Part of the glamorous Little Mistress stable, the Girls on Film product developer talks supplier relations and celebrity endorsements.
The first thing I do in the morning is press snooze on my alarm at least five times, moan at myself for not going to the gym and then have a really strong cup of tea.
My week starts by poring over the bestsellers from last week. This way I can spot winning styles that are emerging and focus on the lines that are flying out. The remainder of the week is hectic, visiting new suppliers across the UK, liaising with our factories in China and India, as well as chairing buy meetings with the web, retail, international and UK wholesale teams.
I am also responsible for presenting monthly collections to customers such as House of Fraser, Lipsy and Asos.com, as well as comparison shopping around London. I have daily meetings with our four-strong design team to discuss newness in the market and any fresh ideas, looking at our upcoming drops. This consists of looking through CADs and moodboards, discussing new colourways, looking over bestsellers and finding new ways to move them on, as well as sifting through the results of recent buying trips.
We’re constantly looking for new interesting fabrics, textures and catwalk-inspired prints, attending shows like the London Textile Fair (January 13-14) to find inspiration. Therefore, sourcing new fabrics and trims is an important and rewarding aspect to my role. It enables me to travel and I have trips to Paris, Italy and China in the pipeline where I will be meeting with current suppliers and scoping out exciting new ones.
I’m lucky as all our garment factories are company owned. We have two in China and one in India and they’re all great to work with. We can CAD, sample and deliver all our goods in four weeks, so as soon as a trend hits we have the resources to be the first off the mark. I think consumers can be obsessed with newness, but it seems the Girls on Film customer is loyal to the brand, looking for fresh styles as well as our classics in new colourways. We currently have four forward collections as well as monthly injections, which enables us to feed both our international and UK customers.
As a product developer my role is to expand the brand, working on projects like the launch of Girls on Film (GoF) Curve for January 2016, a plus-size range for sizes 16-26. The collection includes statement jumpsuits and glamorous prints. There aren’t enough brands catering to the young, edgy plus-size woman. I have been working with the design team to ensure our handwriting is fluid between the core and Curve ranges. GoF Curve should be just as exciting as our main collection.
As London is one of the most fashion-forward capitals, it’s easy to stay inspired. Being surrounded by the work of young designers like Christopher Kane and JW Anderson is amazing. It’s also great to be close to popular culture, which helps us to react to the pacy fashion climate quicker.
I think young people are looking for a mixture of trend-led pieces and celebrity style. So they might admire a celebrity’s fashion sense, but want to mix it with their own. We’ve actually got some celebrity fans ourselves. Model Gigi Hadid was photographed wearing our statement check duster coat from our autumn 15 collection, while actress Mila Kunis has been seen sporting the black lace playsuit.
Girls on Film
On February 4, we launched our collaboration with The Only Way is Essex star Chloe Lewis, which we will follow with two further seasonal drops in March and April. The key Girls on Film styles include savvy daywear in khaki and navy tones, utility-inspired shapes and soft spring florals. We shot the campaign photoshoot in South Africa at the end of last year in the vibrant Bo-Kaap district and on the beautiful beaches of Cape Town.
I wanted to work with The Little Mistress Group as it’s a great growth business in a fast-paced environment. It also feels like there’s genuine momentum behind the brand. We call Girls on Film the cool little sister of the three brands. Little Mistress is the queen of occasionwear, while Paper Dolls is the woman who takes fashion from day to night.
Along the way I’ve found you need to be confident in your decisions and learn from the people you work with. Also working hard really pays off. The job was a lot to take on and, of course, involves long hours, but it’s no different to any other fashion job.
The last thing I do at night is scroll through Pinterest. I’m renovating a house with my boyfriend and creating moodboards around interiors has become a slight obsession. I don’t know what I ever did before Pinterest. It’s so easy to find inspiration.
I would be a surfing instructor in Barbados, although obviously I would need to learn how to surf first. I love the Bajan zest for life, I’ve never seen that anywhere else in the world.
2007 – 2011 – BA Design, Liverpool Hope University
May 2015-present - Product developer, Girls on Film, Little Mistress Group
July 2010 – April 2015 - Regional manager, TFNC
September 2009-February 2010 Concession manager, TFNC in Topshop Trafford Centre, Manchester