Product Executive, Triumph International, 2008
Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication) Curtin University
To survive in this industry, you need to have a strong passion for the brand you are representing. You need to be daring and believe in yourself.
27 November 2008
Written by Christine Chan
Working in the fashion industry has its highs and lows. Stephenie Siew, who heads sales, advertising and promotions of a fashion line under the Malaysian arm of renowned international undergarment brand Triumph, can certainly attest to its truths.
Stephenie is the woman behind the branding and positioning of Valisere, Triumph’s luxury lingerie line. As the brains working behind the brand, the responsibility of ensuring that Valisere becomes an established name in the local lingerie market falls entirely on her shoulders.
“My time in Limkokwing University has immensely helped in my career today. In my line of work, I have to meet various clients and different kinds of people on a daily basis, so making effective communication is a key factor in the effectiveness of my pitches,” Stephenie explains.
My time in Limkokwing University has immensely helped in my career today. In my line of work, I have to meet various clients and different kinds of people on a daily basis, so making effective communication is a key factor in the effectiveness of my pitches.
“The University groomed me in my language proficiency and sharpened my writing and presentation skills,” said Stephenie, who graduated from the university’s Mass Communications programme in 2004. “I’ve had a lecturer who was working as deejay in one of Malaysia’s top radio stations, a lecturer who was a television broadcaster, and even directors of multinational organizations.”
Stephenie, who managed and headed the launch of Valisere in 2007, is now enjoying the fruits of her labour. Valisere, which is a de-masking and masking of international French brand Pour Moi, is now occupying the shelves of major departmental stores across the country with its exclusive designs.
It was the result of countless hours of demand and sales planning, ensuring constant stock supply and making contacts via attending international fashion shows, all done out of a sense of dedication to the establishment of the Valisere brand name in the market.
It is a job not completely without its perks. At the time of interview, Stephenie has just gotten back from attending a range of meetings and fashion shows in Macau.
“To survive in this industry, you need to have a strong passion for the brand you are representing. You need to be daring and believe in yourself,” she said, adding that she felt that representing Valisere was perfect for her.
Before that, Stephenie was employed by Nestle as a brand executive, a job that she had acquired immediately upon graduation. There, Stephenie was involved in managing the advertising and promotions budget planning, handling the brand’s annual plans, projecting and managing sales and turnovers, and ensuring profitable growth along with a healthy product mix for the company.
“One of the challenges that you might face in this line of work is people management, because it is crucial that you meet the expectations of your boss, company and client,” Stephenie said, while ensuring that these are skills that one would develop over time.
On the subject of the economic crisis and its impact on sales, Stephenie confidently says that there are no signs of slowdown in the market as Valisere is catered for the higher end market where income tends to be higher and more stable than others. Believing that success is the ability to be able to find a balance between one’s professional and personal life, Stephenie is also actively involved in social welfare.
To raise funds for charity, Stephenie regularly joins treasure hunt competitions across the country three to four times yearly. One of the most recent treasure hunts that she participated in was the newspaper charity treasure hunt organized by The Sun in 2008.
“If I was a dominant political figure in Malaysia, I would love to further assist social welfare by ensuring that all donations are going to the right people,” said Stephenie.
Looking ahead towards the next five years, Stephenie hopes to join different industries to build her portfolio, such as the confectionary or cosmetic industry. With her love for establishing brands in the market, Limkokwing University is confident that she will do well.