Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Creating a digital boutique offering unique Made in Italy designer and fashion brands to stylish GCC and Arab consumers is possible. Imad El Kanji, founder, CEO and majority owner of Italy’s Got Style, did it. The entrepreneur has just launched his new project born from a collaboration between Arabian country specialized company developer and digital market specialist

Can you describe how the website is structured and how it works?
The Italy’s Got Style website is characterized by an interface customized to satisfy Arab women. We show something different on an interactive website that engages our customers and creates value for them not only in terms of products but also in terms of fashion trends. Like any other e-commerce site, the e-boutique can be navigated in sections related to major product categories such as, for instance, clothing, shoes, bags and accessories.

For our followers, we also offer our “Blogger picks” page where the international bloggers show our trendiest items and suggest total looks that they like and would recommend.
In addition, we also have a “How do you feel today” section where our customers can choose their favorite look according to their current mood. Our exclusive “VIP area” works like a shop’s “privée” that launches special offers. The “Go style go” section stages a sort of challenge between two different products which customers can vote.

We also have “Top Milan fashion style” where our shoppers can find what is trendy in Milan. Everything we present on our website was thought of and produced keeping in mind that Italy Got Style wants to create a unique customer experience.

Italy’s Got Style
Italy’s Got Style

How did the website originate?
It was founded with the main goal to satisfy our Arab clients, offering them high quality Made in Italy products distinguished by the uniqueness of their style. At the same time, we thought to offer our brand partners the chance to increase their visibility and to create brand awareness in the Middle East, so that these brands can easily access the market of this territory.

When did you launch it?
The website was launched on 14 December 2015.

To whom is it addressed?
The e-boutique is addressed to upper mid-high class Arab women aged 17-35 looking for trendy, top quality fashion products willing to show their social status. Having a fashion item made in Italy - especially from Milan - can help communicate a high social status to friends and family. At the moment we are focused on womenswear but from 2017 we also want to include menswear and from 2018 also junior’s and kidswear.

Italy’s Got Style
Italy’s Got Style

How many members does the site currently have and how many are you looking to have in the long run?
Our e-commerce page was just launched but we already registered 10,000 visitors in total. In the long run we aim to reach an average of 100,000 visitors per month by end 2016.

What have been the biggest challenges of running the site thus far? And the greatest joys?
We have managed to realize an entire website in Arabic and English. It had not been easy but thanks to our multicultural team that supported FiloBlu (, [editor’s note: a major developer of e-commerce channels with tailored approach for segments such as fashion, sportswear, design and beauty] we got it. The biggest challenge so far has been to grow the team behind Italy’s Got Style.

What services are you offering right now through it?
Currently, we are offering our customers Italy’s most fashionable products, 60 to 90 days before our Arab competitors do. We offer new collections 90 days before they are delivered to the Middle East. We offer payment options locally, fast delivery and unique marketing approach taking into consideration the local nature of society, buying behavior and religious events. Everything is managed in Arabic language: customer care, personalized offers, social media network management, newsletters with special graphics, images and the website content.

Italy’s Got Style
Italy’s Got Style

What new services or columns are you planning to add in the near or long run?
At the moment we are selling “Made in Italy” products in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) area. For 2016, we are planning to sell Italian brands in the Middle East and in 2017 sell them in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) regions, too. On our website we are creating a section where we will also sell tour packages, an operation made possible thanks to our partnership with Vasco, industry security solutions’ specialist.
We are also planning to launch a series of shopping events, such as pop-up stores in most important cities of the Middle East.
We are convinced that real Italian style still has to cross our borders. For this we want to bring Italy and the Middle East together, granting new spaces for our brands to express themselves.

Are fashion, streetwear or sportswear playing any important role in your website?
We are a fashion e-boutique. We specifically focus on local trends, Arab customer’s habits and needs (considering occasion of use, purchase behavior, attractive look and feel). The website was just launched but we are also working towards offering sportswear, jeanswear and casualwear brands – which all belong to any modern consumer’s wardrobe.

How do you stay in touch with your members? How important is the social network aspect for this website?
Nowadays social networks are very relevant for any kind of business. Italy’s Got Style will stay in touch with their members by sending newsletters with information about new products, service and new promotions we’re running.
We are also operating through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and our blog Arabeat where customers can find our products, news and current trends.

Italy’s Got Style
Italy’s Got Style

What section, service or part of the website do you personally like most?
My favorite is the “How do you feel today?” section because it is dedicated to Arab women. It’s a funny section because it reflects the real women who often change their mood. In this section, products and total looks are chosen in order to offer outfits and products and colors reminding of their moods.