At the core of the designer resale industry is the high-demand luxury inventory that drives business and keeps customers wanting more. For Couture USA luxury retail buyer Hayley DeBuck, the careful selection process for picking and choosing designer items for our inventory is done with a watchful eye on the ever-changing trends of the fashion world along with careful consideration of customer wishlists. Having studied fashion merchandising at the International Academy of Design and Technology, DeBuck’s proficient knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the fashion business made her the ideal candidate for the position at Couture USA!
In this week’s feature of the Couture USA Team profile series, DeBuck shares with us what drew her to a career in fashion merchandising, her favorite parts about her position with Couture USA, and even lets us in on the latest fashion forecast for designer trends!
What sparked your interest in the industry of fashion/buying?
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would experiment with draping blankets into pageant dresses and compete for the winning look. Around that same time, my grandma, who was a doll maker, taught me to sew and make clothing for my dolls. I used to make my own dolls complete with clothing and accessories. Those childhood experiences gave me my interest in fashion.
How would you describe your wardrobe style?
Eclectic and comfortable. I am definitely not afraid of colors and patterns. I am most comfortable in a pair of skinny jeans, an oversized sweater, and slide loafers.
What interested you in becoming a part of the Couture USA Team?
When I started at Couture, I was still a college student at IADT Fashion Merchandising. I wanted real-world fashion experience with more exposure to the high-end brands I had learned so much about in school. I was interested in the business side of fashion, but I didn’t want to sacrifice on the fun, product side of the industry. I found the perfect balance at Couture.
Who is your favorite designer?
I have always loved Yves Saint Laurent. His story and influence on the fashion industry have always interested me. The quality and clean lines in a YSL design make me happy!
When purchasing and gathering new inventory, what are some key things you look for in an item in terms of style, look, etc?
When gathering new inventory, I always keep our customers in mind. I know everyone loves a good crossbody or tote bag. Most customers want something very gently used and of course, I like to purchase products that I know will sell quick. I pay close attention to current trends and try to find products in a large array of price ranges.
What would you say are the hottest current trends in luxury fashion?
Logos are huge right now. If you’re familiar with designer pieces, then you know about the “CC”, “LV”, and “GG”. Shorter strapped crossbody bags are also really on trend!
In your time as a buyer and working with Couture USA, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I have learned a massive amount of information in my four years at Couture. I have gathered thorough brand knowledge, authenticity training, and customer service experience. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to task delegate and time manage. Buying is not as simple as pricing product!
What are some of your favorite things about your position?
My favorite things about my position include my awesome coworkers and boss. They make even the craziest, busiest of days fun! I also love that every day is like Christmas. I am the first one to quote potential products and the first one to look over them once they arrive to the store.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in fashion buying?
Love math and embrace analytics! Those two things are very important to successful buying.