Diary of a Fashion Designer: The Fashion Buying Calendar

IMG_2885The business of fashion is much more than designing clothes. 2017 is the first year is the first year I’ve consulted the fashion buying calendar when assembling my production plan for the year. I hadn’t realized the importance of aligning my design process with my buying process to ensure a smooth transition from concept to creation, then to the consumer’s closet. There’s a specific strategy to the process of showing your collection, selling your collection, shipping your collection, and the actual delivery of product.h

The Fashion Buying Calendar, Sell & Delivery Dates for small brands and large enterprises are currently the same. It allows 6-9 months between presentation and delivery to stores for things like manufacturing, inventory adjustments, and product adjustments. The internet has created an urgency for in season manufacturing as consumers want to buy what they see in real-time. From the runway to their doorstep. Some companies opt to allow the retailer to determine when they receive specific seasons. However, there is a traditional fashion buying calendar for season management, surplus assessment, and overall inventory control.

From the designers perspective the calendar and trend reports serve as a vantage point in the product development cycle; and during the concept phase of the creation of their collections. There are 6 seasons for womenswear, 3 for children’s, and 2 for men’s containing 3 important dates:

  1. Sell Date
  2. Delivery/Shipping Date
  3. Delivery Date


Spring 1

  1. August – October
  2. Late January – March
  3. 1/30, 2/28, 3/30

Spring 2

  1. October – January
  2. Late March – May
  3. 3/30, 4/30, 5/30

Fall 1 (transition)

  1. Late January – March
  2. Late middle of July – August
  3. 7/15, 8/30

Fall 2

  1. March – April
  2. Late September
  3. 9/30


  1. May – June
  2. 10/15, 10/30


  1. June – August
  2. late November – mid January
  3. 11/30, 12/30, 1/15


  1. Spring/Summer
  2. Back To School
  3. Holiday


  1. January – February is Fall buying season
  2. July – August is Spring/Summer buying season

Maintaining a well-organized season management system creates a better buying experience for your retailers, and consumers. It provides pre-season planning for collections, in season planning with open to buy information, controls availability of items, gives insight over original order quantities, controls delivery drops, manages the mark down process, and minimizes risk with transparent credit. All of the above contributes to the return on investment, profit, and success of the business.

Stay tuned, MUAH aaaaaaaand scene……………

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Ebony is a writer, fashion designer, artist, substitute teacher, and mother of 3. She has over 150 published pieces of content on the web in the following categories: fashion, business, technology, and art. Adell graduated from Mount Mary University with a Bachelor Of Arts in Apparel Product Development in 2008.

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