Recently I’ve been to a couple of events with buyers. Here’s a few tips for fashion businesses when developing relationships with retail fashion buyers, and some general advice from the pros:
Joan Burstein ‘Mrs B’, Browns
London College of Fashion Tribute to the 40th anniversary of Browns
Everyone makes mistakes, learn from them.
Working in retail is a great training ground.
Know your customer very well.
You can’t build a business without a team.
Mrs B likes to buy from designers who are inspired and feel what they are doing. Do what you feel.
The basis of her buying choices are how she likes to see people look.
Half the battle of looking good is feeling good within yourself. Know yourself.
If someone doesn’t look good in something, offer something else. There is no point in trying to force a sale.
Browns are looking to find more sustainable designers with wearable and stylish product.
After hearing Mrs B in conversation, and watching the film tribute to her, I got the impression her respect for others, eloquence and elegance has counted for a lot and helped to inspire the loyalty and dedication of her team and customers.
Anna Baxter, ASOS Womenswear Buyer
Keep inital emails short and sweet, include any press coverage (can form the crux of a buy) and current stockists (shows you have retail experience).
Buyers are busy! Introduce yourself and build relationships with assistant buyers.
Know your brand and customer inside out.
Be confident when talking about your product, production, lead times and pricing.
Do your research, get the product right and match it to the right retailer.