Emirates Woman - - FASH­ION FILE - Natalie King­ham

speak to our fash­ion-pi­o­neer­ing cus­tomer to brands that will speak to our purist cus­tomer, for ex­am­ple a suc­cess­ful brand could be a min­i­mal T-shirt brand where the cut is fan­tas­tic and the fab­ri­ca­tions are amaz­ing.

What is the key value of The In­no­va­tors Pro­gramme? I think over­all, each de­signer will re­ceive ro­bust sup­port from MATCHESFAS­HION across the business in­clud­ing buy­ing, PR, mar­ket­ing and so­cial. I think know­ing that they have this sup­port over the course of a year means that they can plan ahead and will al­low them to have more fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity. As part of the year long pro­gramme we will be giv­ing each brand a lot more vis­i­bil­ity so that their story, ethos and what they stand for can re­ally be con­veyed to our cus­tomer so that they un­der­stand the brand and want to in­vest in a brand of the fu­ture. We will also of­fer men­tor­ship over the year in a very or­ganic way de­pend­ing on what they need; it will be very per­son­alised to them.

What have been the big­gest chal­lenges for young brands dur­ing the global pan­demic?

Fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity is prob­a­bly one of the big­gest chal­lenges these brands have had to face dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. Younger brands do have the op­por­tu­nity (be­cause they are small) to be more flex­i­ble and ag­ile but like ev­ery­one dur­ing this pan­demic plan­ning for the long term when the short term is so un­pre­dictable is chal­leng­ing. This is one of the rea­sons that we set up this pro­gramme for next year, to help fu­ture­proof some of the amaz­ing young tal­ent out there.

What is the bravest de­ci­sion you have made in your ca­reer?

I think it is brave to pick up new brands, you never know how the cus­tomer will re­act so it is im­por­tant to re­ally be­lieve in the de­signer and in the prod­uct. It is great when it does re­ally res­onate with the cus­tomer and a high­light for me would have to be when we launched Vete­ments, we be­lieved in so much, so it was fan­tas­tic to see it be­come such a suc­cess story.

Michael Halpern – Founder & De­signer, Halpern

What is the great­est value of The In­no­va­tors Pro­gramme?

Be­ing a part of The In­no­va­tors Pro­gramme is in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing! At Halpern, I have worked with MATCHESFAS­HION from our first sea­son, and we even did a re­ally in­cred­i­ble trip to Dubai with them to be­gin to in­tro­duce Halpern to the cus­tomers there. It was such a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence and be­ing a part of this pro­gramme will strengthen our re­la­tion­ship even more. Our brand will ben­e­fit from the amaz­ing amount of ex­po­sure on the site with all of the bril­liantly added mar­ket­ing that goes into a project like this.

Did this sup­port give you the con­fi­dence to take Halpern to the next level?

I think any store that in­vests in you will help take it to the next level. Whether that in­vest­ment comes in the form of a project like the in­no­va­tors, deep­en­ing the buy or even build­ing up face time with you from a business per­spec­tive.

How do you bal­ance the cre­ative and the business el­e­ments of grow­ing a brand?

I think for any cre­ative per­son run­ning a business can be daunt­ing in the be­gin­ning. At the end of the day, I am a clas­si­cally trained fash

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