Two women in front of a clothes rack

They have already made the leap into the industry: ISM alumna Julia Gaidies and graduate Laura Büttner give us exciting insights into the areas of trade marketing and wholesale. In addition, the two fashion professionals will give you valuable tips on what it takes for a career in the fashion industry.

Julia Gaidies: Trademarketing bei Chanel und Pepe Jeans London, Madrid

My work in trade marketing

Each trade marketing department is structured somewhat differently and has different components. For example, at CHANEL, trade marketing focused on implementing marketing strategies. At Pepe Jeans HQ, it's about deciding what marketing the customer will see online/offline. So we work on the strategies, the implementation and the coordination. In concrete terms, we look after the largest key accounts across Europe and are in constant exchange for online, OOH and in-store marketing. We also look after our own stores and outlets, plan give-away promotions and organize Europe-wide events with local agencies. In addition, we are the contact for all country managers regarding marketing activities, materials and visuals.

ISM-Absolventin Julia

What working in fashion and marketing means to me

The fashion industry is incredibly fast-paced, as soon as one campaign is over, the planning for the next one already begins. You learn something new with every campaign. Marketing is not always just rosy, creative or associated with great products and invitations to events. It's also a lot of hard work and very intense. But it is a great feeling to see a project live and in color on the street or in the stores. Then to say, "I worked on that myself," that's a great sense of achievement!
What I also particularly like about the Trade Marketing department is that we are the interface for almost all departments in the company. We not only work with the other marketing departments, such as social media or online e-commerce, but are also in constant exchange with Sales and the Finance department.

Enthusiasm for fashion and good ideas are the be-all and end-all!

My experiences have taught me that it is crucial to feel passionate about the fashion industry. It is not so important where you gained your work experience, as long as you convince with your ideas: You can achieve anything, no matter what industry you come from. Nevertheless, my studies in Global Brand & Fashion Management at ISM gave me a good foundation for my later career. The case studies on luxury marketing still help me in marketing today, even though Pepe Jeans London is not a luxury brand in the strict sense.

Julia's TIP for you:

  • Be open to different departments, fields and industries.
  • Every experience helps to find out what you want and what suits you. After all, you can draw on these experiences later in marketing, which is about ideas, experience, coordination and people skills.
  • Remember, when one door closes, another one opens!

Laura Büttner: Senior Wholesale Manager Europe at MCM WORLDWIDE

My roots as a fashion enthusiastic ISM student.

I have always had an affinity for fashion and knew early on that I definitely wanted to work in the fashion industry. My studies at ISM Berlin prepared me very well professionally and familiarized me with the basics and terminology for a career in the fashion industry. I particularly remember the practical lessons with ISM professor Dr. Christiane Beyerhaus and the subject of customer behaviour. The integrated internship certainly also helped with starting a career. I already gained insight into working with customers and purchasing during my internship at a Hamburg-based company.

ISM-Absolventin Laura

My start at Max Mara - Sales as a career foundation

During Corona, I started at Max Mara as a sales manager, which came about rather by chance. Although I initially never saw myself in this field, the job was ideal for learning about the market, the brand and the fashion industry. As a sales supervisor at Max Mara, I set up different sub-brands in multi-brand stores. I started with 15 stores and increased to 70. In fact, numbers are incredibly important in the fashion industry. You always get very clear targets, be it in terms of store placements or sales, that you have to achieve. If you build up a good reputation in Sales, it's easier to move to other departments, such as marketing or purchasing.

My work in Wholesale at MCM Worldwide

Wholesale at MCM Worldwide is about positioning our products at points of sale / stores that fit our brand. I therefore receive many inquiries from potential points of sale and then have to weigh up whether we want to take them on or not. This often also involves specific contract negotiations. It is important to know the USPs of your brand in your sleep in order to convince the counterpart. I also get to travel a lot for sales campaigns.

Fascination Fashion Industry

I find the fast pace of new trends, but also the individuality of brands, fascinating in the fashion industry. What I like about my job is that it's so varied. There are no monotonous days, you're always dealing with many topics at the same time. As a fashion enthusiast, it's also nice to see new trends before they arrive in the stores.

Laura's TIP for you:

  • Be flexible! In the fashion industry, everything will look different tomorrow than it does today. This refers not only to the work locations, but also to the work schedule.
  • Be persistent! In this industry, you need to have a certain tenacity and not be easily shaken off.
  • Very important - know your worth, otherwise you will be quickly taken advantage of in the working world.
  • Be clear about what you want! Then you can better work towards that goal.

Working in this industry means having to assert yourself over and over again. But if you make yourself heard, you will be seen and can achieve a lot!

Images: Ron Lach (Pexels), privat

Karin Gessler

Karin Gessler

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