Since its beginning, Dept. of Finery has been extremely lucky to collaborate with some great and inspiring people. At the top of that list are our retailers, who we love working with every season. It is for this reason that we have decided to feature them regularly, letting you get to know and love them as much as we do.
Our first boutique feature is elegant Emporium store Hugo Sheppard & Co who we began working with earlier this year. We love working with retailers whom are as passionate about footwear and shoe design as we are. With the multi-brand shoe store concept becoming quite rare in Australia the likes of HS have our hearts for continuing to bring new brands to our shores and tell their story through their store.
Today we caught up with Hugo Sheppard & Co's buyer Charlotte Ching, who has had a very impressive runsheet in the fashion industry. Utilising her stylistic talents to buy the latest trends for known retailers, Charlotte decided to make the move from London to beautiful Melbourne and showcase her expertise down under. She kindly allowed us to ask her some questions regarding her role as a buyer and as an all around inspiring professional.
In 5 words or less, how would you describe Hugo Sheppard & Co?
Classic, Stylish, Timeless, Fresh
Hugo Sheppard has some great brands not found anywhere else in Australia i.e Kat Maconie – how do you go about choosing which brands to sell in the store?
Here at Hugo, we pride ourselves on being able to offer brands and styles not found in every boutique on the High street. We spend time paying attention to trends that are taking a lead in Europe and see if we are catering to all the different types of ‘Hugo girl’, not to mention we have high standards of quality for the products we are selling. We also only select brands which we have faith in, that have a unique identity. When we introduce a brand into the store we expect to continue a relationship through the seasons as it grows and develops with our customers.
What trends are inspiring you right now?
This season I’m loving the reboot of the seventies trend which I’m happy to hear will continue into Winter. I plan to wear this trend in a soft focus version- floaty dresses worn with interesting boots with detail. I am also pleased that the sportswear trend has continued and has made its transition into the luxe end seamlessly, its great to see women pairing tailored outfits with show stopping trainers - its a great way to add interest into any outfit. I took plenty of inspiration from my recent trips to London and Milan, which has filtered through to our collection for next season. We are going to be focusing on the ankle boot (yet again) but paying close attention to interesting fabrics and new shapes including some amazing above the ankle style boots, or ‘half boots' (a take on Dior). Our collection will encompass lots of luscious, rich textures including Pony (in unexpected colours like Navy), Snake Prints and Bold Metallics, and our new palette will include greys and rich greens.
What are some of your favourite D.O.F pieces this season?
The Aviary with its sleek heel and intricate tie up detail, and The Bleeker for its structure and simplicity are my go to styles from this collection.
Coming from London, what are some of the things you miss the most?
Real English Fish and Chips, Primrose Hill, The Jazz Café in Camden, the ease (and speed) of the Tube, and Shoreditch.
Favourite place to eat in Melbourne and why?
I’m a serial bruncher and love spending an afternoon at Babble in Prahran, they do the most amazing brioche French toast with poached pears!
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
I have Dr Dre’s and D’angelo’s new albums on heavy rotation.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a buyer?
Work hard, be patient and learn the ropes. Working in fashion is highly competitive and there are a lot of people running the race with you. Take pride in your work and go above and beyond, make yourself stand out. As a buyer you need to learn how to be objective, understand the commercial needs of a customer and not just focus on the pieces you love.
Stay tuned to discover new boutiques!
Have a good week!
Shop 105, Level 1. Emporium Melbourne,
287 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Image 1 from www.hugosheppard.com.au
Image 2 from Charlotte Ching