Karen Tinka, account executive Hugo Boss

A meeting rich in information and emotion with a former student, who has shared her professional experience in the fashion industry.

Students on the Master’s programme in Fashion Industry and Design had the good fortune to spend some time with a former student from the class of 2013, Karen Tinka, who since receiving her Master’s Degree has pursued a career as an account executive with one of the most famous men’s fashion designers in the world, Hugo Boss.  Karen explained what the job of account executive, also called trade executive, involves as part of the distribution of fashion products to retail businesses, and described the work that goes on in the showroom.

We observed the specific nature of the French market in the use of retail and wholesale services, and the principal actors as well as the highest-performing figures on which predictions of commercial activity are based.  With regard to the strategy of large retailers, there are often long-term business agreements and retail services handle supply in this case, but smaller brands are managed by wholesale service.

The wholesaling sphere is vast.  These businesses have professional relationships with other businesses and thus have no contact with the final client.  In fact, “it is the retailers who lead market trends in fashion through client demand,” shares Karen.

Finally, we discussed the missions and responsibilities assigned to interns appointed to the post of business assistant, an inevitable topic when students are in the midst of searching for end-of-study internships.

For example, at Hugo Boss, says Karen, “interns are responsible for restocking and for analysing the figures from spontaneous orders.  At other companies it is possible to do different tasks such as front line sales and client acquisition.  The situation varies from one company to another.  Each business decides for itself exactly what business assistants will do.” 

This 3-hour exchange with Karen Tinka was extremely rewarding, allowing us to benefit—besides sharing her experience and advice regarding our internship—from a thorough and clear lesson on wholesale distribution.

A huge thank you to Karen, whom we hope to see again very soon in the Master’s programme!

Anastasia Komelkova, Master 2, Fashion Industry and Design, AMU

Karen Tinka, account executive Hugo Boss