Sunday, 20 May 2012

Confessions of an Assistant Buyer

A while back I had the privilege of accompanying a Buyer on a AW12 buying trip to London. We visited Splendid, J Brand, Sam Edelman, Bridget Bardot and others.

The experience was eye-opening for so many reasons. The showrooms are generally like lovely deserted shops without noisy crowds. The coffee is always good and served on trays. The showrooms are always in the most obscure of places, either in the middle of it all or in the middle of nowhere. 

Mainly, however, what opened by eyes (and ears) was that fact that Buyers and those selling in the showrooms speak an entirely different language. Whilst I was able follow, I still thought it was funny that the jargon was so deliberately applied to the conversation with such gusto! Oh how we love fashion...

Glossary of lovely fashion nonsense:

Story, n

"that boot is part of the same story", "would you like to know the story"

Translation: collection, line of inspiration.

Drop, n,

"Would you like an early drop?", "we can accommodate the late July drop or mid August but you have to have two."

Translation: delivery, sequence of deliveries through season.

J Brand AW12

Pre, pre-fix as n,

"Are you buying Pre this season?", "You can have a little Pre in the buy too."

Translation: Pre-collection, the buffer between seasonal mainlines.

Mainline, n,

"This is Mainline."

Translation: The main collection for a season, not diffusion or pre.

Diffusion, n,

"We don't call it a diffusion", "It's not a diffusion, its more a sister-line."

Translation: alternative and often cheaper version of the brand's mainline, although never admittedly so.

Trans-seasonal, adj,

"Well to be honest that is a trans-seasonal piece (holding sunhat)", "If you're looking for trans-seasonal this is the piece (holding bikini)"

Translation: Pieces which can accommodate both Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter season.

Carry Through, v,

"That's a carry through", "Oh, it's a carry through option, you have to have it!"

Translation: items which feature in all collections as statement staples of the brand.

Splendid AW12

POS, n,

"Do you need POS?", "I can include POS for this line."

Translation: Point Of Sale, branded posters etc. for in-store.

Blocks, n,

"I have blocks!"

Translation, perspex POS blocks with brand's logo on, people get very excited about them.

They/Them, n,

"I don't know why they stopped doing it", "I know, I know, I told them but they didn't listen."

Translation: The brand, mystically referred to in order to establish a deliciously elitist distance.

Retail, n,

"That's £180 retail", "Do you want wholesale or retail prices?"

Translation: indicates RRP.

Swap, v,

"You can swap it up", "If it's no good we can swap it."

Translation: Items which, if bought, can be swapped later on if they perform badly.

Back-order, v,

"You can always back-order", "I have these on back-order from last season."

Translation: Items still in the warehouse from last season that you can order at late notice.

Other Terms:

"it depends how you buy it"

"I think you've bought really well"

"You've got a good buy" 

"You can use this to pull through some colour" (with beaded headdress in hand)

"Here are the key shapes for this season" (whilst pointing out boot-cut, skinny and flares)

"This has been picked up by everyone" (followed by knowing glare whilst thinking the word 'Harrods!' in a hope to telepathically convey the significance of the bag.)

Got any other gems? @jordanjmcdowell