An Interview with Gabriella Piccinni – International Business Director of Diane von Furstenberg

There are so many jobs in the fashion world but most of us, when we think of fashion we think models and designers and naturally as they are the forefront of fashion – but without a great team in-house there’d be no business of fashion. I met with Gabriella Piccinni – International Business Director of Diane von Furstenberg and found her work fascinating.

Could you tell us more about your work?
I am responsible for all business development for Europe, Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, Australia and South America for Ready To Wear, Swim, Beach and Accessories for . I manage a logistic sales admin credit control and sales out of my London office. I run the London office so my job doesn’t stop at Business development but as an MD there is all the admin for the office to look after.

How long have you worked for Diane von Furstenberg
4 and a half years.

How often do you travel for work?
During fashion weeks I am gone for 5 weeks, and off markets I am visiting regularly clients. The break from travelling is normally from mid July to end of August and December. So I travel all the time.

How many languages do you speak?
Italian and English but I do understand French and Spanish so I am able to have meetings in those languages too but will reply in either Italian or English whichever language clients understand better.

Describe a typical work day.
There is no typical work day. At the moment I am working on sales plan for 2010 but still watching closely my shipping for AW. And figuring out the future of E-commerce is a big issue in fashion right now, how to control it is the key topic. Also still forecasting our scarves business as we are about to launch our first in house collection which will be fab. I am trying also to have regular lunch with clients as nothing beats the face to face still.

Could you tell us your fashion background?
I started working in fashion in an agency in Italy. One of the line was Romeo Gigli. I used to open boxes and check the samples against the packing list, price the collection and support the team there. I still love opening the boxes of samples when we get them in the office – it is exciting, like going through your mother’s wardrobe when you are young. Then of course I moved to London and I worked for Calvin Klein, Selfridges, Donna Karan and Versace. I have covered retail, buying and wholesale.

What so you enjoy most about your job?
The energy of young people around. Fashion is unpredictable so you are constantly on your toes as after a night out wearing Louboutin : )

What is your favourite food?
I am Italian – I enjoying cooking and of course pasta dishes are super yummy. I did switch to spelt pasta to cut the wheat but will never cut out parmigiano cheese. Otherwise grilled or baked fish with fresh salads and olives (I am obsessed with olives).

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