Rosemin Manji is the founder of RR&CO, Bespoke Luxury Management, a Dubai-based luxury consulting firm that works with luxury brands such as Burberry, Givenchy, and Christian Louboutin expand their presence in the UAE. With extensive experience in both fashion and luxury gained from international brands like Sotheby’s, Prada, Burberry, Juicy Couture and Gucci, Rosemin is a much-sought-after luxury consultant in UAE. She has worked closely with Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Chloe, Miu Miu, Chanel, HP, Samsung and Bionda Castana in her role as a leading luxury consultant in the region.

From luxury to fashion to digital media, Rosemin Manji engages in an insightful chat with Signature.

What does luxury mean to you?

Luxury to me is time. Maybe it’s a reference to my age now but time is luxury for me. Everything is about the ultimate experience when luxury is concerned but you also need the time to enjoy the experience. That’s luxury.

Do you feel luxury is a relative term? What does it encompass?

My family moved from East Africa to Canada, where we had arrived as immigrants. My parents had to start life from scratch; they had to build their life in the new home. I saw my parents build a new and beautiful home; how my mother invested in pieces that last. She took time to choose what she wanted at home. When I look back, I can see that these qualities have passed on to me as well. So when I buy something, I look at its qualitative value.

An incident that speaks volumes about quality happened to me as a teenager. There was a pair of Gucci high heels that I had seen and fallen in love. I used to work part-time in my teens. When I received my paycheck I took it to the department store to buy the pair. It was the most incredible experience. Right from walking into the boutique where a doorman opens the door, going into the beautiful boutique, picking up the shoes, having it packaged so exquisitely…that’s when you realise what quality is. There is this sense of value for money. I know how many hours I worked to buy that pair of Gucci high heels. It’s not just the purchase but also the experience that stayed on with me and made what I bought so memorable for me.

What brought you into the world of fashion?

I have been interested in fashion from a very young age. I was creatively inclined  as a youngster as well asaesthetically driven. I liked magazines like Vogue, Town & Country, W over fairy tales. There was a corner newsstand near our home from where I would pick these magazines every month. I was exposed to the magazines in the early 80s. It was a world that I was drawn to.

I went to London College of Fashion where I did my BA (Honours) in Fashion Management in Luxury Goods and followed it up with design courses at Central Saint Martins in London. Luxury and fashion were the industries I wanted to pursue my career in and I worked with different designers and fashion houses. This includes Tom Ford, Gucci, Burberry and Juicy Couture. I also did a stint at Sotheby’s, which I loved.

What led to the launch of RR & Co., Bespoke Luxury Management?

When I moved to Dubai, I started contributing to magazines like Harpers Bazaar and Grazia, and contributing on a local show called HerSay. At that time, no one in Dubai had the contacts and relationships with international designers like I had. This helped me to provide a unique perspective as well as connect my designer friends with the audience/consumers in Dubai. I realised there was a need for personalized luxury management services and set up RR&Co. Bespoke Luxury Management.

You have a strong and vibrant presence in the digital media universe. How do you manage this?

Social media is changing the way we view the world. What brands need to focus is to associate with influencers who would naturally fit the brand’s aesthetics and values, then someone for the numbers only. I felt an influencer has to personify the brand on and offline. I get a lot of offers to endorse brands and products, but I often no more than yes because I strongly believe in maintaining the integrity and that is what will stay true and last. People need to stop focusing on instant gratification and work on quality.”