The Art of Selling – Andrew Stewart

In the world of luxury fashion and wholesale, everyone would know Andrew, a super charming and bubbly guy with no attitude whatsoever despite his wealth of experience and connection in the field holding a global executive position that many fashion career dreamers would literally kill for that job..

I met Andrew through my former bosses at Anya Hindmarch, I was drawn in with his wonderful personality and great sense of British humour. When my career progressed, I started to hangout with Andrew more, and I loved his attitude towards to career and how passionate he is when it comes to selling and client engagement with integrity and honesty, where I see a lot of brands failed. It really inspired me that how someone can really combine life and work together and never once said it’s just a job.

Andrew is the Global Commercial Director at Rupert Sanderson. Get your pen and paper (or tablets) ready to note down the tips!

Here are my lucky 6 questions to Mr. Stewart:

KF: How did you start your career and what was the hardest being in this global role?

AS: After graduation from Uni in Manchester , I moved to London with one suitcase and a  job in retail at Red or Dead and then in the  first ever Space NK; working closely with founder and CEO, Nikki Kinnaird and she took me buying but for the most part I was on the shop floor which I loved and still do.

Followed by  a miserable year as a design assistant at a denim brand , I landed a great job with an amazing Japanese design house founded by Sosuke Oguri who had opened a concept store on Ledbury Road, where we presented the Oguri collection alongside vintage Balenciaga and Dior accompanied with Frank Lloyd Wright furniture. This is where I learnt everything from building a collection , fittings, sampling , specs , booking models , photo shoots , commissioning stylists , illustrators like Jason Brooks, organising fashion shows, shipping , wholesale, bidding at auctions, casting , negotiating  everything with everyone, buying , selling at trade shows in Tokyo and sampling licence collections in Hong Kong, selecting fabrics at Premiere Vision and much, much more.

This was the job that set me up for my career and gave me the can-do attitude and confidence I have even if its unfamiliar territory!   People have commented that I make decisions very quickly and I always follow my gut. As I have got older, I ask the younger colleagues what they would do too which I think is really important and often enlightening.

People have commented that I make decisions very quickly and I always follow my gut.

I don’t see things as hard; I see them as challenges that we must find solutions or compromises for. I think at the beginning of my career it was a hindrance not speaking languages – specifically French, Italian and Japanese but I have an understanding of business terms, colours, materials, sizes, shipping and payment terms in lots of languages.

*Prepping for fashion weeks for Rupert Sanderson

KF: How has Covid affected the way you present Rupert Sanderson?

AS: We would have been in Paris twice, New York once, Milan once and possibly I would have done an Asian trip had Covid not have happened.

We Zoomed through Pre and Main SS21; we had already been doing several meetings / presentations through google hangout with our APAC customers, so it wasn’t new.

We set up 2 screens, one for us presenting the collection and the other so you can see the shoe on the foot.

We set up 2 screens, one for us presenting the collection and the other so you can see the shoe on the foot. We send the collection book prior to the meeting with clear scans of swatches and the buyers can always go straight into what they want to see on. It’s really important Rupert’s shoes are seen on the foot as they are so many nuances of the cut and proportion that cannot be appreciated off the foot.

KF: Could you share 1 key strategy that you will action to move the brand forward in this pandemic?

AS: Communication and transparency (sorry I know you asked for only 1!)

Firstly, I spent the first weeks of the pandemic calling all my stores and giving them positive vibes and all my network from other brands, showrooms, Pr’s to get a sense of who was doing what and then sharing the intel with my network. I think there was this element of we’re all in this together and let’s figure it out. We had specific issues with clients trying to cancel their fall orders and being too late there was lots of juggling, stock lists, negotiating payment plans and we got through it with as little fiscal damage as possible.

Client / customer engagement, as above; my strategy is to maintain my dialogue with my existing, lapsed and new accounts and understanding their needs, concerns and sharing intel, positivity and confirming realistic budgets and terms and ensuring they enjoy the journey and find what they need from us and the collection.

