Working for a thriving fashion giant is a dream for many Australian women, so it’s little wonder Sussan general manager Rebecca Hard has spent a happy 18 years with the same company.
“What I love most about Sussan is that I get an opportunity to work with some incredibly inspiring women every day,” Rebecca tells Collective Hub. “My entire executive team are all women. We are ultimately each living our customer’s lifestyle and, therefore, we really understand what our customer needs from us to look great and feel amazing.”
That passion for women has successfully translated into elements of the ongoing transformation of Sussan, which has spent the last few years working to pivot their long-standing brand to reflect the changing attitude of their savvy customer base.
“I guess we have been on a constantly evolving journey over the past six years,” Rebecca explains. “When I moved across from Sportsgirl to Sussan, I really felt that there was a clear opportunity within our marketplace to show the 30-plus customer how to dress and how to style herself.”
Sussan, a stalwart of Australian fashion since its inception as a lingerie brand back in 1939, has gone to great lengths to change and adapt with their customer over the years, always keeping her at the centre of every careful adjustment.
“It is really important that we think about how our customer will wear our product and when. And, of course, it also needs to fit well and be of amazing quality. I really believe that this is part of Sussan’s success. At our heart, we are still true to helping women dress well and we have always kept ourselves relevant to the current market within Australia.”
Reflecting the global push to more accepting attitudes toward diversity of the female form, Sussan is making strides to reflect with their brand and in their stores that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, as does the Sussan customer and her needs.
Building on their “very experienced and talented” quality assurance teams that “always takes into account the varying body types,” Sussan is also empowering staff to ensure that they assist customers in making the right choices for them, not just for the trend of the season. Every member of Sussan’s store staff is carefully taken through “body shape training” in order to impart body-specific assistance to their customers, rather than rely on trends that don’t make the most of body shape.
“Our store team are amazing and love to give our customers great styling advice and service,” Rebecca tell us. “In the past 12 months, we have completed a huge training program with all of our store teams covering both body-shape knowledge, as well as professional styling training. This is kept alive by monthly store styling nights to continue to update our team on the latest trends and styles that are coming into store.”
Confidence, confirms Rebecca, is the end game for her ever-loyal customers.
“I feel very strongly that our role is to give women confidence, and a key part of helping women to achieve this is to genuinely help our customers to achieve a great look with the garments they purchase from us,” Rebecca explains of the training. “We want our customers to get great versatility and longevity from their garments, and it is important that you can always work your wardrobe around new pieces.”