talking shop Buyer’s eye

John Lewis & Partners Christmas buyer Dan Cooper discusses trends for the upcoming festive season

textile art and I still have several quilts, embroideries and tapestries that I worked on then. I’m a keen knitter - the more complex the pattern the better - but I don't have much time for it nowadays. What’s the biggest Christmas trend for 2018? The biggest overall trend for Christmas is colour. This year, we’ve embraced all things colourful to create our signature in-house trend, Rainbow. This trend embodies positivity and inclusiveness, encouraging customers to experiment and be adventurous with colour. It also makes decorating the home a simpler task, as decorations old and new can be pulled together to create a confident and vivid look.

“We work on

What’s your background? I started at Heelas (now John Lewis Reading) in 1996, working in the dress fabrics department. My job was to sell paper patterns, about which I knew nothing! My big break came when I was promoted to trainee in Christmas Shop and then manager of Gift Food. Little did I know that years later I'd be Christmas buyer. [Dan has held the role for six years.]

Where does your interest in design come from? I’ve been designing gardens since I was 11 and it’s still a passion of mine now. My forte at school was

Christmas all year round, although

September to April is generally the busiest period ”

What’s your favourite piece? My favourite theme has to the Sapphire Christmas collection and within it, the Jellyfish bauble. It’s truly unique and can’t be found anywhere other than John Lewis. Its playful look appeals to all ages and shows just how adventurous customers are now being with Christmas decorations.

Where does your inspiration come from? It’s a real team effort. Ideas are sparked from fashion trends, buying trips, consumer demands - we’ve even been inspired by a pair of beautiful earrings! There are very few rules with Christmas and because we develop our own product, working directly with suppliers means that we can achieve almost anything. When time permits, I push myself to read books and design blogs and visit new places; these often give me the seeds which grow into new ideas.

David’s favourite theme is the Sapphire colour collection is inspired by ‘the wonders of the sea’, with a ‘bold, yet whimsical’ take on traditional festive blues. Examples include jellyfish, crystal encrusted octopus and soft metallic seashells - all complemented by hand blown glass baubles

October/November 2018

What are your top decorating tips? Always decorate to suit the room. Think about the space available and don’t try to squeeze a big tree into a small space: there are plenty of streamline

John Lewis & Partners predicts that 2018 will be the year of the Rainbow Christmas tree. The department store group says: ‘Filled with must-have baubles, this imaginative look is the perfect way to combine all seven colour collections from John Lewis this season.’ The collections are: Sapphire, Ruby, Moonstone, Jet, Emerald, Gold and Amber | 35

options available. Choose decorations that complement the current room décor and in similar tones to existing cushions, rugs and ornaments to create a look that really belongs.

Are you working on Christmas 2019 yet? We work on Christmas all year round, although September to April is generally the busiest period. By the end of November we’ve pretty much sourced everything for the following year. Straight after Christmas, we make our final decision on our range and place orders with suppliers. The rest of the year is about delivering the experience for our customers, in-store and online.

• John Lewis & Partners operates 51 John Lewis shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis ‘at home’ stores and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as

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