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No day is ever the same for Assia Benmedjdoub; Publisher of Ragtrader and AdNews, & during a year of change and tumultuous challenge for our industry, rest has not been at the top of her agenda! Assia met with our founder Joe Farage in our showroom recently where they shared stories of tenacity, resilience, and the bright future ahead for Australian Fashion.

By FarageJune 09, 2021

Introduce us to Assia; talk us through your career journey and what lead you to your current role of Publisher of Ragtrader and AdNews.

In my final semester of university, I submitted a job application on pink paper and included a Marlene Dietrich reference. That seemed to do the trick and I became a junior reporter for Ragtrader just prior to graduation. In the intervening years, the media landscape has been in a state of metamorphosis and transformed the role of content creators. Ragtrader and Adnews, once fortnightly magazines, now produce 360° print, digital and live content experiences. The lesson here is think pink and grow!

As the Publisher of premium industry publication Ragtrader; you will have been front & centre to what has been the most tumultuous year in memory for many retailers; what are some of the key challenges that you have recognized as consistent across small and large retailers & do you see any evolution to positive change for the industry?

The key challenge for businesses has been the ability to forecast amid uncertainty, particularly our neighbours in Victoria. Foot traffic across major shopping precincts worsens with each lockdown, with the Melbourne CBD tracking consistently at 40% below pre-pandemic levels. 

I am amazed at the tenacity, resilience, and creativity of our industry in tackling obstacles at this time. One positive has been the acceleration of digital channels, allowing shoppers more (socially distanced) touchpoints to purchase and engage with their favourite brands than ever before. 

There is an increasing focus on Sustainability in the fashion industry; what are the key things that you feel Australian Brands should be doing in this area to ensure that they continue to meet consumer expectations & relevance.

The term ‘sustainability’ can take on different meanings to different brands: for some, it could be reducing carbon footprints and manufacturing locally; for others, it could be utilising ecologically sustainable fabrics. The key metric should be progress over perfection. 

With such a dynamic position I can only imagine that no day is ever the same for you; however - to balance the variability of your role do you have a specific morning routine that you stick to?  Talk to us about your typical workday & how it starts.

Coffee. Coffee. And after that, more coffee! I was once a 5am runner, but now I prefer to start the morning with a scroll of the news before tackling the workday. In my role as publisher, I oversee two amazing teams who work to deliver the editorial and commercial outcomes of their titles. This means no day is the same - we could be producing special reports and editions or assembling live events and conferences. 

How would you describe your personal style?

Miami Vice (day) meets Donatella Versace (night). Or at least I’d like to think so!

Watch the video interview with Assia Benmedjdoub:

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