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How I got here: The Outnet's Andres Sosa on soaking up luxury

Why the director of global sales and marketing at The Outnet loves Balmain and baking.

Andres Sosa, director of global sales and marketing at The Outnet

Andres Sosa

Andres Sosa, director of global sales and marketing at The Outnet

For me, the week starts on a Friday morning. I tend to look at the week ahead in order to plan what my 46-strong team and I need to prioritise and achieve, ensuring we are staying ahead of the game. I like to keep my week as structured as possible. We have weekly sales meetings, during which we look at the previous and current week’s results. It’s also when we decide the theme of our Friday reactive product uploads, which are themed after one of the week’s biggest headlines. For example, we went with a regal theme when Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning UK monarch. As part of a global company, you are literally on the go 24/7. It is not unusual for me to be in New York for work and having a 3am conference call with China.

Sergio the Sausage Dog

Sergio the Sausage Dog

Sergio the Sausage Dog

A big part of my job is merging innovation and creativity with analytics and data on traffic, conversion and sell-through, ensuring that we get the right balance between the two. A great example of this is our Sergio the Shoe Hunter campaign, which we ran in September 2014. The campaign featured Sergio, a sausage dog who wore a GoPro camera to capture the best shoes at London Fashion Week. It was a way for us to stay relevant during LFW in a tongue-in-cheek manner. We saw the highest volume of traffic ever for shoes during the initiative, with a 92% uplift in international shoe sales across the 170 countries we sell in.

The UK and US are key markets where I have marketing, PR, site merchandising and product merchandising teams on the ground. In total, there are 41 people working in these teams in the UK and five in the US. However, Asia-Pacific and Australia are probably my favourite markets as they are so diverse. I love the challenge of the Asia-Pacific customer and their passion for top-tier premium brands, whereas I equally love the different seasonality that Australia brings.

Over the past few years we’ve observed an incredible transformation of Australia’s key cities, Sydney and Melbourne, into global cultural and fashion hubs. With our insights from consumer panels, top-selling brands and product views, we’re able to focus on geo-targeted initiatives that are relevant to the varying territories. For example, we recently created a “winter boots edit” featuring autumn 15 styles from Chloé, Valentino, Sergio Rossi and Alexander Wang as an exclusive private sale for our customers in Australia. It was hugely successful and exceeded sales forecast by 160%. We saw 336% uplift in traffic and 151% uplift in units sold that week.

Celebrating our fifth anniversary in April 2014 was definitely one of the highlights of working at The Outnet so far. To mark the occasion, I worked with the team to put together an edit of 17 top designers, who re-issued key pieces exclusively for us. These included a Chloé leather wedge, a Balmain printed top and a Roland Mouret wool-crêpe dress.

I am very fortunate to be in a job that I love and one that inspires me on a daily basis. Being part of a truly global company allows me to travel frequently, which is a big passion of mine. It gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in different cultures, getting a better understanding of the markets and, most importantly, the consumer. My last trip was to Shanghai and Hong Kong, although I travel most frequently to New York. I’m looking forward to travelling to Miami next month for the art fair Art Basel.

I loved luxury from a young age. I grew up in Venezuela where the women really make an effort to make sure they look great at all times. I think that’s why I enjoy visiting our distribution centres in London and New Jersey, which might come as a bit of a surprise. As an online business, we don’t keep a lot of stock in our offices, so it’s great to be able to see all the amazing pieces from top international designers.

When it comes to figures I admire in fashion I believe Natalie Massenet is an extraordinary woman. She is a great leader and visionary, and her entrepreneurial spirit is really like no other.

I’ve learned along the way that it doesn’t matter how organised you are, not everything will go according to plan, so you have to be able to adapt. Teamwork is essential and to deliver fantastic results you need to be surrounded by a solid team.

Alexander McQueen at The Outnet

Alexander McQueen at The Outnet

Alexander McQueen

The key to building meaningful relationships is to be yourself and treat people as you would like to be treated, which attracts like-minded people. Once you have the connections, nurture and maintain them.

I would tell my 18-year-old self to listen to your gut and be curious. Always want to know more and soak in as much information as possible in all areas of your life. And, lastly, don’t settle for less. Always strive to be the best you can be.

Initially, I toyed with the idea of becoming a marine biologist, but I soon realised it was not for me – it wasn’t very glamorous. So I studied Business Studies at Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela, and majored in international marketing, which you can apply to pretty much anything as it’s such a broad topic.

Emilio Pucci at The Outnet

Emilio Pucci at The Outnet

Emilio Pucci

Plan B

I’d be a professional baker with a lovely tea and cake shop. I would aim high and want to expand globally, in the style of New York-based Magnolia Bakery. Baking is a real passion and a guilty pleasure of mine. I make killer brownies – my recipe has a few fans in the office.

CV

Education

1991-1996 BSc Degree in Business Administration (specialising in management), Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela

Career

September 2013-present - Director of global sales and marketing, TheOutnet, Net-A-Porter Group

May 2013-September 2013 - Global head of digital marketing and media, Value Retail

Jul 2010-May 2013 - Senior digital marketing manager, Chic Outlet Shopping, Value Retail

Jan 2009-Jul 2010 - Digital client services director, Leo Burnett Group

Feb 2001-Dec 2008 - Client partner, XM London (now OgilvyAction Digital)

2000-2001 - Assistant global trade marketing channel manager, British American Tobacco (London)

1998-2000 - Brand executive, British American Tobacco (Venezuela)

1996-1998 Account executive, Ghersy Bates

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