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Sinead Frew, fashion buying student to working for luxury brand in Toronto

Sinead Frew, fashion buying and merchandising graduate is another perfect example of how our graduates continue to make us proud.   Sinead completed the part-time fashion buying and merchandising course at Portobello Institute in November 2017 and is now working for luxury brand Holt Renfrew in Toronto.

Sinead was working in Dunnes Stores Offices as a Buying Administrator in the Fresh Grocery Department and admits she enjoyed parts of the role, however fashion buying was where her heart desired to work and so decided to expand her knowledge and begin a part time course.

Sinead’s plan was to enhance her learning's from a fashion buying perspective in an attempt to transition out of the grocery buying sector.  “The pool in Dublin for fashion buying is both small and competitive so any additional courses that will help your CV stand out are always a good idea.”

The course exposed new and crucial areas of buying to Sinead such as range planning and forecasting, seasonal calendar design, store layout concepts, and how to segment a market to identify target customers for a brand.

“The vast array of knowledge I learned as part of the course gave me a basis of understanding buying specifically as it relates to fashion and seasonal buying which has brought me to where I am today.”

Through completing the course Sinead secured a job in Brown Thomas as a Buying Assistant within the Food and Interiors department. She worked there for a little over a year, and in June 2018 was offered a role in Holt Renfrew in Toronto, Canada, as both companies operate under the umbrella of the Selfridges London Group.

“My current role is Assistant Buyer for Gourmet, Home & Designer Kidswear and I absolutely love it.”

Sinead and the buyer work together to source new brands, forecast sales based on performance last year & desired growth for the company.  “For the Christmas Shop 2019 I have been tasked with managing vendor relations for 10 key brands including product selection, forecasting, ordering and negotiating terms”.

“The course offered by Portobello Institute helped pave the way to the career I want, and both Mary and Annemarie were a huge help as mentors”.

Sinead’s dream is to one day open her own retail store. “When you combine aspirations, drive and hard work - anything is possible!”

Due to Sinead’s hard work and commitment she was given a short feature in the Selfridges internal Quarterly magazine in December and we are absolutely thrilled to share this also. See feature.

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