Hi Guys!
So it’s been a while since we’ve had a Breaking into Fashion post. For those new to the blog, I’ll clue you in: from time to time, I interview insiders to give readers the scoop on how to break into Fashion Industry jobs.
For today’s post, I’m answering a question from reader Brittany of Arkansas State University:


She says, “I am majoring in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising and a Minor in Marketing…whew…lol! Because I’m in Arkansas, I know that it’s going to be that much more difficult to break into the world of fashion. My dream job is to become a Fashion Buyer. I don’t have much time since I’ll be graduating in less than a year…any advice, pleaseeeee!! Thanks!!!

So cute!
To help you out, I got in touch with Krista Land
…a buyer for Macy’s in New York! A 2004 graduate of Howard University, Krista has been working at Macy’s for three years.
Krista got her start with Inroads Inc, an internship program for minority students (inroads.org). She says, “I interned at a bank for 2 summers and then interned at Macy’s for 2 summers. When I graduated, I was offered a spot in the Executive Training Program for the Macy’s East Buying Office. I finished the few months of training in the program and became an Assistant Buyer. I was an Assistant Buyer for about 2 years. I am currently an Associate Buyer.”
Buyers, who select and purchase apparel and accessories from designers, manufacturers or wholesalers, “need to have a good eye for fashion, be organized, and easily able to adapt to change,” she says, “They should also be pretty good with numbers since those things play a big part in the job.”
Being a buyer includes understanding customer likes and dislikes, keeping in touch with retail staffers to see if product is moving, and seeing if the company should buy more or less of an item. Krista, who has a Bachelors in Marketing, says the key to getting your foot in the door is an internship. “I would advise college students to intern in retail to get a feel for the business and have a better idea if it’s something that they want to pursue,” she says. For someone mid career, she encourages reading up on the profession, then contacting industry representatives for exploratory interviews.
Fashion buyers have a pretty fast paced lifestyle. “Day to day, I manage several departments (a few responsilbilites are maximizing sales performance, coming up with pricing strategies, reordering product that’s selling well). There’s a lot of analysis involved,” she admits.
But as with any industry job, it seems you must start at the bottom before you climb to the top!
So Brittany (and anyone else out there), hope that was helpful!

Fashion, News, and What Nots

*Want to be a stylist? Check out my interview with June Ambrose. Keen on being a magazine editor? Look up my interview with Pam Edwards. Want to be a publicist? You must read about Bonnie Morrison. And if there’s any other aspect of the industry you’d like to learn more about, e-mail me at th************@gm***.com and let me know!
*A hot preview of Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2008 Collection

…Absolutey Fabulous.[Coutorture]
*Our favorite cell phone chucking model was hospitalized in Brazil. [Bossip]

7 thoughts on “How to Break into Fashion: Krista Land”

  1. Claire,

    Awesome post!! That is so nice for you to give inside information for the young lady interested in the fashion industry. It is so true that you must start from the bottom and move your way up in this industry. I have a BA in Fashion and I remember in my younger day working in the industry as a technical designer and you definitely have to learn from the bottom up before landing that designer job.
    Keep the awesome post coming!! I love it here. You are so inspiring.

    have a great day :)

  2. Claire,

    That was great info. As a fashion student at Parsons, we learn the same thing! Tell her that she may want to invest in a book called, “Merchandising Mathematics for Retailing” its the main textbook with all the math formulas that she will NEED if she wants to get into the buyers training program. My teacher tells us all the time that because we are taking Merchandising Math, we are ahead of the game! If she starts practicing now, she will know the mark up formula like the back of her hand!

  3. I am looking in the best way to get my daughter into the high fashion business.She has an agent but she is 13 and I was lead to believe that is too young for high fashion, what age must you be and why? You can act when you are a small child so why is there an age limit.Maybe a reader of this post can give me an idea or two.

  4. Awww…look at HU doing big things. I love it! Great post. As a college student myself, I think it is so inspiring to hear tesitmonials and advice from professionals doing the very same job you are aspiring to achieve.

  5. thankyou for that, that was really helpful. i had quite a few questions on thta, and you just answered all of them. it was great!!!!!! xx jess

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