Meet the buyer... Smita Lymbery, Walk In Style
Moda is the show that brings fashion to life in the heart of the UK and the highly anticipated show has a reputation as being one of the country’s friendliest and most welcoming fashion trade events. For the AW19 edition, we sat down with some of Moda’s most dedicated buyers to learn a bit more about their businesses, as well as to get their thoughts on the UK’s most anticipated fashion trade event.
Join us for today’s “Meet the Buyer” interview as we sit down with Smita Lymbery, owner of Yorkshire-based boutique Walk In Style, and get her thoughts on Moda and more…
Tell us a little bit more about the story of your shop and how you started.
Walk in Style’s been going 39 years, I bought the business 14 years ago; it was a shoe shop in those days and after 18 months I introduced fashion, so it’s now a destination boutique with two floors, shoes and accessories downstairs and fashion upstairs.
What sums up the Walk In Style aesthetic and what do you look for when you’re buying?
Walk In Style is a discerning woman’s shopping experience. She’s got money, she’s got style, she might be older, but she doesn’t want to dress old or look old, but she doesn’t want to be “mutton dressed as lamb” either. For me, it’s about finding those unique pieces that a range of age groups would like to wear. I source for my customers; I have regular customers who might be going cruising, going to Buckingham Palace for garden parties or going to the races and I do get a shopping list from some of my customers as well.
What are the upcoming trends you’re particularly excited about this season?
At the moment there isn’t a trend. I think the customers, at this moment in time, are very confused, in what they’re wanting. They come through the door and say, “I’ll know it when I see it”, but they don’t actually know what it is they’re looking for. It’s because we’ve got so much uncertainty in the air right now and people just don’t know what to do.
What advice would you give to emerging brands and designers looking to be stocked in stores like yours?
There isn’t any advice, as such, because everybody has their own DNA. All I would say is, they shouldn’t be hungry. They shouldn’t have minimum orders. Let retailers start small and grow with your brand. I think that’s where suppliers and brands have to work together with retailers and be a little bit more flexible with small stores. This is where the working relationship can be very strong.
If you could describe Moda in three words, what would they be?
Plenty of content, space and a great buying experience.
Save the date! Moda will return to the NEC Birmingham for the SS20 edition on 4th - 6th August.