From models ( America's Next Top Model) to designers ( Project Runway), and from PRs ( The Hills, The City) to stylists ( The Rachel Zoe Show), the fashion industry has served as a backdrop for many a reality show, but one group has been neglected so far: buyers.
They are the ones that actually decide what customers are able to buy in stores and the top crop including Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo or Lane Crawford's Sarah Rutson have recently gained just as much fame - at least within the industry - as the so-called editorialistas Anna dello Russo or Kate Lanphear.
The BBC has now made this group the long-deserved focus of its new show The Next Big Thing that premiered in the UK on April 12. There is much talk of up-and-coming designers, but the program seems to get its main insights from influential fashion buyers including Liberty of London's Ed Burstell.
The legendary department store's managing director previously worked at Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel and can look back at what for him feels like "a hundred years" of experience in the business. According to an interview posted on YouTube, Burstell looks for "product that has some original design behind it and that really has an original thought...we want to see something that we haven't seen before."
Viewers also learn more about upcoming projects of the store such as an expansion of the beauty area, launches of casual dining and outdoor living concepts, as well as the opening of publisher Assouline's first shop-in-shop in the UK.
Interviews with the Liberty of London team can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLsTHhFxLbQ, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6s8W1w63-M, and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6zG6M362EQ.
The Next Big Thing can be watched in the UK at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010hgdt/Britains_Next_Big_Thing_Episode_1.