Interview with Minna
Senior Product Developer, Ladies
“I oversee the ladies city category; think ankle boots, block heels, wedges. I do a lot of trend research and I go on shopping trips to see what the designers and our competitors are up to. The fun part is finding the next ‘it’ item, then seeing it in a magazine and people on the street wearing it!”
How did you get started in the fashion industry?
I’ve always felt like I was in the fashion industry. When I was younger, I was really into magazines. I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and I had no visibility to the fashion world except for through magazines. Every month I would buy them all, cut them up and make my own magazine book. Those Calvin Klein ads with Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg? Those were all over my room.
So I always knew I wanted to be in fashion. After high school I applied to Ryerson University and studied fashion communications but shoes were never on my radar. My first job was entering orders at a clothing store. I knew I wanted to move up and six months later I was assistant buyer for the footwear department. It was history from there.
How did you end up at Call It Spring?
I worked for a supplier in London, England for awhile and I travelled a lot. Whenever I was in Europe I’d see ALDO stores and it always made me feel really proud to be Canadian, and I knew I wanted to part of it. When I came back from London, I had my eyes set on the company.
What is a typical day like for you?
The only constants in my day are morning emails—I come in early to check emails from our China office, check the sales—and in the afternoon we try on the shoes we’ve received from suppliers to make sure they look okay. Everything else in my day changes—there could be suppliers in, it could be developing time, it could be getting ready for a trip to China.
So your team tries on shoes every day?
Yes! Someone tries on my city shoes and I make sure they look like what we want them to look like and send back any comments to our suppliers. There’s a 12 hour time difference so we have to make sure the comments are sent in time in order to get the product delivered on time.
What trends do you think will be big for fall?
I really like that the 90s are back. I’m loving the chunky heels—what we call tracker soles—I just think they’re so young and fun.
Which piece(s) are you most excited about wearing?
I’m going to buy a pair of flat, over-the-knee stretch boot s to wear with shorter skirts and sweaters. And instead of buying just one pair of ankle boots I want them in all the colours; the grey, the navy and the bordeaux.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I like that fashion is always changing so your job is never old. And I like to travel and I love people watching and I love that that is part of my job. Seeing other girls in other cities and what they’re wearing—that’s also really fun.
Photo by Dominique Lafond