In this career series presented by Thread Hunters, Glue Store head of womenswear - development brands Nilou Zibaee reveals what it takes to become a head designer.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I obtained my design degree at UTS and then moved to New York where I spent 12 months interning.
Then moved back to Sydney and immediately started my first role as a Junior Designer.
What does your day-to-day look like?
I work on multiple brands with varied timelines, so my day to day is a mixed bag.
But in a nutshell I would say it is - fittings, colour palettes, fabric selection, research, sketching, range building, sales review, forward planning and strategy for the season to come.
Basically being completely immersed in everything to do with the product.
What is one piece of business advice you’ve been given that sticks with you today?
You are only as good as your team.
It takes a village, so having strength around you is important.
This award is a testament to all the people I work with!
What are the challenges in your role and how do you overcome them?
Working on such a diverse brand mix in a fast paced environment can be challenging, and learning how to split my focus between them.
It helped me this year to step away and spend some time creating solid strategies across all brands, and re-establishing what each one stands for.
This process sets me up for the year to come with clarity and vision around what we want to achieve, and I can then impart this on to the rest of the team.
What project stands out as a highlight in your career?
My current role has definitely been the highlight of my career to date.
I have been able to work with an amazing team to breathe new life into old brands and also create completely new ones, both of which have been extremely rewarding tasks.
What were the biggest challenges in the early days of your career?
I think learning to manage criticism and growing a thick skin is something all designers have to learn quickly.
Putting your ideas on display can be quite daunting at first, it’s something that only gets easier with time and experience.