By Princess Aileen Quimpo
A Visual Merchandiser Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, City Centre, Bahrain, Anthony Javier has currently got his dream job, working in the line of his interest for seven years.
Anthony has always been passionate about dressing, and as life favoured him, he has all the freedom to express his creativity and draw inspiration from the environment he grew up in. Along the way, he acquired a sharp eye for colour- matching, especially in style and fashion, and began to nurture that creativity in every part of his life.
He started his career by working in a retail business in the Philippines. He started working in Newtrends International Corporation as Supervisor in Timex—a leading brand for watches—for five years. With his great performance at work, he was asked to work in their head office, as Customer Service Officer, and a year later he was promoted as Merchandiser Officer for their eyewear division. This was how his travels across different countries started. He got opportunities to travel to Hong Kong to do the selection of their Merchandise in which he worked with luxury fashion brands such as Prada, Gucci, Emporia Armani, Giorgio Armani, and Safilo. At the age of 25, he decided to work abroad and travelled to Dubai for a job. He was successfully accepted by Saks Fifth Avenue, Dubai, and later was offered to continue working for Saks Fifth Avenue in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Anthony started working in Saks Fifth Avenue, City Centre, Bahrain on December 2008, and currently is the Visual Merchandiser Manager.
In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.
To Anthony, Bahrain is the most advanced in the whole GCC countries, when it comes to expressing people’s sense of fashion. For Anthony it is through traveling where he gets his inspirations from, which have enabled him to achieve a higher level of fashion sense. A few of those countries were New York, Paris, Italy, Prague, Greece, and India. Through his experiences from traveling, and his career, he became up-to-date to the latest trends, which he was most grateful for being a part of the fashion industry. He was also fortunate to meet some well-known senior stylists and visual artists from fashion industry, and has received compliments from the top brands, such as Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, and Saint Laurent Paris. Through his experiences that the sense of style in the West is not so different than that of the Middle East. The conservative sense and diverse culture, and the beaming passion for something new among the Bahrainis and expats, has lead him to stay where he is at the present.
Being the Visual Merchandiser Manager of a big company, his job entails liaising with the team, including purchasing products for the store, design and marketing to plan and create themes, for window and in-store displays. He is also responsible in conducting a research on the current and future trends in design and lifestyle, and associated target markets. Moreover, he creates visual merchandising packs to communicate visual guidelines, including layout principles, visual dressing and signage; and lead the team to complete the displays to tight deadlines. What put him in the edge, were the challenges he has to accomplish, such as coming up with an avant-garde designs from the required pieces of clothing and accessories. From those sheer instances, his creative juices and sense of artistry ripened. He emphasises that his designs should not only express the client’s taste, but also “impart an attitude and positive impression.”
Anthony’s life is an extension of his work, set aside the deadlines and the performance assessments. Not only does he gets to enjoy the work, but at the same time keeps company with his colleagues in a healthy environment. “Designing is my livelihood and meeting people is my cup of tea”, he expressed. Outside the workplace, Anthony has been labelled as the ‘fashion police’ by his friends. He provides free fashion consultancies, and updates his friends with the latest trends. Despite having a full plate, he makes sure he has time for his family and friends, staying in touch at all cost.
Each day has its own challenges, but whenever he reflects and take notice on the troubled ones, he gets to see how blessed he is, which gives him the strength and determination to achieve his goals; as well as giving his best and meeting those challenges victoriously, in spite of what life hands him over. He has admired few designers for the past years, yet what important to him is the deep and broad understanding of what fashion has served the community, and the legacy they passed on. Putting one’s self in the eye of various designers, map their concepts, and observe each patterns, has allowed him to develop his own sense of style, which in the near future would help him establish his own empire and create his own signature designs in his own run-way shows.
In life, it is important to have positive words that guide you and he says he takes inspiration from the words fashion’s most prominent icon, Coco Chanel, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”, and “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”