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How to Become a Visual Merchandiser for Forever 21

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Forever 21 is a prominent fashion retailers that targets female teens and young adults. Like other fashion retailers, the company relies heavily on visual merchandising to promote a trendy, stylistic image. A visual merchandiser in the store coordinates merchandise and window displays, and product lays in line with directives from company headquarters and store leaders.

Educational Opportunities

Though its job postings don't specifically note educational requirements, many visual merchandisers do earn associate or bachelor's degrees before entering this profession. A fashion design degree or a visual merchandising degree are common options from two- or four-year schools. In some instances, hiring managers may consider college background and hands-on internship experience in lieu of or in combination with required work experience.

Work Experience

Most Forever 21 store postings for a visual merchandiser to dictate specific work experience requirements. Most commonly cited is a requirement of two or more years of experience in visual merchandising. Along with college and field experience, you may gain the necessary experience in a visual merchandising assistant or associate's role for Forever 21 or another retailer. In some listings, hiring managers also note a preference that you have two to five years of experience in a retail management position. Specific experience in styling mannequins is also mentioned.

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Technical Abilities

Regardless of whether you meet the minimum background parameters, you must possess the necessary qualities to succeed in the store. Familiarity with color psychology, patterns and fashion textures is required. You normally gain knowledge of these areas while earning a degree or when completing internships. Recognition of fashion trends and styles is expected. You must have the ability to interpret plan-o-grams and other visual layout tools used to implement merchandise layouts and displays in-store.

Other Qualities

In addition to technical visual merchandising skills, you also need some other qualities to succeed. The visual merchandiser normally leads a staff of employees that carries out merchandising activities. Therefore, you need management and leadership abilities. In particular, the ability to hire and train capable merchandising associates is noted in Forever 21 job postings. Basic understanding of retail, fashion and the correlation between visual merchandising and sales also are helpful to demonstrate in an interview.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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