As you may have noticed, I’m currently obsessed with Jaeger. My bordering-on-unhealthy love for the legendary British brand first started when I attended their show during London Fashion Week last September. The pastels, the details, the shorts suits… OH MY! Three minutes and 41 looks later I was addicted.
This week I had the pleasure of chatting to Jaeger’s Head Buyer, Lilian Bucke, and getting the lowdown on what goes on behind-the-scenes at one of my favourite sartorial institutions…
LPA: Jaeger has been popular and profitable since 1884, what do you feel is the secret to its lasting success? Is it that you stick to the same style principals on which the brand was founded? Or is Jaeger’s longevity due to the fact that it’s constantly evolving?
LB: In terms of design and style we are forever evolving to keep the product current and modern. We remain true to our original brand values, Jaeger having been founded on the benefits and use of natural fibres, as well as quality, fit and impeccable attention to detail.
LPA: Jaeger is known for being a quintessentially British brand with a rich heritage boasts a legion of fashionable and famous fans worldwide. What do you think it is about the British style that sets it apart from the rest?
LB: We ensure our designs have timeless appeal and longevity, making them central to our customers’ wardrobes. We pay attention to fabrics and finishes to ensure our clothes give years of service. This is a key quality that sets us apart from the rest.
LPA: Jaeger was renowned for being the go-to label for stylish women throughout most of the 20th century then went slightly off the radar for a decade or two before coming back with a vengeance. How did the brand make its impressive return to the forefront of international fashion?
LB: Under the recent leadership of CEO Belinda Earl, part of the strategy was to focus on strengthening design, along with the launch and growth of sub brands such as Jaeger London, Jaeger Black, Accessories and most recently our Boutique by Jaeger collection. Showing our Jaeger London women’s collection on the London Fashion Week catwalk further enhanced the brand’s international profile, while last year’s launch into the Russian market meant Jaeger was available in every key global market. The launch of Jaeger’s virtual flagship store, which ships to 38 territories, has also heightened the brand’s international presence.
LPA: Since launching at London Fashion Week 2008, Jaeger London’s catwalk shows have always gathered rave reviews and been hugely popular. The brand decided not to show their AW12 collection in February, why was this? Do you think Jaeger London might show again in the future?
LB: Jaeger is currently undergoing a make-over, so watch this space!
LPA: Being a fashion buyer sounds like every shopaholics dream job, but I’m sure it’s not all picking out accessories and attending catwalk shows. On a day-to-day basis, what does your role at Jaeger actually entail?
LB:I split my time between a variety of responsibilities: reviewing sales, ensuring the teams hit the deadlines and targets for deliveries and costs, attending design meetings, reviewing proto types, meeting and visiting suppliers… My role also involves comparative shopping, we have to keep an eye on the competition.
LPA: Tell me a little about your career background. Did you study fashion? How did you work your way up to the position of Head Buyer at Jaeger?
LB: I studied fashion at the LCF and fell into pattern cutting. From then on I have held positions in Production, Brand/Design Management and Buying.
LPA: From what little I know about it, being a fashion buyer sounds like a demanding and highly specialist job that not everyone is cut out for. What particular skills/knowledge would you say it requires?
LB: Along with skill and product and market knowledge it takes real drive and determination.
LPA: What advice would you give to someone considering buying as a career? Do you think it’s worth studying fashion buying or marketing at university, or would you recommend trying to gain experience through internships instead?
LB: A mixture of fashion buying and work experience is beneficial and makes you a more attractive candidate to prospective employers.
Love Ella. X