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How I got here - Diane Ruhimbasa

After a degree in HR, persistence and determination helped Kicker’s product co-ordinator into fashion

What does your diary look like today?

Luckily my diary is a little less hectic today, as we finally launched our spring 13 footwear range yesterday. So prior to this my diary was full of prep work to do before the big day, such as getting the samples for the showroom.

What task are you most looking forward to today?

I’m looking forward to doing more comp shopping later. This has to be my favourite part of the job because I’m literally paid to do one of my favourite things.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

A few catch-up emails to our factories. We had a bit of a panic with samples being late for launch day. So I have to moan at them a little — in the nicest way possible, of course.

How did you get to where you are today?

A lot of patience, hard work and persistence. I know how it feels to have loads of doors closed in your face, but it’s about picking yourself up and keeping at it. You really have to start from the bottom and work your way up.

What has been your career highlight?

Assisting and styling a Tom Ford autumn 11 shoot for a Dubai magazine. The location was the famous 33 Portland Place and working with style director Sarah Joan Ross was one of the most exciting times in my life. Opportunities like these don’t come along every day.

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

I studied human resources at university, but somehow ended up working in fashion. I wouldn’t necessarily change anything in my life because I believe that everything happens for a reason. But in this case, maybe I would have headed in the fashion direction earlier to get a head start.

Who is your mentor?

One of my old work colleagues, Mamadou Traore from Topshop, who is now a very close friend of mine. He’s really wise, focused and positive and always seems to give the right piece of advice at the right time.

What was the best piece of advice he ever gave you?

To have acceptance in everything you can and you can’t do.

How do you see your career progressing?

Positively, because it is true what they say: the more contacts you make the higher up the ladder you get. I’m meeting and working with exciting and interesting people that I’m learning so much from. Right now I’m pleased to be part of the growth and expansion that is ahead of Kickers.

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

Show you are passionate about fashion in all aspects –– from the business to the commercial side. Keep up with trends by reading magazines, watching TV or even by simply looking at what people are wearing. Nothing in life comes easy, so even if you have many setbacks, the determination to keep going is what you need.

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

It would have to be buying. I think I’d have a good eye for a best-seller because I like to look and feel good in my clothes and I like others to feel that way too.


2012 Product co-ordinator, Kickers, Pentland Brands

2012 Trends editor assistant,

2011 Junior stylist assistant, Now magazine

2010 Advanced level shop assistant, Topshop Oxford Circus

Salaries for this position range from £20,000 to £23,000 (estimate provided by Bloom Retail)

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