Thursday, April 26, 2012

Employee Profiles: Footwear Buyer Laura K.

Have you checked out's footwear section lately? If you haven't, you are definitely missing out.'s footwear offerings have been completely overhauled in recent months by Men's & Women's Footwear and Accessories Buyer for online, Laura K. and her fabulous team. We spoke with Laura about her background at AE, her favorite shoe trends, and more.

Laura K., Men's and Women's Footwear and Accessories Buyer

How did you get your start as a buyer?
I actually started at American Eagle allocating skirts and dresses to all the stores. After a year I switched over to the team and started as an assistant buyer for Aerie. Then I moved to Women's AE and 77kids for a couple years. I most recently got moved to Men's and Women's Footwear & Accessories to start growing the online exclusive footwear assortment with AE branded footwear and really cool additional brands [Minnetonka, BC Footwear, and Timberland for example] that complement American Eagle clothes. Basically I’ve worked in every department across all brands except for Men’s apparel which I am going to have to do so I can say I've done it all! I have been at AE since I graduated college, so six years...time flies when you’re having fun!

What is a typical day for you like?
No day is like any other day. We manage all four seasons at once, so that can sometimes be tricky!  Right now it’s about to be summer and we are buying our Holiday assortment, crazy right?  I meet with my team to see how business is doing and react to sales, and I go to loads of marketing and merchandising meetings.

What is your go-to, everyday shoe?
I feel like I wear booties year round, so that is my go-to shoe. You can wear them with jeans, skirts, dresses, shorts  - you name it. When we were in New York earlier this week, so many girls walking the streets had booties on. They are the most easy to wear trend right now.

AE Western Heeled Bootie, one of Laura's top picks.

Have you always loved shoes?
I’ve always loved shoes but being in this position has made me want to buy more shoes than I ever could have imagined. I used to have just one footwear organizer in my closet and now it has tripled. When you spend all your time looking at trend in a particular category, it opens your eyes to all of the amazing style that is out there.

If you weren’t a shoe buyer, what would you be doing?
I would want to be an interior designer. My passion outside of work is making my space at home the most comfortable and inviting place for me. When you travel all the time, it’s good to have a great space to come home to.

Laura's passion - decorating her home!

Besides fashion, what are your other hobbies or interests?
Probably trying new restaurants. Pittsburgh has a top 25 restaurant list and I have a goal to hit up all those different places by the end of the year. When I travel, I always look at where the best places to go and try different restaurants. If one of my friends was visiting Pittsburgh, I would take them to Dish, Avenue B, Salt of the Earth, Girasole, Seviche, Kaya, or The Porch.

Where are you headed to for vacation this summer?
Actually, Friday (tomorrow) I am headed to Vegas for my friend’s bachelorette party. From there I am going to LA, road trippin’it up the California coast to see Big Sur. Then we will be in San Fransisco on Thursday and more of my friends are flying in from all over for another bachelorette party. After that we are going to Napa for the weekend. It’s a total girls getaway and I’m going to need to pack some 5-hour energy, Advil and some killer shoes to make for an epic trip!