Since 1999, Eyad Mashat has been running Femi9, an evening wear line for women between the ages of 18-40 that ranked at #15 on the Saudi Fast Growth 100 list 2010, with a growth rate of almost 300%. When it first started, the company was self-funded and had a staff of 6 working in Riyadh. Today, the company has more than 55 stores across the Middle East staffed by over 300 employees, with a headquarters in Jeddah and its first international office opening in Switzerland.
Launched as the flagship brand of Saudi-based parent company FAD International, femi9 was founded with the aim to close the gap Mr. Mashat noticed between western and Middle Eastern fashion. The concept was simply to serve high-end fashion with a Middle Eastern touch, to satisfy female costumers in the region. This formula proved to be exceptionally successful, especially in the metro launch cities of Jeddah, Madina, and Makkah. Demand quickly grew, fueling the company’s expansion throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Recently, Wamda contributor Ahmad Majid chatted with Mohiuddin, the marketing manager at FAD International, about the customer base he’s targeting, how he uses social media marketing to promote the brand, and the trends in fashion in the Middle East, as well as the various charity initiatives Fad International sponsors, such as the Women Appreciation Month in Saudi Arabia.
When it comes to what entrepreneurs in fashion need today in
Saudi, “They need to be courageous, and they need to have a strong
will,” says Mohiuddin. “There is a lot of opportunity in the market
that is still unexplored.”