LOADING

Type to search

girl boss: MAREILE OSTHUS, CCMO at THE ICONIC

Nikki Yazxhi

MAREILE OSTHUS, CHIEF CATEGORY MANAGEMENT OFFICER OF FASHION RETAIL JUGGERNAUT, THE ICONIC IS A KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT CREATIVE3, THE AWARDS…
We had the chance to chat with her before the awards to find out more about sustainable fashion and The Iconic Considered


Creative3 is an annual showcase of the country’s creative industries and marks its 10th anniversary with The Awards, a celebration of Australia’s trailblazers and rising stars on 3 October 2019. Following a competitive nomination and selection process, 12 finalists have been announced across four categories with public voting now open to elect winners.

In addition to celebrating the achievements and showcasing the breadth of Australian talent, Mareile is one of the world-leading experts who will share her creative insights.

We asked the super-stylish and talented Mareile the bellamumma questions to find out more about her, and her amazing work at The Iconic…

You, in three words? Energetic, passionate, loving life.

What inspires you? Usually people around me. For me it is easier to relate to someone I work or live with rather than looking up to someone I have never met. My Exec peer group is a great inspiration for me and I’ve learned a lot from them, but my wider team inspires me just as much – they are an incredibly passionate and talented team!

What was your first ever job? Mowing the lawns at my parents house.

What did you want to be ‘when you were little’? I wanted to become an actress, literally from ages 5 to 18…so it took me 13 years to figure out that I am not very talented in front of the camera 😉

How did your career at The Iconic start? I used to work for one of our sister companies back in Europe called Zalando. Zalando is a few years “older” than THE ICONIC and it gave me a lot of experience and insight into how we could create a similar model in Australia and New Zealand. 

How important is sustainable fashion to you? I think about this topic more in a broader sense and not only related to fashion. It is important for me that we, and I mean every single one of us, takes responsibility on how we want to live in both the near future, as well as future years to come. I feel incredibly privileged to work closely with our Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing team – we have such a huge responsibility as a fashion retailer when looking at both our own supply chain, as well as helping to educate our customers on more conscious purchasing decisions. There is no Planet B and we all need to come together as a collective to drive meaningful and actionable change. 

What are the misconceptions about sustainable fashion? Most people think ‘sustainable fashion’ isn’t fashionable and is expensive… together we must debunk the idea that sustainable fashion is expensive, unfashionable and inaccessible. This is one of the key reasons we launched THE ICONIC Considered, which helps customers filter and shop by their personal values. 

How did the The Iconic Considered come about? Considered came about because we saw it as an opportunity to debunk the idea ‘sustainable fashion’ is expensive, unfashionable and inaccessible. We also realised that information about sustainability and sustainable fashion is quite convoluted and further, we felt that brands and businesses weren’t being transparent about their journey with their customers. For us, transparency is a huge part of who we are as a brand, not only because our customers demand it from us, but we as people within the business believe it’s incredibly important value for a modern day company.

“We also think there is a need to make sustainability credentials at the point of sale clearer for customers – sustainability means so many different things and even different things to different people. By breaking things down into the five areas, we can be specific about what something is and what it is not. Education is power and we want to be the enablers of such purchasing power for our customers.”

What has the response been to Considered? Incredible. We started with just over 6,000 SKUs within the Edit (April) and we’re already at over 9.000 to date. We’ve had so many brands reach out to understand how they can be part of the Considered edit (i.e. what changes they need to make in their supply chain), which is exactly the impact we want to have on the wider industry. From a customer point of view, almost 20% of our active customer base has engaged with our Considered edit since launch with this figure growing every day. It’s so rewarding to see our leadership make a true difference and although we’ve made great progress to date, it’s only just the beginning!

Explain your usual day? Every day looks a bit different for me…I wake up in Cronulla close to the beach and use the train to the office to screen my emails plus define my priorities for the day. I usually spend the majority of my day in meetings. We call the Execs of the Iconic the custodians of balance, we all need to make sure that we find the right priorities with our employees, customers, partners and financials in balance. Driving the business with these things in mind keeps me busy during the day. I try to get home before 8 pm so that I can read my 3 beautiful step kids a bedtime story and have dinner with my partner. I hardly ever watch TV or Netflix, so this is usually not part of my day…I favour a glass of wine (or two) with my partner over television.

What ‘makes your day’? Unexpected chocolate on my desk….

Three things in your life you can’t live without? Mentos, margaritas and Post It notes.

4 fave songs on your iPod? Haha, dangerous question. Everyone close to me thinks that I have very bad taste in music. But this is a good one: Solange – Losing You. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal more…

Fave place to escape to? Noosa, the hike to Hells Gate, my favorite hike in Australia thus far.

How do you relax? I am a very extroverted person and the best way for me to recharge my batteries is doing something active or being with my friends. I love going to Barry’s bootcamp or having a BBQ on a sunday in my backyard with my friends and family.

Best piece of life advice you’ve received? The most useful piece of advice I received was basically on day one of my career, and that was: “Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen yourself”. I truly believe that having an idea of what you want to achieve in life (whether you know the answer now or not) is the key driver for all our achievements in the end. The impossible is sometimes possible, you’ve just to have the drive and determination to start somewhere.

What career advice would you give to the Creative3 finalists? The same advice as what I received. 🙂

What will you be doing 5 years time? Luckily I don’t know that yet…none of the things happening in my life I ever expected. Growing up in Germany I never expected myself ending up in Australia…so I can’t wait for what the future brings!

Mareile is talking about the future of fashion, the intersection of technology and what that means for New Retail at the Creative3 Awards… scroll for all the details:

the details:

When: 3 October 2019, 1pm – 6pm
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets: NOW $49 – apply code Creative50 at checkout
Finger-food and drinks provided

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS

Voting in Creative3 The Awards closes on 29 September 2019 (11:59PM AEST).
Winners will be announced at the annual Creative3 event at Brisbane Powerhouse on 3 October 2019 from 1pm – 6pm.