Monday, June 25, 2012

AE Employee Profiles: Rachel T., Graphics Buyer

Your favorite styles at AE stores and on don't just appear - AE employees like Rachel T., Assistant Buyer of Women's Graphics and Swimwear, and her team research the hottest trends to bring the latest styles to you.

Rachel T., Assistant Buyer of Women's Graphics and Swimwear

How did you get your start at AE?
Being from Pittsburgh, I always knew AE was an awesome company to work for.  I landed an internship here in college and fell in love with the idea of buying. I had no idea I could have such a creative and colorful job in the corporate business world.

What is the most fun part of your job?
I love getting to work with so many different people every day. There is never a day that I just sit and stare at my computer. On any given day, I’m on the phone with people in New York at our design office or e-mailing someone in China. I get to work with such a diverse group of people.

How do you choose which graphic styles to buy?
I just try to get inside the customer’s head - I imagine I’m her. Then we pull these trends from fashion inspiration and translate them for our customer.  Some examples are neon and ethnic/tribal prints. The goal is to always keep it fresh and exciting each season!

The AE Vintage Crop Tank is one of our favorite graphic pieces from Summer!

What are you most excited about for the Back to School season?
I was so excited when I saw the new marketing campaign. I love that we are following real people who have interesting and diverse lives.  I love that accessible, relatable feeling as a direction for our brand. It feels authentic.

How would you describe your personal style?
I try to stick to the basics then “funkify” them by incorporating vintage pieces or updated trendy accents. Since we’re in the heart of the summer concert season, I’m going through a hippie phase! I’m loving everything that feels like ‘70s Woodstock!

What tips do you have for someone who wants to be a buyer?
I would tell them to make sure they love both sides of buying – trend shopping and the business/numbers aspect.  It’s definitely a balance of both skills.  I’d also tell them that not many jobs allow you to use both halves of your brain at the same time! It’s an awesome industry that will teach you A LOT right out of college.

Where do you find your inspiration?
A few different places - I get a lot of trend ideas from celebs and gossip mags, but I’m also lucky enough to work in a super trendy office. I look to my coworkers to see how they interpret trends to suit their own personal style.  I’m also always thinking about how people styled clothes over the past few decades – they have a lot of the answers if you just go back in time and find them.

What are your favorite fashion blogs?
The Sartorialist is my favorite because it features real people all over the world. I also love Atlantic-Pacific and Sincerely Jules.

Do you have any special interest or hobbies?
I love to travel – this year was France, next year is Bolivia. I try to pick a new country every year. Aside from travel, I love antiquing. That’s where my vintage love comes from. I love finding cool antiques to decorate my apartment or my wardrobe!

Rachel snapped this photo on a trip to Tanzania.

If you weren’t working at AE, what would you want to be doing?
I would have my own boutique in some adorable beach town. Oh – and I’d be a yoga instructor on the side! Sounds tempting…