Middle East fashion designers need business skills to build brands, says Murad

Zuhair Murad, Lebanese designer to the stars, said a knack for business is essential when building a fashion brand
Middle East fashion designers need business skills to build brands, says Murad
Zuhair Murad, Lebanese designer to the stars.
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 09 Oct 2018 08:43 AM

Fashion designers in the Middle East lack the business knowledge needed to build a successful brand, according to globally recognised fashion designer Zuhair Murad.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Murad said business skills are equally important as creative abilities when it comes to the world of fashion.

“There are so many talented designers, but few of them succeed because they need someone to really handle the business and commercial side. They need someone to help them [in that area], otherwise it’s impossible,” he said.

The Lebanese designer is a regular name on the red carpet, often dressing the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Halle Barry, Nicole Kidman and Celine Dion.

Despite lacking a financial background, Murad credits his success to a natural knack for business.

“I’m lucky because I have both sides - business and artistic. This really helped me a lot,” he said.

Murad is not alone in his views, however. Last year, prominent fashion designer Elie Saab, another red carpet favourite, told Arabian Business that commerciality is essential when setting up a business.

“You have to present your talent in a commercial way, because if the commerciality is not good, you won’t be able to continue doing what you like to do. This is important for every young person, not just those in fashion,” Saab said.

“From day one, I started out in fashion to make money. That is my mentality. I don’t like to do something for nothing, and if I’m here now, it’s because I have a business mind. If you don’t think this way, how will you make it?” he added.

The estimated size of the global fashion industry is approximately $2.4 trillion, while the size of the UAE’s modest clothing sector alone is expected to be worth $484 billion by 2019, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.

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