Behind the Seams

We caught up with Lululemon women's buyer Tabitha Vallierie to talk all things sweat and style


What are your athletic styling tips?

Mix brands, mix street and athletic clothing (think Luon which is one of Lululemon’s signature fabrics. It’s cotton, soft and super stretchy – and wearing that with leather) layer and accessorize. Utilise the comfort and sport lux trend and ditch the heels for a few days for slip on flats and a leather cap. And it’s all about the little styling details, tie a loose cotton tank in a knot at the front 80’s style; roll your full length tights to make them 7/8ths for a bit of sexy ankle, that’s right, sexy ankle; and shuzz your sleeves of a bomber jacket or jumper.

What are the top pieces every girl needs in her wardrobe?

Cashmere Sweater, Mesh tights, High Waisted Leggings, Long Line Bra or Crop Top, Leather Jacket, Nike Sky Highs, boyfriend ripped jeans, and a plain cotton tank.

What are your favourite Lululemon pieces? 

Breathe Easy Pant, Free To Be Wild Bra, Seamlessly Covered Tank, Lab City Pullover, 50 Rep Bra and the tried and true Swiftly Racerback and Long Sleeve in every colour I can get my hands on!

What do you love most about your job?

That’s it’s a perfect marry of right brain/left brain. There is an immense amount of strategy and analysis of the business that is required to make strong buying decisions but it also requires you to lean into your intuition of global and local trends, style and colour flow. It’s the fact that I can draw on both of those kinds of skills that makes the job so interesting, challenging and constantly evolving.

What does a normal day look like?

Sheesh, it really depends on where we’re at in the season but what I can say is that no day is ever the same. Today for example I will be jumping from meeting to task to e-mails touching 2-3 seasons at a time. After scanning over my emails while I sip on my fabulous coffee from our in house barista (plug there), I’ll review sales and current trading for the week to see how I can immediately impact product sales in the current season. Before lunch I’ll meet with the rest of the buying team to reflow the next season (hitting stores in November) because now we know when the product will arrive to our DC from the factories. After a quick lunch I’ll meet with our Merch Manager to review the first pass of the collection 3 seasons from now (May 2015) to provide feedback to the North American Designers and Global on how its coming together, for example – we need more print in a particular style of tank for our July. I also spend as much time as I can in stores to get a pulse on what’s happening on the ground and working with other departments to execute our buy strategies. There’s never a dull moment!

What are your favourite ways to sweat and top studios?

I used to be a dancer so yoga and Pilates are a natural fit for me and I prefer to run 4-5 times a week to keep me sane. My favourite yoga studios at the moment are in my South Yarra hood – Yoga 213 (Sunday morning Hip Hop classes with Hamford are to die for) and One Hot Yoga for the best 30 day challenge in the land. I also love taking classes at the Space if I need a little extra movement in my life and Ariel yoga if I want to nap in the silks.


What’s a big goal you’re working on?

Being the Women’s buying team lead for the Regional Merch team in London, buying for all of Europe, in a years’ time. I would love to leverage what we’ve built in the Australian Buying team and create an incredible team and strong regional office for London, plus my husband and I would love to hang in Italy on the weekends.

What’s the scariest leap you’ve ever made/biggest challenge? 

Quitting my previous job where I was on a fast tracked promising career in a city that I grew up in and had all of my friends and family – because I wasn’t following my dreams anymore and I wasn’t in love with the job. So my husband and I picked up and moved to Australia where we knew nobody all so I could start over and break into my dream job of being a buyer. And oh how it’s paid off!

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