With almost two decades of New Zealand menswear buying across a number of brands, Wade Hawkins might technically be described as a fashion guru.
The Farmers Buying Manager for Men’s Fashion talks to us about his icons, inspirations and insights from the world of men’s fashion.
What is your background in the fashion industry?
I started on the shop floor at Barkers in Queen St back in 1989, worked my way up to Store Manager, Assistant Buyer, Buyer, then Head of Product and Marketing, from there I went to Buying Manager for Hallenstein Brothers and now at Farmers.
How did you become a Farmers Menswear Buyer?
The role came up and Farmers was looking for a strategic change in the way they were doing their men’s ranges, so with my experience in doing that sort of work it seemed like a perfect fit.
What is your favourite part about your job?
I love the strategy involved in trying to achieve your budgets, the day-to-day process of creating product and the excitement of seeing it sell, relationships with suppliers and the negotiation process. Also, travelling on buy trips is a great part of the work but we travel on a relentless schedule so no time for stopping to see the sights.
What is the most challenging part of being a buyer?
All of the above! Where do you gain inspiration from when buying? Travel is a big part of seeing what is going on in the world, you can get direction from online but immersing yourself in a city is still the best inspiration.
Who is your fashion icon?
A range of people have the ability to create great looks for themselves and then pull it off and always changing. I am a fan of tailored product so the likes of David Beckham, Tom Hiddleson, Jon Hamm, when he plays character Don Draper out of Mad Men. Also, Gabriel Macht’s character Harvey Specter from Suits.
What are you passionate about?
The process of creating product means there is never a boring day in the office.
What is your favourite fashion trend of all time?
Raw Denim, white shirts and the suit are equal favourites.
What is your favourite season for fashion?
Winter for sure, nothing like being able to layer outfits.
Out of all the places you’ve been to, which is your favourite for fashion inspiration and why?
London is definitely a favourite as it is truly a world city. Such a melting pot of nationalities and styles. Outside of the main fashion cities, I would have to say Stockholm. Their style and ability to make the most classic and basic outfits look amazing, is incredible.