when the shoe fits

What do you love most about your job?

What do you love most about your job?

Doing product selections for our market and the buying trips.

What qualifications do you need ?

Fashion-related courses as well as marketing and business courses provide the basics. However, you would still need on-the-job training that is offered by most big retailers.

What are the job's greatest difficulties?

Making the right choices for the market and being able to react quickly to sales trends, whether good or bad.

Do you interact a lot with people?

Yes, store personnel as well as customers offer valuable input on what the wanted items are. That way you can take their input into consideration when placing buys.

What attracted you to this field?

A passion for clothing and footwear - from the technical construction element to accessorising a look.

What are the latest trends?

Within footwear, fabrics with surface interest, such as perforation, patent trimmings and croc embossing. Winter is about boots: riding boots, ankle boots and so forth - as well as comfort. Hybrid shoes (smart casual) are also very popular as they offer versatility. Silhouettes keep to the classical styles. Court shoes and ballerina as well as moccasins and brogues are also highly popular. The emphasis is on comfort, practicality and durability, especially given the global economic trend.

What are the popular colours going into autumn and winter?

Naturals like brown, tan and off-white. Black and navy are must-have essentials, very friendly to most outfits, including denim.

Do your own personal preferences come into play when you choose what to buy?

We always try not to let our preferences get in the way of the job. Being human you will often be enticed by personal preference, and hopefully that is still in line with what will appeal to most people.

Do you have any classic items that sell well every season?

Yes, we have a few styles that are non-seasonal, but we prefer not to disclose trade secrets.

Do you travel as part of your job?

We have to travel every season to cover all the seasonal trends.

What are the most exciting places you have been to on a buying trip?

To Paris and Sweden.

Do you stock imported or locally made products (or both)? We import. Unlike with clothing, we hardly have any good shoe-making factories left in South Africa.

What do you think makes the products you source such covetable items for many people?

High quality, exclusivity and elegance in style.

5 Tips For Buying Shoes.

Buy a good quality product, it may cost you a bit more but it will last 10 times longer.

Don't support counterfeit goods - not only are you cheating yourself on quality but you are also supporting illegal sweatshops that damage reputable brands - as well as exploiting innocent people with the hope of making a quick buck.

Buy reputable brands - "the real McCoy" - if it wasn't good enough they wouldn't put their name on it.

Use popular fashion magazines as guidelines, however, you must always buy what you are most comfortable wearing.

Most retails also use professional visual merchandisers to dress windows and mannequins - to show the best way to put together looks that are in line with current trends. This could also be very helpful when it comes to colour coordination and accessorising the product that is perfect for you.