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In Conversation With: June Haynes

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After nearly thirty years of making her mark on monumental brands from Dolce and Gabbana to Valentino and gracing the front rows of the most fabulous fashion shows around the world, June Haynes can still be at the forefront of the luxury space, having recently attended the iconic final runway show of Jean-Paul Gaultier in Paris. 

Yet, Haynes isn’t one to hoard her hard-earned expertise. On the contrary, she now opts to spend her days sharing her wealth of knowledge with her clients at the June Haynes Luxury Retailing, helping their brands expand and grow globally. While the industry may have many icons, Haynes is more than a mere fashion figurehead. According to Haynes, “The product can be found in so many places. The most important investments brands can make today are in their staff and their clients.” 

By prioritizing people above products, and revering relationships beyond retail, June Haynes manages to be both a master of her craft and a mentor to her clients, to whom she’s simultaneously consultant and confidant, advisor and ally, and finally, formidable fashion forerunner and faithful friend. 

You’ve been in your respective fashion career for how many years? How did it all begin?

I’ve worked in-house for luxury brands for over 27 years, in addition to 7 years and counting of having my own consultancy. My journey began as a little girl growing up in Guyana, South America and spending time after school at my mom’s boutique doing chores. Watching her nurture relationships with customers really helped me to understand what it took to make a difference in not just my career but in life.

You have had much success coming from Guyana to the United States. How did you get associated with luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Barneys, Chrome Hearts, Ellie Saab? (to name a few).

I was intrigued by the luxury industry when my family arrived in the USA. Stepping into Lord & Taylor and B Altman for me was like a kid in a candy store because I got to see and became familiar with brands like Gucci, Romeo Gigli, Claude Montana, etc. and with such quality, craftsmanship and execution of those garments, I knew right away that it was the focus and direction I wanted to take. My journey into luxury started at Barney’s New York, then Dolce & Gabbana, and after a tenure at Valentino, I opened my consultancy working with clients such as Chrome Hearts, Gianvito Rossi and Elie Saab, to name a few.

When working at Valentino as the VP of Global Retail, you were able to work closely with Mr. Valentino himself and the RTW and Couture teams. What did you learn from them during this experience at Valentino?

It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am truly blessed and thankful for that journey. Mr. Valentino is such a master craftsman, he would look at a garment and know exactly what is missing or glance at the aesthetics of a store and say: ‘move that dress to the middle of the rack as this color doesn’t compliment the whole story’. Spending my 10 years there has afforded me the ability to hone in my skills of attention to detail and assessment of personal style.

We at nécessité have heard from major luxury designers say you are the best in the business at what you do. Tell us what June Haynes Luxury Retail does?

Well thank you for these kind words, when I do speaking engagements or when I speak to my mentees, I always share with them a quote that I read years ago, that I live by which is: ‘When you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.’ To me, when you are passionate about something you go in with your heart and soul and people recognize that. With that in mind, my consultancy June Haynes Luxury Retailing (JHLR) is an extension of my over 27 years of experience in the luxury space to help brands with global growth strategies and expansion.

What advice would you give a young woman looking to turn her dream into a reality? What challenges would you share with her as inspiration to keep moving forward?

The advice I would give, which may sound like a cliché, is NEVER GIVE UP. There’s that voice inside of you called instinct that we hear, but then there is our circle of friends and family who will always have their opinions. However, when you have faith and you believe in yourself, your instincts will always kick in and won’t steer you wrong. Listen to that inner voice and go with it, because no one can feel what you are feeling—they can only advise based on opinion and also know it’s all possible. That being said, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Challenges will always be there no matter what milestones you have achieved. Personally, I look at obstacles as a sign of growth, so I welcome them all.

What are the three things you do each day as a form of self-care?

I start my day with 3 routines: mind, body, and soul.

  1. Morning meditation at 5:30-6 am
  2.  Prayer
  3.  Gym

I find through my prayers and meditation I get answers and guidance for the day ahead. After those 3 things, I’m charged and ready to tackle the day!

Complete this sentence:

I am a nècessitè…because my footprint and journey are my own and I feel truly blessed so with that blessing. I feel that it is nècessitè for me to share with others who seek to find it nècessitè to come into their own.

Photographer Credit: Zavier DeAngelo

 

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