A Day In The Life: Florence Edition
As the menswear fashion week got going and LC:M came and went, before we knew it we were off to Florence to take in the sights and sounds of the menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo. This was the perfect chance to hang with our Menswear Buying and Design team, watching them in their natural habitat: trend spotting, street styling and gelato tasting. Well… when in Florence!
A day in Florence during Pitti Uomo couldn’t be more different from a day in the buying office! The best-dressed, the style experts and the fashion elite all descend on the beautiful historic city for four days of catwalk shows, buying appointments and--most importantly--seeing the latest styles, fabrics and designs.
This season we were out in force: Scott, Blathnaid and Ed from our Buying and Design teams arrived in Florence after a day in Milan checking out our new store. The main goal for the trip was to soak up street style, for research and styling inspo. Scott told us: “Traditionally, people who go to Pitti tend to dress pretty formally. What stood out for me was that this year, the men were dressing differently: the style was more casual, more an everyday wearable look. They were really dressing for themselves, rather than trying to fit in the mould.”
There was a definite move towards white leather sneakers worn with tailoring; denim was also important. The warm climate brought out the bright colors, too--as Blathnaid points out, “Color is everything! Bold shades like red and cobalt were huge. Florence was flooded with shades of indigo. White is also an important color for SS17.”
Ed was most excited about discovering some major streetwear trends: “Seeing softer neutrals was a big one for me, from ecru biscuit tones to dusty pinks and olive. They were a big presence in utilitarian workwear at Pitti. I'd love to bring these to Primark!”
Trips like this are definitely a job perk, but what inspired the trio to get into the fashion industry in the first place? For Scott it all started very young while working on Primark's shop floor: “I knew I wanted to work in buying; I wanted to be the person who decides what came into store. So after my Business and Fashion Buying degree, I did an internship and eventually got a job as a trainee buyer.”
For Ed it was designing in a creative industry that motivated him: “I graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture, but I wanted to focus on the fashion industry. I decided to do a postgrad in Fashion Buying and Management. During the course I did a buying internship at Primark, and after a short time I switched to menswear design--I’ve never looked back!”
Pink pleated skirt $14, white T-shirt $4.50, floral necklace $6, tan leather sandals $25
Blathnaid, on the other hand, had always wanted to be a dressmaker: “Although I didn’t make it in that area, I still went down the fashion career path, which I love. I applied for the postgrad course in Fashion Buying at DIT in Dublin. From there I just worked really hard to get where I am now,” she explained.
For those of you dreaming of a career in buying or design, we made sure we found out exactly what it's like: “One of my favorite parts of the job is that no day is the same. Some days you could spend all day building a collection and going over trends; other days you could be in supplier meetings reviewing samples,” explained Scott.
Ed told us, “We're constantly reviewing upcoming trends, looking at colors, and sketching new prints and graphics. Going on inspirational shopping trips and to trade shows to see what new trends are happening is essential.” For Blathnaid, it’s "the people I work with that make the job."
Quilted bomber jacket $30, drop-crotch joggers $12, appliqué T-shirt $12
Our style stars each went for a totally different look for this shoot, to match their different personalities. For Scott, it's all about being inspired by 90's sportswear: “Today I went for a gray quilted bomber with a longline badge-detail tee, and loose-fit joggers. For shoes I picked wingtips, but with a colored sole to bring it back to a sportswear look.”
Blathnaid stayed true to form, with her love for all things girly: “I bought this fab pretty pink pleated skirt, paired it with a simple white tee and tossed on a cute floral necklace. The tan heels were perfect to finish the look!”
Ed decided to join the "Pitti Peacocks" and did traditional tailoring--but he gave it a nice modern twist: “I’m wearing our FW16 olive green suit, and styled it with our basic black tee for a more casual look, with cuffed hems and our white sneakers.”
So what can we expect to see in-store for Spring/Summer '17? Color is definitely top of the list: “I love seeing the new shapes and cuts come through each season in Menswear. Our amazing SS17 color palette will look very strong in our leisurewear pieces, and for all Menswear categories” says Blathnaid.
Olive suit $70 (coming soon), black tee $3.50 , white sneakers $12
For Ed, the sportswear trend we've already started to see is building up steam for next season: “I’ve seen and read so much about the 90’s grunge trend coming back. You can see it coming in slowly, but I think it's going to be even bigger for SS17 and I can’t wait to see how it takes shape!”
"I’m really excited to see the accessories in SS17. We have some really cool pieces coming in,” Scott tells us--and we can’t wait to see them, either!
Work Trip Survival Guide
So: could you survive a three-day trip with co-workers? Early mornings, flight delays and hours of walking around strange cities?
Our style stars give us the 411 on what you need to get by:
A good night's sleep the night before you leave
Your iPhone and an extra battery pack so you don’t miss a photo op
A great pair of sneaks for being constantly on your feet
Your comfiest jeans
And coffee is a must!