Sunday, May 1, 2011

Exclusive: Sportsgirl VM Kobi Lagana

Twenty two year old Kobi Lagana is Sportsgirl's fresh new Visual Merchandiser, helping choose how you style your latest buys and offering shopping the inspiration for how to organise and present their own wardrobes. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask Kobi a few questions about her role, what she loves about fashion and he predictions for the future.

1. What do you do as a visual merchandiser?
As a VM we do so much more than dress mannequins – which is a common misconception about the field I am in. VM is a key support function to our marketing team. It is my job to ensure our campaigns translate in store not only visually but in sales. I am the eyes and ears for state/national teams in store and responsible for training the staff at store level on key trends for the season, campaign focuses and making sure we are constantly trying to up the ante.

2. What are you favourite trends this season?
I love that this season we have seen a lot of designers embracing colour – this is so much more repsemblant of the Queensland winter. Instend of black we are seeing navy, burgandy and khaki is still around en masss. My favourite trend though is the winter maxi’s we are seeing coming through – skirts and dresses! And how dare I forget, the hoisery range this season at SG is a MUST - I want it all!

3. How do you relax?
There is nothing more calming than sitting down with a great book/mag/blog (whatever it may be at the time) at one of my favourite coffee nooks (and Brisbane has quite a few). I just finished reading Kelly Cutrones autobiography ‘If you have to cry go outside’ – a must read for anyone who wants to make it in the fashion industry.

4. Where do you see your passion for fashion leading you?
The best part about what we do in our industry is you never quite know what doors are going to open for you and where they will lead – you definitely need to approach everything with an open mind and jump at any opportunity as it arises, which is how I landed the gig at SG as I only started out as a casual. Daydream, as I often do, I would love to one day be a creative director for an international fashion label such as TopShop – for now I am super content with my career at SG, it is such a fantastic company to work for and they really nurture their employees

5. Who is your style icon/s at the moment?
The realist in me will say Alexa Chung everytime. She can do no wrong and is perfectly put together (but then again people used to say that about Mischa Barton. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen to her). My whimsical side screams Anna Dello Russo – fashion needs more people like her, she really embraces the fantasy of fashion and is constantly pushing boundaries (particularly for her age –LOVE IT!).

6. How would you describe your own style?
My style is a fusion of boho and rock sensibilities – I love to mix girlie with harder edgier pieces. My staple outfit is a good pair of jeans/tailored pants, basic tee and lots of statement jewellery. In my job too, it is all about comfort and functionality so I have definitely adopted a practical approach to dressing in the last 6 months haha.

7. How would you describe the 'typical' Sportsgirl customer?
There is no typical Sportsgirl when it comes to age or preferences – we have such a varying demographic. I find the essence of a true Sportsgirl is in her attitude and the way she approaches fashion. She is fearless, fun and makes every trend her own by letting her own individuality shine through. Walk around SG stores and see the amazing girls I work with; they are the epitome of this.

8. Where do you shop (other than sportsgirls of course)?
Working in a chain store I find in myself hunting for unique places to shop outside of work – I love markets, online stores from overseas and I am a shameless ebay addict. I think Garnsis boutique is great for Brisbane and is always on top of the hottest trends. If I didn’t have budgetary restrictions – Frockshop in James street!

Photographs by Sportsgirl