A day in the life of a Pour Moi buyer
27th July 2021
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a buyer? Do you have dreams of working in the fashion industry? We recently sat down with our clothing & nightwear buyer Charlotte Johnson to see what life is really like as a fashion buyer. Keep reading for some great inside info!
Charlotte Johnson – Clothing & Nightwear Buyer
Did you always know you wanted to be a buyer?
Not exactly, I have always been interested in fashion, it started as a love of shoes when I was very young (to be honest that has never wavered)! As a teenager I would sit and create collages of my favourite runway and editorial images from Vogue. However, I wasn’t hugely talented on the design/creative side and assumed that being a designer was the only available career route. I started exploring what other jobs would allow me to work in fashion that didn’t involve me putting pencil to paper and sketching a design which is when I came across buying. It sounded like a great fit for me so from that point I focused on building a career as a buyer.
How did you get into the industry?
I studied for my BA in Fashion Buying Management at the University of Westminster where I worked for a year in industry as a buyers admin assistant. That was my first taste of working in buying. It was an amazing experience and gave me an opportunity to make some brilliant contacts that I still call friends to this day. When I graduated, I was very lucky to be taken on by that same brand and I picked up where I left off from on my placement year. I worked my way up to assistant buyer at a couple of high street brands before starting at Pour Moi as a junior buyer in 2018.
What do you love most about your job?
That’s a tough one! There are so many aspects of the job that I love. I’d say in particular, I love the feeling of having worked on a product from idea conception through to delivery and seeing it launch online. The anticipation of waiting to see the customer reaction and if it might become a bestseller is so exciting (obviously less exciting when you get it wrong and it’s not!). It’s so rewarding when a style that the team and I have been working hard on gets a good reaction from our lovely customers!
What was your biggest learning curve?
Every brand you work for is so different so I think the biggest learning curve is always understanding the customer that you’re buying for. What works well for one brand doesn’t necessarily work so well for another. It’s really important to spend some time getting to know who your customer is and what is important to them. In the ever changing world of fashion, trends come and go all the time, but a key part of my job is knowing which of those trends are right for our customers, understanding what they value and what they are looking for is key.
What are you loving at Pour Moi at the moment?
We’ve recently launched Pour Moi denim which I absolutely love! We spent a lot of time working on the fabric, fit and style of our Alexa Jeans to make sure that they not only fit and flatter but are also comfortable to wear. I’m so happy with the finished product and I’m excited to continue building the denim range next season!
What Pour Moi style/range of clothing most accurately reflects you?
I’d say the Margot Satin styles in our rainbow stripe print most accurately reflects me. I quite often keep my style simple for the day but I’m a sucker for a beautiful print. When I saw that rainbow stripe it was love at first sight!
What do you love the most about working for Pour Moi?
I love the people that I get to work with every day and the incredible products that we are able to create as a team. Each person brings something different to the table and we are all so important in contributing to what we achieve. Sometimes our days are crazy busy but team work makes the dream work (ha!), so I feel very lucky to work alongside such talented and hardworking individuals.
Could you describe your average workday?
Every day varies which is one of the reasons there is never a dull moment in buying! Usually I will start my day replying to any emails from our suppliers from across the world. Alongside my assistant buyer Emma and buyers admin assistant Kelly-Anne, we are constantly communicating with our suppliers to ensure deliveries are on time, fabrics are approved and prices are agreed. We work across multiple seasons at any one time so multitasking is key. We might be approving the fit of a garment for AW21 in the morning and then planning the number of styles we want to buy for AW22 in the afternoon. I am constantly forgetting what month/year it is right now as I’m always thinking months in advance!
Tips for aspiring buyers?
I found work experience was really helpful for me, any kind of work experience in retail head office really helps put what you learn at university or college into practice and gives you an opportunity to make contacts within the industry. I’d also say that passion is key. Working in buying has its ups and downs, you don’t always get it right and that can be tough. It’s important to love what you do because those mistakes do happen, maybe something you believed in turned out to be a worst seller (we’re only human!) but if you are passionate about your job and the product you work on it’s easy to dust yourself off and drive yourself forward to try again.
Now you know what it’s like to work as a fashion buyer, check out our fabulous new in styles which Charlotte had a hand in developing!