Girlahead loves creativity, especially when it ticks masses of boxes. F5 Global is an eco athleisure brand (try saying ‘athleisure’ with your mouthful or when you have had a sip of Whispering Angel!). What adds a BIG box to those already ticked is that founder of F5 Global, Sarisha Ved, is 16 – her parents are Dubai-based entrepreneurs and the minutiae of that language were her childhood playthings. Somewhere along the line, too, she learned marketing.
First, get the design and fit right. A basic sweat suit comes with a jogging vest: top and pants have really sizeable pockets, and the zip glides well. Wearing an F5 outfit feels classy. In addition, there’s general appreciation throughout the Middle East that F5 Global is fast fashion with a conscience . Sales of the casual gear, sold mainly to Millennials and GenZs, or to any ageless character – see above – support education of underprivileged children in the region. Sarisha Ved produced a Tees for Fees t-shirt range and raised $17,000 for her cause.
Next on the marketing ladder is promote right. F5 launched in London, with a pop-up store on Oxford Street that ran for a week until last Sunday. It brought a popular DJ in for the event. And, of course, marketing benefits from partnerships: F5 Global works with Apparel Group, owned and run by her parents Nilesh and Sima Ganwani Ved.
All this can of course be done without much of that support. Pepita Diamond, based in London and Paris, owns and runs Cruz & Pepita. She uses off-cuts from Paris haute couture to produce fit-any-size kaftans and the like. She finds pop-ups excellent – the hotels she works with include LE ROYAL CHAMPAGNE in Epernay, HOTEL DU CAP and MAYBOURNE RIVIERA in Southern France, with LA VILLA in Corsica, and, to come, CAESARS PALACE Dubai.
Sometimes pop-ups are timed for specific events. PENDRY CHICAGO worked its 37th floor Lolla Style Suite – a collaboration with New York-based fashion stylist Merritt Rea – hard during Lollapalooza last month, helping performers with custom outfits, hair, makeup and photography over the course of the full festival. The suite is housed on the 37th floor of Pendry Chicago. The hotel also threw a VIP launch pop-up, indoors and out, at Chateau Carbide, the 24th-floor rooftop lounge. Lucky guests were able to sample beauty and lifestyle products from Vacation, Mac Cosmetics, Mario Badescu and more, select a complimentary pair of shoes from DSW, get glam with Dyson professionals, and book a styling session with Neiman Marcus. Sip champagne, dance to DJ Brooklyn and enjoy stunning Chicago views. Yes, pop-ups could well be the way to go – up. And they are great for networking, which of course brings us to this week’s PODCAST: