January 13, 2012


Thanks sooooo much Charlotte, for your incredible article! 
So sweet xxx

Pascaline Smets, Fashion Buyer @ SMETS

If you haven’t met Pascaline Smets, it is the right time to get closer to her! Her elegance, beautiful face and striking blue eyes reveal a strong personality. Shy at one side but hard worker and tough on the other side, she is the kind of girl that can handle everything at the same time. Driven by her passions, work is for her the best way to practice every dream she aspires in life. She chose to live and work for her passions and this is something that we have to fight for and cherish.

She deals with about 25 stores, Smets,  and is the only buyer. How does she carry so much on her shoulders, keep such a sweet and strong but down to earth personality? I guess she has something to share…

I have shot amazing portraits of her and visited the Belgian newborn concept store in Brussels: Smets ! The only place in Brussels where high fashion meets contemporary design and gastronomy. Shop for your closet, furnish your house and have a bite at the Bowery restaurant. You will feel like in Paris or New York! Enjoy.

CC: Who are you and what do you do?
A young woman, living in Luxembourg, loving Contemporary Art, Fashion and Design. After my study, I joined the family business. I’m the buyer and creative director for all the stores. So, I travel a lot around the world.

CC: Is your work a part of your passion?
It’s my passion of course. I don’t have the feeling to work, I’m sooo happy to wake up in the morning and start a new day. Every day is different, it’s great! Except the stress sometimes…

CC: How did it all start?
My mother, a biologist, started the business in 1986 with a store “BCBG” for children (she was quiet unhappy with the brands presented in Luxembourg). Then she launched a fashion store for women, a second…  And in 2001, my father, who is a vet, joined the company. He is in charge of all the financial and investment part. In 2001, we introduced our Concept Store; a mix of fashion, art design, beauty and a restaurant in an unique way.

CC: Tell me a bit more about your everyday job? What are the good sides and the more difficult sides?
It is hard to describe. It changes each season. During the fashion weeks, I run in all the showrooms to discover new collections and pick up what I feel the best for the stores and following the new trends. I also visit all the art and design fairs around the world. When I’m in Luxembourg or Brussels, I visit all our stores, train the sellers, have meeting with the press, marketing, back office and do also all the analytical part of the sales. Every day I write an article for the my blog and visit many blogs including yours which I really love (Thank you Pascaline ;) ).

CC: Your business life is taking you everywhere in the world, how do you see the future? Would you rather settle down or keep traveling?
Traveling is real opportunity; you discover new things, meet people, and visit exhibitions. It’s part of the job. The future without traveling is impossible.

CC:  Many of us could think that working as a buyer is like doing your own shopping, but tell me exactly what do you think about when you choose brands or items in a collection?
It’s absolutely right. If I have to buy only things for myself, then it would never work. During the buying season, I’m inspired by artists, designers from around the world. They give the mood, the tendencies and society’s state of mind. Then, it is not finished; you have to adapt the trends to the different silhouettes following the statistic and sales we make.

CC: Accessories or clothing?
Accessories! I love shoes and jewels!

CC: What is your favorite everyday outfit?
Easy dress, high heels and beautiful jewels.

CC: You favorite designers?
Azzedine Alaïa, an incredible human person and one of the most important designers! His dresses are gorgeous, always in the trend and never out.

CC: A must have? Or more?
For this season, a pair of Louboutin exclusive 20th anniversary style. They are gorgeous and so artistic.

CC: The biggest fashion faux pas?
Not to respect your own personality.

CC: Any new project for the future?
Yes, with Gabriel Vazquez, my artistic director for all the boutiques, we have many projects… Our own label and a new store in Paris or Switzerland…

CC: What about internet? Do you sell online? Where can we find you?
Yes we do! For the moment only via Farfetch but our own website is coming soon. We have to follow our generation! Moreover, it gives higher visibility to our choices.

CC: What do you think about the online shopping? Do you shop online? Yes, No? Why?
Its super easy as you know what to buy and less stressful. Yes I do but not so much as we carry mainly all the brands. But I’m always surfing on online stores.

CC: Your favorite quotation?
-  The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes, By Marcel Proust.

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