This is What NZ Fashion Week Looks Like for an International Brand Manager

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Meet Anika Joshi-Smith, Senior Brand Manager at The LOFFT Fashion Agency where emerging talent is launched and established labels are managed in the international market. We sat down with the Melbourne-based manager to get the tell-all. From fashion week essentials to the rise of influencers, this is what New Zealand Fashion Week looks like for an international Senior Brand Manager.


What does being a senior brand manager at The LOFFT Agency involve?

As a Senior Brand Manager, I manage a curated mix of local and international high-end fashion and lifestyle labels. I work closely with each label to sell their collections, strategically grow their label in the market place and consult on future ranges to ensure the brands are catering to the needs of their market. No day is the same! The fashion industry is so fast paced and I am forever learning, however, I am lucky to have experienced, influential mentors and a supportive team, which makes the role so incredibly rewarding.

What brands are you showing at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017?

We are showing AW18 collections by Viktoria & Woods, Acler, Steele and Unreal Fur.

Your five essentials to survive New Zealand Fashion Week are…

  1. Practical shoes. I’m wearing Marmont suede pumps by Gucci and Sabine suede sock boots by Senso.
  2. A well-made, structured blazer. The perfect addition for Auckland’s temperamental weather! I’ve pulled from our brands Autumn 18 collections this week so watch this space for plaid checks by Acler and Bordeaux soft suiting by Viktoria and Woods.
  3. Early starts and late nights call for a good concealer. I love the studio fix perfecting stick by MAC. It’s lightweight and micro-bag friendly.
  4. My skincare regime is pretty basic however I swear by Sans [ceuticals] when travelling to avoid dull, dehydrated skin. I love the Activator 7 body, hair and face oil.
  5. Technology! I can’t go anywhere without my iPhone and phone charger.

What does your role entail at New Zealand Fashion Week?

Part of my role at The LOFFT is scouting new talent to launch in the AUS market as we manage established labels but also specialise in launching emerging brands. The talent coming out of New Zealand is phenomenal! It is so exciting to see conceptual brands and niche labels take the stage, there are also so many profile brands on show so there will definitely be a lot of networking while on the ground this week! 

The NZFW 2017 show you can’t wait for is…

Wynn Hamlyn

Can you give us an overview of what your days look like at a fashion week?

Chaotic, but exciting! Between international delegates breakfasts to attending premium designer runway shows, we are showing our labels to select buyers from all over NZ. This can be a time-consuming process as we literally pull the collections apart to curate an edit that is on-brand and paired back to the direction of the stores. This is such an integral part of my role so background knowledge on our stockists is key to guiding our buyers in the right direction for the seasons ahead. 

Your favourite New Zealand designer is…

Tough question! I love Juliette Hogan for her relaxed, effortless take on the modern woman’s wardrobe. Paris Georgia Basics for timeless, elevated basics, and RUBY is always a fave, I’m particularly drawn to their seasonal prints.

What are your must-haves for spring/summer 2017/2018?

I find my style changes the second the weather warms up so I’ll be ditching structured suits and androgynous silhouettes from my wardrobe in favour of fluid silhouettes and effortless shapes. I will be exploring my inner feminine side with soft florals, the introduction of pop colours, and slip dresses are always a must have. 

What is your perspective on influencers and their role in driving sales for brands?

Like all industries, the fashion industry is forever evolving and I do believe the introduction of influencers has assisted the growth of brands sales on local and global scales. Working in the industry we see an influx in sales when we collaborate with influencers who suit the brand’s aesthetic and their own as the content created is more organic. Compared to traditional advertising, influencers resonate with consumers, as they are relatable. Consumers pick and choose who to follow and for me, this is a personal experience as I wouldn’t follow a brand, person or product if it didn’t find it relatable or believe in it.

The best thing about New Zealand fashion is…

Kiwis take risks with their outfits and styling, I absolutely love it. People aren’t too worried about being immaculately put together or too polished, instead, I find their approach more creative and individual which is truly inspiring. 

Follow Anika and The LOFFT Agency for more on fashion and the international market

Tessa Stockdale