In the shoes of a Fashion Buyer

Fashion Buyer Amy talks to us about how she got her dream job.


By Katie

 

The fashion industry is notoriously a hard nut to crack. With thousands of people dreaming of their ‘dream’ job in the fashion industry, getting a head start early makes a BIG difference.

Amy began her journey working in bars, graduating from university and tirelessly worked her way up to her dream job of being a Buyer at a big fashion house in the UK.  We sat down with her to get some tips on how to make it in the fashion industry. 
 



 I started making my own clothes when I was 12. I was so small growing up (and still VERY small as an adult) so I didn’t fit into adult clothes and I had mentally grown out of ‘children's’ clothes. I wanted a khaki trousers and a crop top like Avril Lavigne, punk trousers like Gwen Stefani and pretty much everything that the gang wore in Saved by the Bell. Let’s just say the kids department didn’t really cater for that.


After a good year wearing clothes that were 10 sizes too big for me, my mum bought me a second hand sewing machine and a roll of red tartan material similar to the material used for Gwen Stefanis trousers I idolised. From there on I was hooked. I made everything. Dresses for a night out, cool tops, beach wear and even took on knitting in my mid-teens. 

"It was amazing but at the end of the first day I realised that the industry was much bigger than I thought".

I went to university in Birmingham and studied Fashion Retail Management but quickly moved onto Fashion Design with Knitwear. It was amazing but at the end of the first day I realised that the industry was much bigger than I thought. I needed to make myself stand out and it much more than just dressing differently.
 

 

I started doing everything I could to give me the edge against everyone in my class. I looked for inspiration in everything. Starting with Tumblr I found my style, I went to pretty much every charity shop in Birmingham found gems and then started to develop who actually Amy is. I took an unpaid internship at a fabric house. Here is where I came familiar with what exactly makes up our clothes. It gave me the vital experience to know what material I should be using and more importantly which material I should NOT be using.

"At that point I understood how people can just give up on their dream. “it’s too hard”…”It’s not worth it”"

As University came to a close and subsequently so did the Internship. I moved back home and took a bar job just to get me by but I was adamant that I would get a career in the fashion industry doing something I loved. I applied for every job that came up but nothing. Didn’t hear anything not even a ‘no’. At that point I understood how people can just give up on their dream. “it’s too hard”…”It’s not worth it”… but it is worth it. You are going to be working for the majority of your life so it might as well be in something you love! A job came up as a buyers internship at one of the biggest department store in the UK. They have over 60 stores around the UK and house everything from fashion to house wear to beauty. I just applied and hoped for the best…. I got it. The hard work finally paid off.

I gave 100% each day of the internship just hoping there would be a full time job at the end of it. I watched the senior buyers go on buying trips all over the world and just hoped that it would be me one day. But for just now, I was at the bottom of the food chain. I had to work to get there.

"I didn’t want to read a condescending piece on how ‘hard’ it was I wanted to write a piece on how BLOODY HARD it was but it was totally worth it."



Six years later, hours upon hours of tireless work I made it. When I was asked to write this piece I was thinking what I wanted to hear when I was in University. I didn’t want to read a condescending piece on how ‘hard’ it was I wanted to write a piece on how BLOODY HARD it was but it was totally worth it. I am now sitting on a plane at London Heathrow waiting for it to take off. I am going on a weeks buying trip to Los Angeles. I always think about the intern sitting back in the office and about how that used to be me. I never want to feel complacent and forget about my love for fashion. After all that’s what got me here. Maybe there are some benefits for being small…

 

           
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