‘I Get To Decide What’s Cool’: The Life Of A Trend Director

April 11, 2016

Travel, shop, find trends, repeat.

Some jobs just sound too good to be true and make you consider handing in your resignation letter as soon as you hear about them.

Case in point: trend director for global fashion retailer Cotton On, Lucy Nutter.

Of course it would be simplified to say Nutter shops for a living, but a job that includes five shopping trips a year to destinations such as London or Rio de Janeiro comes pretty close to it.

Working for a brand like Cotton On, which has over 1000 stores worldwide, and deciding what hits stores and therefore ends up in people’s shopping bags might be a big responsibility, but it also sounds like a lot of fun, so of course we took the opportunity to ask the style queen about her everyday life as a fashion director.

Warning: the following may cause serious job-envy. This is what a day in the life of trend director Lucy Nutter looks like…


I start my day with a quick scan of social media to check my fave fashion brands, bloggers and street style accounts before heading off to Cotton On HQ. Social media makes it so easy these days to keep up to date, I’m always scrolling through Instagram while having breakfast. 


First up is generally a meeting with the buying team, where we take time to develop product ideas and review products for upcoming months.  These are also the meetings where we plan our buying trips and decide which fashion capital city is the next on our hit list – at the moment we’re preparing to head to Rio, Brazil!

I’m away on buying trips four to five times in a year and we’re always headed somewhere different to search for new and upcoming trends, as well as reviewing updates to bestsellers. In the last six months I’ve been to LA, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Austin and New York. These trips are always a whirlwind of meeting with fashion suppliers, reviewing products and of course, lots and lots of shopping!



I work closely with the internal trend team as they research the latest patterns, prints and materials from around the world. We sort through swatches and pull together mood boards for the upcoming collections, a process which I love as it’s great to see the collections come together from some simple swatches and sketches.


After lunch, I may have a meeting with our print house suppliers who come to visit us from all over the world. The suppliers take us through all the new trends in print inspired by the global catwalks. We review these prints and patterns in line with our quarterly trend concepts to see how they might best fit in with the upcoming monthly collections.

Lucy Nutter_Colour-1


I head back to my desk to jump back on Instagram to look out for any key trends, styles and prints. I also love to take some time to read through my fave blogs and fashion news sites; I think it’s so important to consume as much of the same content that our audience does, to ensure we know what our customer loves and we’re able to give it to them month after month!

Trends emerge faster now than they ever have before and as a global company with stores all over the world we can move product into stores faster than most other local brands. For example, our best selling denim base the Jegging has just been updated in a range of new dusky, pastel shades based on the sleek Nordic 90s trend we saw in 2015.


Before leaving the office at the end of the day, my team and I get together and plan our priorities for the following day, ensuring we’re on track for our upcoming buying trip or presentation deadline. At the moment, this means we all have one thing on our minds: Rio!

Comment: Have you ever dreamed of a career in fashion?


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