Asda senior manager Maggie Jardine on the ever increasing success of the company's fashion label and its involvement with West Coast Cooler Fashionweek.
: Tell us about your role
A: I'm senior manager for George Retail - North Division which covers Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I manage the George brand for these regions and ensure that George is represented, profiled and showcased in the best possible way. In total 16 stores carry the George brand in Northern Ireland and I currently oversee around 351 George outlets in total. George has been a huge success here since its entrance to the market in 2005 with the arrival of Asda in the country.
George continues to be the go-to label for fashion lovers and we work hard to make sure that the very latest trends are on the shelves as soon as possible.
Q: Describe your average day
A: I spend the majority of my week travelling around the UK. My day starts bright and early at 5.30am. I pack my bag and lay out all of my outfits on a Sunday evening so that I can be out the door by 6am - it's important to put thought into your daily look when you work for a fashion label.
I usually arrive at my first store about 8.30am and I'll walk the shop floor with the George team first thing, before reviewing the sales from the previous week, and planning what is coming up in the weeks ahead. During my visit to a region I always factor in time to meet with the Senior Director of Asda for that area to provide them with an update on the business strategy for George and discuss how it fits in with their group of Asda stores. In the afternoon, I'll catch up with my team, I have nine regional managers and I check in with them on a daily basis.
This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to share any ideas or issues which have come up that morning. I take great pride in seeing how passionate our George colleagues are about their job, the brand and the range in store.
As we are currently preparing for Belfast Fashionweek I'm dedicating time specifically for this. Whatever we feature in the show will be immediately in demand in store, so a priority is reviewing stock management, sample ordering and styling each look for the runway and making sure this is reflected in our George aisles.
Q: What key trends can we expect to see this year from George?
A: We've created a really diverse, sophisticated Autumn/Winter Collection for 2015. A new season means new trends, colours, textures and patterns. The collection this year is a perfect wardrobe update - whether you need something special for a Christmas party or something cosy to wrap up in we've got endless options. Our key themes include: Winter Wilderness - think abstract Navajo prints, warm and earthy autumnal colours with a strong 70s feel, Citron Frost - Sixties inspired with flashes of colour in acid green and burnt orange tailored with strong lines, and Armour - metallic and embellishment feature strongly, giving another option for party wear. All winter staples are covered with fur, chunky knits, trusted winter boots, capes and coats available in an assortment of colours from winter whites to plums, creamy caramels and vanilla - and everything in between! For those who aren't bold enough to embrace an entire trend we've got key pieces that simply nod to trends featured on catwalks.
From tasselled accessories, perfect for those wishing to enjoy that Seventies vibe, to acid coloured bags for those wanting to embrace winter brights - the level you choose is up to you!
Q: Tell us about George's involvement with Belfast Fashionweek
A: We are thrilled to be participating in Belfast Fashionweek- guests can literally see the look on the runway and then go in-store and make the purchase the next day!
We'll be showcasing our key looks at High Street Heaven on Friday, October 16, at The Life Church on Bruce Street. We're also holding The George Style Showdown - bloggers Louise Vance, aka The Real Elle Woods, Gemma-Louise Bond, aka That Belfast Girl, and Cool FM's Rebecca McKinney were challenged to find the ultimate George look for £75.
If you visit Belfast Fashionweek on Facebook you can vote for your favourite from Monday October 12 - simply 'like' the look you love.
Alternatively, you can vote on the night - so get your ticket, as they are selling fast.
- Visit: www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.george.com for more details