As part of our Fashion Means Business blog series in celebration of the launch of our Fashion Business School, we managed to grab CEO of Jigsaw Peter Ruis at our Graduate School Festival (organised by LCF Careers), for a quick interrogation… nothing was stopping us from finding out the secret to his success! Here are eight things we learned from the man himself…
1. Enjoy the journey
Peter Ruis: I can never quite work out how I got to where I am today, it’s been something I fell in to and I was lucky enough to fall into my hobby. And then you find in this industry it’s so varied, there’s so much you can go for that as you do different things, you end up in different places, you learn about stuff and before you know it you get to somewhere you never expected to get to.
2. Everyone faces challenges
PR: You struggle with management structures, you struggle with the sheer discipline of being at work. All of that conventional stuff is really really hard and as you join organisations and change as a person, you have to accept that everything doesn’t always go smoothly. It’s just sometimes about being patient.
3. The right attitude will get you to the top
PR: I think you have to be really enthusiastic, cynicism is what kills a lot of people. You’ve got to work really really hard. I see too many people who think it’s OK to walk away at the first possible moment. You’ve got to love what you do enough to finish the job.
4. Love what you do
PR: You’ve got to be really obsessive about what you do. Just love every bit of it and want it to be better.
5. All fashion professionals should be…
PR: Enthusiastic, humble and obsessive.
6. You can get there with a little patience
PR: I wish I’d known that people that managed me were just another version of me five years down the line. I would probably have had a much easier time in my twenties if I had less of a chip on my shoulder around some of the more senior people in the businesses I worked in.
7. Fashion is changing
PR: I think fashion is going through a changing time, there’s been some quite obsessional comments around the death of the shop as online becomes more dominant. But I really think that’s bouncing back and we are seeing a lot of the pure play retailers struggling a bit more. So I think that there’s going to be a restructuring in fashion around winners and losers, we’ll see some brands disappearing and we’ll see a lot of change at a luxury level. It’s one of those periods where if you stand still you’ll die.
8. We want his job!
PR: I don’t really have a typical day, which is what makes the job great. I could be travelling… a couple of weeks ago I was in Australia for a week, (we’ve got 20 stores there). It could be a very normal trading week where it’s very much about meetings, it could be about product reviews, we could have a catwalk show or a press show going on. It’s incredibly varied!
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