Jewel Tones Beauty caught up with the rather fabulous Simi Lindgren, Fashion Monitor’s Portfolio Commercial Manager, a London born 3rd Generation Nigerian, who at 25 runs a team of 8 and looks flawless doing it …….
What’s a typical work day like for you?
I get to the office at about 8.20am and have my green breakfast juice at my desk, while I look over our sales figures across Fashion and Beauty Monitor, Celebrity Intelligence and Year Ahead UK; catch up on emails and go over meetings for the day. My day is so varied, sales are at the heart of my role and I lead a fantastic team of about 8, but I also work closely with our editors on the bigger picture of making our publications a commercial success. I get to meet lots of people from PRs and brands to media and creative and I love the variety the role brings.
What has been your career highlight so far?
It was certainly the promotion to Commercial Manager of Fashion Monitor in December 2013. I was 24, the youngest in this position and I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform; one of the first things I did was create new processes, work with our editor, directors and publishing director on the re-launch of Fashion Monitor and the launch of Beauty Monitor and work on initiatives such as the Beauty Lounge which runs during LFW at the Mayfair Hotel. All of which has been a great success and led to me being promoted twice into my current role of Portfolio Commercial Manager, overseeing not just Fashion and Beauty Monitor but also Celebrity Intelligence and Year Ahead in the UK.
How did you get into the beauty/fashion industry?
I always wanted to work for a publication, so whilst I was at medical school I wrote into Sophie Goddard who offered me an internship at Glamour magazine; it was that moment which confirmed what I wanted to do. My first break into publishing was on a PC hardware enthusiast magazine, a short stint at the Metro & Evening Standard later, I volunteered as a brand ambassador for Mary Portas’ Living & Giving (Save the Children) where I sourced fashionable donations from brands and PRs to stock in store…it was a fantastic experience liaising with wonderful brands such as Alessandra Rich and 7 for all Mankind.
What advice would you give to someone today, trying to get into the industry?
I would definitely say if you want to get into the industry, be open to all opportunities as you never know where they’ll lead.
What would you tell your 21 year old self- from what you have learnt?
As I get closer to being 26, what I have learnt over the past 5 years is that work has to be about having fun and being happy; I am very demanding boss, a perfectionist with extremely high standards but I believe my team would say that I have a healthy sense of humour and certainly promote the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic.
What are your favourite hair and beauty products, especially for work?
Last year, I went extremely natural with my hair and chopped it all off! I maintain my hair by using Dr.Bronner baby mild castile soap, www.drbronner.co.uk, as my shampoo, which is extremely gentle and follow up with Neal’s Yard Organic Argan oil, www.nealsyardremedies.com, which doubles up as moisturiser not only for my hair during the day but face and body moisturiser at night. With short hair it is all about the eyes so BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 4.0 in ‘The Truth’, www.bareminerals.co.uk, is a staple and depending on my mood I swap between L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara, www.loral-paris.co.uk and Sublime de Chanel infinite length and curl mascara, www.chanel.com. My husband is Swedish and he introduced me to ‘Hudsalva’ which is the best lip balm ever and was originally made for the Swedish and Danish military; so when we are back in Sweden we always buy this in bulk from the apoteket, www.apoteket.se.
I grew up on the skincare philosophy of cleanse, tone, moisturise and SPF so the essentials in my bathroom are Fushi Organic Rosehip Seed Oil Extra Virgin, www.fushi.co.uk, which I moisturise my body with daily; Elemis Pro-Collagen cleansing balm, www.elemis.co.uk, which literally melts the makeup off my face; I make a solution of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, www.brag.com with water to use as my toner and follow up with Aurelia Probiotic Cell revitaliser day moisturiser, www.aureliaskincare.com, which was recently introduced to me as the best thing for my laughter lines, although it has turned out to be a great makeup primer too! I am still on the hunt for the perfect foundation that will suit my multi-tonal combination skin, daily, I rely on Mac NW45 studio-fix, www.maccosmetics.com .
You always rock amazing hairstyles- what do you say to people who don’t think textured, afro hair is executive? Has this ever been an issue for you?
I believe for me, being perceived as having beautiful hair is part of what I have grown up with; myself and many black women included have spent a lot of money on their hair. I have had my hair relaxed, hair extensions and I haven’t received as much positive feedback as when I went really short. It was about being natural and somewhat low maintenance, though the low maintenance aspect isn’t exactly true.
Who is on your beauty speed dial for salons, treatments and hair appointments and why do you love them?
David Davis of ‘The Salon’ in London Bridge, www.thesalon.london has been in charge of my hair for a few years now, from relaxing my hair to shaving it all off, and I have actually booked all of my hair appointments with him a year in advance, as I am so time poor. I do love ‘The Salon’, as it’s a one stop shop for all one’s beauty needs from hair maintenance to pedicures.
Who are your favourite fashion designers and why- what do you typically wear to work?
I have unwittingly created a work uniform which includes a shirt and a midi/pencil skirt combination with either ‘French Sole’ ballet flats or ‘Salvatore Ferragamo’ pumps based on looks I like from Victoria Beckham, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s ‘The Row’ and Rei Kawakubo of ‘Commes des Garcons’. I love reworks of classics by Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel and Diane von Furstenberg and try and make my buying choices timeless, although one day I would love to be cool enough to carry off Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent’s leather looks or be a ‘Celine’ girl who wears sneakers.
Who’s your beauty icon and why?
Just one? I could never pick between Billie Holiday and Donyale Luna, every shot they’re both always so poised and have beautiful exaggerated features which are beguiling. There is also Audrey Hepburn who was a classic beauty.
PHOTO CREDIT: David Nyanzi