(Daily Star, The (Beirut, Lebanon) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 03--BEIRUT -- Lebanese designer Elie Saab is planning to unveil more than his fall-autumn ready-to-wear Monday. The company will be streaming the fashion show live on his new online magazine, "Light of Now."
Saab joins a growing number of luxury brands, many in fashion, who have turned to self-published magazines, in print and online, as a way to add depth to their marketing strategies. The company has been busy hiring a Paris-based editorial staff, brainstorming interactive content and reaching out to future contributors for the past couple of years, and Monday the fashion house will see the magazine go live.
Leading the project is Elie Saab Jr., the magazine's strategy and planning director, who sat down for an interview recently to explain the details of the project.
"The e-magazine will grow the personality of the brand," Elie Jr. said from the company boutique and office building in Downtown Beirut. He showed mock-ups of several site pages. Among them were features on the craftsmanship behind the dresses, backstage footage, fashion show makeup tutorials and other insights into daily life within the fashion house.
The site is run by an editorial staff based in Paris, a team with experience in journalism, design and communications, he said. They've also teamed up with Catherine Kallon, the founder and editor of celebrity style site, "Red Carpet Style Awards." Targeting a young fan base, Light of Now also dabbles in music and will post a soundtrack of alternative tunes each month for streaming.
Other luxury brands to self-publish magazines include French Connection, which publishes a men's style blog called "Manifesto"; Dolce & Gabbana's "Swipe," a brand-focused e-magazine that also includes Italian food and travel features; and local luxury retailer Aishti, which runs small fashion magazine "A."
In naming the e-mag, the team opted for metaphor rather than pithiness. Light of Now is a reference to the house's place under the spotlight and the designer's sparkling embellishments. Even Elie Saab's signature perfume bottle is faceted like a cut crystal, Elie Jr. said.
Saab has been the only Lebanese designer to license his own perfume and accessory lines. Now his company is also the first to launch its own publication.
The magazine is a natural step in the expansion of the brand, Elie Jr. explained. Part of its purpose is to keep up with the brand's growth and many side projects. Last year, for example, the brand collaborated with Evian mineral water to create a lace-decorated bottle in the same spirit as his ethereal collections.
"There's been an expansion from a retail perspective, like a huge accessories line, and we need to communicate about it," Elie Jr. said. "We highlight couture, accessories, history of the brand, the craftsmen, the designer, the red carpet."
Light of Now gives fans access to an outlet that is more personal than the brand's Facebook or Twitter page but less vanilla than an e-newsletter. The clientele are of all ages, but Saab's online followers typically fall between 18 and 25 years old, Elie Jr. said, many of whom they expect to be watching the show live on the website Monday.
"Say 100,000 people watching the show, they will have time before it starts to browse the magazine."
The e-magazine can be accessed at www.thelightofnow.com.
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