The new buyer

Massimiliano Giannelli

16 January 2022

The fashion scenario after an 18-month pandemic is fluid, unpredictable, complex and very articulated. There is the local, global and glocal market. There are online sales (via portal or via your own website), physical sales, social-network sales, new telesales, pay-by-link sales, phygital sales, app sales and so on…

So here is the new Buyer becoming a Data Analyst because of the huge amount of data to be managed, becoming a Social Media Manager, becoming a remote-connection platform expert (Zoom, Google Meet, Teams etc.), scouting on Instagram, Tik Tok and on local Chinese, Korean and Thai apps…

And besides all this, you also have to buy… and where do you buy? On the digital platforms of the fashion week (every fair or fashion week has its own B2B portal), on B2B portals (Joor, Ordre, New Black etc.) and the old-fashioned way, that is by visiting showrooms, which in turn have their own B2B website...

Not to mention the fact that the number of releases per brand each year has increased to six, if not more, and that there are capsules, quick strike and launches every 10 days and there are catwalks, fairs, presentations and webinars to attend.  

Speed, intuition, concept and prediction, multitasking approach, ability to interact and knowledge of all the company departments are and will be the skills of today’s and tomorrow’s Buyer. This position will become increasingly important because it will determine, thanks to its skills, the success of a retailer, whether it is an e-tailer, an independent boutique or a department store.

However, as I am now 54 years old with almost 30 years in business, I cannot and will not in this brief analysis of the New Buyer leave out its romantic side. 

There was a time, and I hope it will soon return, when during the Paris fashion week my colleagues and I would sit in the cafés of Rue de Bretagne to do research and talk, after a day spent in showrooms and fairs. 

Sometimes we would spend hours watching people pass by, with incredible outfits, wearing new clothes, sometimes excessive sometimes elegant, most of them insiders from all over the world. It was a magic moment where we understood, in a few moments, the upcoming trends, discussing and comparing them like old friends. 

As far as I’m concerned, I have always loved novelties, the avant-garde and the future. However, faced with this sudden change, my warning is to innovate and experiment, but at the same time not to neglect the moment of physical existence, idleness, however brief, taking a break to assimilate and think, sipping a coffee surrounded by beauty.