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What degree do you need to be a fashion buyer?

What degree do you need to be a fashion buyer?

March 31, 2023

Fancy shopping for a living? Of course, being a Fashion Buyer involves a lot more than that.

It’s an occupation that demands an obsession with the latest trends. You are determining what your company’s customers will be wanting to buy, before they even know what they want to buy!

It’s a dream job for many. Ever wondered what degree you need to be a fashion buyer?

But first, what is a Fashion Buyer?

If you are a Fashion Buyer, you are a vital member of any retail or manufacturing team.

You are responsible for procuring and selecting the clothing items that customers want to buy.

You must be knowledgeable about current trends, you must know who the company’s target audience is, and you need to ensure that your company is buying the right products are the right price, at the right time.

You will negotiate with suppliers to get the best deal while maintaining good relationships with key vendors. You’ll manage and plan inventory levels, and take both the credit and blame when levels are out of balance. You aim for profit and steer clear of losses through your education, experience and astute business acumen.

What degree do you need to be a Fashion Buyer?

To become a successful fashion buyer, it is essential to obtain a degree in a relevant field.

“A combination of both industry experience and business studies would lead to success in a Buying role. A program that gives you both business knowledge, skills and experience in the industry would be the perfect combination,” ICMS Fashion and Global Brand Management lecturer Cara Wiggins said.

“The sooner an aspiring buyer starts to work in the retail side of the industry the better. But it is essential to supplement that with commerce, marketing, analytics, retail and or fashion knowledge and skills, as the buyer would be better prepared for opportunities in that space.”

The ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) combines business and fashion to deliver a career-focused qualification, with work experience included.

You will graduate job ready with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the dynamic and competitive world of the fashion industry.

You will have access to invaluable resources designed to boost your career. From business cards, interview preparation, LinkedIn profiles and mentorship from successful alumni – having the right skillset is just part of the equation – in order for you ace that competitive job market.

Your final year gives an opportunity to deep dive into a ‘capstone’ project focused on addressing contemporary industry issues- giving you unique insights as well as honing those professional capabilities required by employers.

Perks and Challenges: What working Fashion Buyers have to say

Here are a few things Fashion Buyers had to say about the perks, and challenges, of working as a Fashion Buyer*: Reviewer 1, specialising in Accessories and Womenswear:

Being a fashion buyer requires long hours and hard work, but it will always be my dream job.

Perks? Working in a face paced fashion industry is incredible, creative and analytical at the same time. You’re constantly working on something different and spend a lot of your time looking at new trends.

Challenges? It is very competitive, which means you have to be incredibly driven within your role. The hours are long and the role has high accountability.


Pay/Salary: 5/5

Job Satisfaction: 4/5

Variety of work: 5/5

Job Security: 5/5

Career Progression Opportunities: 5/5 Reviewer 2, specialising in Menswear:

Being a trainee fashion buyer has its ups and downs


I love being hands on with products with all stakeholders.


The lack of time to perform all tasks. There is a lot to do and not enough hours in the day.


Work-Life balance: 4/5

Career Progression Opportunities: 4/5

Pay/Salary: 4/5

Job Satisfaction: 4/5

Variety of work: 5/5 Reviewer 3, specialising in Womenswear:

I would only consider this job if you are resilient, positive and quick thinking, with confidence.


It’s a challenging role but rewarding. It’s best to have a positive attitude.


It’s challenging to get new ideas across the line and engage other stakeholders, as well as time management challenges and work comes in peaks and troughs.


Career Progression Opportunities: 4/5

Job Security: 4/5

Variety of Work: 4/5

Pay/Salary: 4/5

What Salary can you expect as a Fashion Buyer?

Fashion Buying is an incredibly competitive field within a competitive industry. Salaries will vary widely depending on the level of skills, experience and performance of Fashion Buyers.

According to Payscale, the average salary for a Fashion Buyer in Australia is $65,000 per annum, but this can go as high as $98,000.

A degree will often correlate with higher earning power, as well as the movement into management positions. If you are a Fashion Buyer managing junior buyers, it is likely that your earning power will increase.

The ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) degree will get you management ready with 12 core business subjects in addition to 6 electives and 6 specialisation subjects, with two Work Integrated Learning (WIL), or internships, included in your degree.

The core business subjects include Management Solutions for a Changing World (MGT101A) and Unlocking Your Leadership Potential (MGT201A) to complement the more Fashion-Buying focused subjects such as Fashion Planning and Buying (FBM202A) and Retail Strategy and Operations (FBM301A).

For more information about the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management), click here.

* Anonymous reviews of Fashion Buyer jobs on



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