THE LUX­U­RI­OUS CRU­CIBLE

U Magazine - - INTERVIEW - By Leen Am­mouri

For over 10 years, NK Lux­ury Con­sul­tancy has been at the fore­front of fash­ion, cos­met­ics and lifestyle brand­ing across the Mid­dle Eastern mar­ket, nur­tur­ing tal­ents of all sorts to achieve great­ness.

Na­ri­mane Kurdi is the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of NK Lux­ury Con­sul­tancy. A French/le­banese na­tional and born in the UAE, she brings to­gether more than a decade of valu­able advertising, brand and media ex­pe­ri­ence. This di­ver­sity of back­ground and range of ex­pe­ri­ences have en­abled her to im­ple­ment di­verse brand and strat­egy de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives with world-lead­ing multi­na­tional la­bels. Her ex­ten­sive fa­mil­iar­ity with in­ter­na­tional in­flu­encers and trend­set­ters in fash­ion, jew­elry, art, cos­met­ics and lifestyle makes her adept at ne­go­ti­at­ing strate­gic part­ner­ships with brands and re­tail­ers. She as­so­ci­ates with pres­ti­gious names such as key brands in the Ker­ing group: Alexan­der Mcqueen, Ar­mani, Bottega Veneta, Saint Lau­rent, Ba­len­ci­aga, Jimmy Choo and Stella Mccart­ney. As a brand ad­vo­cate, Na­ri­mane was se­lected by in­ter­na­tional brands such as Cartier and Chris­tian Louboutin to be fea­tured in fash­ion cam­paigns in Emi­rates Woman and Harper’s Bazaar. As a men­tor and re­gional sup­porter of emerg­ing tal­ent, she is of­ten se­lected as fash­ion in­flu­encer for photo shoots for publi­ca­tions such as Grazia Mid­dle East, Style.com/ara­bia and Emi­rates Woman. Of­ten dressed by re­gional re­tail­ers such as Bou­tique 1, Ga­leries Lafayette, S*auce and the car­tel. Na­ri­mane was also fea­tured in a weekly col­umn for OK! Mid­dle East on lux­ury trends and has re­viewed Paris Fash­ion Week and New York Fash­ion Week in Gheir.com. A distin­guished pre­sen­ter, Na­ri­mane gives key­note speeches on mar­ket in­sights and lux­ury brand­ing through col­lab­o­ra­tions with French, Swedish, Span­ish and Aus­tralian coun­cils. What is NK Lux­ury Con­sul­tancy & Ser­vices about? NK Lux­ury Con­sul­tancy (NKLC) is a bou­tique con­sult­ing house based in Dubai De­sign Dis­trict ded­i­cated to help­ing es­tab­lished in­ter­na­tional lux­ury lifestyle brands cre­ate pres­ence in Dubai and the GCC. NKLC ad­vises com­pa­nies on their long-term brand strat­egy, de­vel­op­ing near-term tac­ti­cal plan­ning for ex­e­cu­tion across com­mu­ni­ca­tions, prod­ucts and re­tail touch points. As part of our on­go­ing com­mit­ment to the in­dus­try, NKLC es­tab­lished a men­tor­ship pro­gram ded­i­cated to sup­port­ing emerg­ing brands grow from a prod­uct into a busi­ness. How do you dif­fer from other agen­cies? What can you tell us about your unique ap­proach to brand-build­ing? The ‘brand’ must be a soul mate. The most ef­fec­tive brands cap­ture your at­ten­tion with their look, win you over with their unique per­son­al­ity, im­press you with their her­itage and breed­ing, get un­der your skin with their mag­netism, work their way to your heart with their warmth and seal your loy­alty with theirs. Cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful and en­dur­ing lux­ury brand is about forg­ing a deep emo­tional bond with the con­sumer. The lux­ury brand must aim to be­come a soul mate. When you have a one-to-one re­la­tion­ship, you don’t need to ‘brand’ your­self, you al­ready ex­ist in the mind and hope­fully, heart of the other. You are unique to your client and your client is unique to you. The lux­ury brand story is more about the artist, their cre­ative uni­verse, their be­liefs and val­ues, as well as per­haps tech­nique, ma­te­ri­als and all the emo­tional touch-points that the work may evoke. Lux­ury brands need to rec­og­nize that they have to en­gage with con­sumers on a more per­sonal, emo­tional, as well as func­tional level, in or­der to suc­ceed in to­day’s mar­ket­place, be­cause sooner or later, they will move on and leave your brand be­hind. As with hu­man re­la­tion­ships, you need to build shared ex­pe­ri­ences with the other, over time. It’s about build­ing sto­ries, not telling sto­ries. Who are some of your clients? We work with emerg­ing and es­tab­lished in­ter­na­tional fash­ion and con­sumer lux­ury brands, de­sign­ers, re­tail­ers, art as­so­ci­a­tions and lux­ury as­so­ci­a­tions.

ho­tog­ra­phy trong­man arah osh N F & S avid D y b P

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