WWD Series: Victoria Dartigues

January 18, 2022
Victoria Dartigues,
Senior Merchandising Manager Fashion & Accessories,
Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf – DFS 

Photo credit: Asia Typek

How is buying evolving in the age of phygital seasons and the metaverse? 
For sure it’s a new way of experiencing the collections. Phygital and the metaverse have opened endless possibilities for designers, brands, and consumers.
But I felt it was so good to be back in the real showrooms last September: meet the people, touch the products, work with my whole team physically. 
I am convinced that nothing, even the top digital platform, can replace the emotion of attending a fashion show, of plunging into the universe of the brand, and the feeling of touching a product, its fabric to make the best selection for our customers.
However, with the past 2 years, all brands, from the “big ones” to the smallest labels, have been developed digital tools to ensure that buyers are able to see and discover their collections. This agility and visibility are super important and will certainly stay long term. 

How are you approaching buying this season, where physical appointments (and life) are back but much of the fashion process remains digital? 
In early December, we had planned for 80 percent physical [events] in January 2022. Then the Omicron variant appeared. Many brands cancelled their physical showrooms, which we totally understand. 
Now almost all our purchases will be done digitally (even when the brand is based in Paris).
We have adapted to this new way of working but nothing can replace being in a showroom, starting the selection, pulling together on a rack and discussing with designers.
Anyway, showrooms and markets are the most exciting part of our job: we are ready to spend on new designers and bring them to larger audience thanks to our stores. 

Tailoring vs. Streetwear: who could win the match this time? 
We all want to dress up again and I feel Fall 2022 will follow the same mood but perhaps with a formal twist. Fall collections always have a “back to the office” mood after the summer break so we keep the sexy dress for sure, but I would add timeless pieces such easy tailoring. 

What is a must-have for fall?
Fall is the best moment in year to renew the wardrobe with timeless/investment pieces so the suit would be on my top list. I hope we will off the ping-pong between home and office but in the doubt, I would recommend any cozy – glam pieces which helps to feel comfortable but also giving you the feeling of an attitude even if you work from your living room. 

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