What is the most interesting aspect of your job?
The complexity of it. I love that I am able to satisfy my passion for fashion as well as my trader mentality in an environment that changes constantly.
Have you always been involved in the fashion industry?
Yes. Although I studied law, my heart was in fashion. I realised this early on and made the career change when I left university.
Do you ever have to travel in your job?
Yes, I travel several times a season to the world's fashion capitals for inspiration and to bring back merchandise which the buying and design teams can work with.
My travels have taken me to London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Dusseldorf, New York, Chicago, Mumbai and New Delhi. Travel has definitely broadened my horizons and given me priceless life experiences.
What is the worst part of your job?
Putting our heart and soul into a product range we love and believe in but which ends up not materialising due to circumstances out of our control - like fabric arriving with flaws, the manufacturer delivering late, quality problems and so on. The job requires resilience, a resolution-orientated attitude and a lot of damage control.
The life cycle of a garment from its conception to its final delivery into stores is full of surprises that require swift action to make it all happen in time.
What are the perks of your job?
Travel. And the fact that my great passion is also my job. What fashion victim wouldn't love to go shopping in Paris and get paid for it?
What type of personality is needed to be a buyer for Foschini?
There is no ideal personality. This job is multi-faceted, constantly changing and can be very stressful at times.
Whatever her personality type, a Foschini buyer needs to fit into the Foschini culture. This business is not only about fashion but also about people. Being a team player and understanding the importance of healthy relationships with colleagues and suppliers is essential in this potentially cut-throat and competitive business. It is not just about the turnover, but also about the people who have to generate it.
Does personal taste come in to play when you buy products?
Although a good buyer is able to wear many hats and buy various product ranges within the retailer's profile, it is unavoidable that her personal taste will not affect the range. No two buyers will interpret the same trends exactly the same.
Is Foschini a South African brand?
It is our vision to have a unique, fashionable and distinguishable handwriting in the marketplace. - Keitumetse Segoai