Primark HQ Diaries: Day in the Life
We all know the job market can be pretty rough, especially if you’re not sure what direction you want to go in. Ever thought about a career in fashion buying? You’re in the right place! At Primark HQ, we love sharing our #squadstories. This week we’re talking to Emma, one of our womenswear buyers, who specializes in trendy T-shirts. From office life to advice for aspiring buyers, with lots of style inspo, we know Emma’s words of wisdom will be welcome if you have questions about what a day in the life of a buyer is like.
Jetting over from Dublin to check out London's retail scene and meet with suppliers (and catch up with friends!), our Irish bombshell gave us the lowdown right from the buying floor...
"Usually I spend the morning answering suppliers’ emails, then review and analyze sales. As the day goes on, I might go to supplier or internal meetings, fitting samples on models for approval, and building on the particular collection we’re working on."
"As an assistant buyer, my work's pretty varied. From developing collections around the latest trends to turning them into commercial products, and keeping up with the fast-paced office environment, my job can be really exciting."
Fashion fanatics rejoice! Spending hours checking out the latest catwalk shows IS actually a full-time job, not just a fashionista’s weekend fun. If you can't wait to get your seasonal fix of trend reports and Fashion Week roundups, you could be cut out for a buying career: "My favorite part of the job is getting to develop product specifically for trends – especially trends I’m really excited about – and then seeing it translate into sales."
Besides all the trend researching, product development and travel, we really wanted to know how Emma got into her field: "I knew I wanted to work in fashion from a young age: I was inspired by my Grandma, who was a dress designer. I studied fashion and design and landed a job, but I felt something was missing. When I took a course in fashion buying, I instantly knew that’s what I wanted to do."
While her education helped her move into buying, we wanted to find out what valuable knowledge Emma has gained since getting her foot in the door: "The best career advice I've been given is to just keep going for it. If you really want something don't give up on your goal!" We couldn't agree more - excellent advice for a career in this fast-paced industry.
If you've worked a Saturday job in retail while dreaming big fashion dreams - and wonder if you'll ever influence the stock you sell - Emma has a few words for you: "My advice to aspiring buyers is to get that retail experience. It’s super beneficial because you need a sharp eye to be a buyer, and to understand consumer wants and needs. After that, a course in buying is invaluable."
Obvious total career envy aside, we were also in love with Emma's look, and wanted to find out what inspires this babe when she puts together an outfit...
Tell us about your personal style.
"My style's pretty versatile. As I get older I'm finding I dress more minimally and want to buy key pieces – but I also love following trends. Today I’m working a ‘rock chick’ look, with a band tee and pleated skirt – but other days I'll be in a boho dress or just jeans and a blouse."
Great OOTD: What influenced it?
"Today’s outfit is inspired by our 'Riot Girl' summer trend, based on rock tees with a feminine take. Anything with a dark base – like a leather jacket or a band tee – paired with soft pinks will give you this edgier look."
Who's your style icon?
"I think it would have to be Gwen Stefani. She pulls everything off and looks so hot, she could wear a black bag and look amazing! She’s a perfect example of dressing for how you feel, not for your age. Instagram's another go-to for outfit inspiration – there are some amazing bloggers out there."