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How I got here - Ahmed Khan

Moss Bros’s youngest store manager on the benefits of networking and helping men find the right suit.

What does your diary look like today?

Busy. I’ll start by preparing the store for trade by checking standards from the shop windows right through to the stockroom. Then I’ll check our online calendar to see how many bespoke fittings we have booked in, whether that be a first fitting or a collection fitting. That way I can structure the day and set tasks for my team in between their client appointments.

What task are you most looking forward to?

Serving a groom to be, who will be in later with his five groomsmen. He is collecting his personalised Moss Bespoke suits for the special day.

It is immensely satisfying to create sartorial elegance for such an important event.

How did you get to where you are today?

A hard work ethic, networking with like-minded retailers and ambition. I put 100% into everything I do, which has paid dividends. I’m also studying as a part-time fashion business student at London College of Fashion and I’ve been able to transfer the knowledge and skills gained into the workplace. Additionally I set myself career goals that provide me with focus, and a great sense of achievement once accomplished, which motivates me to work towards the goal.

What has been your career highlight?

Winning the Tesco award at my graduation. That was a milestone because it confirmed my choice of spending the rest of my career in fashion retail.

If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve progressed at a pace that is quick but manageable, and I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best people in menswear and tailoring.

Who is your mentor?

My line manager, Alex Curtis. He is the Bespoke & City area manager for Moss Bros and took me under his wing from day one. We have a similar work ethic and similar personalities. His ability to manage people and create loyalty is admirable and a skill I want to emulate. Alex has always been honest with me when giving me feedback in order to improve my performance, and has developed me both as a person and a retailer.

What’s the best piece of advice he’s given you?

In a team you are only as strong as your weakest link. In other words, it is important to know your team, their strengths and weaknesses, so you can motivate them.

How do you see your career progressing?

I’d like to work in a retail operations capacity to support stores to trade more efficiently. My ultimate goal is to own my own menswear business.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Work hard. Do the job of your line manager before you get the job, so when an opportunity arises you have a better chance of progressing. Networking and building contacts is essential.

If you could work in another area of fashion, which would it be?

Event management because you need to be organised, have a strong contacts book and deliver a result within a budget and time frame – all of which would be compatible with my skill set.

Salaries for this role range from £25,000 to £35,000 (estimate by Henry Fox Recruitment)

CV

2012 Store manager, Moss Bespoke

2011 Assistant manager, Moss Bespoke

2010 Supervisor, Moss Bespoke

2008 Sales associate, Gieves & Hawkes No 1 Savile Row

2008 Graduated from the Fashion Retail Academy

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