Celebrated designers Rizman Nordin and Ruzaini Wan Jamil of Rizman Ruzaini share their tech feed.
1) HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY IMPACTED YOU?
Rizman: The digitisation of things has made everything move faster and more efficiently. If you are developing a marketing strategy, including social media to boost your company’s brand awareness is a no-brainer.
I feel bad about admitting this, but fashion publications are not the only outlet I depend on anymore to get my work noticed.
Digital media has certainly changed the way we maximise our brand presence. It has made our work more accessible and it has given us better control of promotional plans. I think at this point, the ideal technology that excites us from a marketing/branding point is Instagram.
Ruzaini: With everything going mobile it’s easier now to manage our work without outsourcing certain tasks to other people. Also, in the world of glitz and glamour, retouching is inescapable, so applications that help emphasise the beauty of our designs are best.
I’m going a bit off-topic here but if I were given the opportunity to design an app, I would make sure it would be able to detect the sewing pattern of a particular outfit (especially if the design is complex) once a picture is taken. It would definitely come in handy when sourcing for inspiration.
Rizman: Speaking of applications, I love going through my Pinterest board; I can be on it for hours, jumping from one pin to another. I am not very tech-savvy but I still value the benefits of tech tools and applications.
2) TOP REASONS TO BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Rizman: Simple. Customers and supporters of Rizman Ruzaini can reach us easily and follow our activities closely. It’s also one of the ways for the brand to maintain constant engagement with clients and shows that we are still busy designing for them between fashion showcases.
3) HAS IT AFFECTED THE EXCLUSIVITY OF THE FASHION EXPERIENCE?
Ruzaini: Sharing is part of our lifestyle today so there is no reason for us to hold back on letting people take a behind-the-scenes look into the world of Rizman Ruzaini. Sustainability depends on the relationships you build and the effort you put in to maintain your relevance.
Rizman: I think the best way to handle this is by meeting in the middle, where it does not seem like you are unapproachable nor overselling too much. When we engage with people on social media, we are not necessarily looking at the numbers (follower counts or likes).
Since our branding is within our control, we are able to attract targeted customers by curating our posts in such a way that would help us achieve what we want. In that sense, our exclusivity is still being preserved.
4) ARE TRADITIONAL METHODS OF PROMOTING STILL RELEVANT TODAY?
Rizman: Technology may dominate but traditional methods of promoting are no less important. The methods may have evolved over time but the goals are the same - engagement.
As much as you are great at it online, you must show that you don’t disregard the offline efforts of promoting physical/tangible interactions since interest and recognition can still be gained equally. In fact, you should allocate some budget for conventional marketing strategies because it measures the extensiveness of your efforts. As the digital space becomes saturated, it’s certainly one of the ways to be a step higher from others who are in the business but only want easy alternatives.
5) WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WEARABLE TECHNOLOGIES AND E-TEXTILES? ARE YOU OPEN TO INCORPORATING THE IDEA IN YOUR DESIGNS IN THE FUTURE?
Ruzaini: I think the idea is definitely exciting for young creatives, especially when they see designers like Issey Miyake and Marc Jacobs incorporating smart fabrics into their collection. However, in reality, the concept has room for exploration and experimentation. I think when the whole idea is fully commercialised and easily grasped, that would be the ideal time to step in. Although the concept is current, we still want to be designing something that the public find believable at the end of the day.