Ariana de Toro Harten

Ariana is studying Executive MBA (Fashion). Before her relocating to London, Ariana was an Accounts Executive at Creditex S.A.A, a vertically integrated pima cotton textile and garment factory in Peru.

What are your career aspirations and how do you envisage the EMBA (Fashion) will help you to reach these?

My ultimate aspiration is to build my own company. Having lived in Peru over the last four years, I have come to identify several niche markets and have built very valuable connections, which will help me achieve my goal. However, I felt that I was missing the crucial background of advanced business education in the field, as well as practical experience in a competitive market. The EMBA, coupled with relevant professional experience, will prepare me to successfully establish my own brand. Equipped with industry understanding and knowledge, I plan to return to Peru and pursue my goal.

What attracts you to working in the fashion industry?

The fashion industry is dynamic, creative and crucial to human needs and desires. I believe that the fashion industry combines art and functionality, shaping today’s societies’ moods and identities. Moreover, the fashion industry attracts a variety of professionals, from businessman to designers, manufacturers to agencies - which greatly appeals to me. Finally, the fashion industry has a great influence on the environment that cannot be ignored. Working for an industry that is increasingly taking action to find solutions to provide environmentally sustainable products, motivates me to be involved.

Who in the fashion industry do you most admire, and why?

There are many professionals in the fashion industry who I greatly admire, and I admire them all for different reasons. Some examples are: Amancio Ortega, for creating a fashion emporium and reaching customers worldwide with its process innovation. Natalie Massenet, for being one of the first pioneers in e-retailing of clothing, and succeeding at it. Mario Testino, for taking a big risk and moving to London at a very young age, in order to build a career in fashion photography. Designers such as Chanel for creating timeless and comfort-able designs for women. Other designers I admire are Peruvian designers such as Ana Maria Giulfo, Sergio Dávila, Giuliana Testino or Andrea Llosa, among others. They work everyday to deliver designs that relate to Peruvian culture and craftsmanship, striving to make Peruvian fashion relevant in the industry. These designers also help reinforce the Peruvian identity and unite Peruvians in their common feeling of pride for belonging to a country with many attributes that were not so long ago undervalued by most Peruvians.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement, either personal or career?

I consider my greatest achievement to be my perseverance in both my personal life and career. I have kept to my goal of working in the fashion industry and starting an MBA specialised in it, even if I had to move countries and make choices I had initially not considered. I believe that I still have a long way to go, many obstacles to overcome, and many more achievements to reach.

What are your personal interests?

I’m a reader of novels. I’m also interested in the visual arts, art and photography exhibitions, opera and politics, although I don’t take part in any political activity. I’m also interested in different cultures, their lifestyle and history. Those are the reason I enjoy travelling so much or meeting people from other cultures.