Great article on Fashion Degrees:
Fashion Design School Degrees
By Catherine Olivia
The world of fashion design encompasses more than design.
If you love the world of fashion and want to make your mark
on it there are many other ways to do it other than to become
the next Vera Wang.
Fashion design schools offer courses in fashion and retail
management, fashion merchandising and fashion marketing.
If you can't design fashion but have an eye for putting the look
together and knowing intuitively what the next "hot" look will
be, perhaps you'd want to look into a fashion design school with
an eye towards becoming a fashion purchasing manager in the
Every big department store such as Nieman Marcus and Saks has
fashion buyers. Everything that is in a department store that is
offered for sale was picked out by a buyer.
These fashion purchasing managers or fashion buyers choose and
buy the products that are sold in retail stores. Imagine for a moment
attending the latest fashion shows in the US and Europe. Seeing first
hand the latest fashion offerings of the big name couture design houses
such as Lauren, Dior, Gaultier, or the ready-to-wear collections of
Balenciaga and Herrera.
Don't think for one minute that the life of a fashion buyer or fashion
purchasing agent is all glitz and glamour and hobnobbing. A fashion
buyer must have a solid education and expertise in sales and store
Fashion buyers are usually graduates of a fashion design school and
are hand selected by stores such as JC Penny to enter their training
programs. They need a bachelor's degree in marketing and merchandising.
Some stores require that a buyer hold an MBA.
There is a hierarchy that is followed in fashion buying. Generally stores
will hire new employees as junior buyers to help associate buyers. A
fashion buyer usually starts out responsible for one or two different
fashion brands. It may take years of experience before associate buyers
become senior fashion buyers.
Fashion Buyers must be able to develop strong working relationships
with manufacturers reps. They must be able to negotiate prices and be
able to communicate with a wide variety of people. Strong work ethic
and a positive attitude are also required.