First full-service fashion agency opens in Dubai

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A creative agency dedicated to revolutionising the United Arab Emirates’ “tacky” fashion industry has formally launched in Dubai.

Founded last year by photographer and creative Mansoor Bhatti and producer Faisal Shah, the boutique agency Things By People was originally set up as a fashion talent house, but gradually progressed in a more creative direction.

The company has now officially re-launched as a full-service creative agency and has a team of 20 fashion ‘artists’ on its books including photographers, illustrators, stylists and hair and make-up specialists.

Operating largely on a consultancy basis from its Downtown office, Things By People has already worked on fashion campaigns with agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, MullenLowe, in addition to brands themselves including Centrepoint and Mall of the Emirates.

Bhatti, formerly creative director at MullenLowe, said: “We’ve worked a lot internationally and what we noticed is that most people from outside perceive Dubai’s fashion industry as tacky, and while we don’t like it when it is put down, the quality of the work here is not good.

“Campaigns that look pretty  to us here do not compare well internationally because there are no fashion ingredients used by the agencies. Frankly the posters look like they’re from Toy Story because the campaigns have gone through the wrong process. So we will work with clients and agencies on certain aspects like photography or production, or casting direction, but we would like to be involved in the whole process. Campaigns need to have the right story for the creative to use at every stage or else all work just looks
the same.

“We felt in the market there was a need for really good work. So we have on board the best talent in Dubai and we have worked hard to make their books look so much better and more sophisticated.”

Once the agency’s relaunch is underway, Bhatti hopes to continue Dubai’s fashion revolution by launching a model agency to attract more top international models to the city. 

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