For the seventh year in a row, FAN Courier and Marks launched the design competition #fashionFANatic, addressed to the young designers that want their passion to be translated into business. AdHugger talked with Roxana Magopet, Marketing & PR Manager, FAN Courier and Mia Munteanu, Client Service Director Marks, in to order to find out more about how the campaign has developed during the years and get more insights on the creative thinking and process behind this unconventional advertising campaign.
AdHugger: How did the idea of the project start?
Mia Munteanu: We received a typical brief from the client: to create the end-of-year promotional materials, which were to reach the FAN Courier clients throughout the country.
August is the month when the agencies receive this kind of brief from all the clients because it’s one of the repetitive projects in a company’s activity. We saw this as a challenge, so we stayed away from stock footage and creative concepts from the top of our minds. We proposed a project that speaks to the viewer, to the person that is going to hang a calendar on their wall.
One of the company’s values is to support the new entrepreneurs, and because a calendar can be fashionable, not just a promo you throw somewhere among the ones you receive from other companies, we decided to transform a plain material into an autonomous communication platform.
A calendar and a notebook can become a new communication pillar in the DNA of the company that aligns with its values, but who also launches a competition dedicated to a niche, to a growing community. This is how the first competition, which supports and rewards the young designers at the beginning of their careers, was born: www.fashionFANatic.ro
AdHugger: How did it develop from one edition to the other and why?
Mia Munteanu: The first year was also the most difficult one, we had to break the ice and we came to understand that you couldn’t win the hearts of the community in just one edition. We thought we could talk results only after successfully completing the 3 years of constant involvement.
Surprisingly, the results came up immediately, which only confirmed the fact that we were on the right track. Looking back I tend to believe that the ones who mattered most were the partners we teamed up with. We evolved next to them, but of course #fashionFANatic is coordinated and developed by the same team that created it. Of course, the collaborators are always different, but the core team was always the same.
At the beginning, in 2012, with the help of a jury, we chose designers who made a difference in the community, we contacted them and proposed to team up and launch new collections. We actually offered them our support, so that they would enjoy national exposure and the resources they needed to reach their goals. In the first two years we did not organize a public competition, but we selected designers that we followed and appreciated in their professional ascent. In the 3rd year we decided to open the doors to everyone, so we launched the www.fashionfanatic.ro platform (in the “Previous Editions” category you can see the projects we accomplished throughout these 6 years).
The FashionFANatic project started with a small team, but today we are happy to announce that we work with the best people in the industry, from fashion stylists to Romanian designers, fashion editors and great production teams. We have between 50 and 70 new entries every year (which is a lot, if we think about the number of designers who can bring their own investments in creating a new collection). Every year it becomes more and more difficult to decide for one Designer of the Year, because the projects keep getting better.
AdHugger: What brings 2018 special?
Roxana Magopet: 2018 means a great step forward, it is the first year in which we select 3 designers, not just one, and it is the first year when FAN Courier will support their business with a number of free deliveries. This year we have 1 grand prize and 2 special prizes. The 1st prize will have a professional photo session organized by us and Cosmin Gogu’s team, and a fashion show 100% coordinated by the Marks team. The 2 special prizes consist of the opportunity to create a new collection that they will present at the launch in winter, and from here we can talk about tripling our communication and organizing resources.
It is the first year in which we support the attendance of special fairs, so that the designers can become real entrepreneurs even after the competition is over. Even if this campaign has a limited time for communication, the effects and our involvement unfold throughout a whole year.
AdHugger: What does talent mean to you and why?
Mia Munteanu: Work, vision, creativity. Talent is a canvas with a work-in-progress sign, we support and give awards to designers who have the potential to continue their work in the industry. We value the vision of the people who have the potential to continue working in the industry; we value the vision of those who have the courage to bring their sketches to a new reality, of those who create spectacular collections. It’s about the people who step away from conventions and from the limits of their working boards. For us, this talent bears the names of the 3 designers who won the 2018 competition: Ghencea Alexandru, Ozana Niculae, Ionut Piscureanu.
AdHugger: How do you cultivate it?
Mia Munteanu: In the jury process, although we only had one prize to offer, we decided to give awards to 3 designers. We noticed the talent of the new graduates and decided to support them, even if this decision meant reorganizing our resources. Therefore, this year, within the December fashion show, we will present 3 designers with 3 new collections, because the winners are challenged by the #FashionFANatic team to create a new collection which they will present for the first time. The best way to cultivate and to grow the new and talented designers is to constantly get out of the comfort zone, it is the only way to evolve.
AdHugger: How are you choosing the partners for the project?
Roxana Magopet: We work only with the best creative people this city has to offer. They are hard working people, known as real professionals in their field. Because this is the only way to grow, by being constantly surrounded by better people, visionary people, people who are more creative than us.
We came to understand that the success of this project lies in the collaboration between creative minds that see things in a completely new light. Laura Calin, the founder of the V for Vintage community, Rovena Andrei, fashion stylist for A List Magazine and one of the professionals who signed editorials in all the major Romanian lifestyle and fashion publications. Cosmin Gogu, a photographer who is experienced in the world of fashion editorials, in his portfolio you will find projects from all over the world. Amir Dobos, stylist and designer for projects signed with Le Monde, GQ Brazil, Beau Monde, currently working as Fashion Director for Cosmopolitan. These are just a few of the people who make up the 2018 FashionFANatic team.
AdHugger: What are your expectations from this year’s edition and why?
Mia Munteanu: I think it’s important to talk about expectations that we have behind the stage, apart from the results and other indicators of success. The expectations are heading towards us, towards the team that is constantly working on developing this project. What is the impact in the community? How can we help the future generations? How is our involvement going to look like from now on? How can we help designers transform their passion into business? And most important, how can we support them in their development? This year will be the first in which we will document the work behind their collections, and subsequently transform it into a newsfeed for the general audience.
AdHugger: How important is the communication campaign in the mix?
Roxana Magopet: For us to be the voice of designers, someone has to be our voice. During our promotional campaign, our and everybody else’s newsfeed turns into a loudspeaker. The team behind the fashionFANatic team reached a number of 30 people constantly connected. Beyond the classic brand mediums (Facebook, Instagram, Online Campaigns), we have to mention the alternative communication channels, like our own social media walls, and the offline word of mouth.