Hey guys, hope your all doing good, I spend my day at home today, I really wanted to put this post up because I promised to do so. This post is just going to be about me bulging about my experience at the fashion retail academy regarding their short course in Fashion Buying and Range planning. I apologies for the context, it’s far too long but I just can’t seem to cut it down, I know this post is not going to appeal to alot of you but I thought someone out there might be interested so heyho.
I previously stated this in one of my post, but I will state it again. I am sure many of you guys are not aware exactly what I do, but I am currently in a gap year, I finished my A-levels in Applied science (Physics, Biology and Chemistry) and health and social care, Due to my personal interest, I choose not to go further with the course I was going to do at University, therefore I didn’t proceed. However I will be attending Uni Next year. In the meantime, I am currently seeking employment.
First and foremost, the Fashion retail academy is sponsored by the Arcadia Group which includes (Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topman, Topshop, Wallis and Bhs) as well as Marks and Spencer, Next, Tesco and Experian. The aim of this academy is to educate and trains people at the age of 16+, through a range of classes either Full time Courses or short time Coursers.
As individual I choose to do a short course in Fashion Buying and Range Planning, reasons for this is because while trying to figure my interest in terms of what career I want to purse in, Fashion buying somehow stood out for me and I thought doing a short course before going any further would be ideal to gain a great insight and really ensure myself if this is the path I wish to purse in. The information provided on the website was nicely presented and easy to understand. It was able to highlight exactly what the course will include, e.g. (what a buyer does, customer profiling and understanding target markets, trend research and interpretation, the process of the supply chain and its importance in fashion buying, range planning and understanding pricing policy and prices). Due to the above the fashion retail academy really appealed to me and encouraged me to book the course immediately. A short time after the course was booked I was sent a pre-course information pack which consisted of the time table (10:00am -4:30pm), the course topics and directions to the academy.
The course was delivered by the lovely Katie who is an expert in this field, she used be a former buyer for ‘Hugo boss’ therefore she was able to provide us with firsthand knowledge and personal experience. Initially I wasn’t sure if this course was going to be my cup of tea and furthmore the other students where all involved within fashion studies, for example somewhere doing fashion promotion and some where junior buyers. Whereas my related qualifications where based around science and health &social care with no background or ideal experience on how the retail sector operates. I felt overruled. However the manner in which Katie delivered the course, made me completely relaxed and comfortable as she taught us from ground up in terms of basic knowledge about the retail sector, therefore nobody felt excluded weather they where first timer or experienced within the fashion sector. Along with this, she also provided practical workshops and just every day knowledge that is happening within the retail sector in terms of ongoing trends, designer collaborations with high street shops, competition, pricing, target market/ marketing and advertising.
The first day consisted of an overview of the retail process, customer profiling, Roles and responsibilities and trend analysis. The second day was about recap, trading and range planning and lastly day 3 consisted of critical path management, sourcing and career advice. The information was provided through a PowerPoint as well 3 detailed booklets and a range of workshops.
Overall based on my experience although this was an introduction I generally feel I was provided with a significant knowledge in just a few days, I mean the course was covered so well, from different spectrum. One of the most valuable thing I learnt is how trends come about and how designers capture the same trends, I generally had no clue how this all come about, but it’s the forecasting group who are responsible for the trends that evolve. I was also exposed to WGSN a website that gives you a heads up on future trends. I mean this sort of information was great for my personal growth and just general knowledge I always questioned myself. On the last day we also had an option in terms of carer advise and for sure I needed this because the situation I was in I needed someone to help me out and Katie was so lovely she was able to help me with my CV and also have a read through my personal statement which was great because she did a similar degree that I am hoping to do at University so she gave me some great tips, along with a contact for a luxury brand if I ever needed a placement whilst I am at university, I will for sure be considering it. Overall I was happy with course in terms of how it was delivered and also the environment.
I am glad, I finally know exactly what I want to do, I always knew I wanted a job within the fashion sector, because that’s where my interest relies in I admire it so much and I think it is important to do something that makes you happy as well you enjoy, I never knew exactly what field I wanted to operate in, it was just done through a lot of research. One piece of advice is you shouldn’t let anyone influence and question your interest, remember that not everyone is going to like or agree to your decisions, I have generally been in this situation myself, hence why I am in the gap year, because I was trying to satisfy others. Just remember at the end of the day it’s your life and you have one shot at it, don’t waste time doing something you have no heart for. There are various jobs within the fashion sector that most people are not aware of, through my research I found various roles that I wasn’t even aware of, it’s a matter of researching and finding what interests you as a person and short courses are great way to discover this because you don’t want to go university and pay £9,000 and then drop out afterwards because you didn’t have in it what’s so ever. Therefore I think short courses are great because it gives a great insight as well a steady foundation in terms of the profession and how it operates weather it suits you as a person or it’s just not for you.