This month Apparel chatted with 24-year-old Amanda Nakarmi, showroom manager at fashion PR company Showroom 22, to hear about how she got her start in the industry. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Nakarmi was born into a family of writers, so communications has always been a strength.
“I was lucky growing up as my family gave me the best opportunities and I got to make the most of having two cultures,” she said.
“Growing up, my dad was constantly travelling as a foreign correspondent and later bureau chief for several media outlets worldwide. Now he’s a communications strategist, working on the branding of large Korean media companies.”
Nakarmi’s pathway wasn’t always straightforward, as she didn’t always know what she wanted to do.
“I had a lot of pressure at school to do law or science but I was also a young girl who just wanted to read Vogue! I spent all my spare time absorbing fashion but I didn’t know how to make it work for me. Architecture was this marriage of creativity and the mathematical part of my brain, it was a perfect degree,” she said.
Nakarmi met her boss Murray Bevan seven years ago, when she was still in high school. She only saw the showroom for a brief minute.
“I thought it was the dream office but I never let myself entertain that thought until I saw this role come up. Fashion was always a guilty pleasure and now it’s my job!”
Having studied a Bachelors of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture at the University of Auckland, Nakarmi believes a formal education is important for the work that she does. “No matter what you do, it teaches you valuable communication and analytical skills. Having written a thesis on design, I can appreciate the brief, the target and the message.”
Last year was the biggest year in the history of Showroom 22, which deals with over 40 brands, and as the manager, it’s a big role that entails Nakarmi overseeing the movement of client news, samples and creating engagement.
“The sheer volume of work we do as a team means that I’m constantly juggling about 50 things, producing unique ideas and pitch angles, and generally helping the media and our clients be creative.”
Nakarmi said people skills are highly valued at her office and most necessary skills for the work she does. “Our roles are based on being highly effective multi-taskers, but at all times, being nice people!”
The most important thing her job has taught her is learning not to sweat the small stuff. She attributes success at such a young age to aiming for it. “I put myself out there and in the frontline of where I want to be. No matter the opportunity, relevant or not, I’ve made sure I’ve given it my best.”
Nakarmi doesn’t have a typical day, saying that once she gets to work, it can be unpredictable. “No two days in PR are the same but Monday is always press clipping day. If you print it, I’ll be reading it!”
Nakarmi tries to gym as many days as possible and picked up tennis last year. In her down-time she’s big on current affairs apps, and currently loves opinion pieces on The New York Times. She doesn’t have a TV in her house, which has been a “refreshing” lifestyle change.
“I love going out for dinner. Auckland is so full of exciting restaurants that don’t just make good food but are aesthetically amazing. There is always a new place to check out.”