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30 Under 30: Jenny Burr

Fashion buyer, JD Williams, N Brown.

Jenny Bur

Jenny Burr

Most teenagers don’t love their Saturday jobs, but working for Oasis as a sales assistant when she was at school convinced Jenny Burr that this was the industry for her. She enrolled on the Design Management for Fashion Retailing course at The University of Manchester in 2006, where she undertook a year-long placement at Debenhams as a trainee fashion buyer in 2008, gaining invaluable experience taking part in major selections across three seasons and two injection ranges for shop-in-shop Ben Sherman.

Debenhams offered her a job upon her graduation with first-class honours in July 2010, but she didn’t take it. Instead, after receiving the prize for best overall marks in her year, she was selected from 850 graduates for a place on the N Brown graduate buying scheme, which she says “threw her in the deep end”.

During the two-year scheme she spent time in marketing, the warehouse, ecommerce and the call centre. Just seven months in she was entrusted to buy her own range in collaboration with fashion chain East, called Fusions by East, working on the plus-size range from the initial concept, through to the development and design and sourcing the products.

In 2013 she was then promoted to junior buyer for knitwear and outerwear across JD Williams’ womenswear, and appointed buyer for mainstream ladieswear knitwear and jersey tops a year later.

A partnership approach to working with suppliers means she is as popular externally as she is internally. Line manager and head of mainstream ladies’ buying Jane Reik commends her “natural ability”.

Burr got married in December, so look out for the continuing rise of Mrs Jenny Kaaba.

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