Acting head of product development, Hobbs, aged 29
Natalie Hamilton has risen to the challenge of being acting head of product development at Hobbs, following on from a product development role across womenswear.
“I’m extremely happy at Hobbs,” she says. “It’s a contemporary British brand that still has British manufacturing and British fabric mills in its profile. I enjoy the pace and variety and the opportunity to see product develop from first design sketch to product in store.”
Hamilton started out as a buyers’ admin assistant at Principles after studying at Winchester School of Art. “It was a good grounding,” she says, but also a very tough role. “It was competitive to get the job at Principles, and then it’s competitive within the role. You are working around 10 other buyers’ admin assistants all wanting promotion.”
She worked up to assistant buyer before leaving Principles for LK Bennett for her first senior assistant buyer job. “LK Bennett gave me the opportunity to work across all categories as there is only one buying team. And the business was growing fast.”
From LK Bennett, Hamilton joined Hobbs where she worked on both the main line and NW3. The acting position soon followed to cover maternity leave.
She advises newcomers to the fashion industry to “work really hard”. She says: “Buyers’ admin jobs can be very challenging, but you must keep at it. As you move up the ladder, it really is worth it.”