23/06/2017
Beyond the shop floor.

Words by

Fashion Journal

The world of fashion retail isn’t just limited to working on the shop floor. There are buyers, trend forecasters, analysts and more.

But do you know what those roles actually involve?

We took some time with the team from Zenith Australia, to get a little insight behind the scenes of retail.

Since the designer hub launched in Sydney in 2014, Zenith now boasts stores in Melbourne and Sydney, with a new Sydney Flagship set for launch in July. The Zenith team are also working on the company’s debut clothing collection and have their sights on a Canadian store.

Pretty impressive for a group of recent uni grads.

My name is… Zhenni Chen
I’m a… Director and buyer 
I studied… Master of international business at University of Sydney

How did you get involved with Zenith?

I am the founder of Zenith. When I first started Zenith, I had just come to Australia and started my student life in Sydney. I realised the fashion scene in Australia was behind Europe, and there wasn’t much access to designer brands. That's why I decided to start Zenith. 

What does your day-to-day role entail?

Working from Sydney, I act as the general manager, overseeing everyone’s roles and working alongside our global buyers. I also take care of some of the buying.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Zenith has allowed me to create my own fashion team and build a life in Australia. Myself and several of our employees have been able to get our Australian citizenship through their jobs at Zenith. 

_____

My name is… Zhenyan Li
I’m a… Buying analyst
I studied… Bachelor of Mathematics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Analytics at University of Melbourne

How did you get involved with Zenith?

I used to live in the US and got to know a lot about sourcing suppliers over there. When I came to Melbourne, I studied data analysis. Combining my analytical skills with my buying experience lead me to get involved with Zenith.

What does your day-to-day role entail?

My role involves conducting data analysis on consumer trends and choosing products that can meet the demand of customers. I obtain and collect information from both online and retail spaces, regarding sales and stock level, and use this to conduct marketing analysis. I also work closely with our manager on long-term sales promotions and marketing strategy.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Getting a first look at new season product and using data analytical skills to predict the demand and marketing for our offering.

_____

My name is… Patricia Zhang 
I’m a… Buying director for European labels
I studied… Master of Business Administration at The University of Sydney

How did you get involved with Zenith?

While I was at university, I started my own business selling Alice McCall and Aje to the Chinese market.

By chance, I met Zhen Ni. We both agreed there was a potential market in Australia for designer fashion, so I decided to join the Zenith team. 

What does your day-to-day role entail?

Communicating with showrooms and designers and searching for up-and-coming designers to be showcased at Zenith's stores. During fashion week, I attend fashion shows and often visit showrooms in Paris, Milano, London and sometimes in Seoul. 

What’s the best thing about your job?

Following my love of fashion all over the world and helping to build a successful fashion business from the ground up. 

_____

My name is… Zi Wang
I’m a… Fashion buyer in the US
I studied… Bachelor of Architecture at University of Southern California and Master of Science in Marketing John Hopkins University

How did you get involved with Zenith? 

I began working with Zenith as a supplier, then joined the team as a partner.

What does your day-to-day role entail? 

I live in the US and managing Zenith’s purchases from American brands. I work with big name brands and am responsible for holding the resale licenses.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Having opportunities to problem solve and communicate with people who work in different fields. It also allows me to think independently and constantly tackle new challenges.

_____

My name is… Amanda Li
I’m a… Melbourne shop manager
I studied… Bachelor of International Business Monash University

How did you get involved with Zenith?

I was a part-time store manager when I was in uni. I had a lot of experience managing and communicating from that role. Thanks to that experience, I was invited to become the store manager of Zenith. 

What does your day-to-day role entail?

Managing the shop, communicating with customers, training and overseeing all staff.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Meeting different people every day and constantly being challenged. 

_____

My name is… Baiyang Liao
I’m a… Marketing specialist and Sydney store manager
I studied a… Master of Media Practice at The University of Sydney

What does your day-to-day role entail?

My job is to plan and execute marketing initiatives to reach our target audience. I spent a lot of time conducting market research to find out about consumer habits and trends. This data is then collected and used to analyse the marketing environment. Lastly, I ensure all of our content is optimised for our website and social media channels.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing more and more people become interested in fashion and making sure our customers have a good shopping experience.

_____

My name is… Zachary Hou
I’m a… Designer
I studied… Fashion Design at Academy of Art University 

How did you get involved with Zenith?

I had four years of buying experience for another company before joining Zenith. After moving to the USA, I decided to study fashion and enrolled at the Academy of Art University. More recently, we decided to begin working on Zenith's own fashion line and I began my role as the company’s designer.

What does your day-to-day role entail?

At the moment, I'm designing Zenith’s first collection which is coming soon. We’ve been inspired by street style and also looked at what’s been popular in-stores at both Zenith Melbourne and Zenith Sydney.

zenithau.com.au

You can check out Zenith in person at Shop 3 Tivoli Arcade, Bourke St, Melbourne and Shop 15, 363 Sussex Street, Sydney. 

Photography: 
Anthony Tosello

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