BPR’s Fashion Woman of the Month: Net-a-Porter’s Holly Russell

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Setting the scene

B’s Fashion Director caught up with Net-a-Porter’s Premium Designer ready-to-wear Buyer Holly Russell (a mean feat given her busy travelling schedule) to talk all things, fashion and travel.

1)      So Holly, travel is huge part of your role – explain to me what  your job entails at NET-A-PORTER and how much travel on average you do per season?

I am responsible for product selection, stock management, brand relationships and determining potential new brand partnerships. I work closely with the many talented in house teams: operations, styling, editorial, IT, marketing, merchandising and PR to name a few. And, of course, I am lucky enough to attend the international shows and showrooms 6 times a year. I would say I travel for about 6 months of the year in total.

2)      Which city in the world do you find most inspiring and why?

Paris never disappoints. Food and people watching and of course my favourite fashion collections.

3)      Tips for SS15, what should we be investing in for the Spring/Summer season – give us some specifics on colours, prints, looks and actual investment pieces

1.         A blazer. SS15 saw some of the strongest offerings we’ve seen for a long time. I will be purchasing a Saint Laurent but Lanvin and Balmain were also strong and we have new brand Pallas that’s just launched.
2.         Buy denim – dresses, skirts, shirts and flares. The 70’s trend is huge which I am so pleased about.
3.         A paisley printed Boho dress from Saint Laurent or Valentino, knee high gladiators to match!
4.         Shearling or suede – An investment which will see you through to next season.
5.         Everything the Row, I loved the layering tops and knitwear as always. Subtle, sophisticated, beautiful quality….

4)      Whilst we are talking investment pieces, what top five wardrobe fashion essentials including accessories should we all be investing in – regardless of season?

1)        Maison Michel large brim fedora hat
2.         Saint Laurent Paris monogramme shoulder bag
3.         The Row T shirts
4.         Givenchy sandals
5.         Alessandra Rich dress – I love this lady!

5)      Let’s talk new designers to watch, who from an international level is the next BIG thing in Fashion?

Kate Wendelborn, designing Protagonist out of New York, is my one to watch.

6)      Enough work related questions, let’s talk about you. If you were to empty the contents of your bag right now, what would we find?

Passport, laptop, my converse, Lucas Papaw ointment, Muji note pad, Raybans, 2 iphones, Gucci perfume, my new Saint Laurent neck scarf and my Comme de Garcons pouch.

7)      You always look effortlessly styled, how would you describe your personal fashion style?

I hate this question but I guess the current trend works in my favour as I feel most comfortable/ have a natural tendency to be a little bohemian but Saint Laurent and Chloe for a more feminine look are my favourite brands – so I guess that speaks for its self! I buy investment pieces and mix with quality t-shirts from The Row, Saint Laurent and R13, always jeans. Comfort is key, especially when you are running around the City, from showroom to showroom.

8)      What is the best advice someone’s ever given you?

Never give up (my mum) and success is about working hard (a very good friend).

9)      We have to weave one NAP specific question in. What can we expect from NAP this season, any new launches, news, you can share with us at BPR Social?

Excited about launching Protagonist and Anthony Vaccarello. We also launched the world’s first Dolce & Gabbana RTW exclusive capsule last month which was a huge success.

10)   Lastly, name your ‘Top 10’ must do, see, hear, eat in London?

Well I am rarely ever in London…… The white cube on Bermondsey Street, majority of my friends are east so it’s a nice place to meet on a Saturday morning with lots of restaurants to choose from.

Interview by Michelle Agyeman-Coley, Fashion Director at B Public Relations