Martha Nieto

Aug 03, 11 Martha Nieto

City you live in:
Milan and NYC

Occupation and why?
Ever since I was a kid I have always been in love with colors and fabrics and clothing, so it’s no wonder I grew up with a passion for fashion and business. I wanted to work in the fashion luxury industry even though I knew it would not be an easy dream to pursue. So, when it was time to go to college, I knew I had to choose a place where I could prepare myself very well. While studying fashion merchandising at Philadelphia University I decided to spend a semester in Rome. I absolutely fell in love with the culture, and their sense of style. So, when I graduated I knew I had to complete my studies in Italy, the place for luxury fashion. I was accepted into one of the world’s best universities and pursued a Master in Fashion Management at Bocconi University in Milano. After the master I worked for various companies in all sorts of positions, and went through different challenges like learning to work in a different language and a different culture, working weekends and very long hours, being paid little to no money and still being expected to look perfect and working for some fashion divas aka “devils.” Through these experiences I learned the importance of hard work, perseverance and keeping a good attitude no matter the situation. Needless to say I was ecstatic when I finally landed an Assistant position at Valentino for the womenswear and menswear Marketing Department. After a lot of hard work and surviving several tough changes in the company, I was promoted to Merchandiser Manager for the Valentino women’s lines. Being a product merchandiser at Valentino allows me to have the best of both of my favorite worlds: business and fashion. I am living my dream, the ideal combination of creativity and business.

A regular day consists of?
Usually all my weeks start with me catching a flight to Rome to meet up with our designers. My job is to match their creative designs with what the market is asking for each season, no easy feat! The first thing I do upon arriving at Rome is to get ready for a hard day’s work by enjoying an amazing cappuccino and brioche at Piazza di Spagna. When I am in Rome, I usually work nonstop with the designers to develop the next collection, making decisions with them about colors, fabrics, styles and prices. At the same time I keep track of activities at the Milan offices and keep an eye on the stores selling our current collections. Then, when I can find some quiet time during the day, I prepare lessons, grade papers, and answer questions from my students who take the online fashion merchandising course offered by Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. My typical day is, thus, full of multitasking. I have to say it is passion that keeps me going, and though it might seem like a lot it never feels like a burden. Even in full weeks, when I have to travel back and forth between Rome, Milano, Paris and NYC, I always make time to talk to my family on the phone and see my friends at night, since it is very important for me to have a balance between my work and my personal life.

How do you define success?
For me success entails going beyond what you are asked to do in life, to go further than you think you can go, and to be excellent in whatever you choose to do. Most importantly, success for me is to be able to feel passionate about your life and to enjoy it to the fullest.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Every day all of us confront different challenges. For me, some of these challenges are cultural and language barriers, being away from home, balancing my work and my personal life or dealing with unexpected problems at work. Challenges are part of life and they are there for a purpose, which I believe is to make you grow and get stronger, which is why for me it is crucial to have faith in something larger than yourself to be able to hold on through the rough times, in order to overcome them.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
A lot of hard work, passion, tons of PATIENCE, and an unbreakable positive attitude.

What’s on your bucket list?
So many things, I am such the eternal dreamer! One that I can actually share with all of you is that I want to travel the world. I actually made a promise to myself to travel to two places I have never been to every year. So far, I have kept my word and have visited such places as San Francisco, Sicily, Jerusalem, and others, and this year I’ll be hitting Africa!

I am proud to be Latina because:
I love my culture, the fact that we are so open and colorful, that we smile, are full of passion, that we enjoy life (most of the time), and that we care about family and friendship, food and tradition…

How do you get your Latin fix?
Cooking latin food (molde de pollo and pan de pascua) for all my foreign friends, speaking in Spanish and English (it always makes me feel closer to home) and of course hearing Latin music everywhere!

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
Spanglish always, but lately my friends from Italy have created two new terms for me: Itanglish and Itagnolo!!!! Basically most of the time I mix the three languages, and I love it!

What is your favorite Latin restaurant?
Victor’s cafe in NYC.

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
Latina women are so diverse and capable that it will be impossible for me to pick one! We can be Nobel prize winners like Rigoberta Menchú, Presidents like Michelle Bachelet or Dilma Rousseff, models like Giselle Bünchen, singers like Shakira, and I could keep going on and on and on… We are basically unique and full of passion!

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
The best advice from my mom has always been “go for your dreams and God will open the doors and will always provide…” Totally true….

Favorite home remedy
Agua panela con limón (brown sugar, water and lemon) for a bad cold, es bendito!

Favorite Quote:
“You can’t loose what is part of your destiny…but you can’t keep what is not…”
-Paula White

Career Highlights
:
Womenswear Merchandising Manager at Valentino the luxury fashion Italian Brand.

Participating in Paris Fashion Week every season.

Being an independent fashion consultant providing coaching, research and career development for fashion schools, organizations and young independent individuals.

Being an online fashion teacher for Parsons The New School of Designs

[fun]♦I love to sing and I do it pretty well. When I was in high school I participated in every single musical, choir or singing event possible. If it wasn’t for my passion for fashion, I would have definitely tried the music industry.[/fun]

[career]
♦Womenswear Merchandising Manager at Valentino the luxury fashion Italian Brand.

♦Participating in Paris Fashion Week every season.

♦Being an independent fashion consultant providing coaching, research and career development for fashion schools, organizations and young independent individuals.

♦Being an online fashion teacher for Parsons The New School of Designs[/career]

[description] I love my culture, the fact that we are so open and colorful, that we smile, are full of passion, that we enjoy life (most of the time), and that we care about family and friendship, food and tradition…[/description]

3 Comments

  1. Greta /

    I really like this interview, I believe it is important to have a dream in life and fight for it-and it seems you have in total-so proud of you.

    I absolutely love it!
    GB

  2. nandita /

    Truly inspiring..its like reading a motivational book.
    Love the go-getter attitude!
    Nandita, India

  3. YADIS /

    You makes me fell good, I think I can keep my dreams!! Congratulations!!!

    yadira
    Cali-Colombia

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