First Taste as a Retail Fashion Buyer

Earlier this month, I got my first real taste as a fashion buyer when I attended ENK’s Accesorie Circuit at the Javits Center in New York City.  Initially, I wasn’t thrilled about having to wake up at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday to take the train into the city but it worked out for the best because my trip to the trade show was a success. Starting next month, our eboutique C’est Mode Chic will add new products from two designers—Botkier (handbags) and Dana Betts (fine jewelry). I’m swooning over the new accessories we ordered at the show and excited to give you a sneak peek in the coming weeks of the new stuff arriving in the boutique for fall. So stay tuned!

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This role I hold as fashion buyer for C’est Mode Chic is completely new territory for me, which is a little frightening. New experiences have a tendency of doing that. However, I fought through my initial worries and created a clear plan for Sunday’s event two weeks ago, which greatly helped in settling my nerves and keeping me focused during the show. With so many talented designers exhibiting at ENK shows, it’s so easy to get side-tracked. My advice for any newbie like me just starting out, is to create a clear plan of what brands you want to see, set a budget, and stick to it. Before ever stepping foot in a trade show, you need to have a clear vision for your company and the direction you want to take it because that is the basis for everything and from there determine what brands fit that image.

My objective at the trade show was to build relationships with brands that share C’est Mode Chic’s aesthetic and complement the company’s current line of accessories. We were able to open wholesale accounts with two of our top four favorite brands, excluding one account which is pending approval from the brand’s president. This would not be possible if I had not attended ENK’s Accessorie Circuit. As a new company, I’ve learned in a short amount of time how important it is to attend fashion trade shows. This is where relationships with other brands are built and where buyers such as myself get an opportunity to sample the products for future seasons. A brand’s line sheet (a wholesale sales sheet providing information on products) doesn’t tell the whole story. When you get the opportunity to feel the products up close and talk with the sales reps about what pieces are their best sellers, valuable information is gained and that can set the tone for success from one season to the next. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to putting my new skills as a fashion buyer to work at ENK’s Coterie trade show next month. Be sure to follow us for the inside scoop!

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