Day in The Life: Florence Edition
As the menswear fashion week wheel started to turn, 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 opportunity to spend time with some of our menswear buying and design team as we watched them in their natural habitat of trend spotting, street styling and gelato tasting, well… when in Florence!
A day in Florence during Pitti Uomo couldn’t be further away from a day in the buying office. The best dressed, style savvy and fashion elite all descend on the beautifully historic city for four days of catwalk shows, buying appointments and most importantly seeing newness in form of styling, fabrication or design.
This season we were out in force as Scott, Blathnaid and Ed from our buying and design teams arrived in Florence after a day in Milan checking out our new store there. The main aim for this trip was to soak up the street style for research purposes and styling inspiration. Scott told us, “Traditionally people, who go to Pitti, tend to dress quite formally. What stood out to me was that the men were dressing differently; the style was more casual, more of an everyday wearable look. They were really dressing for themselves rather than trying to fit into the mould.”
There was a definite move towards white leather trainers worn with tailoring and denim was also important. The warm climate lent a helping hand towards bright colour too as Blathnaid points out, “Colour is key! Bold colours such as red and cobalt were huge. Florence was flooded with shades of indigo. White is also a key colour for SS17.”
For Ed it was the emergence of some key streetwear trends that he was most excited about, “Seeing paired back neutral tones was a big one for me, from ecru biscuit tones, dusty pinks and khaki. I saw a big presence of these in utilitarian workwear throughout Pitti. I would love to bring these to Primark!”
Trips like this are definitely a perk of the job, but what inspired the trio to get into the fashion industry in the first place? For Scott it all started at a young age while he was working on the shop floor of Primark, “I knew that 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 completed an internship and eventually got the job as a trainee buyer.”
For Ed it was the lure of designing within 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 post grad in Fashion Buying and Management, during the course I completed an internship at Primark in buying, after a short time I switched to menswear design, and I’ve have never looked back!”
Whereas Blathnaid had always wanted to be a dressmaker, “Although I didn’t make it as a dressmaker, I still went down the career path of fashion that I love. I applied for the Post Graduate course in Fashion Buying in DIT in Dublin. From there I worked hard and I’ve got to where I am today,” she explained.
For those of you dreaming of a future career in buying or design, we made sure we found out exactly what its like, “One of my favourite aspects of the job is that no day is identical. Some days you could be all day range building and reviewing trends, other days you could be in supplier meetings reviewing samples,” explained Scott.
Ed told us, “We are constantly reviewing emerging trends, looking at colour palettes, and sketching new prints and graphics. Going on inspirational shopping trips and to trade shows to see what new trends are developing are integral to this.” Where as for Blathnaid she says it’s ‘the people she works with that make the job.’
Each of our style stars has gone for a completely different look for this shoot, with each one staying true to their personality. For Scott it is all about taking inspiration from 90s sportswear brands, “Today I’ve gone for a grey quilted bomber jacket, teamed with a long line badge detail tee, and loose fit joggers. For shoes I’ve gone for a brogue style but with a coloured sole, to bring it back to a sportswear look.”
Blathnaid stayed true to her love for all things feminine, “I bought this fab pretty pink pleated skirt, paired it with a simple white tee and a cute floral necklace. The tan heels completed the look!”
Ed decided to join the Pitti Peacocks and don some traditional tailoring, but he gave it a nice modern twist, “I’m wearing our AW16 khaki green suit and I’ve styled it with our basic black tee for a more casual look, rolled up hems and finished off with our white trainers.”
So what can we expect to see arriving in-store for spring/summer 17? Colour is certainly high on the agenda, “I love seeing the new shapes and silhouettes come through every season in menswear. Our amazing SS17 colour palette will look very strong in our leisurewear pieces and across all categories in menswear,” says Blathnaid.
While for Ed the sportswear trend we have already started to see is going to gain momentum next season, “I’ve seen and read up so much on the 90’s grunge trend re-emerging. You can see it coming through slowly at the moment, but I think this will be even bigger for SS17 and I can’t wait to see how this take 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 work trip with colleagues? Early mornings, delayed flights and hours of walking around foreign cities?
Our style stars give us the low down on what you need to get by:
A good nights sleep the night before you leave
Your iPhone and extra battery pack so you don’t miss a photo opportunity
Bring a great pair of trainers as you are constantly on your feet
Wear your comfiest jeans
Coffee is a must!