Five minutes with Lane Crawford’s Senior Buyer, Jillian Xin

lane crawford

WGSN caught up with Lane Crawford’s Senior Buyer, Jillian Xin to learn more about the Hong Kong department store’s Next New initiative, her brands to watch and to talk the make-or-break skills for buyers.

What is the Next New initative?

The Next New is an initiative to support emerging brands and designers from around the world.

Aside from the traditional fashion markets such as Paris, New York, Milan and London – we are scouring the globe for fresh talent, across both the fashion and lifestyle sectors. The Next New could be an amazing ceramics artist from LA or a final year fashion student at Aalto University – a furniture maker from Hangzhou or young brand from Kiev.

Since 2015, we’ve also held regular open calls inviting creatives and designers to meet our buying team in cities around the world, From Hong Kong and Beijing, to Shanghai and most recently, LA. Additionally, we launched our digital platform which allows designers to submit their portfolios online anytime, anywhere. 

What new brands do you consider ones to watch for 2018?

I’m constantly excited to see the talent coming from China, which I think is getting better every season. For 2018, my ones to watch are Sirloin, 8on8 and Boy Vending Machine.

At the same time, Eastern Europe is becoming a hotbed for young talent and for SS18, we picked up emerging designers: Situationist, Yulia Yefimtchuk and Materiel by Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili.

There’s also some incredible makers and artisans that we met recently on our trip to LA, so watch this space!

What skills and background do you feel are essential for good buyers to possess?

I think the most important thing is passion – it’s one thing that connects us all on the buying team at Lane Crawford. We’re all extremely passionate about what we do. It still gives me goosebumps when I see an amazing new collection for the first time.

As product curators, it’s essential to have a good eye but it’s also about understanding the numbers and business behind it all. At the end of the day, buyers need to balance both creative and commercial needs.

For more insight, read our Buyers’ Picks S/S 18 – Womenswear report or check out our Retail & Buying directory.

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