Actually international creative consultant specialized in fashion, public relations and global development, Muriel Piaser is best known for her important role in the creation of « The Box », an extension of the Paris Fashion Week’s show « Who’s next » tradeshow, as well as her position at Prêt-à-Porter Paris trade-show as Director of Exhibitions.
Meeting with this professional passionate by her profession and the fashion world
What’s your background?
I graduated from EFAP in 1994 and have subsequently worked in public relations with major fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Atsuro Tayama, and Torrente Haute Couture. I held a long time in that profession thanks to poise and passion, but I had new opportunities that allowed me to exploit new unknown grounds!
In 1998, I joined “Who’s Next” show as sales manager where I created a “fresh” universe dedicated to young designers. Shortly after I became Exhibitions Director for the Ready-to-Wear Paris in Paris, but also in Tokyo and New York until 2011.
I launched in 2012 my own consulting business by offering services to international fashion brands and Councils of fashion. I took part in many Parisian and international fashion shows.
Why did you choose to create your own business?
After working and gaining experience for 15 years in shows and exhibitions, I decided to launch my company to leverage my expertise for brands, shows but also fashion institutions. I mainly focus on buyers’ proposal missions but also brand’s coaching. My strength in this business is international relations in B2B (Business to Business).
In what context has the partnership with Dubai Fashion Forward been done?
I met the Lebanese designer, Rula Galayini at the MFP, who was laureate last year. It turns out that her husband is co-founder of Fashion Forward. So I did a conference there in November and have been offered to work with them for a buyer’s consulting mission to help grow their reputation internationally. I then brought six international buyers who came from concept stores or department stores. But I also assist designers to help them expand internationally, a goal that, in my opinion, has become today crucial for a brand.
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What’s your vision about fashion and designers from the Middle East? How do you evaluate the attractiveness of this region?
I think that they are turned to international and modern fashion and not only focused on their own culture. There is of course a real footprint from their heritage, but the collections are modern and contemporary. For example BEDOUIN that you’re already selling in your e-shop is a brand, which I am sure is capable to integrate international networks.
There is as well a great work on the materials used, on the cuts and prices! They use as well a very advanced marketing that weight in their favour. These are contemporary states of mind. An interesting work has as well been done by some accessories brands that are performing very well. Overall, I think that these designers represent an important platform in the Middle East.
What are the main assets of the region’s fashion designers?
I would say that their main assets are in their own codes, which is providing them a real added value. Today they bring a different approach when fashion tends to be more and more common. This statement is an interesting one in a difficult economic context. Nour Najem, for example, uses the local craft, that is revisited for production purpose. People are currently asking for this kind of change in fashion.
According to you, how can they open up to the international scene?
I would say the main way to go international is to leverage their creative products while respecting the notion of price, which is essential. I would like to highlight as well the importance of smart marketing. It’s now important to focus on the communication and using social networks and working with bloggers. But it is also important to participate to competitions, and fashion events that will gradually make them shine internationally. So it takes time of course, but it’s a very important approach. We must go beyond this difficult current system and think “smart fashion”.
Which designers do you know? Do you work with some of them?
I currently work with Rula Galayini for its bag collections. But I also work with MADISO, a jewellery brand. I don’t work at the moment with ready-to-wear brands, even if my favourite ones are Bedouin and Taller Marmo who have a great talent.
We have also recently worked via Fashion Forward with Salta, a Kazakhstan’s brand with a boho-chic style that will be covered by several department stores. The goal of Fashion Forward is to make these designers travel and promote them through but also to promote through the organisation of professional conferences that are very profitable to these designers.