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How I got here - Lynne Henderson

New Look’s outerwear buyer has learnt to live in the fast lane working for the young fashion chain.

What does your diary look like today?

Jam-packed. We are coming into our peak production time on outerwear so have a large fit session to review the key lines, plus we have one of our leather suppliers here to look at new developments, as this is a key growth area for us.

What meeting are you most looking forward to today?

Seeing our leather supplier, brainstorming some ideas and working on some new jacket developments.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

Probably our fit session. Although it’s a vital part of my role, it can be quite stressful going through each jacket to
ensure they are perfect for the fit and that all of the components are correct before allowing the factories to start production.

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve always loved fashion. I studied for a degree at Heriot-Watt University, which through a lot of hard work and determination then resulted in a role as store manager at New Look. I was then able to rise quickly through the company to become a buyer. What I love most about this role is seeing product through from initial design concept to shopfloor.

What has been your career highlight?

Our autumn 12 performance. The outerwear team achieved record-breaking sales and profit performance, as well as our lowest-ever markdown for the department. An equally rewarding part is seeing girls wearing our product out and about.

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

I wouldn’t change anything. I think certain things, such as my store background, have meant I’ve gained a full understanding of our customer. This has since helped me greatly with my buying decisions because I always have
our end customer at the forefront of my mind.

Who is your mentor?

Our buying director Roger Wightman.

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

“Always think of the customer in everything you do.”

How do you see your career progressing?

I’d like to continue developing in my role as a buyer and broaden my experience into other product areas to reach
senior buyer, and eventually head of buying.

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

My main pieces of advice would be to stick to what you believe in, always be passionate about the product and most importantly listen to your customer.

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

I really enjoyed my time working in stores and would be interested in trying something totally different to buying such as visual merchandising. It would be interesting to learn how to lay out our stores to excite our customer and at the same time make it easy for her to shop.

  • Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £60,000, plus benefits (estimate provided by Freedom Recruitment)

CV

2011 Outerwear buyer, New Look

2010 Assistant buyer, tailoring department, New Look

2009 Buyers’ admin assistant, tailoring department, New Look

2007 Assistant manager, Peterhead store, New Look

2007 Graduated with a BA Hons in Textile and Fashion Design Management, Heriot-Watt University

  • If you want to be featured on the Drapers Jobs page, email james.knowles@emap.com

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