With over ten years of experience in fashion, she’s worked as a retail recruiter, store manager, buyer and writer. She has appeared regularly for style segments for Urban Rush and Breakfast Television, and can be seen currently on CTV Morning Live. CoCo & Rico took some time out to interview Lohr and get her insider take on Vancouver’s fashion scene.
How did your interest in fashion begin?
Christie Lohr: I’m not really sure how or why it began; I’ve just always been interested from as far back as kindergarten. I’d show up to school in huge earrings (unknown to my mom), mismatched fluorescent socks (I was an 80’s baby), always trying to look, what I thought, was my best. I was creative with my hair — had my first perm at six and later went on to ‘spiking’ my bangs. This was the time when I was exploring my creativity. My fashion sense got better as I got older. I loved watching music videos and reading fashion magazines and started creating those looks. I grew up in a small town, so often had to be creative with my options.
Why did you start Style Nine to Five?
CL: I recognized a need in the fashion recruiting world. I was a recruiter for a top retailer in Canada and was posting jobs on general job boards such as Monster or Workopolis. I just wasn’t finding fashion savvy candidates with fashion education or experience. I also spent hundreds of dollars placing a newspaper ad with little or no results.
What is it you find most rewarding about your job?
CL: Creating opportunity for others who want to work in fashion. I remember coming out of Kwantlen with my fashion marketing certificate thinking, ‘Now what? Where do I go to find a fashion job?’ Now there’s a place to see all the opportunities that are available and have access to these companies and apply to the jobs! I also love the emails I get asking me for career advice.
You pre-screen resumes for the companies, what makes a resume stand out to you?
CL: It’s important your resume has a clean, easy to read layout and design. It can still be creative. It’s important to express your interest in the company you’re applying to in your cover letter… why do you want to work there, what do you love about the company. Make sure you’re catering each cover letter to the different companies you’re applying to.
What inspires you?
CL: Success and growth. Success to me is impacting others, not monetary.
How do you think the fashion industry is progressing in Vancouver?
CL: We have many success stories out of Vancouver that are putting us on the map — Jason Matlo, Native Shoes, Aritzia, Lululemon, to name a few. With the increase of bloggers and social media, the industry can’t help but progress.
What advice do you have for people who want to break into the industry?
CL: Don’t take your eye of your goal, work hard, intern, network, set up coffee meetings with mentors in the industry. Find an untapped opportunity and create your own job. You’ll work in many jobs that might not be exactly what you want, but they will help get you there. Be open to opportunities that come your way, try a few things.
Since Coco & Rico is a local magazine, what is your favourite thing about Vancouver?
CL: The local shops and amazing restaurants, the ocean and the mountains.
What are your favourite places to shop?
CL: Gastown at stores like Holly Boutique, One of a Few and Lynn Steven. Also love Zara, Artizia, Winners and The Bay too.
If you had to pick your favourite item of clothing in your closet, what would it be?
CL: I have a Calvin Klein oatmeal coloured off-the-shoulder, oversized sweater that I got from Winners. It goes with everything, is comfy and warm and still a bit sassy because of the off-the-shoulder style!
Christie Lohr picture credit: Karolina Turek
CoCo & Rico Executive Editor, Celia Leung
See Celia’s Blog.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org