Explore: Fashion

Art Buyer

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Dawn N

00:00:04 My name is Dawn N. My job title is art buyer and I work for Boden. This is the catalogue that I am involved in producing, and my job basically…obviously there’s…it’s all imagery, and I basically work very closely with the creative team. I source photographers, stylists, hair and make-up artists and I’m also responsible for model castings.

00:00:31 I oversee the budget and make that everything comes in on cost. So, you know, it’s quite a deep involvement. It’s just really quite satisfying the whole thing ‘cos you actually get to see something at the end, and when everybody loves it and sales are going really well, then it’s really, really quite satisfying ‘cos you feel like you’ve had, you know, a good bit of input.

00:00:47 When I was younger, I had no idea that this job existed. It’s not one of those jobs that when people say, you know, when you were six years old, say, ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ ‘I think I want to be a vet’, which is quite different. And then as I got a bit older, I probably wanted to something creative but I wasn’t quite sure what. Cos I wanted to do something quite glamorous, I think, and I think that’s why in the end I decided to become a hairdresser, ‘cos it was back in the day when it was still quite a glamorous thing to do, being a hairdresser, so.

00:01:17 I went to school in Canada. My family emigrated to Canada, so I went to school in Canada. So I did, I did basically I guess what would be GCSE/what used to be your O level in most subjects, except for art. I did an A level art course.

00:01:36 I did an apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon’s in Toronto in Canada. I really enjoyed it, it was great, it was really great. It was great sort of socially as well for an eighteen year old hanging out with all these really cool people. And then, when the reality bit and I was having going to work every day and you’re not sort of learning all the time—and you’re always kind of trying to make yourself better—but I was getting quite bored.

00:02:00 And then just out of sheer coincidence, I’d been on holiday with a friend in Berlin and was at that sort of crossroad of, ‘what am I going to do next?’ So I thought, ‘oh, I’ll go to Berlin for a couple of months’. And anyway, I stayed there for ten years. During that time I met some photographers and I got invited to come and do some tests with them and then it’s kind of took off from there. I built a portfolio up together and the industry was really becoming quite professional then, and I went to Hamburg with my portfolio, presented it and got an agent to represent me. And that was my introduction into the photographic fashion industry.

00:02:38 Quite by accident, I ended up at an interview for, as a photographer’s agent, and the woman that interviewed me decided that I’d be quite good at it and part of that job is copyright and budgets and production. So I kind of ended up where I wanted to be and it’s all kind of really, what I do now has probably really developed more from that point there. So it was quite a turning point.

00:03:02 When I became a freelancer, it was because I’d met a guy who used to work in the hair salon that I was working at at the time being very bored, and he came to visit us and told us about his, you know, glamorous freelance career working in studios with great photographers, and I thought, ‘well, if he can, I canÖ¹. So I found that quite inspiring. And also my partner as well because both our careers took completely different turns of where we started out from, but it was all kind of, you know, supporting each other and, if we wanted to change, then the other would just back the other one up.

00:03:33 Well, what I’m going to be doing in five or ten years time, that’s actually quite difficult. I think because I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now and I’ve kind of just got to the point where this, this role is still developing, that it’s quite difficult to see because I haven’t really started visualising what it is I want to do beyond this.

00:03:52 What I’ve learnt about a career is that, have an idea what you want to do, and if it changes because you’ve made the wrong decision, it doesn’t mean packing it all in. It just means maybe taking a slightly different path.

Dawn N is Art Buyer at Boden. She works on the catalogue. “I wanted to do something quite glamorous”. She moved to Berlin and became a fashion photographer which lead her to a job managing photography.

More information about Buyers and procurement officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

43%  male 
57%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Buyers and procurement officers organise and undertake the buying of raw materials, equipment and merchandise from manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and other sources for wholesale distribution, resale or for own internal use.
There are no formal academic requirements although some employers expect A levels/H grades, BTEC/SQA awards or degrees. Employers may ask for specific experience for a particular role. Professional qualifications and NVQs/SVQs in Procurement at Levels 2, 3 and 4 are available.
  • Attends trade fairs, shows and demonstrations to research new product lines and suppliers, checks catalogues;
  • Keeps up with market trends and chooses products/services;
  • Assesses budgetary limitations and customer requirements and decides on quantity, type, range and quality of goods or services to be bought;
  • Assesses bids from suppliers, finds suppliers and negotiates prices;
  • Helps negotiate contract with supplier and specifies details of goods or services required;
  • Looks at ways to improve supply networks, presents new ideas to senior management team;
  • Ensures that delivered items comply with order, monitors quality of incoming goods and returns unsatisfactory or faulty items, monitors performance and makes sure targets are met;
  • Supervises clerical, administrative and warehouse distribution staff, deals with recruitment and training;
  • Works closely with merchandisers who allocate stock and develop sales forecasts;
  • Maintains records and prepares reports as necessary.
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Wholesale trade 13869
Head offices, etc 4271
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Construction 3106
Architectural & related 2778
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Real estate 2142
Machinery, etc 1889
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