Glamorous and creative are the words that we associate with the fashion industry. The design part of this business requires creative thinking as one of the major challenges is to innovate. At the same time, a bigger and more influential department is taking care of the bottom line. This may surprise many, but Mathematicians are the most essential in people in the fashion design industry. Let us see a list of important fashion designation where math’s skill set decides the proficiency.
• Fashion Buyer
In the fashion retail industry, a buyer selects items for the retail store. Buyer is very crucial for any brand or designer and it requires experience in the industry. They have good analytical skills and are very good with numbers and calculations. Apart from having a keen sense of fashion trends and brand imagery, buyer’s from big brands like HnM places order that maybe one-quarter of a million piece per style, says Sundeepa Bamval, senior product developer HnM brands.
The lifeline of the Fashion industry is merchandising is a very interesting job in the fashion industry. Apart from having a keen eye for trends, merchandisers have shrewd understand business management. The most proficient merchandisers are masters of price negotiation, which require a high level of mathematical acumen. “It is a zero error job profile where the difference of one single cent can affect profit or loss of the complete order,” says Sundeepa Bamval, HnM.
• Category Head
A category head in a fashion brand is a person who decides the number of pieces of each style to produce. This is a business management job that overlaps with some part design and retail. Business projection and calculation are the key areas. In some brands, fashion designers report to the category head.
• Business Head
This person is responsible for budgets, expenditures, and business projections. “They don't understand design, but numbers”, says Atul Saxena, Fashion contributor of online fashion school -Indian School of Design.
Chief Financial officer is responsible for the accounts and budgets of a fashion company. One of the most important designation as without their approvals, nothing moves.
• Business Controller
This is a high profile position in international brands. They control the overall functions of all the retails stores and keep in check the performance of retail. They validate the opening of a new store depending on their analysis of market need. This job requires quick calculations and negotiations with real estate.
• Selling Analyst
They are responsible to analyze sales and deploy/replenish the bestselling product to a store. Profits of a company are largely dependent on the efficiency of a selling analyst.
Mathematics is the power line of the fashion business. Creative fashion designers collaborate with mathematicians to run their business. “Design business cannot exist in isolation. There is always a requirement of mathematicians in fashion”. Says Namrata Niyasi, fashion contributor for Indian School of Design.