Recently we sat down with brandsExclusive Head Buyer Garth Allan, one very stylish gentleman, to pick his brains about fashion, buying, his career and much more.
Head to brandsExclusive now to start shopping!
How did you get to this point, what was your career path?
I moved to London when I was about 21, and worked at Topshop for about 5 years in product development. I then moved back to Australia and worked at David Jones for about 8 years working in International Designer and Young Fashion.
After that I moved into some consulting work, and one of those clients was brandsExclusive, so I pretty much started on day one when the company was born. My role primarily is to bringing new products and labels onto the site. We now have a team of about 30 buyers that help manage all of that!
What is the brand ethos is of brandsExclusive?
To make sure that we present and source the best possible brands and products at the best possible price and with the best possible value.
What would you say the pro’s are to using the sale model of brandsExclusive?
I think its really the volume of product we can drive through the sale, generally 80% of products get sold in the first day. It helps brands to reach out to a wide and new audience and gives their products exposure.
What are the key things that you look for when you are buying?
We are searching for something new, we are now looking for what brands we can source overseas. We already work with the biggest brands in Australia, so now we want to keep it fresh. Something that is really appealing to our database, which is really wide reaching from 18 year olds to 60 year olds, men and women, so that requires a lot variety of brands.
What is your best online purchase ever?
There are too many to say! But I keep going back to these amazing Spanish shoes Rivieras which come in a huge array of colors I think I have five pairs now!
What are your key trends for 2013?
Definitely still about structure, luxe leathers, playing with texture.
Is there advice you can give to people starting out in the industry, what do you look for when hiring?
You have to be prepared to work hard, its not as glamorous as people think. Its really about listening to your peers and mentors. The best training you can get is on the job so you really need to absorb as much from your mentors or managers as possible.
I also think its important to get some global experience on your CV, we are living in a globalized world now so it is very important.
Style Me Romy, The Sartorialist, Breakfast With Audrey of course! Garance Dore.
If you could have breakfast with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Natalie Massenet from Net-A-Porter.
Check out Garth and his team in action behind the scenes shooting some IXIAH for the website!