Primark HQ Diaries: Day in the Life
We know the vocational landscape can be pretty rough terrain to navigate, especially if you’re not set on the direction you want to take. But, if you’ve ever thought about a career in fashion buying, you’re in the right place. At Primark HQ, we love sharing our #squad stories, and this week we’re speaking to Emma, one of our womenswear buyers, specialising in fashion T-shirts. From office life, to advice for aspiring buyers, and style inspiration, Emma’s words of wisdom will go down well if you’ve got a question or two about a day in the life of a buyer.
Jetting over from Dublin to survey London's retail landscape, meet with suppliers (and catch up with friends!), our Irish bombshell kindly agreed to give us the low-down straight from the buying floor...
"Typically I’ll spend the morning replying to suppliers’ emails, before reviewing and analysing sales. As the day progresses, I might be attending supplier or internal meetings. fitting samples on models for approval, and building on the particular range we’re focusing on."
"As an assistant buyer, my role is quite diverse. From developing ranges based on the latest trends, to translating them into commercial products, and keeping up with the fast-paced office environment, my job can be really exciting."
Fanatic fashion followers rejoice! Spending hours checking out the latest catwalk shows IS actually a full time job, not just a fashionista’s weekend pastime. If you can't wait to get your seasonal fix of trend reports and fashion week round-ups, you could be cut for a career in buying: "My favourite part of the job is getting to develop product specifically for trends – especially trends I’m excited about – and then seeing it translate through into sales."
All the trend researching, product development, and travel prospects aside, we were keen to know how Emma got into her line of work: "I knew I wanted to work in fashion from a young age, as 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. I took a course in fashion buying, and instantly knew that’s what I wanted to do."
While education was a catalyst for her move into buying, we were keen to know what gems of knowledge Emma has acquired since getting her foot in the metaphorical door: "The best career advice I've been given is just keep going for it. If you really want something don't give up on your goal." We couldn't agree more - sound advice for a career in this fast-paced industry.
If you've held down a Saturday job in retail, while dreaming big, fashionable dreams, and wondering if you'll ever influence the stock you sell, Emma has a few words for you: "My advice to aspiring buyers is to get some retail experience. It’s super beneficial because you need a keen eye to be a buyer, and an understanding of consumer wants and needs. After that, a buying course is invaluable."
Obvious career envy aside, we were also in love with Emma's look, and wanted to know what inspires this babe when she puts an outfit together...
Explain your personal style.
"My style is quite versatile. As I’m getting older I am finding myself dressing more minimal and wanting to buy key pieces – but I also love following trends. Today I’m working a ‘rock chick’ look – with a band T-shirt and pleated skirt – but some days you will see me in a boho dress, or just jeans and a blouse."
What influenced your OOTD?
"Today’s outfit is inspired by our summer trend "Riot Girl", a trend based around rock tees, juxtaposed with femininity. Anything with a dark base – like a leather jacket or a band tee – paired with soft pinks, will achieve this edgy look."
Who is your style icon?
"My style icon I think would be Gwen Stefani. She pulls everything off and looks so hot, she could wear a black bag and look amazing! She’s a prime example of dressing to suit how you feel, not to suit your age. Instagram is another go-to for outfit inspiration – there are some amazing bloggers out there."