At the core of the designer resale industry is the high-demand luxury inventory that drives business and keeps customers wanting more. For Couture USA luxury retail buyer Cristal Bobonis, the careful selection process for picking and choosing designer items for our inventory is done with a watchful eye on the ever-changing trends of the fashion world along with careful consideration of customer wishlists. With a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from the Miami International University of Art & Design, experience in buying, Fashion ECommerce, and fashion blogging, Bobonis' experience and love for fashion is what made her the perfect person for the position! In this week's feature of the Couture USA Team profile series, Bobonis shares with us what drew her to her love of and career in fashion, her favorite parts about her position with Couture USA, and even lets us in on the latest trends circling the fashion world today!
What sparked your interest in the industry of fashion/buying?
Ever since I can remember I’ve been confectioning outfits together, as a child I used to make my parents sit down as I would put on fashion shows for them. My grandmother is a very creative and crafty woman and showed me to explore my artsy side constantly. When the time came to choose a career, it felt completely effortless for me to pursue a degree in fashion.
How would you describe your wardrobe style?
I am very versatile when it comes to my wardrobe options. You could very well see me rocking boyfriend jeans and sneakers combo while sporting a puffy skirt with a big sleeved blouse the next day. If I had to choose a particular style in which I felt most like myself, it would be Blair Waldorf meets Serena van der Woodsen. Why choose one when you can be both?
What interested you in becoming a part of the Couture USA Team?
My main goal has always been to have a career within the fashion industry. As much as I love New York and LA, I do not see myself building a life there. I researched booming fashion companies in the Florida area and came across Couture USA and I was instantly hooked after reviewing what the company is and what they do.
Check out Cristal's Instagram page for updates on her style and travel!
Who is your favorite designer?
If I had to choose one, it would definitely be Chanel. There is something in tweed, pearls, and quilting that I find fascinating. I prefer designers by era rather than by a brand. My favorite ones are Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga during the 1950’s, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel in the early 1990’s and I have to mention Oscar de la Renta because I love all of his designs.
When purchasing and gathering new inventory, what are some key things you look for in an item in terms of style, look, etc?
When on the lookout for new inventory, I always keep current trends in mind as well as our customers' needs and wants. There are classic brands that are always on my list like Louis Vuitton and Chanel to name a few. The most important key when buying to me is the condition of the items for a quick turnaround in-store and customer satisfaction.
What would you say are the hottest current trends in luxury fashion?
The logo craze has yet to disappear. I feel like we are channeling the 90’s right now and that means lots and lots of logos. Size is a big thing right now as well; we’ve transitioned from everyone wanting big spacious bags to the smaller the bag the trendier it is. Furthermore, old bag styles are having a major comeback from Fendi’s baguette to Dior’s saddle bag.
In your time as a buyer and working with Couture USA, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
In this short amount of time at Couture USA, I’ve been able to absorb and learn the most I can under great leadership and through knowledge from my peers. Being focused while multi-tasking has been the greatest lesson yet.
Scroll down to shop Cristal's favorites!
What are some of your favorite things about your position?
As cheesy as it sounds, I love every aspect of it. The work environment is just marvelous, I’m happy from the moment I start my day until it’s over. When your passionate about your career every day is an adventure.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in fashion buying?
Fashion is not just all pretty outfits and glam. There is a lot that goes into a day in the life of a fashion buyer from extensive research to lots of numbers. Make sure this is your true passion and success will follow.
Shop Cristal's Top 5 Favorite items here:
- Oscar de la Renta Embroidered Evening Bag
- Diamond & Sapphire Estate Disc Earrings
- Louis Vuitton Twist MM Bag
- Louis Vuitton Vintage Boite Pharmacie Trunk
- Prada Mary Jane Button Pumps