Here at the Designated Group we consider ourselves privileged to work with some fantastic clients.
Nikki De Marchi is one such client – a talented businesswoman who, with the help of her Designated PA Alannah, is making waves in the luxury swimwear market.
We caught up with Nikki to get an insight into her inspirations, ethics and exciting plans for the future…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?
I’m the designer and founder of Nikki De Marchi, a luxury swimwear brand made in London. I grew up surfing on the east coast of Australia, studied information technology, and later moved to London where I took evening classes at Central St Martins College of Art & Design while working as a corporate strategy consultant. Part surfer girl, part gypsy, part entrepreneur, I completed by MBA at INSEAD in 2012 and launched my own brand shortly after.
How has your Designated PA contributed to your recent successes?
I had a request from One & Only resorts in Mauritius to shoot some pieces from my new Cozumel collection, however they needed the pieces to be in Mauritius the next day! At a moment’s notice on a rainy Friday at 6pm, my amazing PA Alannah prepared the samples and drove out to Heathrow airport to hand deliver them, which meant not only were they in Mauritius the next day but they are now featured in the new One & Only resorts campaign!
How does your Designated PA help you on a day to day basis?
Time-consuming activities like order management, stock control, fulfilment and administration are now managed directly by Designated PA, which means I don’t have to worry about it. Quite simply, they have enabled me to get my life back.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Seeing one of my designs featured in Tatler UK, alongside swimwear from Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni and Stella McCartney. I never dreamed that one day I would see my designs sharing the page with such talented designers.
What success do you still strive for?
Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil and gas, and one of the most wasteful. My idea of success is to create a fashion brand that does not come at the cost of other people or our planet. That means rebuilding my supply chain, working only with like-minded partners, investing in new technologies, and experimenting with new ways of doing things that can support greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
What motivates you?
The desire to do things differently. The woman who follows the crowd goes no further than the crowd. But the woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. That is far more interesting to me.
Who inspires you and why?
Strong and independent women, like my dear friend Charlotte Horton of Castello di Potentino, who single-handedly restored an abandoned Tuscan castle, revived its vineyards, and carved out a magnificent career as wine-maker over the last twenty years. Her unique vision and tireless drive to make things happen is a constant source of inspiration to me.
What projects are you working on currently? And which one excites you most?
I’m exploring new technologies that will enable a “zero waste” production model. This means I can create more but produce less. As a first step, all of my pieces are now made to order – a true rarity in the world of fast fashion and mass production.
What is the hardest thing you have done in your career so far?
Building my own fashion brand from scratch. There is no business in the world tougher than the fashion business.
Best bit of advice you have received?
No matter how great your idea is or how hard you try to get it right first time, it will never be perfect. The very best thing you can do is get it out there as soon as possible and start testing the market.
Advice you would give to others?
Don’t be afraid to do things differently. There is no right way; there is only your way.
Now for some quickfire questions!
What would you not leave the house without? My keys!
One rule you live by? You can go your own way.
What would you not fly without? My passport.
An amazing fact about you? I hitchhiked my way across Mali to Timbuktu.
Favourite restaurant? La Petite Maison, for its effortless chic and delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
Favourite book? “Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender”. It completely changed my outlook on life and the way I respond to negative emotions.
Favourite city hotel? Shoreditch House in London. Their attention to detail is impeccable, and as a West London girl, waking up in East London always seems like an adventure.
Preferred form of exercise? Yoga in all its forms, because no matter what I feel like before I do it, I always feel amazing afterwards.
We highly recommend a visit to the website to view the stunning Nikki De Marchi collection.
The Designated Group would like to thank Nikki De Marchi for taking the time out of a busy schedule to talk to us.
If you think you and your business could benefit from a highly skilled and experienced Designated PA, or any one of Designated Group’s services, do get in touch for an informal discussion: