비즈니스 혹은 retail merchnadising 을 최소 4년 과정을 들으라고 권장한다. 물론 사람, 문화의 차이일 수도 있겠으나 이러한 경험은 분명 professional한 경험으로써 역할을 톡톡히 해낼것이라는 것이 이유이다. 그리고 패션바이어가 바로 되는 사람은 없으며 적어도 5년 이상의 긴 시간이 걸릴 것이라고 충고를 한다. 단순히 분석하며 행정적인 일만을 도맡을 수도 있다는 것을 명심해야한다고 한다.
분명한 것은 이러한 길을 가고 싶은 사람은 패션을 사랑해야 하며 상품에 대한 투철한 이해와 비즈니스 모델에 대하여 학습은 당연히 따라와야 한다는 것이다.
Natalie Kingham는 Matches boutiques 의 국제 바이어이다.
"I'm buying for very glamorous customers but I don't have one woman in my head; I have five. I've given each one an imaginary lifestyle. One has a yacht in Ibiza. Another is a businesswoman. If I feel none of them would wear an item I can't buy it."
단순히 바잉을 할때 본인의 취향 하나를 따르는 것이 아니라 5가지의 다양한 라이프스타일을 가진 고객층을 고려하여 바잉을 한다고 한다.
다양한 대중의 선택을 받을 수 있는 방법으로써 생각되지만 5가지의 라이프스타일을 명확하게 각인 시킨다는 것이 쉽지 않은 일임에는 분명할 것이다.
[출처 : http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/ ]
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어떤 분야의 전문가가 된다는 것은 누군가가 당신에게 '이름, 나이, 가족 등' 을 물었을때 자연스럽게 입밖으로 튀어나오는 준비가 되어 있는 사람이다. 큰 고민없이 자신의 분야에 대해 할 얘기가 많은 사람, 그만큼 자신이 있는 사람, 자신감이 아닌 자부심으로써 한 분야의 전문가가 되어있는 사람들의 말은 그만큼 값어치가 있다.
매번 비슷한 말처럼 들릴 수도 있고, 흘려들을 수도 있지만, 그 속에 언제나 답이 있는 법.
당연히 전문가의 길은 멀고 험난하며, 단순히 패션 바이어가 되고 싶다면 벌써 포기하는 것이 빠른 순서일 것이다. 그 전에 있을 많은 경험과 경력이 바탕이 되어 오를 수 있는 위치가 이 자리이므로 차근차근 숨고르면서 준비한다면 언젠간 항상 비슷한 말만 하던 사람들의 이야기를 자신도 하고 있을지 모른다.