Meet Fuad Hasanovic, Owner of Ninety-Two Clothing.
Check out the Interview:
1. What got you interested in creating a clothing line?
I’ve always had a passion for dressing up and fashion. However, I didn’t really feel the spark to create a clothing line until I started working in retail. I was selling clothing to customers that had no substance behind it. Mainstream brands seem to have taken the route of quantity over quality, and this is what destroys any actual substance the brand may carry. I am not talking about the actual quality of the product like: thread count, stitching, cotton, ect. I am talking about quality of the brand, in a more philosophical way.
At the retailer I worked at, we would get a weekly shipment of Hurley, when we didn’t even sell the merchandise we got last week. When you over-saturate the market with the same lackluster merchandise, with just a different colorway or your logo in a new location, your brand loses any substance it ever had. Your customers just become sheep that will buy anything. That is why I created Ninety-Two. Every single piece has a theme or message behind it. We also try to focus on having a maximum of 10 pieces in each seasonal collection. By doing this we ensure that every single item is given the attention it deserves.
2. Was it difficult getting started at first?
Honestly, no. Getting started was the easy part. My background and degree in business and marketing helped out with anything I might have came across when starting up. Anything that I might have run into that I didn’t know, Google helped with. Now, becoming successful, that’s an entirely different story.
3. How have you gone about promoting your store online and what is working best for you?
I do a lot of social media and guerrilla marketing (just going out there and letting people know about the brand, passing out flyers, stickers, ect). Recently, I have also built a pretty solid network of powerful athletes and celebrities that are representing the brand. Combine all of that with a new SEO plan I’m looking to implement on the actual website, you’re looking at a pretty decent plan to direct customers to the website.
4. Do you manage the store yourself or do you have a team of people? What is it like to manage a clothing company?
I do most of the “heavy lifting”, but I do have a small team of individuals that helps out with photo shoots, trunk shows, and promotions.
Managing a clothing line is a lot tougher than I imagined it would be in the beginning. The lifestyle looks fabulous on Instagram and Facebook, but it is filled with many sleepless nights or waking up at 4 in the morning just to finalize a new design before I go to class.
5. What are your plans for 2014 and beyond?
My plan for 2014 is to not lose the vision that I have built the brand upon. That is Quality over Quantity. I want to continue to differentiate myself from brands like Hurley, Diamond Supply Co, RVCA, ect. I am planning on putting together a fashion show with a local Cystic Fibrosis charity and foundation to bring attention to the cause and give back. I am also working with a fellow entrepreneur and fashion designer from San Francisco, Carlos Juarez. Ninety-Two will be collaborating with Carlos’s brand Vintage Artisan, on a few pieces and possible collections.