We recently had a chance to chat with Erin Crandall, the head buyer for Shopbop! As one of the top online fashion retailers (and a personal favorite), Shopbop carries an impressive selection of designers and recently upped the ante by launching a new Designer Boutique. Get the the dish on Erin’s finds for Shopbop, her favorite trends of the season and much, much more.
The Daily Obsession: How did you get your start?
Erin Crandall: I started working in our store when I was a college student. I worked all summer and during school so I was really involved in everything. Eventually, I asked the owners if I could start to help them with buying and they started bringing me to New York. After the first few trips, they felt comfortable enough to start sending me on my own. Then eventually, it made sense for me to live in New York and just buy for the site — and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since!
TDO: As the head buyer, what does your job entail?
EC: I work really closely with all of the other buyers on picking new lines and evaluating the business we’re doing with existing lines. I am in the market all the time, but I also get to work with the numbers and on our email marketing campaigns. I also recently did all the buying for our Designer Boutique, which has been a big project.
TDO: Tell us about an average day.
EC: It totally depends if I’m in market or not, but I spend a lot of time answering emails (don’t we all?). If I’m in market, I’m in showrooms a large part of the day looking at new product and then back in the office to take care of things on the back end.
TDO: Whatâ€™s the best part of your job?
EC: I love that working in a creative field. We have ideas and concepts and we can actually take action and see results. I love the combination of that and the business side of things. Shopbop is an amazing company to work for, with a lot of really smart, motivated people – which always makes things much easier and more enjoyable!
TDO: We hear tales of buying trips across the globe. Where is your favorite place to go?
EC: PARIS!!! The only other city I would LOVE to live in!
TDO: Shopbop recently launched its Designer Boutique, your brainchild. Tell us about how this new division of Shopbop came to fruition. How do you think this will take Shopbop to the next level?
EC: I am so in love with our Designer Boutique. It’s such a great addition to Shopbop. I think it makes so much sense for Shopbop and for our customers. I really believe this is what they’ve been waiting for! I definitely bought the lines in a different way than a lot of other stores/sites, but that’s the beauty of it. Our creative team also did a fantastic job of presenting the lines in a way that makes them stand out as being beautiful and chic, but accessible at the same time.
TDO: Over the 8 years you’ve worked at Shopbop, you’ve seen it grow into one of the top online retailers. What has been the biggest change?
EC: Wow, there have been so many! I think being able to travel to Europe, as well as finding tiny lines in NY and LA and sort of help get them going, is the most exciting part of being a huge online retailer.
TDO: As a buyer, you probably are drawn into the latest trends all the time. How do you decide when to buy classic and when to buy trendy?
EC: Well…I actually buy classic more often than trendy, just because it’s more my style. I LOVE trendy clothing, don’t get me wrong! But I really like getting dressed in the morning to be quick and easy, so I prefer to have my own style vs. always following the latest trend. I like to mix designer with contemporary and vintage. I spend the most time picking out shoes, jackets and a bag each season.
TDO: Do you have any fashion trends you are currently obsessing over?
EC: I think sequins are so fun to wear out at night – and tie dye everything is so chic if mixed with the right accessories. I’m also a big fan of wide leg pants; they look great on everyone.
TDO: What pieces (accessories included) in your wardrobe get the most wear?
EC: Jackets! I have a pair of old Diesel jeans I got in college that I still wear all the time. I am starting to have a serious collection of Chanel bags, though I unfortunately cannot buy them on Shopbop. :) I also wear scarves all the time and I wear a ton of Rachel Pally, especially when I travel.
TDO: Are you an impulse or pensive shopper?
EC: I usually think about my purchases for quite awhile, but every now and then, I’m impulsive….like the limited edition Chanel bag I just bought while taking my dog for a walk. Oops! :) BUT if its off Shopbop (which is basically everything else I own), I usually stare at it for a few days on the site before I make a purchase. If I’m doing something mundane like washing dishes and I start thinking about how cute that Karen Zambos dress would be for a birthday dinner I have coming up or even to wear that weekend, I just add it to my cart.
TDO: Got any fashion tricks up your sleeve you’d like to share with us?
EC: I honestly don’t like to spend a ton of time thinking about what to wear; I think it should be natural. I also think comfort is the most important thing, whether that means being able to walk in your shoes (seriously, this is a must) or just feeling cute. Be sure you love what you’re wearing and be yourself!
1. Favorite designer(s)? Chris Benz and Derek Lam
2. Favorite film? Basquiat – just saw it again! He’s such an amazing artist.
3. Favorite TV show? Law and Order, followed by Entourage
4. Favorite â€œwebsite to waste timeâ€? Perez Hilton
5. Favorite getaway spot? Tulum and Amagansett in the summer
Thanks so much for your time, Erin! For more information, please visit Shopbop.com!