Careers in Fashion Merchandising: The Account Executive

by Mani

Whether it’s a mass-produced fashion label, or small private label, all fashion designers need savvy Account Executives to sell their product.

An Account Executive, also known as a Wholesale Account Manager, plays a vital role making a fashion designer’s line successful. The fashion Account Executive is the person who works with Buyers and other retail executives to build and maintain relationships, present new products, negotiate, collect orders, and handle customer services issues. The fashion Account Executive may also be in charge of acting as a liaison between the apparel manufacturer and the Buyer to ensure smooth delivery.

Account Executives are typically self-motivated, assertive and driven by sales quotas, bonuses and commissions. Account Executives usually get the first look at fashion lines for upcoming seasons and may even work with the fashion merchandising teams to understand how upcoming collections will be promoted and merchandised. This is an important factor because the Account Executive may also be in charge of helping retail associates how to market and promote the fashion line to their customers.

In a recent opening for a fashion Account Executive for Women’s for leading premium denim line True Religion Brand Jeans, job duties included:

• “Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the women’s major and online business
• Drive revenue growth with new and existing customers
• Create Open-to-Buy, forecasting & assortment plans by month as well as analyze sales and present line to buyer
• Generate business plans to define selling strategies and tactics
• Bachelor’s Degree and 5 -7 years wholesale sales experience in contemporary market required”

As mentioned in True Religion’s job description, the Account Executive might collaborate with other fashion professionals such as the Buyer and Allocator. As with most fashion merchandising roles, a fashion focused college degree such as Merchandise Marketing can help an entry level job candidates to get their foot in the door.

While some Account Executives may work solely out of a fashion showroom, others may travel, visiting various retail locations in a certain geographic region or at fashion tradeshow booths for events like MAGIC.

Fashion Account Executives at the MAGIC tradshow booth.

Fashion Account Executives at the MAGIC tradshow booth. Image courtesy of Apparel News.

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