An unshakable shopping addiction, a bursting wardrobe and stacks of style magazines… If you’ve always dreamed of a career in fashion then buying might be an obvious choice – but what is it really like to work in the industry? To find out, we met Kayleigh Horn, Assistant Buyer at Accessorize, to tell us more about her role and give us sneak peek at the must-have trends of AW16.
UNiDAYS: Hi Kayleigh! What do you do at Accessorize?Hello! I’m an Assistant Buyer for the cold weather, scarves and formal hats team.
UNiDAYS: Tell us more about how you got into this role.Once I finished my degree in Womenswear Fashion Design at the Winchester School of Art, I was given an amazing opportunity to work as a Merchandising and Buying Assistant at Accessorize. I learnt so much about both sides of the role but I knew that my heart was in buying so I worked my socks off to get myself into one of the departments.
UNiDAYS: Describe the Accessorize office in three words.Colourful, friendly and exciting!
UNiDAYS: What does your daily to-do list look like?No two days are ever the same which makes working in buying so varied and interesting. One minute you’re negotiating prices with suppliers and the next, you’re trawling through vintage shops on Brick Lane for inspiration. There’s almost always a meeting to prepare for too, which usually involves assisting the rest of the team with prep to ensure that it all runs smoothly.
UNiDAYS: What are your favourite parts of your job?I’m very much involved in product development; from creating new trims for hats and helping our designers to develop new knits, my job is very hands-on and creative. I also love the research element of it – we get out of the office a lot to check out the competition and find inspiration for new collections. There are even opportunities to research abroad as you work your way up.
UNiDAYS: What are some the challenges of your job?It’s incredibly fast-paced and demanding so having an amazing memory and top organisation skills is a must-have. There’s a lot of deadlines and analytical meetings so it’s important to keep your cool.
UNiDAYS: Any career highlights so far?Buying is so rewarding that it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing. But I would say that it’s hugely satisfying to follow product that you’ve helped create go from the designers’ drawing boards to in-store. I’m also really big on social media, so I’m always trying to come up with new ideas to help push our products on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat – it’s great to see your hard work being posted online for followers to see.
UNiDAYS: What are your go-to office style must-haves?A good pair of super-comfy trainers – it’s rare to find me in anything other than my Converse. I’m always on the go so it’s important that I’m ready to hit the shops or run around the building trying to track down a sample at a moment’s notice. I also love wearing blanket scarves, especially during this time of the year when Britain is still deciding on what season we’re in!
UNiDAYS: Tell us about your favourite picks from the new AW16 collection at Accessorize.We’ve got an amazing monochrome checked coatigan coming in later in the season – it’s a new shape for Accessorize and it’s definitely going to be my second skin for the winter. Because I’m a bit of a magpie at heart, I also love our new reversible metallic totes and – for a bit of winter sparkle – our iridescent sequin clutches.
UNiDAYS: Any advice for people who want to become a Fashion Buyer?You need to be passionate, hardworking and very organised to be in buying but if you’re got drive then you can definitely make it happen. Take every opportunity to gain work experience and make the most of it while you there – remember, it’s all about connections and you never know who you’re going to come across again. And most importantly, find a brand that you love!
UNiDAYS: Time for a quick-fire round! First up: burgers or pizza?Pizza.
UNiDAYS: Instagram or Snapchat?Instagram.
UNiDAYS: Cats or dogs?Can’t choose – I love them both!
UNiDAYS: Heels or flats?Flats.
UNiDAYS: Night in or night out?Night out.
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