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Pioneering Luxury Communication in the Middle East: A Conversation with Ayman Fakoussa

ELLE speaks to Ayman Fakoussa- managing partner of The Qode

Ayman Fakoussa
Ayman Fakoussa

In the dynamic realm of luxury marketing and communications in the Middle East, Egyptian born Ayman Fakoussa stands as a trailblazer, his journey marked by a rich tapestry of experiences and a keen understanding of the region’s intricacies. Co-founder and managing partner of The Qode, Fakoussa’s narrative embodies the fusion of vision, expertise, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Fakoussa’s odyssey commenced two decades ago within the corridors of L’Oreal Middle East, where he meticulously cultivated his craft amidst esteemed brands like Helena Rubinstein, Lancôme, and Kiehl’s. These formative years not only sharpened his acumen in market dynamics but also instilled in him a profound appreciation for consumer behavior and brand resonance within the diverse GCC landscape.

The pivotal juncture arrived during his tenure at Villa Moda, collaborating with Sheikh Majed Al Sabah to orchestrate the launch of over 30 boutiques for global fashion titans. It was here that Fakoussa’s epiphany struck, recognizing the imperative for a specialized agency attuned to the nuances of luxury communication in the Middle East—a vision that crystallized into The Qode in 2010. Today, 14 years down the road, The Qode is part of The Independents Group, which includes leading global agencies like Karla Otto and Bureau Betak.

“The opportunity to co-found and lead The Qode was an incredible adventure and opportunity for me, especially considering that Dipesh and I launched the agency from the ground up.” 

Ayman Fakoussa
Ayman Fakoussa

Central to Fakoussa’s ethos as managing partner is the unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence. Drawing upon his wealth of experience, he spearheads initiatives to nurture talent, foster collaboration, and evolve service offerings in tandem with evolving industry trends. The agency’s strategic expansion into Saudi Arabia heralds a new chapter, poised to capitalize on burgeoning opportunities across sectors ranging from hospitality to luxury retail.

Yet, amidst the triumphs lies a poignant insight into the pitfalls of the industry. Fakoussa laments the prevalence of uninspired campaigns and a myopic adherence to conventional frameworks, urging practitioners to transcend the status quo and embrace boundless creativity. His discerning eye identifies a critical need for PR professionals to cultivate a deep understanding of clients’ brands and industry landscapes, underpinned by agility and a penchant for innovation.

When it comes to assembling his team, Fakoussa prioritizes a fusion of skill and character, valuing integrity, adaptability, and collaborative spirit as paramount attributes. His vision extends beyond the confines of the present, contemplating the prospect of future expansions into markets like Egypt and India, guided by a steadfast commitment to delivering unparalleled value to clients.

As Fakoussa reflects on his journey, the essence of his narrative transcends mere professional milestones—it epitomizes the relentless pursuit of excellence, fueled by an unwavering passion for the craft. In the ever-evolving landscape of luxury communication, Fakoussa stands as a beacon of innovation, his legacy indelibly woven into the fabric of the industry’s evolution.

To finalize our exclusive one-on-one we asked Ayman about the biggest mistakes a PR professional can make. 

“One of the biggest mistakes a PR professional can make is failing to understand their client’s brand, industry, and ethos.”

Another common mistake Fakoussa sees affecting the industry is neglecting industry updates. Whether trends, changes in the media landscape or ‘misreading the tea-leaves’, can place profound limitations on the effectiveness of what could have the potential to be very successful PR campaigns. 

After the Emirates and Saudi, ELLE Egypt hopes to see The Qode opening its doors in the local market one day. 

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