Hey everyone! Meet our Head of International and External Brands: Stef.
Stef is responsible for managing all of the external brands we sell at Yours Clothing as well as our international stores (so now you know who to thank for all of the fabulous ChiChi coming your way)! Here she chats to us about how she started her career, what it takes to make it in the fashion business and her favourite picks for this season.
Did you always know that you wanted to work in fashion?
No! I never knew what I wanted to do; I just knew that I wanted to do something that I love.
What was your degree in?
I did a sociology degree at The University of Sheffield. I had a great time! I loved all of the analysis work that came with the subject and Sheffield is a great city.
What steps did you take to get into this career?
After university I got a job at a well-known UK fashion brand’s high street clothing store. I began managing the shop’s stock and was often in contact with Head Office over the phone. I told them that I was interested in working at the brand’s HQ and they set up two days of work experience for me. This opportunity led me to get a job as a merchandising assistant in the knitwear department of the brand, doing things like stock allocations, calculating stock intake and making sales forecasts.
How has your career progressed?
After working in merchandising for three years, I was offered a job in branch merchandising. Branch merchandising is the link between a company’s stores and its Head Office. This opportunity gave me an extremely rich and well-rounded business experience. I worked in this position for a further three years before being head hunted by an American fashion brand looking to extend their business into Europe. After a year and a half of working between the US and UK, I was ready for a change and I applied for my job at Yours Clothing. I went from branch merchandising to managing our international business and buying for brands. I never thought that I would be given the opportunity to become a buyer in my career so I feel very lucky!
Would you recommend work experience and interning?
Definitely! It helps you to narrow down what it is that you want to do and most importantly – what you don’t want to do!
What is a normal day at Yours Clothing HQ like for you?
Is there such a thing?! That’s what I love about this job, there is so much variety! It’s an incredibly fast paced business with quick reactions. There are new challenges every day which I find extremely energising. I never get bored here!
If you had a second career option what would it be?
In my sixth form year book, lots of people wrote that they expected me to be the editor of Vogue, so I think I was always destined for fashion. I would probably some kind of shopper! I love shopping and buying new clothes.
What career advice would you give to people looking to start a career in fashion?
It’s a competitive industry so it’s really important to stand out; employers are always looking for that extra something. You have to put yourself out there, be on the lookout for opportunities and show off your personality. It’s also important to be true to yourself and do what you enjoy. Choose which part of the business you want to work in and get to know the function of the job inside out before applying.
Do you think that age matters when starting a job in fashion?
No! Age is but a number. As long as you have passion, capability and a willingness to learn, you can do anything!
What’s the most important skill to have for your job?
There are two… organisation and communication.
Which designers inspire you the most?
I’m not hugely interested in designers. I believe in the reality of what a person is going to wear. I have more of a commercial mind – If it’s flattering and looks amazing on then it will sell.
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I love loose fitting duster and maxi shirts! They make me feel comfortable and enable me to hide any parts of my body that I don’t like!
What are your favourite branded pieces for SS17?
We have loads of amazing on trend pieces coming in this season, but here are a few of my faves:
4. YOURS LONDON Pink Mesh & Lace Chemise With Extreme Dip Hem: £26
If you are interested in a career at Yours Clothing please check our careers page: https://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/careers