A fashion sales representative is an individual who works directly for a clothing manufacturer. It is this person's job to interact with fashion buyers, who may work at large department stores, catalog outlets, or small shops, and to share each season's new clothing line and ultimately sell the clothes. As a result, this job requires a mixture of fashion and style knowledge, as well as marketing and advertising skills. Anyone working as a fashion sales representative should be passionate about fashion and style, and should be an outgoing, friendly person who is good at making the sale.
Many people work their way up to this job in the fashion industry, often by getting internships or entry-level jobs at various places and making connections. Others will pursue education in fashion merchandising or fashion design; these degrees are often found at technical schools. For those who are most interested in marketing, or hope to be promoted to managerial roles, an actual bachelor's degree in marketing would be very helpful as well. This career can be approached in a number of different ways, though, and certainly not every fashion sales representative has been required to earn a four-year college degree to be successful.
In general, the bulk of the job of a fashion sales representative will be selling the company's product to buyers who will then sell it at their own stores. As a result, this person must be good at networking, and should possess extensive knowledge of his or her product. This is also where a background in fashion design comes in handy, because the fashion sales representative should also have the ability to knowledgeably discuss current trends, styles, and unique fashions created by the company in order to entice buyers to purchase the product and resell it.
When a fashion sales representative is not meeting with fashion buyers, he or she will likely be working with the marketing department at the company. This is particularly true if the company sells their clothes or accessories themselves, such as through a website or catalog, or even through an outlet store. The successful fashion sales representative may eventually help to design marketing campaigns and do current market research to see what is working effectively and what is not. As a result, creativity is a very important skill to have in this position as well, in addition to an understanding of various marketing and advertising techniques that may be used.