Meet akiko takashima – Founder of Strategy Luxe

Our first meeting was over the phone when I was at Stella McCartney Milan commercial office via Forcella in Milan January 2010. I only turned 30 few months back, a sassy bossy and strong confident individual, so was she, Akiko! I requested to have the global franchisee calendar and wanted to know how she plan to work with me in order to maximise our APAC and Middle East potential, back then, we only handful of accounts and needing a big lift, one of the reason they hired me and I was beyond excited to move myself from London to Milan, spoke zero Italian and left my boyfriend who I dated for about 10 months (now my husband) I didn’t see the relationship had any potential but career was my everything. SO WAS Akiko, super determined, extremely hard-working, and probably the highest EQ lady I ever came across.

Back to this super woman, on the phone she was cheerful, polite and simply said she would get back to me when she sees me in few weeks time. Selling market started, Akiko arrived, I met her at the back of the showroom, she was frantically directing shooting with photographer and super model Magdalena Frackowiak, and on my desk there was a file that was more than 2 inches thick – the brand bible (!!) contained all the marketing, communication, visuals manuals of do’s and don’t, from staff uniform to makeup to how the nails should be, I was SO excited! By then I had never worked with anyone who got exactly what I requested and even better, but Akiko did.

I am so honoured to speak to my wonderful friend and asked about her career, highlight, how she eventually became a global communication strategist and now running her very successful consultancy and expanding during this pandemic.

HSBC is always the best adverts, when you come off the plane, you see their boards on those tunnels, red in one country may be celebration, and in another country might mean danger, for me I love the psychology between different cultures, how you communicate with different markets beyond language.

Akiko in the interview expressed her passion on brand communication in various markets.

Akiko’s career did not start in fashion but music artists management, she studied business management in marketing without knowing how wide fashion industry is, but entering music industry and managing artists including NSnyc, Justin Timberlake and Britney, Arron Carter, she wasn’t starstrucked because her heart belongs to fashion. She worked her way up and because she had such big understanding of cultural differences between each continent after living in Japan, Europe and US it made her understand the languages of marketing easy. She then entered Arcadia, one of the largest private owned retailer in Europe at the time with over 10 brands including TopShop, TopMan and total over 3500 + stores, Akiko mastered her globalisation in marketing – how to speak the same language in in different parts of the world when it comes to brand communication. Later on she moved to Stella McCartney where we met, we worked, travelled and managed projects together and grew our career together, with Akiko, I see the importance of commercial team and marketing work hand in hand, which many brand failed due to internal competitions. I increased my business across APAC and Middle East 5 fold in that 3 years, I don’t think it was possible without her being to deliver my brand training book, the events, the details, flew with me to countless cities. I recalled once we went to Abu Dhabi landed midnight, by the time when we got out from the airport and to the hotel, it was already 2.30 or 3am, and by 8am Akiko was casting models and she finalised all details from makeup to waiters, food (must be vegetarian and on brand) and all the show looks by 6pm early evening, for 8pm trunk show in the most prestige Emirates Palace, all details were impeccable; after the event, we had midnight dinner at Hakkasan while we celebrated the success and reviewing the result at the same time.

When I say working hand in hand is as commercial lead, we need to understand what our markets want and what product works, listen to the buyers and consumers, then we plan action, whilst we plan the action, that’s the key to work with your marketing team, and how I want to have the event or a campaign delivered in a way I want the return investment is key, that is when Akiko is brilliant, she didn’t waste money but helped the business to spend the correct budget and get the sales as how I planned. (free lesson to businesses who can’t master this yet)

As her career escalated, naturally Akiko started to plan her next move and that’s how Strategy Luxe is born. Her clients including Dr. Barbara Sturm, MZ Skins, Spotify and more. Check out full interview on My IGTV #MySmartCookie.

A true global trotter and fashion luxury insider, Akiko knows almost everyone and has been to all the best places, but when it comes to 3 basic living standards, she’s back to her original:

Favourite city in the world – London

Favourite food – Japanese, all Japanese food, I can’t pick any dish because that’s like asking a mom to pick her favourite child.

Favourite restaurant – Koya

Akiko Takashima can be contacted via Linkedin and Strategy Luxe official site.

