Senior buyer, menswear, Primark, aged 28
Nightclub management may not seem an obvious route into fashion buying, but that is how Olly Kinnill started his working life after school.
In 2002, however, he decided a change was in order, so he started on a management trainee scheme at Primark in Reading. When a trainee buying job came up he applied, and no one was more surprised than himself when he was taken on.
Six years later and he has fashion “running through his veins” according to one industry insider. He is thought to be the youngest senior buyer in the Primark business - and now oversees some 40% of Primark’s menswear buy in the UK.
His big project at the moment is upping the fashion content on Primark’s menswear. “Our core menswear customers are key, but we are growing young fashion and our recent results show we are driving fashion home,” Kinnill says.
He cites its collaboration with artist Ben Allen as one of the projects ramping up Primark’s fashion credibility. “It isn’t huge,” he says, “but we wanted to do something that was fashion-led and exciting.”
Without hesitation, Kinnill cites increasing market share on denim as his major achievement, but so is developing people in his team and developing relationships with suppliers.
His dynamism is plain to see.
One retail executive says of him: “Olly is passionate about the industry, not just from the buying side but from visual merchandising, marketing, customer satisfaction and the store experience.”