A Day In The Life Of A Stanwells Buyer

The secret to the world of fashion is to always be prepared! This is why, while we’re wrapping up warm for winter in our favourite coats and scarves, we’re also keeping an eye firmly on the styles the coming season will bring.

When it comes to fashion buying you always need to be a good few months ahead of the game. This is exactly what our very own Julia Aitken was doing this week in Paris. We joined her on a jam packed day of appointments to reveal exactly what goes on in the world of a fashion buyer, as well as a sneak peek at the fashions in store for us in summer 2018…


After a very early start and early but very convenient flight from Southampton airport I hit the ground running in Paris at 8.30 am. On a mission to do three appointments in a day, all started well until I decided to ditch the typically chaotic Parisian taxi driver that was making me feel sick on the outskirts of the city. I headed for the nearest Metro and disaster, no glasses and trying to read the small map was impossible! So, like a child I followed the route map by colours and to my surprise landed a short walk from my first appointment at the Aeffe showroom on Faubourg. Delightfully decadent, in true Parisian style, the showroom was bustling with a mix of buyers, models and glamorous showroom staff.

I was greeted by the elegant Sylvia, a long standing member Philosophy sales team. She was a vision in turquoise and black, offering an early starter breakfast of coffee and croissants; she was my saviour.

The Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini collection is always one of my favourites and summer ’18 was never going to disappoint. Fortuny pleated pants and 20’s style ruffled tops gave a flavour of 1920’s Deauville; the floral prints in pink red and black were more typical of the collection styled in feminine dresses but hot red satin midi dress with over-sized black cuffs sent a vibrant shock through the collection. I peeked into the Moschino Couture collection for a reminder of what the fashion runways theatrical best is about, and have a few sneak shots of the winged dress and rose floral skirted frock that had graced the Moschino catwalk a few weeks before.

Onwards toward the Marais district I ran, down St. Honoré spotting the fashion chicks en route with loaded admiration for Parisian style….

Next stop IRO , located near Montparnasse. Their uber-cool simplistic showroom was busy, but with a quieter vibe than Philosophy’s showroom. Ice queen model’s, edgy looking buyers and a super green, super healthy salad and health drink for lunch made the fashion frantic Philosophy showroom a very distant memory. So familiar with the IRO collection, the buy was easy: a mix of old favourites such as the leather biker jackets and new silk chiffon prints.

Sprinting off to the Marais towards the fashion loaded Rue Charlot, I had a quick peek into Mes Demoiselles relaxed, Bohemian chic boutique. Easy on the eye and effortless, I wanted to be dressed like the store manager in a paisley chiffon skirt and off the shoulder top and cowboy boots; she looked SO cool, as only the Parisian girls do…

Next stop Jerome Dreyfuss; for those who don’t know, Jerome is the accessory designer husband of Isabel Marant. His collection oozes everything about Parisian style at this moment; casual, relaxed and subtle. None of those big label branded handbags with their name across the front, a JD handbag is all about understated style in super soft leather or suede. Choosing was easy, as Florence, Jerome’s in house expert showed me the best picks of the collections: tan suede shoulder bags and the hot new style for summer, the circle bags in salmon pink.

All done, taxi booked I set off for Charles de Gaulle with satisfaction that the day had gone well and could relax with a coffee whilst waiting for my flight. I was back in Lymington to pick up @Minifashiondog who had been the safe hands of Stanwells super sales girl Nikki; Minnie was fast asleep in the shop unaware of mums day away!

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