Discover Aspinal of London

Guest Edit: Carina Middlebrooks, Assistant Buyer at House of Fraser

September is an exciting month in the world of Fashion. This month we're busy planning for lots of exciting upcoming events, one of which is our London Fashion Week event at House of Fraser. We took the opportunity to speak with Carina, fashion-lover and Assistant buyer, about how she got into the industry and top trends for the season ahead.

How did you get into buying?

I've always wanted to work in fashion and decided to study fashion management and marketing at University. I managed to secure an internship at Balenciaga in New York during university which was amazing. I got to meet Nicolas Ghesquiere and not to mention working with beautiful pieces from his collection.

What do you look at before making your decisions?

We do a lot of analysis before making decisions on what to buy for up-coming seasons. It's always important to know current trends and be able to predict what is going to work the following season.

What are your favourite trends for AW14?

I love the 60s mod trend and the rich berry shades on accessories which are autumnal and feminine. I also have the Aspinal saddle bag in Navy, exclusive to house of fraser, on my wish list.

What's the best part of your job?

I love working with inspirational brands, it's always interesting to see each designer's vision each season. I am extremely lucky to be able travel to Paris and Milan to see new product.

What process to go you through when predicating trends and shopping habits?

It's important to understand who your customer is and what she likes. However, sometimes if you fall in love with an up coming trend you have to gamble on what you think will sell.

What advice would you like to share with aspiring buyers?

Try and get some work experience. Its invaluable. Be organised, because as a buyer you can often be dealing with several seasons at once. And become familiar with designers as well as trends.

What do you love most about accessories?

They can update any outfit instantly. A great accessory will last a long time. A great accessory will not judge you on an 'off' day!

Thanks Carina, we agree!

Have you visited Aspinal of London at House of Fraser? You'll find us in House of Fraser Meadowhall, Guildford and Glasgow. From the 12th-26th we will also be holding a pop-up in House of Fraser Oxford Street.

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