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After growing up in a tiny village in the Basque country in the north of Spain Naiara moved to London to pursue her dream of working in fashion. She studied fashion design and then came to London College of Fashion to specialise her career, choosing to undertake the Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. She now lives in Amsterdam and works for Converse, Nike Inc. as the EMEA Ecommerce Senior Buyer.
Why did you choose to study at LCF? What attracted you about this university?
Living in London at the time it was a super easy choice knowing the reputation of the university.
Why did you decide to study the Postgraduate Certficate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising?
It was a very specific topic course and I wanted to learn about the business side of the fashion. I believe it was the best choice I have made to focus my career towards becoming a buyer.
What did you enjoy the most about your course?
I loved the trend and product side of the course.
Which topic did your explore for your final project?
We did a Matthew Williams by Debenhams project that was given to us by the professors. I remember it being a fun team project that involved in store research, supplier research and many other aspects such as marketing, visual merchandising... I loved the research project and learnt a lot.
What was the best piece of advice you received from a lecturer during your course?
The importance of the financials and KPIs side of the retail! I have learnt this throughout my career, but as a fashion creative background student I had no idea of the importance of the KPIs.
What have you been working on since finishing your course?
I started my career in TkMaxx as an allocation analyst, then moved back to Spain to join Massimo Dutti (Inditex) as a buyer, I progressed into a senior buyer role in a Saudi Barcelona based brand called Rina. After that I worked as a product manager, responsible for developing their ranges for a small sports brand and this year I have joined Nike Inc company as an Ecommerce Senior Buyer.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
I knew I wanted to work in fashion since I was in high school, I was about to go to university to become a physiotherapist, however I realised before that fashion was what I wanted to do and I went on to study BA Honours in fashion design and then specialised in fashion buying and merchandising.
For you, what's the best thing about your job/profession?
I love working in the direct to consumer side, I think the best part of the job is seeing the market reaction to the product that you have decided to bring to the market. I also love the most is the product development/selection processes.
Any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
We are currently working on some exciting new styles that will be available soon and can’t wait to see the market reaction.
What are your plans for the next few years? Where would you like to see yourself professionally?
My career goal is to keep learning and developing into a better buyer/manager. And I definitely would like to be working in direct to consumer, I am also a very entrepreneurial person so when the right time comes, I will be happy to start my own project.
What advice would you give to potential students who would like to enrol on this course?
To become a great buyer firstly you need to be very passionate about product, trends and consumer needs; there are many other skills (as financials) that you will learn throughout your career.