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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

10 Jobs You Can Get with a Degree in Fashion Merchandising

posted by Nancy Miller, Chair, LIM College Fashion Merchandising Department

FM1There are many possible careers paths you can pursue if you major in Fashion Merchandising, including product development, buying, event planning, styling, sustainability, and more.

No matter which area of the fashion business you’re interested in, LIM’s Fashion Merchandising degree programs can prepare you to pursue your dream career. You’ll take a diverse range of courses, learn about various fields within the fashion business, and discover the direction you want to go in.

Below are 10 potential entry-level positions and job descriptions. It's by no means “the complete list,” but it may be a helpful starting point if you know you want a career in the business side of fashion.

1. Assistant Merchandising Product Manager: In the area of merchandising, the person in this position may participate in team meetings, take part in photo and video shoots, and/or ensure efficient backend operations in development of the product line.

2. Assistant Retail Buyer/Planner: At the retail level, this individual may establish and maintain vendor relationships, track pricing margin and inventory, and ensure products appear at the right time and in the right quantities.

3. Beauty Product Development Associate: The person in this position may help research target markets, identify opportunities to develop a particular cosmetic or fragrance product, and forecast beauty trends.

4. Buying Operations Coordinator: This is a position within the area of retail buying and planning. The person in this role generally creates purchase orders, tracks inventory, and acts as a liaison between the vendor and the buyer.

5. Events Coordinator: Working in the areas of event planning or experiential public relations, an Events Coordinator may meet with clients to assess their needs, coordinate event plans from start to finish, negotiate contracts with suppliers, and make sure that every aspect of an event runs smoothly.

6. Fashion Sourcing Assistant: The person in this role may maintain detailed information on suppliers, coordinate the manufacturing and quality of fashion products, and ensure product availability.

7. Fashion Sustainability Assistant: As sustainability becomes an integral function of the fashion business, a Sustainability Assistant could coordinate sustainable fashion development projects and engage in activities that raise the public’s awareness of sustainability.

8. Product Licensing Coordinator: The activities of this coordinator, who works at the wholesale or retail development level, include: conducting market research, assisting with the product approval process, and documenting and renewing licenses—which are formal business agreements to use name brands.

9. Showroom Assistant: This is a job at the wholesale level of the fashion business. This individual may help set up new products and prepare product line collection collateral, assist buyers while they visit the showroom, and arrange product displays.

10. Styling Assistant: This person adds detailed touches to special events via the selection of clothing, layout of materials, or the application of makeup. Attention to customer service is key in this role to understand the preferred style of the client.

Glossary of Key Terms
Merchandising - The business of creating and selling products and services to consumers through research, forecasting, and customization.

Retail - The ultimate distribution level of product to consumer.

Showroom - A room or space used to display products/services for consumers.

Sustainability - Practices (business practices, in this case) or products that endure in the long term and reduce harm to the environment.

Vendor - An individual or company offering a product or service for sale.

Wholesale - The sale of products in large quantities to be retailed by others.

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