x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Into uncharted fashion territory with Jessica Minh Anh

The fashion show organiser's latest trick had models on the catwalk aboard the Costa Atlantica as it was moored in Dubai.

The model and entrepreneur Jessica Minh Anh. Courtesy J Model Management
The model and entrepreneur Jessica Minh Anh. Courtesy J Model Management

Jessica Minh Anh, the woman behind J Model Management, has organised fashion shows on London's Tower Bridge, the Petronas Twin Towers' Skybridge and a catwalk 90 metres above the Seine in Paris. Her latest trick was to feature designs from Marchesa, Hong Kong's Lusan Mandongus and the Lebanese designer Aiisha Ramadan, aboard the Costa Atlantica last Thursday as it was moored in Dubai.

How did J Model Management originate?

I opened one month after graduating from the University of Birmingham during the recession. I wanted to produce my own fashion events and make full use of my skills and experience in PR, marketing, IT, finance and event management. It hasn't been simple but I believe in taking risks and going beyond the imagination. I stayed focused by implementing exceptional ideas in unique locations with an exclusive guest list.

Why did you choose Dubai as a new venue?

Dubai has always intrigued me. It is not only one of the most desirable leisure and business destinations but also a potential place for fashion development. Dubai is attracting both well-established designers and emerging talent so it is definitely the place to be.

How long did it take to pull this project together?

One of J Model Management's competitive advantages is our speed of productions. I organise four shows per year in four countries and that means we have maximum of three months to prepare for each one. The J Winter Fashion Show on Costa Atlantica took exactly two months.

How many people are involved and what are their roles in putting together a production like this?

We handle the entire event - from logistics, model casting and fittings, designing, backstage and styling to PR and guest list. We usually choose our partners very carefully to ensure a high quality event that benefits all parties involved. And I think we did it right.

What have been some of the barriers you have had to work around on this project?

Time constraint has always been our biggest challenge as we have to move things very quickly to ensure we make it on time. As this is our first outdoor event, planning and the logistics were also a lot harder than what we expected, but careful measures were implemented so everything ran smoothly. We worked closely with Costa Cruises and Fonoon Production from the start.

What would be your dream location?

I would like to actually build a brand new venue for each of my seasonal showcases in various countries in the future. I will then have the freedom to express my vision through these developments. Working with the best architects in the world is definitely my dream.

What next for the company?

I will continue looking for the most extraordinary venues worldwide to host my iconic showcases. I am looking at Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Istanbul, Singapore and New York. Finding new ways to express fashion is what I live for.

ktrotter@thenational.ae