In Australia for the first time and experiencing the madness of MBFWA was Chelsea Power, Studio Buyer for one of the world's most prominent online retailers, MATCHESFASHION.COM. InStyle caught up with Power as she departed Sydney to find out what trends she can see translating to the global market, including one VERY surprising inclusion.
What has been your impression of Australian Fashion Week?
I love the fact that Australia showcases Resort collections. Resort wear is definitely a strong point for Australian designers and it’s really important category for our customers. As MATCHESFASHION.COM is a global E-tailer shipping to over 190 countries, it’s always sunny somewhere! I’ve really enjoyed my stay here; it’s my first time visiting Australia. The people are so friendly and relaxed and the weather is amazing.
Which designers have been the standouts?
Romance Was Born was absolutely incredible, the show was so theatrical and really transported you into their world. I loved every element, from the creative direction to the intricate details in the garments, which I was lucky enough to preview up-close ahead of the show. It is shows like that that make the jet lag worth it! I also really loved Albus Lumen’s prairie chic collection. The show styling with woven straw bags and shell anklets complimented the overall feel of the collection. Albus Lumen is currently a designer we stock on MATCHESFASHION.COM so it was amazing to see designer Marina Afonina’s vision in full as part of MBFWA.
What trends do you think will translate well to the global market?
Red, shirting, tailoring and believe it or not, mullets were making a comeback within menswear shows across the week. Watch this space!
What does it take to be a good buyer?
Someone who isn’t afraid to take risks. You also need to have an open mind and be able to be decisive in high pressure environments. You have limited time to view a collection and need to very efficient at getting all of the information you need quickly. The time between viewing collections and placing orders can be an intense small window of time.
Is it as glamorous a job as it seems?
Yes and no. I’m very lucky to have a relationship with some of the world’s most talented designers, being able to experience the clothes up close and getting to know the story behind each collection. At the same time this requires a lot of travel and work behind the scenes to make everything come together.
What sort of advice would you give to someone who wants to become a buyer?
It’s imperative to understand your market and what’s relevant at the time (and long term) in terms of designers. You have to have a strong initiative and not be afraid to get your hands dirty. At the beginning it’s a lot of admin but it’s a great career – exciting, interesting, and diverse.
Buyers and bloggers have been at odds in more recent times (particularly for front row status), what is your take on this?
I think they are equally as important in this ever changing and growing retail landscape, we have different purposes to cater to. At MATCHESFASHION.COM, we work with style influencers to curate the key looks of the moment for our ‘Shop With…’ series (Most recently with Australian, Carmen Hamilton). In an ideal scenario everyone would have a front row seat!