From Fashion Buyer To Luxury Womenswear Fashion Designer, London Based Designer Laboni Saha Talks Her Journey And Sustainability

Laboni Saha founded her own fashion brand L Saha, in 2014 in England’s capital city. The brand is a true-luxury womenswear label, creating timeless collections that follow holistic, eco-friendly, and pro-people principles. While Laboni has had much success in dressing her notable clients, which include royal families, she is not driven by who wears her designs as much as she is driven by showcasing the value of her collections.

With a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and a master’s in Fashion Business Management, she had a successful career in fashion buying first, which gave her an understanding of the fast paced and ephemeral nature of trend driven fashion. “I was aware of the importance of business knowledge, in order to launch a brand,” she notes. “The pathway for my MA degree and my career in buying were all planned as they were to equip me with the right knowledge and skillset required for the launch of L Saha, which was my ultimate goal while starting out my career.”

“Following the path of sustainability should not be an exception but the norm.”

When she took the plunge to dive into creating her own brand, Laboni knew she wanted to create a brand that was sustainable, ethical, and transparent to create timeless pieces, done under exceptional craftsmanship with fair policies. The fashion industry is known as the second most unsustainable industry and Laboni knew she didn’t want to be a part of this statistic. “We believe in taking the path that ensures a safe and secure future of the planet and the generations to come. It is a win-win in multiple ways. When we do things right, everyone wins, from the farmers who grow the crops for our textiles, to the customer and the shops that finished garments. I believe we cannot burn our home (planet Earth) in the quest to make profits but sadly, that has been the case for many decades.”

Launching L Saha

“I have always wanted to start my own label since my early student years in 2007,” says Laboni. “I worked as a buyer to build a commercial acumen that is necessary for all creatives, especially if launching their own business. I saw a prominent gap in the market when it came to brands offering ‘Sustainable Luxury’ products (back in 2014), and I felt there would be no better time to launch L Saha as the market had a latent demand for ‘desirable’ sustainable products.”

We all know the craftsmanship and couture designs that have come out of India. From the rich deep colors, it’s a fashion connoisseur’s ultimate paradise, and this is where Laboni originally comes from. Without a doubt her homeland has inspired her as a designer. “My Indian heritage definitely influences my approach in life and

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All You Need to Know About the Role of a Fashion Buyer

Ever thought about how fashion products reach the shelves of a retail store, how brands know what their customers love, or how a store manages to offer a wide range of designer clothing and re-stock the merchandise well in time? Well, behind all this, there is a fashion buyer who works so hard to ensure everything is in place, customers are satisfied, and business goals are achieved. And there is a lot more to it.

Want to know more about the role of a fashion buyer?

1. Skill Set

Every job requires some skills. No matter what an individual's educational background is and how much work-experience he has, it is these key skills that can help a person become a fashion retail buyer.

  • Analytical Skills
  • Creativity
  • Decision-making skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Good research skills
  • Leadership Skills

Besides these, one must have an entrepreneurial spirit, eye for detail, ability to understand customers' needs, be open to work in a pressurized and fast-paced environment, and must be good with numbers.

2. Responsibilities

The profile of a fashion buyer is majorly about planning merchandise for a particular season and selecting a range of products that will sell in a retail store. This takes into account various factors like market trends, customer demands, product pricing, quality, and availability, and store's financial budget. Tasks may vary from season to season but typically, these are the responsibilities expected from a fashion buyer throughout the year:

  • Analyzing consumer's buying behavior
  • Forecasting future trends
  • Preparing trend reports
  • Planning new range of products and presenting it to the seniors
  • Evaluating performance indicators like sales, discounts, etc. on a regular basis
  • Creating plans for maintaining stock levels
  • Liaising with store personnel to make sure supply meets demand
  • Meeting suppliers and negotiating on price points
  • Forming healthy relationships with suppliers and wholesalers and pitching new sources for future merchandise
  • Finding global sourcing companies when required and coordinating with them throughout the sourcing process
  • Taking decisions based on demand and logistics
  • Taking part in promotional activities
  • Getting feedback from clients
  • Training and mentoring junior buyers and other staff
  • Participating in trade fairs and events to gather new range of products
  • Coordinating with other owners to ensure projects are completed on time

3. Employment Opportunities

Both retailers and manufactures employers who are responsible for buying. They include:

  • High-street department stores
  • Book shops, gift shops, and craft shops
  • Home improvement stores
  • Online retailers
  • Outlets specializing in products like clothing, shoes, accessories, furnishings, and other goods
  • Television shopping channels

Fashion buyer is a vital position in the fashion industry but every buyer is not successful. It takes a lot of passion and hard work to excel in the field and contribute to the success of a brand. If the products sell, the brand will grow and if they don't, it is the buyer who is held accountable for it.

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