What's In My Suitcase: How Fashion Buying Director Shelly Corkery Travels In Style - The Gloss Magazine

What’s In My Suitcase: How Fashion Buying Director Shelly Corkery Travels In Style

How does Shelly Corkery, Fashion Buying Director at Brown Thomas, tackle business travel? Penny McCormick gets the scoop on her suitcase…

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“Business travel is a constant in my role as Fashion Buying Director at Brown Thomas, where I oversee all fashion and accessories. I travel six to seven months of the year, attending biannual fashion weeks in London, Paris, Milan, Copenhagen, and New York. The purpose of these trips is to explore emerging trends as well as meeting designers and brands. It’s also important for me to visit other department stores, including Bon Marché and Printemps in Paris, and Selfridges, London, to see their brand mix and edit. At Brown Thomas we are always working on getting the balance right between prices, sizes and offering; my role is as much about mathematics as style, and not overspending on the budget for each brand.

“Over the years, I have made close friends and colleagues in different cities – meeting with them regularly to share a love of fashion, culture and retail is energising. Retail for me is about being precise, fair and transparent in business dealings and prioritising my time on developing brand relationships.

“I enjoy visiting new designer collections in exquisite showrooms and ateliers in Paris and Milan and bringing their identity and vision back to Brown Thomas, where we strive to give customers the very best luxury retail experience. Each season we bring designers to our stores so customers can meet and engage with them. Organising these events is a rewarding part of my role.

“When it comes to packing, planning for every sort of occasion is essential. I don’t travel light, usually taking a couple of Rimowa suitcases. Long days demand energy and positivity, and my wardrobe becomes an essential ally in staying vibrant. Depending on the meetings and shows I am attending, I wear a mix of my favourite pieces with a representation of the brands. SS24 season collections from Prada, The Row and Courrèges have been some of my favourites this season. I’m always prepared with some extras – a black dress from Prada, Saint Laurent heels and a chic evening bag from Bottega or Celine. Sometimes an invitation arrives when you least expect it – you never know when Dolce & Gabbana will invite you to La Scala! It pays to be prepared – time does not allow for fashion emergencies!”@shelly.corkery

Photograph: Les Tuileries

Shelly’s Paris

“I lived in Paris for a year when I was 18 and adore its different quartiers and diversity. On private visits, I stay at the Hotel Costes, Hôtel Le Meurice, or the exquisite Plaza Athéneé on avenue Montaigne. When I am at the shows, I get up early for a walk in the Tuileries Gardens. I always book a blow-dry at Jean Louis David on rue du Bac: it’s an instant pick-me-up. Some of my favourite fashion memories have been of the magical Saint Laurent shows beside the Eiffel Tower and the Chanel shows at the Grand Palais, where the scenography is so inspiring, as is the people watching. Favourite restaurants include Lou Lou, Da Rocco, Pink Mama and L’Avenue, a fashion crowd favourite. If my schedule allows, I adore browsing the vintage markets at Marché des Puces de St-Ouen.”

Photograph: Hôtel Le Meurice

Packing Tips

I travel with a large or medium Rimowa case and a small case just for shoes. I pack my clothes in tissue paper, and use individual bags for shoes and belts. White shirts and T-shirts from Balenciaga, black pencil skirts, and a vintage leather bomber jacket from Prada or Versace which looks good with jeans or an LBD. My knee-high black Khaite boots work with many outfits. I add colour with accessories such as my blue Loewe Puzzle bag. In transit: Slouchy denims from Frame or Nili Lotan with a cashmere scarf from Dior or Louis Vuitton, and an oversized trapeze coat from Saint Laurent or The Row. I wear Hermès Day trainers or loafers from Prada or Celine. In winter, my Hermès riding boots are comfortable. In my vanity case: Essentials include Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream, Victoria Beckham’s San Ysidro Drive fragrance, Dior foundation and an Hermès lipstick.

Shop Shelly’s essentials:



Blue Puzzle Bag, Loewe, €2,600; www.brownthomas.com.



Anna jeans, €545; www.brownthomas.com.



San Ysidro Drive perfume, €290; www.victoriabeckhambeauty.com.



Black Day trainers, €1,050; www.hermes.com.



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