What Does An International Fashion Buyer Really Look For On The Runway?

We catch up with Teneille Oakley, womenswear buyer for David Jones, who’s in town to check out the local merchandise

David Jones womenswear buyer, Teneille Oakley. Photo / Supplied

How long have you been a buyer for?
Ten years.

How did you become a buyer?
I studied at FBI Fashion College in Sydney and I got a placement at David Jones head office at age 22 as an assistant buyer of men's ties.

What will you be looking out for at NZFW this year?
We always look forward to New Zealand Fashion Week. With David Jones Newmarket opening later this year, it's a fantastic time for us to meet with our New Zealand brands and keep an eye out for emerging talent. Our New Zealand designers are a really important part of our womenswear offering so we are always looking to further evolve in this area.

When you're buying, what are the things you look out for?
Our team is focused on buying the best of local and international womenswear for David Jones customers. For me, that's looking at the season ahead's trends and seeing what will work while factoring in colourways, size range, garment quality and much more.

What key trends have you been noticing for your spring/summer deliveries?
SS19 was such an exciting season to buy for. There's a real nod to the 70s in a lot of what is arriving in store at the moment. Ruffles, tiered dresses and skirts and an amazing array of bright colour.

What do you enjoy about NZFW as a buyer?
It's a great opportunity for us to see some incredible emerging design talent and it provides new faces with a platform to step onto the world stage.

There is an exceptional standard of fashion coming out of New Zealand, from Wynn Hamlyn and Harris Tapper to some of our established Kiwi designers: Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester and Trelise Cooper — we feel lucky to see it all in one week.

What can designers be doing better when it comes to presenting their collections?
When presenting your ranges for the first time, having the answers to questions about production requirements always helps a store plan a season better. Knowing your delivery dates and understanding what's needed for a brand to be stocked in a store of any size is really important.

What changes have you noticed with the buying process since you first began?
The most significant change for us would have to be the growth of online and the way that social media and digital marketing impact the way we buy for our stores.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is about joy and self-expression. What we choose to wear can communicate everything from how we're feeling, what we want to say, and how we want to present ourselves to the world.

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