Buyer, The Idle Man.
A champion of independent British design, Thom Scherdel is the man responsible for bringing brands like Hype, Ragged Priest and Criminal Damage into the mainstream. During his five years at Topman, he took the Oxford Street store from seven third-party brands to 70.
The journey started in November 2006, when 17-year-old Scherdel moved to London from Grimsby with three days’ notice when a space became available at the Fashion Retail Academy on a course covering buying, merchandising, visual merchandising, store management and design. He then won the FRA Marks & Spencer Award for Endeavour in 2007.
Graduating from the FRA with a distinction in 2007, Scherdel went straight into Selfridges, working as an allocator before moving into buying a year later. Work as a buyer’s assistant on formalwear progressed a year later to contemporary and streetwear.
After three years he was poached by Topman for a new team, buying brands and working on designer collaborations. In 2011, the now assistant buyer took an offbeat approach by targeting new brands unseen at trade shows.
His outstanding eye for product and proactive attitude attracted Oliver Tezcan, chief executive of etailer The Idle Man, who offered him the position of buyer in August. While there is still so much to achieve in his current role, Scherdel’s ultimate aim is to start his own brand or shop.