Buyer, childrenswear and toys, Selfridges, aged 24
“Jess is one of the most energetic and inspiring buyers I have ever worked with. Her determination, drive and incredible eye has had an amazing effect on the childrenswear department and the team around her,” says Erin Moscow, head of accessories and childrenswear at Selfridges, and Jessica King’s line manager.
That’s some testimonial, but King has worked hard for it. “I knew from pretty early on that I wanted to work in fashion, so was keen to get straight out to work rather than going to university,” she recalls. “My first position was as an office admin at footwear manufacturer Peter Black, which was a huge eye opener, helping me understand the range of roles in the industry and the journey goods take from the point of design through to hitting the shopfloor.”
King was set on a career in buying and worked her way up at different etailers, including BrandAlley and Secret Sales, before joining her first bricks-and-mortar store - Selfridges - in November 2012. “I am so proud of the new toy concept we launched in August,” says King. “In a category which is traditionally about low prices, volume and breadth, it was a huge challenge to create a contemporary edit which was appropriate for a premium fashion retailer.”
King attributes the guidance of Moscow in her success today. “Erin challenges me to think about my business from a new angle every day and inspires me to think more creatively about where the department should be heading.”