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How I got here - Faye Bradbury

The junior buyer for ladies’ footwear at River Island is always eager to move on to the next project.

What does your diary look like today?

Today I’m reviewing the development for spring with our design team ahead of our review in a few weeks. It’s an opportunity for us to make sure we’re happy with how the range is building from our initial samples, to ensure we get a balance between key fashion pieces and commercial bankers. Today I’m also nalising our orders for the Christmas season, negotiating prices and con rming materials and fits.

What task are you most looking forward to today?

The task I’m most looking forward to is defnitely reviewing our samples. I have to say that looking ahead to the coming season is one of the most exciting parts of being a buyer. I love it when my friends ask me what they should have on their feet next year.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

I’m least looking forward to clearing out old samples. I always put it off and I can be a bit of a hoarder.

How did you get to where you are today?

I think the key to progressing within buying is using your initiative and being a hard worker. It’s definitely not glamorous at the beginning when you spend the majority of the time in a cupboard pulling samples out or putting them back, so it’s imperative you have determination and drive. I always sought the next project from my managers to show how eager I was to progress, and that de definitely helped me get to where I am today in my buying career.

What has been your career highlight so far?

I’d have to say probably my first buying trip to Hong Kong and China as an assistant buyer. It was at the same time as the ash cloud hit, so we were stuck out there for over two weeks which meant I got to visit factories all over China and spend some quality time with our suppliers. Being on the factory floor was such an eye opener into how footwear is made, which was really important for me at that stage of my career.

Who is your mentor?

My dad Richard Bradbury, former chief executive of River Island. He’s always been my toughest critic but he’s also always been my biggest supporter. Working in the same industry as him means he is my go-to for all career advice.

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

It would be hard to pinpoint one particular anecdote. However, he has instilled in me that you should always be level-headed, fair and honest, and that your first instincts are probably always right.

How do you see your career progressing?

I love buying and retail, so I see myself staying in this industry and working towards being a buying manager.

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

Work hard, make friends across the business and smile.

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

Fashion journalism. I love creative writing and am just starting to get into photography, so I’d have loved to combine the two.

  • Salaries for this position range from £35,000 to £40,000 (estimate provided by CVUK)


2012 Junior buyer, ladies’ footwear, River Island

2011 Junior buyer, kidswear, River Island

2009 Assistant buyer, ladies’ footwear, River Island

2007 BA Hons in History, Nottingham University

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