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How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser

This article provides an overview of fashion merchandiser careers and the requirements to become a Fashion Merchandiser. This article will outline a Fashion Merchandiser's job duties, salary levels, and employment prospects, as well as discuss the necessary skills, training, educational requirements, and certification requirements.

Fashion Merchandising

Fashion Merchandising Job Description

A fashion merchandiser may also be known as a visual merchandiser, apparel merchandiser, merchandise displayer, display artist, window display artist, or merchandise display artist. Whatever the title, a fashion merchandiser is responsible for designing and creating visually appealing displays of merchandise, and erecting major store decorations in commercial retail establishments. A fashion merchandiser creates the mood, look, and feel of a retail establishment, consistent with store and merchandise image and branding. It is their job to attract and hold consumer attention, and ultimately to get them to purchase merchandise.

There can be many different aspects to the job of fashion merchandiser. They are part artist, part marketer, and part craftsman. The job duties of a fashion merchandiser can include:

  • Planning and designing commercial merchandise displays, making use of products, color, lighting, space, and other accessories, for the windows and interiors of retail stores or trade exhibitions
  • Sketching design ideas either by hand or on the computer
  • Erecting merchandise displays either of their own design or designed by others
  • Finding and creating props to be used in displays
  • Arranging lighting and other accessories
  • Arranging table displays
  • Dressing mannequins
  • Creating and hanging decorations
  • Designing and creating signs
  • Working with management and marketing to ensure that displays are consistent with a store's image and marketing strategy
  • Consulting with advertising and sales
  • Ordering merchandise
  • Stocking displays and departments with inventory
  • Pricing and tagging products

A fashion merchandiser may work full or part time. Their job may entail travel, either to trade shows, or from store to store. Overtime and/or off-hour work may be common when meeting deadlines to finish a display.

Fashion Merchandiser Job Skills

A fashion merchandiser is required to have many different job skills ranging from the artistic to construction abilities. Job skills necessary to be a fashion merchandiser include:

  • Knowledge of fine arts and design
  • Creativity, imagination, and artistic ability
  • Good visual and spatial perception
  • Good sense of style and color
  • Ability to work with shapes and forms
  • Drawing and sketching ability
  • Ability to make use of computer graphics applications
  • Ability to perform basic carpentry and construction
  • Ability to use basic hand and power tools
  • Ability to communicate ideas and designs
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Ability to work with many different organizations such as management, sales, and marketing
  • Understanding fashion industry trends and market forces
  • Manual dexterity, physical flexibility, and stamina

Fashion Merchandiser Salary

As of 2002, salaries for fashion merchandisers were around $22,550, with the top 10% earning more than $40,020. Salaries vary by type and size of employer, and region of the country.

Training and Education Requirements to Become a Fashion Merchandiser

Some fashion merchandisers may learn their job skills on the job. A certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree can significantly help individuals seeking jobs in fashion merchandising. Individuals interested in this career get training in visual merchandising, graphic design, interior design, fashion design, fine arts, or marketing. Individuals typically obtain their education from two- and three-year professional schools, 2-year associate's degree programs, or 4-year bachelor's degree programs. A four-year bachelor's degree provides the best preparation and prospects for employment.

Click here for information on Fashion Merchandising Schools and the programs that they offer.

Fashion Merchandiser Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 77,000 people in the united states employed as merchandise displayers.

Fashion Merchandiser Job Outlook

Fashion Merchandiser employment growth is expected to be about as fast as the average for all occupations through most of the next decade. Most new jobs will come as a result of the need to replace existing workers who retire, change jobs, or leave the occupation or the labor force.


Fashion Merchandising Colleges

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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