Style Insiders

Style insider: Mi Piaci brand manager Sarah Street

Mi Piaci’s brand manager talks to FQ about her career, her style and her creative inspiration:

Sarah Street.

Mi Piaci brand manager Sarah Street.


Tell us about your role at Mi Piaci – what are your key responsibilities?
As brand manager for Mi Piaci I’m a constant touch point for all areas of the business. I’m involved in everything from design, buying, campaign shoots, marketing and social media, visual merchandising, production, planning and more. Needless to say it keeps me on my toes, but it’s a role that I’m really enjoying and embracing.

What is your background and previous experience?
I actually started my career in furniture design. After that I moved to product design, then sort of fell into shoes and haven’t looked back since. I moved to London where I was working for three years for various brands including Marks & Spencer and River Island. I’ve been doing footwear for about 6 years now and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s hard work but I absolutely love what I do.

What has been your career highlight?
This job would have to be my career highlight. It’s so awesome to be given the opportunity to help drive a renowned New Zealand brand such as Mi Piaci to new and exciting places.

What’s the craziest or most glamorous thing that has happened to you working in fashion?
Surprisingly nothing that glamorous or crazy has happened in my career so far, although having to juggle 12 bags full of work and shopping on buy trips while trying to navigate the London Underground definitely makes for interesting moments.

Who is your style hero or icon?
My Mum has always been my biggest inspiration. I also love the style of Caroline de Maigret, Christine Centenera and Gilda Ambrosio.

What does a typical day look like for you?
With my line of work no two days are ever the same. The only constant is that I start the day with a green tea. Once I get into work, I check my emails, catch up on all my go-to blogs and inspiration sites, then go through my to-do lists and sort of figure out a plan for the day. I can be doing anything from trend presentations, sketching our new collections, planning shoots or ranges, visiting stores or liaising with manufacturers.

What are your career goals and where are you looking to take the Mi Piaci brand?
We have a really great brand built on some strong foundations, solid principals, and a unique heritage that has roots in both Italy and New Zealand. I think New Zealand women really appreciate New Zealand design so we want to really celebrate that aspect of our collections. Aesthetically we’re working on some refinements which are going to become present from the AW16 range. Going forward we want to redefine our voice as a brand and create a renewed sense of confidence in our ranges. We want to be the go-to store for women.

Describe your style in three words.
Minimal yet eclectic.

What is your go-to work outfit?
A good pair of jeans, a great white t-shirt or shirt and some killer shoes.

What are your favourite accessories?
Shoes – I have so many pairs I’ve lost count. I think I have an addiction. And sunglasses, they can complete any outfit.

What would we find inside your handbag?
You’d find sunglasses by Celine or Illesteva, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, Smith’s Rosebud Salve, coconut oil, Mancera Sand Aoud perfume and liquid eyeliner.

Where are your favourite places to shop?
I like mixing pieces that are designer, high street and vintage. In London my go-to stores were Dover Street Market, Zara, Cos and & other stories.  Having just moved home I’m still rediscovering my love of New Zealand designers but I enjoy browsing The Department Store and Superette. Georgia Alice and Kate Sylvester have some great pieces at the moment. I buy a lot online and when I have the time (and patience), I love vintage shopping with my twin sister.

Are you inspired by any blogs when it comes to style, lifestyle, interiors? Any Instagram crushes?
I have so many. Le 21eme, A Love Is Blind, The Coveteur, and Vogue Runway are all great sources of inspiration. With Insta I collect new inspirations to follow daily, but right now I’m loving Gilda Ambrosio, Oracle Fox and Marina Didovich. The Fat Jewish is also pretty hilarious.

What was your last purchase?
My Celine Sunglasses. I’m in love.

What is the one item you are currently coveting?
Currently I’m coveting a Stella McCartney Sabrina top and an Amor Fati shoulder bag from M2Malletier. From the SS16 collections I loved the Metallic Croc embossed pants from Loewe, the Celine lace-edged slips, the colour palette of the Marni collection and basically all the looks at Stella McCartney.