MM in Action: Meet Anila
March 20, 2015
At MM.LaFleur, we’re all for celebrating the women who inspire us. But the truth is: We don’t have to look much further than our own office to tap into a network of amazingly talented (funny, outspoken, creative, collaborative, occasionally hyper) women. And because many of our customers and readers are curious to know the people behind our brand, we thought it was high time to introduce them.
Today, we get to know the brilliant Anila Akram. One of our resident “realists,” she’s also an amazing cook who has been known to wine-and-dine the entire MM team.
Oh hey, Anila. Where are you from?
Pakistan, then Toronto.
What are you currently listening to?
“Serial.” Don’t tell me how it ends!
Truth: You know your way around a spreadsheet and you’re always super busy. What are you actually up to at work?
I’m the Director of Planning and Production, which is a data-intensive, operational role. I’m either on Excel working on inventory forecasts, collaborating with the design team to plan our next collection launch, or strategizing with our factories to improve our supply chain.
Those are some sweet sneakers. Tell us about how you like to dress for work.
I like to balance ease with luxury. To avoid looking sloppy, I invest in natural materials that feel luxurious to the touch. But sometimes, being too put together actually makes me feel less distinguished and poised. My goal is to look confident and powerful by dressing in a somewhat casual, tousled way.
Tell us about this look.
I like strange proportions, awkward lengths, and layers that tell a story. I tend to prefer separates so that I can get creative with styling, and I love what our designer Miyako creates—the lengths and proportions are thoughtfully edgy. I can throw on my oversized Morandi and angular Chelsea skirt, and I’ll feel proper and fashion-forward at the same time. MM pieces are luxurious but neutral—so I can use them as a base to create looks that feel like “me.”
What’s the best career advice you’ve gotten?
When I started my career, my former manager told me: “Always aspire to be the smartest person in the room, but don’t ever get there. If you get close to the target, invite smarter people—or find a different room.”
Happiness is… pure, genuine human connections.
Certainty… is overrated.
Silence… is underrated.
Words to live by? Even if you agree with the answer, question it.
What do you love about working at MM?
Given that we’re a startup, I am really passionate about the potential and the growth. But MM is more than just a startup. There is something really beautiful about striving for excellence in uncharted territory with your “family.”
Thanks, Anila! You are a delight.
Photos by Frances F. Denny