The launch of our new first floor, one of the leading destinations in designer womenswear in London, is well on its way with only a few weeks to go! We're giving the spotlight to Ashleigh White, who will be working on the coveted first floor herself as Brand Consultant for The Row and who is determined to grow her career in retail. Ashleigh reveals what it's like to be part of this exciting new milestone for our business and how you can grow a successful luxury retail career for yourself.

Tell us about your background in retail?
I studied fashion and textiles at university and ever since I have always worked within the retail industry, starting off in department stores and independent boutiques, and then working all around London as a Style Consultant for MatchesFashion. I also worked at London Heathrow Airport as a personal shopper, where I selected products from premium brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Bottega and Rolex for my international client base. I delivered an unparalleled experience for each and every client- from the Personal shopping lounge to the departure gate!

What has your journey at Harvey Nichols been like so far?
I’ve only been with at Harvey Nichols as a Style Advisor since February, and I’ve just been promoted to Brand Consultant for The Row, so I’m working my way up quite quickly! I literally had my interview with The Row in Paris a few days ago and today is my first day in this new role! Following my interview, the Commercial Director of The Row emailed my Department Manager saying: ‘I loved her, and would be so happy for her to be part of the Row.’ That was stimulating to hear.

What’s it like to work in retail at Harvey Nichols?
It’s exciting! There is never a dull moment. The clientele is multicultural, which makes it interesting. The team is also a great mix of nationalities and personalities, so we learn a lot about each other and our cultures. I feel like I can really be myself and express my individuality around here; you don’t need to fit a certain prototype, but having your own personality and being unique is appreciated at Harvey Nichols. I love the fact that everyone is so passionate about the brand. It’s a fun and vibrant place to work.

What are you most excited about working on the first floor?
I’m very excited about the new atmosphere the first floor is going to bring, which is going to do a lot for the business. We’re the only international designer floor in London that has undergone a redevelopment, so we’ll be in the spotlight. We’re not doing it like the rest of them, but in Harvey Nichols style – we are free and fearless! I also look forward to all the amazing new brands coming in and taking off. It will create a lot of publicity and will make us more known than we already are, not just in London but internationally – we’ll have customers travelling from afar!

What advice do you have for people who aspire a career in retail?
You just need to believe in yourself that you can do it. Everybody can – it’s about how much energy you put into it and about trusting the process. Work for luxury brands and try to pitch yourself in the luxury market. I’ve always pitched myself working for a luxury brand. Also try to get yourself known through networking, friends, clients, social media, and Instagram. Be seen and be you! Work on your personal presentation and your knowledge of brands. Work hard every single day and don’t give up, because eventually you’ll get to the place where you want to be.

What tips do you have for someone going to a job interview in retail? 
Dress sophisticated and smart for the job interview, as well as contemporary. This does actually not only go for the interview but for the industry in general! How you dress also depends on the brand you are going for. However, don’t forget to reflect your individual style: show that you have your own self-expression and personality whilst being in line with the brand. Also make sure you come prepared because knowledge is key. Keep going until you succeed!

Do you want to see Ashleigh in action? From 29th June onwards she will be taking on the first floor as Brand Consultant for The Row, so do pay her a visit!