Shop like a buyer with Bridget Veals

Ever wondered what the professionals really purchase for themselves? Shop The Runway’s Emily Taylor asked David Jones general manager of womenswear and accessories, Bridget Veals, for the inside scoop on what she’ll be shopping for this season.

Bridget Veals, GM of womenswear and accessories at David Jones

For anyone who loves fashion, Bridget Veals’ job sounds like the dream.

“No two days are the same at David Jones!” says the GM of womenswear and accessories. “Much of my time is spent working with our team on coming seasons and meeting with the broader business to ensure the success of future collections. I also meet with our existing and new brands to understand their priorities and keep an open line of communication in our partnerships,” she says of her role. “The fashion industry is such a unique blend of commerce and creativity – I love discovering new brands, working with our team to plan incoming seasons, and seeing David Jones customers find pieces that they feel fantastic wearing,” she explains. “Our business is driven by our customers and I get enormous satisfaction from a collection performing well, meaning we have met expectations.”

“The fashion industry is such a unique blend of commerce and creativity – I love discovering new brands, working with our team to plan incoming seasons, and seeing David Jones customers find pieces that they feel fantastic wearing.”

Bridget Veals, GM of womenswear and accessories David Jones

When it comes to shopping, you could say that Bridget is something of an expert, having been privy to every fashion piece stocked in store. Here’s what she recommends keeping an eye out for next… The local labels on her radar right now: “We are spoilt for choice in Australia. ESSE is a Sydney-based brand by Charlotte Hicks who won the 2020 National Designer Award and is also a mentor in the Indigenous Fashion Projects x David Jones Pathways Program. Anna Quan is another beautiful designer who we have recently started stocking, her pieces are incredibly thoughtful and well-constructed.”

Models at Melbourne Fashion Festival’s David Jones Gala Runway

The best fashion investment she’s ever made: “A Saint Laurent chain evening bag. Timeless, chic and elegant.”

The pieces she’ll be adding to her wardrobe this month: “The Chloe Woody Tote in Navy Blue – a great carry-all for work and for when travel resumes; Bassike’s oversized cotton trench, the perfect trans-seasonal layer for unpredictable winter days; and the Assembly Label Cotton Cashmere Lounge Set – 2021’s answer to the tracksuits of 2020.”

The shoes she can’t pass up: A heavy-soled Chelsea boot by Alexander McQueen. Functional, stylish and good quality.

The accessories trend to try: “The ‘90s revival continues this season – sports-inspired nylon accessories, belt bags, minimalist leather goods and gold accessories by the armful.”

The trend she’ll be testing in 2021: “The relaxed aesthetic of 2020 has been elevated for the coming season which I’m really excited about. Collections are polished but certainly, more comfort-focused than previous ranges. In terms of my own shopping, I consider myself trend-aware but not necessarily trend-driven.”

Her best piece of shopping advice: “Build out your wardrobe from good quality essentials and go from there. Quality over quantity every time!” The fashion industry changes we’ll see reflected in store over the months to come: “There has been much discussion in seasons moving to accommodate see-now-buy-now, and I think brands are now engaging with a much more informed consumer about sustainability and ethical shopping choices. It’s great to see so many brands step up to calls for transparency in their supply chains. I’m excited to see where 2021 takes the industry, we are surrounded by so much exceptional talent in Australia and some fantastic brands bringing their creative visions to life.”

Shop Bridget’s Picks

Saint Laurent

The Kate Chain Bag

“A chain-strap evening bag in a neutral tone makes for a timeless investment.”

Bassike

The Oversized Cotton Trench

“An effortless trans-seasonal layer in a goes-with-everything shade.”

Alexander McQueen

The Hybrid Chelsea Boot

“The shoe of the season, a functional, heavy-soled boot is ideal for everyday wear.”

This story originally appeared in Shop The Runway Magazine

Words by Emily Taylor
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