Rebecca Fox – From Australia to a Successful Fashion Buying Career at Pamela Scott
Fashion Buying and Merchandising and Fashion Management
Business of Fashion
Portobello graduate Rebecca Fox has had a successful Portobello journey from landing back in Ireland after Australian adventures to the career she wants as a fashion-buying assistant at Pamela Scott.
Having successfully completed our two-year programme of Fashion Buying and Merchandising and Fashion Management, Rebecca is now working in the exciting, dynamic role of Administrative Fashion Buying Assistant at Pamela Scott while also setting up and running her own fashion business with her sister fulfilling her potential in her dream career.
Developing Skills to Become a Fashion Buying Assistant
Rebecca explains the skills she gained throughout her studies and how they help her in her fast-paced role.
“With the first year in the fashion buying course, I absolutely loved that from day one, all the tutors were amazing, so friendly, supportive, and super helpful and the other girls in the course were great.
“The styling class I found helpful with Sinéad (Kelly, tutor) in my first year because I learned about the different body types and what suits different customers. I find now it’s a lot easier if I have a customer calling me saying ‘I have bigger hips or smaller hips do you think this will fit me?’ I have a better understanding of what looks good.
“The finance I found helpful, I have started my own company with my sister, and I found that helpful for that.
“For visual merchandising in my second year, we had to come up with a creative concept and we could pick whatever store we wanted to do it on.
“I picked Penney’s, I had the first section of it done which was a 10 to 20 page presentation. The night before I was due to submit it, I thought this idea would never work because of Covid there’s no way you could possibly do that so I spent hours completely changing the concept and even made notes in it about more Covid-friendly things and I was so much happier with it when I handed it in, and I got great feedback from it.
“With that, I feel like for me it’s a really positive thing to take away from Portobello they really made me think about myself in the position where this is actually my job asking me to do this rather than just here’s a college assignment go do it. I found that good and I was super happy with that presentation then,” Rebecca said.
Preparing For Her Fashion Buying Assistant Interview
“The first year, the Programme Manager, Anne Marie, organised internships with us with Bestseller, Primark, and Pamela Scott.
“She sent me the job spec for Pamela Scott so I decided I wanted to get that.
“I looked back on all my notes because we covered interviews so much in our classes with Anne Marie, even little tips that she gave us like to make sure to wear an item of their clothing to the interview and do store visits, be able to talk a lot about their store, it’s not just about looking them up on the internet and knowing their info page, you need more than that.
“I did two store visits to Grafton Street and bought one of their blouses, so I wore that to my interview, and I was able to talk about my experience in the Grafton Street store. Because I knew it was going to be competency-based, I felt so much more comfortable in the interview, I was so prepared with a folder of previous work and I was able to say look at all this stuff I can do it was really helpful to be able to do that,” she said.
What Does Your Role as A Fashion Buying Assistant Involve?
“I am the Administrative Buying Assistant for Pamela Scott. It changes a lot I could be doing a lot of admin one day then the next day I’m on the photoshoots and the next day I’m creating content for the website.
“Some days I go in and my main buyer and I would go off to an appointment, look at different items, select some items and when we come back, I’ll put the images into a folder and create a provisional order so we can send that back to them and get that done.
“Other days I assist on photo shoots, so the model comes in and I go through each of the outfits beforehand and make sure they are being styled the way we want them to be styled and getting the next outfits ready while she’s shooting and putting the others back.
“The next day I go through each item and put the content up on the website so when you click into a red coat for example there’s the description, the size guide, and all of that information.
“I love working on the photoshoots, I absolutely love that. I’ve always been interested in fashion and have always loved helping my friends find the perfect outfit for any occasion but the main thing I love about that is when you see that friend or customer who is a little shyer try something on that’s perfect for them, it’s like their whole aura changes and they look so happy and feel so confident in it.
“I loved the styling element in that, but I mostly loved the look on their face when they found that perfect piece. Buying for me is doing that on a much bigger scale, I know I can’t see their reaction to finding the perfect thing, but I love picturing my customers buying those types of items,” Rebecca explained.
Experienced Gained At Portobello
“I got so much hands-on experience during my time at Portobello. I did a couple of days with the stylist Kathy O’Connor working on charity fashion shows, picking things for the Brown Thomas fashion shows.
“We had another tutor who had so much previous experience she just knew what she was talking about and all her side stories about when she was a buyer were so helpful even down to the little things.
“I think the great thing about Portobello is that when you first start they tell you that you’ll get internships and you can get jobs after this course – and you actually do. There are so many colleges that say that and then the course ends, and you have no idea where to even begin.
“I know people who have gone to college to study this, that and the other and there was no help once they were finished it’s like ‘okay bye, off into the world yourself’ whereas Anne Marie even texted me shortly after I started my job to see how I was getting on.
“They genuinely care about the students and they genuinely want to see them succeed afterwards. They care about that individual and how they are going to succeed,” she said.
Rebecca has started her own fashion business with her sister, you can find them @thefoxxsisters on Instagram.
Find Out More
At Portobello Institute we have a number of business of fashion undergraduate degrees and post-graduate opportunities. Find out more about our BA (Hons) in Fashion Buying & Merchandising, BA (Hons) in Fashion Management, Post Graduate Certificate in Fashion Buying & Merchandising, Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Management and other courses.