An Interview with a Penneys/Primark Fashion Buyer

EFABACB3-2CFF-4966-BB95-2EBE08AB70AAWhile I’m obsessed with makeup, my sister Sinéad is obsessed with fashion. And she has been for as long as I have known her. She is a menswear buyer for Penneys and has the most amazing personal style (and yes it is annoying that she is always beautifully dressed but it has it’s perks – I’m always stealing borrowing her clothes). She has kindly answered a few questions so I can share her inside look into the industry as well as some fashion tips and tricks.

Have you always been interested in fashion?

fashion wheel
Ahh remember Fashion Wheel’s (source: Today FM)

Yes. From as young as I can remember, I had an interest in fashion. It started with robbing my older sister’s fashion wheel and it progressed from there.

What made you want to work in the fashion industry?

I studied Law in College, and it’s been a great asset to have behind me. Although people may think I would never use anything I learned, I use it all on a daily basis. It really taught me how to think outside the box , especially when trying to solve issues that arise daily.  Having finished my degree, I knew I could not see myself working in the legal industry for the next 30+ years and what I was really interested in was fashion.  I was lucky enough to get my first job in a small, Irish, womenswear company in a wholesale and buying role where I picked up the basics and a lot more from the industry that I was then able to bring with me to my role in Primark.

Do you think that there are limited employment options for someone looking to get into buying in Ireland?

There are and there aren’t limitations, although Ireland has nowhere near the number of buying roles as there would be in the likes of London, there are quite a few large company’s based in Dublin such as Primark, Dunnes Stores, Heatons, Lifestyle and many smaller companies.  Buying roles are not just relevant within the fashion industry, you can apply the principles used to roles in food buying and pharmaceuticals etc.

How would you describe your own style?Sinead

Classic but on trend. The older I get the more I try to not go hell for leather on all trends and over do them. Instead, I try to spend more money on basics and key items that I will wear season after season while dipping in and out of trends. I pretty much live in jeans every day for work, but dress these up or down depending on what is planned for the day.  I do love getting dressed up for nights out and going all out where possible!

What was your biggest fashion disaster?

Too many to choose from, but I think it would have to be an aqua blue-dipped hem dress covered in beads I wore to a friend’s Debs when I was 17, with silver shoes and matching silver eye shadow – it was similar to something you would see on Strictly Come Dancing

What are your favorite high street shops?

I will always find something to wear in Topshop no matter what! COS and &OtherStories are great for basics and unusual pieces. Zara is great for doing pieces straight off the catwalks – and of course Penneys has to be my all time fave! I just try and make sure that I dress to suit my shape: I am only 5’1″ so this does limit some of the trends that I would love to wear but can’t.

Give us some tips for what you think will be big this summer …

Denim is everywhere and will continue to be popular, with embroidery, embellishment and pearls on jeans, shorts, jackets and dresses. These are and will be everywhere! Also, frills are really strong but not for everyone!

 

XO

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