International Women’s Day: Fashion designer Nurita Harith on the essential skills to be a great leader


By Joan Kong

International Women’s Day: Fashion designer Nurita Harith on the essential skills to be a great leader

Nurita Harith is no doubt one of the most prominent faces in the local fashion industry. Having shown her first collection at KLFW back in 2006, her work has always been the epitome of femininity, amped with a hint of masculinity. Fast forward 14 years, the petite designer has proven that she’s one of the names to note not only when it comes to ready-to-wear collections, but bespoke designs as well. In recent years, she’s particularly thriving in the bridalwear segment. In conjunction with International Women’s Day this year, we got in touch with Nurita to get her stand on feminism, and her wishes for the future of fashion.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day for us to highlight and hopefully take notice of how women are now just as influential and have the ability to be just as aggressive in career and in life.

Who is your biggest female influence when it comes to fashion?

I don’t have anyone in specific. Generally, I look up to every female that is charismatic about being in control of their life, especially when it comes to building their career and not giving up.

What do you think is the biggest issue women face today, in fashion, and in the workforce in general?

Many would think women tend to be too emotional in decision-making, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We have more empathy but with more experience, we will grow and have the ability to be fair and strong-minded.

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Clare Waight Keller are both the first woman to lead Dior and Givenchy in 69 and 66 years respectively. What are your thoughts about that?

I feel that as women we have a better understanding of the female body and needs. I love what we’re seeing so far—-what they have been offering while sticking true to the brand’s DNA.

Who is the Nurita Harith woman? And how do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

Our recent pieces have been feminine with an edge—they’re elegant yet pulled together. I want my ladies to feel confident and powerful yet classy.

How has your work evolved since you started your own label?

Our draping skills have definitely become more refined. Aside from that, I’m happy that we’re able to retain the Nurita Harith signature in all the bridal, ready-to-wear and bespoke pieces. Also, we’re definitely more experimental when it comes to our showpieces—they’re sexier but also edgier.

What three skills do you think are essential to be a great leader?

To be able to accept mistakes and move forward with solutions; be clear in your instructions and trust your instinct; be open to new ideas and opinions from others to grow.

What advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career as a fashion designer?

The most important thing is to stay strong as it might be tough emotionally, but with time you will build that strength. Multi-tasking is very much needed, but embrace it as knowledge is power. Lastly, to be hands-on and independent in order for you to learn better and faster, especially when it comes to running a fashion business.

What are some of your wishes for the future of fashion?

I hope there’ll be more female designers in the fashion industry so we can explore what we can offer in both design and business.

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