This is the official blog of the Landmark Group with insights
and stories from the people behind our many brands.

Max completes a decade

Max, Landmark Group's homegrown value fashion retail brand completes 10 years this June. Established in 2004 with a simple yet untapped idea to venture into 'value retail' in the UAE, today Max is present in 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and India. Known as the largest value fashion retail brand in the Middle East, Max's retail space is growing each year and is currently anchored in 285 stores spread over 5 million Sq. ft.

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Under the leadership of H.Ramanathan, who has been closely connected to the Landmark Group for more than two decades, this milestone for Max is a new benchmark.

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The team at Max attributes this success to all the loyal customers that come together every season and shop at Max stores, thus consistently building the brand over the years.

Splash: the determined teenager turns 20

Thursday 21st March 2013 was an exciting day for the team at the offices of Splash fashions. It marked the culmination of two decades as one of the Middle East's favourite fashion brands: from its humble birth as a single store way back in 1993, its growth through the difficult early years into adulthood, to its success as a mature business that continues to go from strength to strength.

mikky.jpgThe brand can reflect on an exciting journey to get where it is today. Tickets for the now legendary Splash fashion shows are prized items, as these spectaculars have become one of the "must-attend" events in the Middle East. Add to this three limited edition calendars, campaigns that use new technology such as 3D, an international portfolio of brands like Being Human, Lee Cooper and ELLE, plus numerous awards and industry recognition, well... you get the idea.

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The company has plans for yearlong celebrations to mark their 20th birthday, and the partying began with the annual staff event, held at Rixos, Palm Jumeirah. This was closely followed by Retail Employees Day (R.E.D), an event that recognises and rewards the day-to-day contributions of the people who make the Splash stores run so smoothly. These events were just the beginning of a very busy calendar of festivities to come.

raza-beig.jpgSplash launched the Emblem Design contest earlier this year, aimed at creating a dedicated logo to mark the 20-year anniversary. The response was overwhelming, and the winner can proudly see the chosen design featured on the brand's collateral for the coming year. Other competitions and contests are planned that engage customers and get them involved with the company's celebrations.

When the first Splash store opened its doors to the public in Sharjah over two decades ago, who could have dreamed the company would grow into the Superbrand it is today? Some may consider the story complete, but for CEO Raza Beig and the team, this is just the beginning.

Reiss connects with art

03_AW12_MAINLINE_WOMENS_C_HIRES.jpgReiss, a sophisticated apparel concept that's part of Landmark International, is carving through the clutter of ads, tweets and Facebook updates to engage with communities through an age-old approach - art.

The concept, which has 12 stores across the Middle East, is merging the season's high-end trends with creations by several painters, graphic designers, architects, photographers and sculptors. Each person was given an item from the Reiss Autumn/Winter 12 collection and two weeks to create a piece of art. Their work will form a show, The Art of Fashion, which debuts on 2nd October at the ProArt Gallery in Dubai, along with the collection, before it travels to Reiss stores throughout the UAE.

Commenting on the creative partnership, Miles Young, chief operating officer of Landmark International, pointed out that the Reiss line reflects an artistic approach to fashion, with collections "consisting of rich colour palates, touchable textures and beautifully tailored pieces signifying the incredibly high standard that both Reiss and ProArt Gallery strive for"

The line-up of artists includes Gwenael Salaun, a painter who uses exuberant colours; Andre C. Meyerhans, an architect who designed the Garhoud Bridge in Dubai; Saif Chilmiran, a street artist with a playful, pop-art style; and Gerard Paire, a photographer and painter who focuses on abstract works with bold shades and tones.

The show will be on display until 14th October at the Gallery, which is located in the Palm Strip Mall on Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Road.

What are the best ways to connect with customers in a social-media age? Let us know.

Welcome to your online Lifestyle

Following the Web Team's recent successful launch of the new Babyshop site, we are delighted to announce yet another addition to our online portfolio -- the much anticipated new website for Lifestyle, one of Landmark's most dynamic concepts.

Specialising in fresh and contemporary home décor, designer furnishings and personal accessories, Lifestyle is a brand that fashion-forward consumers, and women in particular, trust and love.

Our focus for the new site was on creating a user-friendly experience, that is easy to navigate, has clean design and clear labeling. One key challenge was to create an online personality that represents what Lifestyle is all about, as it's important to retain the look and feel of the off-line stores to some extent, so that existing Lifestyle customers can associate with the new web presence.

As with our other successful site launches, this adventure began with an immersion session that allowed the team to get a feel for the brand. We visited the flagship store to study the diverse product range, look at the store layout, observe the types of customers shopping in the store and gain an understanding of the key similarities and differences with their competitors. Our observations were then put into our creative blender, ideas were tossed around, and out came a workable structure or framework for the site and some great looking designs. Add some creativity, a lot of hard work and careful planning, and the net result is a great looking website. Don't take my work for it, see for yourself:

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As a relatively new member of the Web Team  - I'm now entering my third month - it's a great feeling to get my first project delivered to the launch deadline. Having produced 100's of websites in my career, this one is special as it's the first I've worked on outside of the UK. Like all projects, we've faced challenges, but having a great team together, working in unison, is a recipe for success. Working in partnership with our design and development partners, and a very enthusiastic marketing team within Lifestyle, under the leadership of CEO Sachin Mundhwa, we've put together a site we're all proud of and the experience has been thoroughly enjoyable.

With the Lifestyle site now live, this is where the adventure really begins; we're already working on improvements to the site to keep things new and exciting for our customers to visit and re-visit.

Trendy Military

Continuing its runway dominance into Autumn/Winter 2010, military-inspired fashion is clearly here to stay. At Splash, we've been tracking this trend through its evolution from traditional pomp and ceremony to its present chic avatar, which takes subtler cues from 20th-century military and aviation uniforms. From army-green detailing to luxurious shearling-lined boots, military is one of this season's most sought-after styles.
Seasonal Must-Haves
If you're headed to colder climes this winter, stay fashionably warm with a military jacket or a great coat - both must-have pieces for the Autumn/Winter wearing of this style. For men, the military trench is a wardrobe essential.

aviator-fashion.jpg Military Motifs

  • "Understated functionality" is the current military fashion mantra, with Army and Aviator being the dominant looks.
  • Combat colours are all the rage. Army Green leads the parade, with Navy Blue coming in second. Bilberry Red is a sub-trend of its own.
  • Shearling is the fabric of choice this season, whether as an embellishment on aviator boots or as collar lining for army coats.
  • Leather is the perfect complement - not only in the form of the classic leather bomber jacket, but also in boots, gloves and caps.

Style Guide: The Aviator Look
Pull off an effortless Aviator look with these easy tips:

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  • Pair the Lee Cooper Aviator jacket with a gorgeous lace pencil skirt from Nexus at Splash for a sophisticated look.
  • For an edgier spin, team this jacket with black Zync leggings, ultra-feminine thigh-high boots and a baggy t-shirt underneath.
  • Take inspiration from wartime working attire with a full-length jumpsuit, nipped at the waist and tapered at the ankles.
  • Form-fitting Jodhpurs tucked into army boots and paired with a bomber jacket make for a perfectly sexy female dandy look.
  • Look for shearling- or fur-lined accessories like boots, caps, gloves and jackets.
  • Don't skimp on the leather. Pants, skirts, shorts, coats, vests: whatever piece of clothing you name, it's probably already been sent down the runway in leather this year.
  • Modernise your Aviator look with skinny cuts and form-fitting pieces.
  • Add specific accessories like vintage aviator goggles to convey a sense of adventure.

Splash has plenty of military-inspired treats in store for you. What's your favourite wardrobe item this season?