Dresscode, founded by Mohamed Abdel Dayem and Ali Zakaria, is an Egyptian e-commerce retail platform, for women’s fashion, beauty and lifestyle. The Brand Tribe recently shared the news of Dresscode, raising six digits USD in seed funding - read here.
The Brand Tribe meets the founders, and gets deep insights in their entrepreneur chapter of creating a stylish fashion brand through an ecommerce platform, and learnings while moving forward on this journey, during the pandemic.
1. Please share briefly, your life journey before Dresscode. What brought you two together, to form Dresscode? What individual strengths do you two bring together?
Mohamed’s family is in the business of textiles for more than 40 years and he was engaged with his family business in addition to retail shops, dealing with top brands in the world. Ali Zakaria focuses on brand experiences since 2008 creating memorable brand experiences for both local and international brands; Coca-Cola, Nestle, Etisalat..etc.
Discussing the idea of transforming Dresscode experience to be digital in 2017, we both decided to partner and start the journey together. Mohamed is Dresscode CEO and he is responsible for the whole process of creating monthly collections while Ali is the head of business development to maximize the Dresscode experience across different touch points.
2. Biggest brands are based on the simplest ideas, of solving a consumer pain point. What triggered you to move in the ecommerce space, from your traditional textile family business?
Well textile business is all dependent on selling, where will you sell? We noticed that many brands, factories, and designers have a big problem selling their products, in Egypt we do not have a department store, like whole mart or Macys to help new companies grow and sell, and the Egyptian market is huge, and we need a retail platform to connect these big manufactures with the consumers.
3. How do you see the economic landscape of Egypt evolve for entrepreneurs over the years? What were/are your key business challenges?
Generally the dynamics of the Egyptian market is moving too fast across different industries and this encouraged Funds and businessmen to invest through young Egyptian entrepreneurs. Educating the E-commerce culture to Egyptians is one of the main challenges that all digital platforms are trying to accomplish.
4. It’s said ‘In the middle of every difficulty, lies an opportunity.’ This pandemic has caused one of the worst effects on humanity. Yet it paved the way for many businesses, especially those in the online domain. How did it shape for Dresscode?
During the pandemic, all retail shops and malls were closed and this paved the way for consumers to look for alternatives and digital fashion platforms were the only solutions. Dresscode sales grew during the pandemic tremendously and we had to work hard to supply the demand.
5. Fashion and retail is a highly competitive space. How do you see your brand being differentiated from rest? And creating its own loyal base?
Our brand is focused on the millennial generation. We are very focused on our customer base, very few can see the power of our millennials and we are focused on bringing them what they need, and communicating with them on the same level. Our brand is young, hip, actually solves a big problem for those young who do not want to break the bank.
6. What has been your marketing strategy so far? And what role did digital marketing and social media play in reaching your goals?
Our marketing strategy has always been focused to generate trust, reliability and to make sure our customers visit our store again. We have the highest returning customers. Digital communication is by far the strongest the average person spends around 6-8 hours daily on his phone, so this is where we are focused and that’s why we were very successful and it did help us reach our goals.
7. Your social media feed is a pinup board, for instagram inspiration. What is your inspiration behind that?
Fashion and lifestyles brands need to be the source of inspiration for everyone, we don’t want to sell products only we want to inspire, guide, and most importantly we want our customers to be confident, that’s what our social media look reflects.
8. What’s your viewpoint on the future of Influencer Marketing? Have worked with them, and if so what was your experience?
Influencers are amazing really, we worked so many and they each delivered great awareness for us. The main problem any new startup faces is that consumers lack confidence in the products, influencers help us remove these fears. As they are very trusted by their followers
9.Congratulations on receiving the seed funding. In light of that, what are your expansion plans? Do we expect men’s collection anytime soon? Or to shop in Dubai?
Thank You. Our expansion plan now is to cover all Egyptian fashion taste, through a variety of collections. We focus on what women want and we started this in the pandemic by developing DC home for selling home decorative items, but men’s fashion is not in the plan now. Exporting opportunity is in our vision but our focus is the Egyptian market now.
10. What in your opinion makes a successful entrepreneur? Any words of wisdom for the upcoming entrepreneurs in the region. (Or a quote/habit that you live by)
Believe in your dreams, create a lifestyle you do not want a holiday from. Work, work, work as hard work really pays off,
11. Lastly what are the top favourites from Dresscode that you think every woman should have!
Our pj sets have been our best selling, Also all the beach dresses,
We promise our customers huge collections and amazing surprises