CREDIT: SOPHIA SPRING
Candice Fragis is the 37-year-old buying and merchandising director for online fashion retailer Farfetch, which means her job is, effectively, to shop for a living. As she’s perfected the art of buying pieces we’ll all want to buy too, Fragis has also picked up plenty of pointers for curating a personal look which is as bold as it is is bespoke.
Here, she offers her tips…
Avoid trends when buying staples
”I look to designers to buy my investment pieces like outerwear, knitwear and evening wear and I avoid anything too trend-focussed, because these are the pieces with which you build your wardrobe,” Fragis explains. ”Where as if I’m looking for something that’s trend-led, I think the high street does a great job with that.”
Own what you’re loving
The fashion industry veteran is fervent advocate for embracing what you really like to wear. ”Own whatever you’re loving,” says Fragis. ”We’re currently going through an anti-trend phase. Fashion is so much more about expression now. The tip is really: wear what you love and feel good in it,” she continues.
In fact, it’s sartorial authenticity that the buyer credits – in part – with her landing her dream job at Net-a-porter ten years ago: ”I was so nervous, and people were like ‘you have to wear heels – you’re going to Net-a-porter’ and I was like ‘I can’t go in as one thing and then when I go in be something else.’ And I wore these big Belstaff biker boots, and as I was walking out Natalie [Massenet] said ‘ah you’re in the uniform already in those boots’. And for me that was kind of a stamp of ‘just own what you’re comfortable in.’ I kind of credit my boots for getting me that job.”
Find your signature
”Cowboy boots are my thing – I’m not that comfortable in heels and they go with everything,” says Fragis. ”and the thing about cowboy boots is, they kind of dull down an overly feminine look,” she describes. ”I’m not overly feminine in my style, but I do love feminine pieces. So if I’m in a dress, I often need something to offset it and make it a bit more ‘me’. A cowboy boot does that.”
Offset oversize pieces with a bit of skin
”I like to wear things slightly oversized, which I counterbalance by showing a flash of skin with an off-the- shoulder cut or a low-back detail,” says Fragis.
Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale
As someone who’s surrounded by beautiful clothes on a daily basis, one could forgive Fragis for being sucked in by designer discounts. But in fact, she takes precautions to avoid succumbing to this occupational hazard.
”Don’t buy things just because they suddenly go on sale,” she advises. ”If you’re swayed by the price, a piece will just sit in your cupboard,” she says.
Instagram is a great informer
”I’m quite obsessed with Instagram,” Fragis admits. ”I don’t really use social media for anything else. I love photography, and I’m always taking pictures so it’s nice to have an outlet for that. And I do find it really inspiring, because in one form you’ve got normal people, friends, designers, brands.”
Has Instagram ever led her to an exciting discovery? ”I have discovered a handful of brands on Instagram. I remember a couple of seasons ago I was in Paris, and I had an hour to kill and I was playing on Instagram and I saw this brand and I was like ‘I love that! who is that?’ and they had their showroom details on there and that happened to be two blocks away from where I was, so I went there and we actually collaborated with them as a result. Instagram a great informer.”