Aug. 21, 2020
With study tours canceled, apparel merchandising and product development students used their August intercession time to learn about the FAVES Pro app for fashion buyers and merchandisers.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With study tours canceled due to COVID-19, Lance Cheramie took the opportunity to create a new experience for U of A students in apparel merchandising and product development.
Cheramie, an instructor in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Science’s School of Human Environmental Sciences, has replaced the study tour with a virtual class focused on technology in the apparel industry.
Cheramie and Ulla Hald, streaming live from Denmark, are teaching technology-driven retail buying techniques to a class of future merchandisers and buyers.
Hald is the creator and founder of FAVES Pro, an app dedicated to helping fashion buyers and merchandisers be organized; maintain an overview of what they’ve seen and purchased as they visit showrooms, trade shows and online platforms; and track spending and budgets across categories and with multiple vendors.
“Being a fashion buyer or merchandiser is more than attending flashy events,” said Cheramie. “You need an analytical mind and a good eye to pick winners for your store, so you need an extensive knowledge of customer behavior, fashion trends and global macro trends. You have to base your decisions on the analysis of data from past performances, and to do that, you have to be organized when you’re in a buying season so you can juggle all this information and make the best decisions.”
The FAVES Pro is new technology used by retailers to organize collections and monitor their budget. It prevents redundant purchases and makes sure users acquire essential items.
“You can see if you are buying too many similar yellow maxi dresses or if you missed buying red dresses for the holidays,” said Cheramie. “It’s also used by sales staff to pre-sell goods and by marketing teams to better plan campaigns. At larger retailers, it’s used by in-house designers to determine gaps and opportunities. Designers can see what the buyers have bought from vendors, and then design styles to complement and augment orders.”
The class was originally scheduled to attend the MAGIC show in Las Vegas. MAGIC is the most comprehensive fashion trade show in the U.S. for apparel, accessories, footwear and sourcing materials.
“Since the MAGIC show focuses on the buying aspect of retailing, I wanted the virtual class to explore facets of technology being used in the fashion industry,” said Cheramie. “Because of COVID-19, I wanted to put students in the shoes of a buyer as closely as I could by having them use the FAVES app to create a fictional retail clothing store.”
In addition to Hald, Cheramie has also scheduled virtual interaction with Rick Helfenbein, former president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association; Mercedes Gonzales, CEO of Global Purchasing Companies; and Gerson Fajardo, director of quality operations and sustainability with Walmart.
About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.