StyleNest chats to Andrea Hickman, Brand Director for Precis to find out all things fashion and the latest for SS17.
What is your career history?
I studied fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan, and always wanted to be a designer. The day I left university I saw an advert for a Buying coordinator at Monsoon, and thought it will be a foot in the door and then I can move to design. However, I was surprised as I absolutely loved buying! It was much more creative than I expected it to be so all my design cravings were satisfied. I spent 6yrs at Monsoon and within this time I progressed to Buyer and travelled extensively to India, China, Europe and America for inspiration and development.
I was then approached about a buying position at Coast and with my strong occasionwear background it felt like the obvious move. The business grew hugely in my first few years and I was promoted to head of buying and then within less than a year promoted again to Buying Director where I was responsible for managing the design team, production team and and technical department, working really closely with the design team. After 10 years at Coast I left the business, to take a year off, I travelled and got inspired.
How did you become the brand director of Precis?
After my time at Coast I felt like the natural next step was to become a product or brand director, I’ve always been hugely passionate about the entire creative process, building a brand from product to store to web to customer and so when I was approached about this role it was obvious to me that the role was a perfect next step.
I was approached by Style Group Brands about coming in to give the brand a more confident and defined personality through product and here I am now. This is the perfect role for me, not only because I am petite and I understand the fit challenges everyday, but also because the product encompasses all areas I have worked on previously from daywear through to occasion. I love working with the product as it is fun and feminine with beautiful colours and prints. I am also fortunate to have a very passionate, enthusiast and creative team who are great to work with and have lived and breathed the new Brand journey. We hope that you enjoy the journey with the product to come too…
What is the brand ethos of Precis?
We are all about style. We love colour, print & pattern and our obsession is fit and attention to detail. We bring you bold and confident clothing with a sense of fun, where modern style meets the perfect petite fit.
What top style tips would you give to our petite readers?
I can’t really wear anything that doesn’t have a defined waist. I tend to mostly wear dresses that are fitted at the body and cinched in at the waist with a fuller skirt silhouette. I often belt my dresses to further define my waist…My best asset. I struggle with straighter silhouettes as they don’t flatter my shape. As we design and develop the collection I try everything on to see how it fits and how it feels. Both are equally as important.
What are your favourite key pieces from the Precis SS17 collection?
I am absolutely loving our 50s shirt dresses in all colours and the print. I think the embroidered pieces in Mimosa Spice are very beautiful, and I love the positive negative dresses, top and skirt from Martini.
How would you describe your style?
I am 5ft 2. I love being petite but dressing for my frame can be a struggle. I am an hourglass, my hips are big and my waist tiny. Some of the trends just don’t suit me.
I would say my day to day style is relaxed and feminine with a little fun and flirtiness. I like garments with a point of difference and extra detailing, so with a lovely lace trim, embroidery or an interesting sleeve detail for example. I mainly wear dresses to work and would style these with a skinny belt to accentuate my waist however I do also love a skirt, roll neck, tights and boot combination in the winter. I do find dressing for the winter easier than the summer months as I like to wear tights and boots with everything and have a million coats in my wardrobe ranging from textured, belted wool macs through to colour pop statement styles. I also love dressing for an occasion and have a wardrobe full of special dresses ranging from stunning lace shifts dresses through to printed prom styles and my staple evening outfit would be a perfectly fitted black jumpsuit or a beautiful lace top and slim jean for a more paired down look.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to break into the fashion industry?
I didn’t always want to work in fashion. I had always wanted to be a lawyer and then I started to play the saxophone semi-professionally, and so I then wanted to become a full time musician. I fell upon fashion because I was average academically. All my friends left me behind at college when they went on to university. So I took a foundation course which is a mixed creative one year course. I loved the fashion module and the rest is history, within a year I was then at Manchester Metropolitan, and became a hugely inspired to be successful in the fashion industry.