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Kate Owen

Junior Fabric Buyer

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About me

I have worked at Karen Millen for 7 years in the Fabric Buying Department, working my way up from Admin Assistant to Junior Buyer. I currently manage the Fabric Admin Assistant and report to the Fabric Manager. In my career I have built up a substantial knowledge of fabric technicalities, sourcing, and colour management, as well as managing production schedules, negotiating prices, and quality control. I have a thorough knowledge of fabric testing requirements for different product categories including outerwear, wovens, jersey and lace, and experience with GB18401 (China standards). I process and sign off both base and bulk test reports. I also help to source for a broad range of price categories, from our Outlet shops to our Atelier collections, and work with over 80 global suppliers from countries including Italy, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and China. As you can see from my career, education and hobbies, textiles really are my passion!


  • Fashion
  • Print Design
  • Textile Design
  • Excel
  • Office
  • Photoshop
  • Word
  • Critical Path
  • Fabric Development
  • Negotiating
  • Fabric Analysis
  • Fabric Colour
  • Colour Analysis
  • Fabric Testing
  • Fabric Technology

Work history


Junior Fabric Buyer

Karen Millen

Nov 2017
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Negotiate fabric prices and deliveries. Check base test reports, technical sheets and bulk test reports. Ensure correct care instructions are followed. Monitor, request and receive submits of bulk fabrics for approval. Ensure quality is consistent throughout orders and batches. Request and check test reports for all bulk fabric, arranging additional tests if needed. Arrange delivery of bulk fabric from mills to our warehouses and process shipping paperwork accordingly. Manage all sourcing and fabric production for the Outlet collection. Manage the Admin Assistant. Send out artwork, lab dips and developments. Ensure all tracking sheets are up to date and are in accordance with the critical path. Process and log all invoices for bulk fabric, sampling fabric, freight costs and testing. Monitor stock levels and any excess fabrics left over from collections. Attend weekly tracking meetings, monitoring the Critical Path. Assist with fabric descriptions for the in-store style file and website. Manage and distribute the Fabric Manual and Sampling Policy, and keep an updated record of the terms that our suppliers agree to.


Assistant Fabric Buyer

Karen Millen

Sep 2014 - Nov 2017
  • Full Time
  • Arrange China testing for all fabrics, analyse fabric orders and stock information for each month and season, manage the print production schedule, assist the Fabric Manager with testing, bulk orders and approvals.


Fabric Buying Assistant

Karen Millen

Aug 2013 - Aug 2014
  • Full Time
  • Assist with managing the Admin Assistant, increasing duties supporting the Fabric Manager with testing, bulk orders and approvals.


Fabric Buying Admin Assistant

Karen Millen

Apr 2011 - Jul 2013
  • Full Time
  • Booking in all fabric that arrives at the office, raising orders, checking order confirmations, filing and sending out post.



Sep 2006 - Jun 2009
  • BA (Hons) Textile Design