WOMEN OF MARLOW | Amber Baker
I’m a working mama of one, wife to a very special man, and the Editor-in-chief of Remix Magazine, a fashion and lifestyle magazine and platform. I wanted to be a magazine editor ever since intermediate school, when we would read front to back - and particularly the sealed sections of Cosmo - at the library (before the conservative librarian realised and started ripping them out). This was before social media and phones... I thought magazines were the most magical form of escapism. I ended up going to Whitecliffe School of Art to do photography, before pivoting and finishing a Bachelor degree, majoring in media and marketing, and then starting my own e-commerce fashion business - I realised very quickly numbers were NOT my thing, but my love of brand building, creativity and fashion ran strong. I ended up at Creme magazine as Deputy Editor, after insisting I could do more than intern (shout out to Alice O'Connell for believing in me!) and then Editor of Renovate Magazine. All those separate eras lead to the perfect storm of skills for stepping up and managing New Zealand’s longest running fashion & lifestyle magazine Remix.
What does the first hour of your workday look like?
I wake up just before my 14 month old does, around 6.30am, so I can do a quick scroll of emails and socials to see if there’s anything pressing to address with clients or cover as news on Remix that day. P.S Sorry to anyone that receives that early morning ‘ping’ from me. Then while my husband vanishes out the door I feed Chloe before speed-showering while she bangs on the glass door demanding sing a longs. The next 30 minutes consists of choosing the day’s outfit (being a mama, I really enjoy planning out work fits now) before attempting to do my makeup on the floor with sticky little hands grabbing every beauty product. Then it’s time to hit the bridge traffic bound for Remix HQ.
I'm sure you always have people saying that being an editor of a magazine sounds like a dream job... What's your favourite part of your work and what is the most challenging?
Do you know what, it actually is. I love so many aspects, but my favourite part is probably the variety from week to week. We work in quarters, so obviously each seasonal mag deadline gets hectic, but during each quarter we have different schedules from client meetings, editorial fashion shoots, international celebrity cover shoots, production of really clever talent campaigns and videos, working with epic people, overseas work trips and of course reviewing trending fashion and pop culture for a living! The most challenging part (aside from print deadlines) is now that I’m a mama I feel like my mental load is never-ending. I never minded not switching off after hours pre-baby, but it can get challenging managing big projects and responding to emails or client calls when you’re in the middle of reenacting Moana to keep a sick toddler distracted.
Do you have a go-to outfit or signature daily style that makes you feel most confident?
I love an oversized shirt and tailored pants or flares. Blazers and trench coats are so easy to whack on over any outfit and immediately elevate anything in my ‘drobe. I like to power-dress for work (it’s a mindset thing and it really works) mixing bright colours with blacks, often leather, statement shoes and accessories. Always a bit of high-low dressing by combining my designer items with more lifestyle/street wear!
Who are your style icons?
I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram and I find incredible style icons on the daily. I follow the likes of @miss_sarahlew for power dressing, @ninasandbech for those brave ‘look at me’ moments, and @pernilleteisbaek for everyday.
What Marlow pieces are you currently loving?
I am super obsessed with the Marlow Focus Pant (they’re the mini front split flares) have been wearing them A LOT. I’m also living in my Aurora Cargo Pants which can be cinched at the base or left loose, great for mixing up with different statement shoes. The Vacation Shirt is also a classic staple on repeat with leather pants, the Focus pants or even a cute skirt and knee high boots.
What is your greatest strength in your role as an editor?
You’d assume it would be writing, organisation or grammar skills, right? Which I’m OK at, of course... you'd hope... but that’s not really what I see as most important being an editor. You sit as the conglomerate of so many things but I’d like to think my strength is my people skills. I deal with so many people everyday, from managing the Remix team, client advertisers and creatives, to local KOL, A-list celebrities and everyday interviewees from all walks of life. It takes a certain energy to jump in and out of different conversations and environments but I enjoy it all!
Describe what success means to you.
Success means something different to me now than it did a few years ago. I used to think the formulaic things, like job title and climbing the industry ladder with unrelenting respect of those around me, a gram-worthy home, a TDF wardrobe, and of course, hard earned money in the bank. Now success means finding happiness and balance over all the things I Iove in life. It means a happy child, happy husband, happy friends and family, a happy community, as well as a happy me. And that means taking care of the aforementioned first, as well as nurturing the things I enjoy - which of course, does include my work. It doesn’t mean I don’t value those traditional markers of success mentioned earlier. They’re still present - years of societal conditioning has made sure of that - but I think having achieved what I have so far has let me relax a little into success meaning the smaller things and positive contributions to the world - not just the rat race.
You can shop all of Amber's looks in store or online now.