Tell us about what you do.
As a buyer for a private brand, I am called upon to work on a lot of product development, which means that I am not buying a finished product. And that’s something I love about my job! Operating as the link between my team’s chief of planning and our frame designer allows me to draw both from my analytical mind and my creativity.
Purchasing is at the heart of the company, so we get to work closely with every department at BonLook.
Can you describe a typical workday?
My days are pretty full and begin early! A typical workday might look like this:
I turn on my computer to a slew of emails from our Chinese suppliers, who are 12 hours ahead of me. Then, I jump onto a call with our frame designer based in France (6 hours ahead!) to go over the latest sketches he’s been working on. After that, I go through the numerous samples we receive at the office to validate colours, shapes, and sizes.
Next comes the analysis of the previous day's sales to try and draw conclusions from them. I can then sit down with our chief of planning to identify the most successful styles and build or rethink our purchase plan. I’m likely to follow up with a visit to our warehouse to perform a quality check on new arrivals before they’re sent to our labs and stores.
Our development schedule is built in such a way that I am at once managing several collections at various stages of the development or production process. It requires excellent time management, but it’s never dull, and time flies!
What kind of studies lead to a career as a buyer?
Many programs are proving to be attractive assets for someone who wants to build a career in purchasing. Several undergraduate programs are offered in fashion schools like Montreal's ESG-UQAM École supérieure de mode. There's also the possibility of completing a Diploma of College Studies in Fashion Marketing followed by a Bachelor of Administration at a university. Purchasing is not limited to the fashion industry – buyers can focus on all types of products (food, technology, etc.).
What are some of your inspirations?
I find inspiration everywhere! From people in the street, art, pop culture, cinema. Social media like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are gold mines for creatives minds looking for new ideas.
How do you keep up with trends?
There are two major optical trade fairs during the year: Italy's Mido Eyewear Show in February and Paris' SILMO optical fair in September. These are perfect occasions to find out what's coming in the world of optics. Development is a long process, and we have to be able to anticipate the trends that will be relevant at the time of a product launch. That includes keeping up with the clothes shown on catwalks - after all, we provide a fashion accessory that has to go hand in hand with what customers will want to wear.
How do you choose which products to add to BonLook’s selection?
Everything stems from our customers! My role is to choose and develop the best product to reflect their tastes and lifestyles. We provide them with new products every month. I have to know them by heart and push the brand forward in a direction that will mirror the customers' evolution! It takes a certain flair and a solid knowledge of our bestsellers to work on creating new "It" products. And even though BonLook is a fashion destination, we're always keeping eye health in mind. That means including our opticians in decision-making before putting products in our stores and on our website.
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