PR, Luxury and the Pandemic

“The role of a [communications] agency now has really evolved to be much more sales focused which is great for the market because that’s what the goal should always have been.”

– Rani Ilmi, Founder of FRAME Publicity

2020 has thrown a massive curveball to brands across every industry and now, PR & Communications agencies are required to play their most important role to date. Rohma Theunissen sat down with Rani Ilmi, Founder of boutique Dubai-based FRAME Publicity, whose clients include MatchesfashionMaria TashTiffany & Co and By Far to find out what it takes to successfully maneuver an agency and its clients through a pandemic and her strategies for enabling her clients not only to survive, but thrive.

About Rani Ilmi

Strategic Brand Builder and FRAME Publicity founder Rani Ilmi has enjoyed a 15 year career in luxury public relations, working on 360 degree brand strategies across fashion, fine jewelry & watches, beauty and lifestyle industries to strengthen their positions, first in New York, and now in the Middle East.

Born and raised in Dubai, Rani relocated to New York City in 2004, delving straight in to the world of PR & communications with in-house roles at CHANEL, Versace, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Tiffany & Co.She moved back to Dubai in 2011 to apply her NYC learnings to the Arab market and to launch NET-A-PORTER across the Middle East. Over the last eight years in Dubai, Rani has represented NET-A-PORTER, Bottega Veneta, Victoria Beckham, Versace, Tod’s, Charlotte Tilbury, MATCHESFASHION.COM, Tiffany & Co., and many more.

Currently, at her agency FRAME, she is enjoying the newness of working with ‘social-media-first’ luxury brands by helping them connect with the Arab customer – from BY FAR to Maria Tash. The pandemic has forced communications to evolve to be much more customer-centric and the learnings from this challenge have sparked a deeper interest in communications for her.

About FRAME Publicity

FRAME is a thorough, thoughtful communications consultancy where the mechanics of media, influencers and the end consumers in an often misunderstood Middle East market, are – well – understood.  A Dubai-grown agency, with a NYC polish and efficiency, FRAME is a full-service resource for brand awareness in all its forms. Our team have been shaping and communicating client vision in fashion, luxury, lifestyle, beauty, retail and luxury e-commerce for fifteen years.

FRAME knows what’s possible, and we’ve learned how to stretch that definition. Clients come to us to connect – with media, with consumers, with partners and “influencers” of all size and stripe. We build relationships, foster partnerships, and start conversations.  Our team is fiercely committed and fully engaged – and fun. We understand the Middle East culture and know the difference between popularity and true influence. Client impressions outweigh media impressions – if you know what we mean. FRAME finds the path that others miss. And we deliver results, again and again and again.