KF: Do you cook? If so, please share a quick 30 mins recipe.

AS: I cook about once a year as my partner is an ex chef and now interior decorator and his way to relax is to cook @christophe_clement but I have one fool proof recipe a drunken Florentine designer cooked for us years ago and its good …….

Chop fresh ginger, lots and garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper and blend together lot. Meanwhile boil penne pasta then drain pasta, and mix with the ginger blend and can add prawns, chicken or vegetables and it’s absolutely diecious

KF: What are your favourites brand for men? And what is your favourite vintage shopping place for men?

AS: My tailoring is Timothy Everest on Bruton Place and everything else is Ami, Acne, Dries, Lanvin (polo shirts), Uniqlo for denim, Cos for work.

I am lover of antiques and the best dealer is Peter from Barrow Antiques in Faversham, IG @barrow_antiques

KF: Favourite place for a quick bite in London.

AS: Delfino’s on Mount Street – Family run business and it’s my favourite and has best spaghetti alle vongole outside of Italy!

I hope you are inspired by Andrew’s career story and let’s remember that true success really doesn’t come overnight. Are you willing to go further miles and enjoy the ride? If you are interested in stocking Rupert Sanderson or further advices from Andrew, you can connect him via LinkedIn & IG-Andrew Stewart

Enjoy reading my stories? Don’t forget to follow my IG @kfyangoconnor for more inspiring ideas, contents and subscribe my blog. Thank you x

中文:

在奢侈時裝精品和批發世界中,每個人都會知道安德魯Andrew,他是一個超級迷人個性溫暖的人, 儘管他在這一領域擁有豐富的經驗和人脈,毫無強勢態度的他擁有全球銷售行政職位,許多時尚職業夢想家都會搶著要這份工作吧。

我第一次遇見安德魯是我還在安雅工作, 我之前的經理們和安德魯都是好朋友,見到他的時候我就被他的個性還有英式幽默吸引。 後來我自己的事業往上爬就常常會在巴黎時裝週碰到安德魯,對他認識越深我就發現他的確是一個非常謙虛但又很有個性的人。我非常欣賞他對於職業的態度還有熱情,尤其是銷售和客戶參與 的方面是以非常誠實和正直的去處理,因為往往我看到很多精品都是向錢看 ,所以跟客戶關係並不是非常的好。 那對我的啟發就是怎麼會有個人這麼的熱愛他的工作還可以把私人生活結合在一起,而且他從來都不會說工作只是工作。事實上我個人是不太欣賞有人會覺得反正這只是一份工作就沒有熱情在裡面,因為這樣表示你對於工作的態度比較潦草,還有做得好做不好都是很有關係的。

安德魯是精品女鞋Rupert Sanderson 全球商務總監,好,現在趕快去把你的筆和紙拿好來做筆記吧!

KF:你是怎麼樣開始你的精品事業還有你覺得有這一個全球商務的頭銜什麼地方是最困難的?

A:在曼徹斯特大學畢業之後,我拿了一個手提箱搬到倫敦,開始在Red or Dead 品牌當銷售員。然後到了現在很有名的Space NK 的當時第一間店開始工作,我直接跟著的創始者也是CEO Nikki Kinnaird下面當他的左右手,他帶著我一起去買貨進貨,我也常店上工作因為我很喜歡做銷售。

我也試著做了1年某品牌的設計助手,但是我發現我不喜歡那一份工作那有一個機會就和日本設計家壽司給我庫裡一起工作他在倫敦開了一間 概念店裡面專賣二手古董從設計師把人家改到底vs製油Frank lloyd Wright的家具學習到如何 建立自己的collection 還有做樣本打版和聯絡模特兒和攝影師跟造型師甚至插畫家一起合作來打造一個Fashion Show 那我在這裡面也學習到了所有的對於服裝精品業的訣竅從採購到買賣到 許可協議還有怎麼把設計帶到巴黎去做秀等等

