Richard Dennis Thornton – Interview with the Assistant Buyer for Topman

This week we were lucky enough to catch up with one of the most stylish men in the fashion industry.

Richard tells us what its like working in buying, advice for anyone wanting to crack the fashion industry and of course his favorite blogs.

This is a man who is immaculately turned-out with some of the best tattoos we’ve ever seen!

What is your job title?

Topman – Assistant Buyer – Knitwear

What is the best thing about working at Topman?

Its certainly not the hours! Chris Bonich, Dave Bernasconi, Ed Tobin, Little Rob and Sammy. The social is pretty cool as well.

Your advice to anyone hoping to crack the fashion industry would be…

Do work experience and work your nuts off when you do – I did nothing but filing for weeks at BHS but I suppose it must have paid off.

Could you tell us a little bit about how you got into menswear buying?

I have always loved clothes and always somehow been involved with them, whether through customising my own things or working in a clothes shop, and one day whilst at Uni when I was working in store at another high street shop my brother asked me if I used my discount and I said “never” as I didn’t like the range, to which he responded – “do you reckon you could do better?”, which I obviously thought I could and ever since then I wanted to be a Buyer.

Has the fashion world been close to what you expected or has it turned out to be a lot more different?

Its a lot more friendly and smaller then you’d expect – everyone knows everyone I’d say. Its quite incestuous.

What’s your favorite thing so far about being a buyer?

I love to shop and now I shop for a living just on a different scale to what I grew up doing. Also I know its a bit cliche but the people are pretty cool, also not forgetting the freebies, oh and seeing an idea from start to finish is incredible as well – thats the main buzz that all Buyers get I think.

How has working in fashion changed the way you dress?

I analyse everything now from fabrics to how things are made, so I suppose it has made me a much more technical shopper and I now buy investment pieces like a pair of Trickers whereas prior to being a Buyer I was just happy with Beyond Retro.

How would you describe your personal style?

Workwear inspired with a tailored and dandy twist.

What are your top fashion events?

Man week.

What are your top online blogs?

Convoy, Its Not New, Street FSN, The Sartorialist, The Shoe Buff, Selectism and Wayne Tippets.

Top menswear brands?

Oliver Spencer, Folk, YMC, Levi’s Vintage and Trickers.

When I’m in London, my hottest hang-outs are…

That would be telling, but the Water Poet in Spitalfields on a Sunday is the perfect Sunday afternoon pub.

And when I’m in my hometown I love hanging out at…

As boring as this is to say it would have to be my mate Tim’s front room – when everyone is home its always been the place where everyone goes to chill out.

I can’t live without…

My iPod, my tattooist, my shoe collection and ample chested young ladies!

On my iPod right now is…

The Faces.

In five years I’d like to…

In charge of my own brand – think that is everyones dream who works in fashion mind. But fingers crossed . . .

Finally whats in store for Rich and his style in 2013…

More tailoring, more shoes and a lot more pairs of jeans from the best Denim shop in London – Son of Stag.

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