ASSOCIATE SPOTLIGHT SERIES: AN INTERVIEW WITH NIA DAVIS
August 4, 2023
In our Associate Spotlight series, we are highlighting associates across the company who are shaping our community and who embody our Centric Brands philosophy every day.
Meet Nia Davis, Design Manager for the Accessories Division at Centric Brands, London. In her interview, Nia discusses her passion for developing a heightened sense of cultural awareness through creating exceptional products that reflect unique expressions and perspectives as well as understanding the nuances of American and European markets and consumer trends.
Can you tell us about your role and what your team does?
I am a Design Manager overseeing multiple brands, focusing on creating various ranges of handbags each season. My responsibilities encompass research, conceptualization, design and overseeing the production processes. To kickstart the season, my team and I extensively research catwalks and street style trends while embarking on global travels to seek fresh inspiration. We then translate these ideas into sketches and computer-aided design (CAD) models, which we subsequently communicate to our partner factories in the Far East. During the later stages of the process, I actively participate in planning photo shoots and collaborating with the E-commerce team to discuss marketing concepts. This collaboration aims to bring our meticulously crafted products to the market effectively.
Tell us about a professional success story that you’re proud of.
I was thrilled by the diverse and captivating essence of the industry. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with renowned stylists in Hollywood, such as Rob & Mariel and Johnny Wujek. Together, we crafted exclusive handbag collections for their esteemed clientele. One of the remarkable projects I undertook involved designing handbags specifically for Jennifer Lopez’s European line. Being involved in the process of creating a brand that embodied the distinct allure of JLO’s style was an incredibly exhilarating and gratifying experience.
What do you think is the most important skill a successful professional needs to have?
In my line of work, maintaining a holistic perspective is paramount. It involves constantly striving to remain up-to-date and adaptable, anticipating market dynamics and being culturally aware of the latest fashion, art, technology and socio-economic trends. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage this comprehensive understanding to create commercially viable products that resonate with the target audience. And consistently showing kindness towards colleagues and vendors is essential!
What do you enjoy most about working here?
I have a deep appreciation for the diverse team that surrounds me. Together, we collaborate to craft products that fill us with pride. The environment we work in fosters both creativity and innovation as our team continuously seeks out advancements within our industry. We actively pursue avenues to enhance our sustainability efforts and continually devise novel processes that enable us to introduce distinctive products to the market.
How do you generate new ideas, and what were the results achieved?
I find inspiration from various sources, including the arts, architecture, and vintage markets. One of my favorite ways to spark creativity is by exploring flea markets, where I discover vintage samples, fabrics, and jewelry that inspire new ideas. Among the markets I adore, the Navigli Antiques Market in Milan – my favorite city! – stands out. It takes place at the end of every month along the Naviglio Grande, and it fuels my passion for creating distinctiveness in the hardware, prints and overall ambiance of the ranges I’m currently working on.
What are your hobbies?
As a London resident, I find immense pleasure in immersing myself in the city, often traversing its streets on my bicycle. The artistic richness is a constant source of inspiration. I truly enjoy attending the theater, musicals or stage performances. However, my true passion lies in uncovering hidden gems and intriguing artifacts, which fuels my desire to explore antique shops and flea markets for exciting discoveries.