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Fabusse is a Lebanon-based fashion agency that offers a variety of services to brands and designers aiding them in the promotion of their products and services. The agency offers fashion branding, business development, online and digital marketing services. Founder Ramez Basmaji talks about fashion marketing in the era of social media.
How and when did Fabusse come about. Who were your first few clients and what were the initial projects?
I started Fabusse just a few years ago. But my job as a consultant has been there for more than a decade. I did designing and consultancy at the same time. Most of the people I have worked with in the past (when I was a designer) are still my clients under Fabusse.
How has the fashion marketing and branding industry evolved over the years?
It has evolved a lot. In this generation, where you have to be accessible to everyone, you really need to step up and cope with time. Fashion marketing could be earlier done through shows, media and word of mouth. Now you have to be available on social media and you need to be accessible online.
Where do your major clients for fashion services hail from?
Our clients are mostly from the Middle East and Arab countries. But I already have footprints in India and Europe. In the next few months, we will be expanding to East and Southeast Asia.
What is your area of expertise?
Our expertise is in fashion services and production. If you have seen my website, I did several shoots with Vilaamoon, Hera, Mazen Taleb, etc. And I also work as an agent for designers. I look for possible partners for their business.
How has social media impacted the fashion marketing business? Which brands are running successful social media campaigns?
Accessibility is very important nowadays and social media has played an important role in the industry. It has made the consumer and the product meet in the most easy and convenient way. In the Middle East, there are a lot of upcoming designers utilising social media as a tool to market their designs. But in terms of the global scale, fast fashion companies are still leading. High-end brands have a niche market and they need not focus on social media as their customers go directly straight to their stores.
How much do reviews or endorsements by bloggers and influencers, who have become the new front row at fashion weeks, impact sale?
There is a huge difference between the generations nowadays. Bloggers and influencers directly target followers of the same age as theirs and are active on social networking sites. And yes, you can see a spike of sales, but these are more focused on fast fashion like Forever 21 and H&M and mid-class brands like Pull&Bear and Zara. For the high-end brands, they are more traditional, which works for them as they make sure that they keep a niche market.
What are the top three trends in fashion marketing today?
Social media, online shopping and blogging/vlogging are the top three trends in this industry.
How are fashion businesses harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI)?
I do not consider artificial intelligence as a major game changer in the industry. People will always need people to tell them they look good in a dress.
What does it take to launch a fashion brand?
It entails a lot of responsibilities and hard work. You need to consider the following: in-store branding, shows and reachability. These should be covered under one branding campaign. Of course, you need to sit down first and discuss on how you want to target your customers. It requires a lot of planning. And you also need to tap media outlets to support your campaign. And finally, timing is everything. Launch a campaign when you feel that you cannot be beaten by other brands. The industry is very tough and aggressive nowadays. Snatching customers is very rampant.
How are factors like ethical trading, fair practices, sustainability and craftsmanship shaping the marketing process of fashion brands?
They even out the competition in the industry, which is good. Patterned with how we live our lives (lifestyle), they are good and beneficial to the industry. Consider these as your lawmakers.
Which major brands are you working closely with? What are the challenges you face as a fashion service provider?
I make sure I take good care of all my clients. You have to keep abreast to be ahead of the game.
What do you plan to add to your bag of services?
In the future, I will not only focus on fairs, works and events, I will ensure I move forward, introducing institutions that can help fashion aspirants become successful in the future. I will also introduce new services on my website. (HO)
Published on: 18/08/2018
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