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Buying Beautiful: New season fashion in-store

Louise Aylesbury, manager of The Store at Restoration Yard, reveals her buying tactics for the new Spring/Summer 2020 womenswear and gives us a heads up on the hottest new labels to hit the store

How do you get a feel for the fashion season before you even head out to buy?
Personally, I love to people watch, but I also adore a good fashion magazine and Instagram feeds.  Also, we have some fabulous members in our team who always put together great outfits themselves. I like to think about them when we go buying for the next collections.

Do you have a particular woman in mind when you head out buying?
We always try to buy according to what we know our customer loves. She wants colour, texture, design, and something different from the high street. We approach more from a desirability angle, although we do stock a few basic closet building block pieces as well as practical favourites, like Ilse Jacobsen raincoats, that fit with our location within a country park.  Our customer generally is adventurous, loves beautiful things, and we find that items that reflect this are what sell in-store. We don’t tend to follow ‘trends’ by the nose, instead try to interpret them in the Restoration Yard way.

What shows do you visit each season and does each offer something different?
Each season we head to London where we visit Pure London for labels like Onjenu, Vilagallo, Pom Amsterdam, Blank, Part Two and Scoop where we are hunting new collections as well as Star Mela, Primrose Park, Design Society, Wyse and Helen Moore. Sometimes Sisi, our head of retail, picks up jewellery and accessories when she goes to Birmingham’s Spring Fair or in Paris at Maison et Objets.

How often do you bring in new labels and what will make you pick it up?
We are always on the lookout for something fresh for the store and try to have something new each season. Often the thing that draws our eye is colour and print.  I am always drawn to natural fibres and a slightly Boho look while Sisi is probably more design-led.

Do you test a new collection on a small scale first?
I think that we tend to go full throttle if it is something we believe in.  We don’t take a whole collection though, but very much curate according to what we know our customer traditionally likes.  Luckily, we have quite an adventurous customer.

What trends did you buy into for Spring 2020?
We love all the beautiful polka dot prints and weaves that we saw across collections. Also there are some beautiful yellows and golds mixed with natural gingers and camels. As for styling it has been shirt dresses and jumpsuits that caught our eye for Spring 2020.

What do you think will be the standout wardrobe winners for Spring 2020?
We are totally in love with our new brand Primrose Park. We bought only their shirts this season, all in lovely bright prints and colours, in beautiful soft fabrics. I also particularly love Star Mela, which is strong again for spring/summer.

Buyer's Edit:
Just some of the gems arriving in-store NOW