這份工作讓我的事業有新的轉變 從這裡我得到了”怎麼做得到的“態度,還有自信心,這些在我以前是沒有的。現在大家常常會說我可以做很快速的決定那是因為我就是跟隨我自己的第六感走。

我不常覺得什麼事情是困難的,我認為這些都是挑戰,但是我們要找一個方法去解決或者是去配合,這在我一開始的事業上常常是需要面臨的事情,比如說 語言上的挑戰,我不會說法語意大利語,法文還有日文,但是我對於商業上面的了解可以把挑戰配合好, 所以這些困難都不是問題。

KF:這一次全球的疫情對你新系列的發表有什麼樣的影響?

A:沒有疫情的話,我們早就已經去了巴黎兩次。也會從紐約和米蘭哪裡都回來了,而且我這個時候應該是在亞洲的。

所以這次我們就是以ZOOM的方式發表了我們的春夏2021系列 ,但是事實上我們以前就是以網路數位的方式在亞洲發表系列,所以這次疫情開始我們必須要以網路數位的方式工作並不新奇。

我會有兩個螢幕一個是用來發表星系列另外一個螢幕就是可以讓你看到模特兒穿著這個鞋子看他腳上的線條 。

我們也先準備好 新品的目錄把布料樣本等等都先寄給買手買家,所以當他們在看我們的發表的時候,他已經先收到我們的資料。以上的準備對我們的品牌是很重要的,因為我們的鞋子是要看在腳上的線條才能知道他美不美,那大家就可以更能夠欣賞他的美度。

KF: 請你分享一下一個重要的策略是能夠讓品牌繼續在疫情當中成長的方式。

A:溝通與商業透明度 (sorry我有兩個重要的策略)

第一,我在疫情一開始那前幾個禮拜打電話給我所有的客戶讓他們感覺到正面的思想還有給他們正向的祝福我也打給我其他同行的朋友,品牌公關等等,確保大家都很平安;還有大家還有讓大家知道我們都是一起同患難,那要怎麼樣能夠讓自己的品牌不會受太多影響的話,我們一起來討論和解決。我們也有碰到一些比較特別的事情,比如說客戶想要取消他們的訂單,因為疫情的關係他們有很多的存貨,那我和他們一起商談,一起找到一個能夠對雙方不會有太大的影響的方式。

客戶溝通方面我也是把它放得很透明, 能夠了解看他們有什麼需要,有什麼我可以幫助他們的,然後給他們正向的思考,以及幫助也他們討論預算方面,怎麼樣能夠將稍微減低讓大家覺得疫情不會影響到銷售太多。

KF:你喜不喜歡煮飯那你有沒有一個私人的食譜可以分享

A:我可能一年才煮一次吧但是我的男朋友以前的工作是出師現在他是一個室內裝潢師對他來說煮飯是一件能夠減壓的事所以他很喜歡做菜。

KF:喜歡的男裝品牌是哪些呢還有你可以在哪裡尋找到二手古董好貨

A:西裝的話我喜歡Timothy Everest那其他的通常是Ami, Acne, Dries, Lanvin (polo shirts)或者是UNIQLO的牛仔褲

我很喜歡古董家具。我最喜歡的古董店是Barrow Antique 

KF:在倫敦,最喜歡的餐廳是?

A: Delfino‘s – 我很愛他們的蛤蠣義大利麵

我希望你們都感受到安德魯還有它的精品事業的熱情還有他這麼和他顧客交流的關係成功往往不可能是一下子就發生的你的確要花很多的更多的精力還有時間去投資在自己的身上。喜歡Rupert Sanderson 的店家朋友可以直接和安徳魯聯絡。 

想要有更多新創業家或奇才的消息,追蹤我的IG @kfyangoconnor 現時動態有更多的消息,謝謝關注!

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