MATCHESFASHION.COM Menswear Head Buyer, DAMIEN PAUL

 GQ Korea December issue

GQ Korea December issue

This season, Hera Seoul Fashion Week has become the new name for the biannual fashion event showcasing Seoul Designers’ most recent collections. We met Damien Paul, head of menswear at MATCHESFASHION.COM who is in Seoul to attend the event.

What was your favourite show?
I felt that contemporary fashion was very big in Korea. Push Button was a good collection and J Koo and the rock n roll spirit shown at Resurrection left good impressions.

Will some of these Korean brands be available at MATCHESFASHION.COM?
This season’s focus was to discover Seoul’s fashion scene and get to know the basics. I plan to keep in touch with a few brands like Push Button that I’ve been introduced to. Finding a good brand is important but we need to also think about how relevant the pricings are for the brand, delivery schedule and the production details as well. I’d like to look into the brand’s past and it’s direction forward and also think about the brand’s potential before investing in PR & marketing.

The shirt you are wearing today is very nice, who is it by?
It’s a brand called By Walid. I’m really into this brand at the moment. I am part of the British Fashion Council’s New Gen panels mentoring emerging designers. I work closely with the designers to help them grow their business.

That’s something that the Korean designers need very much today. What kind of mentoring do you offer?
My role is to help the designers understand the collection from the industry’s point of view. For example, when designing a tee shirt, I would recommend adding more colours or give advise on the current pricing standards. There must be a solution and strategy to compete with larger brands. If an emerging designer creates a jacket with lots of work and effort and price it at 2,000 pounds but a Saint Laurent jacket is the same price, people will choose Saint Laurent. Emerging designers are given the opportunity to introduce their brands to many of the industry’s key figures. Mentors from various fields including myself will openly communicate and advise accordingly. We can provide connections for example to help them manage their finances. JW Anderson, Craig Green, Astrid Andersen all grew with this scheme.

I didn’t realise that MATCHESFASHION.COM started with an offline boutique.
Yes, we currently have 4 stores in London and all of these stores are constructed in a way that allows you to access and experience MATCHESFASHION.COM easily. All the sales staff work with iPads in store and if there is a certain shoes a customer likes the staff will introduce the customer to the different colours available online for example. If the customer wants a different colour from online this can be ordered and will be delivered within 24 hours if their address is in the UK.

It’s a consistent idea.
The offline store is an important space for communications where customers can experience MATCHESFASHION.COM.

Those who find the e-commerce experience challenging would like this idea.
We always think about what is the most modern way in everything we do. We believe that allowing customers to buy in the most elegant way regardless of the price tag, is the best service we can provide. 

 

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Written by Kyungmin Kim (GQ Korea Fashion Editor)
This article has been featured on <GQ> Korea's December issue.