Buyer, House of Fraser, aged 29
Since her teenage years, Rachael Batt says she ploughed all her energy into getting into buying. During her English literature degree, she worked on the shopfloor at Next, rising to a store management role, followed by full-time shopfloor work at Monsoon, during which time she also undertook a buying and merchandising course at the London College of Fashion.
“It was a challenge to get into the business without a specific degree,” Batt says, but her perseverance, and specialist training, paid off when she got a job at Debenhams as trainee assistant buyer, eventually rising to assistant buyer.
Batt joined House of Fraser three years ago, also as assistant buyer. She became junior buyer after a year, and was promoted to buyer six months later.
Today, she works largely on own-brand collections, including Pied a Terre.
Michelle Hawes, director of buying for womenswear at House of Fraser, says: “Rachael is a stylish professional buyer with a natural flair for product. Her ability to create winners is a great skill and success story. She is totally reliable and is never fazed by the new challenges she is given.”