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中文:

我的飛迅(時尚)閨蜜高島晶子

我和晶子小姐第一次的會議以電畫通信,我人在米蘭她在倫敦, 我們還不認識,只知道她是行銷部的經理。 在30歲的我,對事業的要求是非常的高;也對自己的團隊嚴格。我記得那一段通話基本上就是我不斷地要求看年度行銷活動的報告,看各個國家不同的營銷計劃。當時的我們都是工作狂 對於事業的熱情比個人的愛情熱度更高。晶子小姐沒說什麼就是禮貌性上的說我再過幾個禮拜會答覆你(後來聽說她做了很多記錄)。沒多久在米蘭時裝週的一個週末我終於見到了高島京子,我們沒有打招呼,因為AKIKO非常的專心的在和攝影師策劃2010秋冬目錄,當日拍當時的波蘭名模Magdalena Frackowiak。我記得AKIKO穿著一個Stella McCartney的連身裝還有3吋高的高跟鞋跟攝影師調協怎麼拍Magdalena。我並沒有打擾他們,靜靜地回到我的辦公桌就看到了一份很大的資料,大約五六公分厚,就是我要求的全球的行銷營銷計劃!! 我當時非常的興奮,因為從來沒有跟任何這麼聰明的同事,我要求的東西他們可以完全的了解,達到我心中計畫而且完成得很棒。

所以我非常的開心這次可以訪問到我這位時尚閨蜜,很厲害的時尚品牌行銷家-高島晶子。

她的事業並不是從時尚開始反而是從音樂新手管理,甚至幫過Nsync Justin Timberlake 小甜甜布蘭妮等人排裡時間。而現在成為炙手可熱的marketing consultant.

她一路走高,因為她在日本,歐洲和美國生活後對兩大洲之間的文化差異有如此深刻的了解,這使她易於理解營銷語言。然後,她進入了當時歐洲最大的私人零售商之一的阿卡迪亞(Arcadia),經營著包括TopShop,TopMan和超過3500多家門店在內的10多個品牌。Akiko掌握了營銷的全球化-如何在不同地區使用相同的語言品牌傳播的世界。後來她到了Stella McCartney,在這裡與我們會面,我們一起工作,旅行和管理,並與Akiko一起發展了我們的職業生涯。我發現商業團隊和營銷工作的重要性並存,許多品牌由於內部競爭而失敗了。 在Stella McCartney的三年中,我在亞太地區和中東的業務增長了五倍,我認為沒有她的幫助,我不可能提供我的品牌培訓,活動,細節,例如並隨我一起去阿布扎比,我記得當我們午夜到達阿布扎比時,等我們從機場和酒店下車時,已經是2.30或凌晨3點了,到了早上8點,晶子以在cast模特兒,從化妝到服務員的所有細節,食物細節(必須是素食和Stella branded)都是晶子確定,並且所有演出必須在傍晚6點之前完成,而在最負盛名的阿聯酋皇宮的8點後備箱秀中,所有細節都是無懈可擊的;活動結束後,我們在Hakkasan舉行了午夜晚餐,同時慶祝成功並同時審查了結果。

當我說攜手合作是商業領先時,我們需要了解我們的市場需求和產品的作用,聽取買家和消費者的意見,然後我們計劃行動,同時我們計劃行動,這就是與您合作的關鍵營銷團隊,以及我如何以希望獲得回報的方式進行活動或競選活動是關鍵,也就是說,當Akiko表現出色時,她沒有浪費錢,而是幫助企業花費了正確的預算並獲得了按我的計劃進行銷售。 (向尚無法掌握這一點的企業免費提供技巧)

隨著事業的發展,明子自然會開始計劃下一步行動,這就是Strategy Luxe的誕生方式。她的客戶包括Barbara Sturm博士,MZ Skins,Spotify等。在My IGTV #MySmartCookie上查看完整的採訪。

她全球跑遍又是時尚奢華內幕人士,幾乎每個人都認識,並且去過所有最好的地方,但是當涉及到3種基本生活水平時,AKIKO又回到了原來的樣子:

最愛的城市:倫敦

最愛的美食:所有的日式料理

最喜歡的餐廳:KOYA

Enjoy reading my stories? Don’t forget to follow me on instagram for more daily inspirations, tips and contents. You can also subscribe my blog. Thank you x

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