Interview with Abraham Maslavi, Co-Owner of JOVANI Fashions
Happy Friday, dear readers! You’re in for a real treat today with a sneak peek behind the scenes of JOVANI. We’ve had the chance to interview one of our owners, Vice President, Director and CFO Abraham Maslavi for this week’s article for an insider look at what goes on at JOVANI.
Thank you so much for sitting down with us to talk. Tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind Jovani. How did the brand start, and what was it’s original mission?
My father Jacob Maslavi founded the JOVANI Fashions in 1981. From humble beginnings, Jovani has grown into a world-renowned brand through decades of hard work and dedication. My brother Saul and I have continued to pursue my father’s dream and make it into a reality by expanding the brand to fit every aspect of a woman’s life. We have dresses and even jumpsuits for every occasion – from date night to prom to the gorgeous pageant gowns you see on the runway, we have it all. Our unique styles and creative twists on the classics that JOVANI is known for have made it a go-to designer for women around the world.
How has the brand grown over the years? What are the goals today vs. the goals when you originally started in the 80s?
I feel that the brand has grown in many ways, but our goals have stayed true to my father’s original vision. Injecting glamour and high fashion into women’s daily lives was the inspiration at the founding of JOVANI, and my brother and I work hard to make sure that this still rings true today. Because of the wide selection of dresses we have available, JOVANI is not just a one-time shopping experience. Instead, JOVANI continues to follow woman through every major life experience. We want to make sure women have an amazing experience each and every time they put on a JOVANI dress, slipping into not just a garment for the evening, but a more glamorous version of themselves.
Who do you feel is your target consumer / demographic? How does Jovani address their needs with its dresses? What sets Jovani apart from its competitors in the prom & bridal industry?
As our Design Director Julie Durocher says, “We don’t make dresses for just one type of woman; we make them for every woman.” We at JOVANI embrace this mantra and ensure that no matter what your body type, occasion or style statement you want to make, you can find the perfect dress at JOVANI or JVN. We are one of the few major brands that create dresses from a size 00 to a size 24. We don’t limit the styles for our plus size collection – if you love one of our dresses, you can have it in your size. Looking glamorous or beautiful shouldn’t mean that you have to be a size 2 – we want every woman to look stunning in JOVANI and JVN.
This also sets us apart in the bridal wear category – many wedding dress designers do not offer beautiful plus size designs. JOVANI Bridal comes in all sizes, just like our other dress collections. Our commitment to embracing beauty in all shapes and sizes is something we are very proud of and plan to continue as part of our company culture.
Where can women find JOVANI and JVN if they are looking to buy one of your dresses?
We are proud to say that JOVANI is now available in over 2,000 stores worldwide including Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods and Neiman Marcus. Across the globe, JOVANI and JVN gowns are available in specialty boutiques where girls and women can go to try on the dresses in person and see the quality and fit for themselves.
JOVANI and JVN gowns, along with our Couture collections, are also available stateside in our brand new Los Angeles storefront. Our Los Angeles store is located next to The Ivy on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, in the heart of the high end fashion flagship stores. We’ve been doing quite a bit of celebrity red carpet dressing from this location, and it’s the perfect place for women to come and see all our different collections in person and try on their favorites if they can’t make it to our other retailers.
What is up next for Jovani? What are some of your goals for the company in the near future? What would you like to see & do more of?
One of the things we are currently working on is creating a real community for our fans. We have been fortunate to have a lot of fans and followers throughout our social media efforts (over 1.2 million fans and followers on Facebook and over half a million fans on Instagram). We are making it a priority to engage with those fans and to provide them with really quality content articles and resources, particularly for prom. Prom is such an exciting time in a young woman’s life, and it requires a lot of planning and getting ready. We’re working with influencers in the fashion and beauty world to bring a wealth of knowledge to our customers surrounding prom so they can go into the big day feeling well prepared, confident, and beautiful.
What are some other initiatives JOVANI is currently involved with?
We are excited to relaunch our #JOVANIITGIRL contest. First launched in 2015, we have since received over 7,500 entries, users created over 7,000 posts, and we gave away $50,000 in scholarships and over $1,000,000 in dresses. It was a massive campaign and undertaking, and we were so thrilled with what we were able to give back to our customers, fans and followers.
Aside from the #JOVANIITGIRL campaign, JOVANI has been very involved in charity organizations that give back to the community and to those less fortunate. To date, Jovani has donated over $300,000 in dresses to Operation Prom as well as other local charitable organizations including Miss Teen USA 2014’s charity of choice Cinderella Day Charleston and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s annual pediatric prom for their children’s cancer center. We continue to look for great partnership opportunities and new ways to give back, since we feel so fortunate to be in a position to do good things for others.
Thank you so much for your time, Abraham!
For readers interested in entering in this year’s #JOVANIITGIRL contest, please visit our contest page and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to stay up to date with the latest and greatest at JOVANI.