TV ASIA Plus WEB-EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with Fashion One’s Ashley Jordan
Q: Are there any other similar deals in terms of OTT or online platforms that you might want to give us a preview?
A: A lot of our platforms that we’re launching with, they want TV everywhere and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re a unique channel. Since we were a little over two years old, we started out initially always owning all of our content outright. That’s now coming into being something that is pretty effective for us with different platforms being interested in taking us because linearly we can show our channels where as other bigger networks have issues.
Q: So it is your strategy to talk about both linear and non-linear at the same time?
A: Yeah because I think you need to own the rights to everything. Nowadays everybody wants every option so you need to be versatile.
Q: Can you share some highlights for Fashion One in 2012?
A: We just launched on Chunghwa on their entry pack which is pretty exciting for us and right before that CNS. So we’re getting a lot of traction in Taiwan with our local feed there. We’ll be able to do hopefully lots of localised content and content for the market.
Q: Is there languaging for the Taiwan market?
A: Yeah we’re doing everything in Mandarin. We actually have a separate feed for Taiwan which is 100% Chinese subtitled.
Q: So Mandarin speaking content would be plans for the year ahead?
A: Yes, come January we’ll be announcing.
Q: I’d like to ask you about Eco Fashion. In a sense, it’s not just about fashion, there seems to be a “green” message about it?
A: It’s really interesting because this is a new trend in the fashion market. If you look at Stella McCartney or Louis Vuitton or any of the famous designers, they’re now all going green. Prior to them doing that or maybe at the same time, we also had a lot of smaller, independent designers doing this and anything from biodegradable materials and sustainable materials. They work with all kinds of materials for instance, coconut or pineapple to make cloth or repurposing rags, or repurposing bike tyres to make cool, high fashion sandals. So we kind of dive into the different countries around the world and showcase their art behind their crafts because it varies based on each designer. One designer is building shoes with rubber, while one is taking trash and having a process to repurpose that, while another is taking a fish scales process to repurpose that, and all making them into high fashion. It’s all really fascinating.
There’s also a health benefit behind some of the stuff as well. It’s really interesting because we’re actually the first ones to do a series on it and part of the reason why I think what Fashion One is doing is really unique. We’re taking a lot of the newest trends, a lot of things that are happening in the world and bringing them to the screen, especially in the many aspects of the fashion world.
We also launched our foundation which is the Fashion One Foundation. We’ll be spotlighting, through short form programming, different foundations that have something to do with fashion or are in our industry in some capacity and we’ll spotlight them for the channel. One of the things we’re focused on is human trafficking, which will be a focus in January and we’re doing a big “Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Day” on the 11th of January, 2013. It’s one of my passions so I wanted to do something on it.
Q: Who’s managing the commissioning decisions for some of these original productions?
A: I am. My background is I worked in film so I came in working for the studios first and I was running the studios. Then the channel came after, so the natural progression was that I run the channel and the studios. So obviously ahead of studios I have my producers and I have different people running each show but we all communicated about what’s happening, what’s going to come up next and making sure that we’re constantly producing because we own all the rights and we own all the format.
Q: So what were the challenges in these seven months as CEO? When launching a channel of this nature, do you find barriers to entry? A lack of understanding of what the channel is?
A: Yeah I do get a bit of a push back with the fact that it’s a niche channel but when you look at programming for this type of channel, let’s say, Project Runway or Next Top Model, those are the type of shows that you will show on a fashion channel and those have been some of the most successful series within the last couple year. These are the kind of things you can see more and more of and I’m very surprise up until now. I feel that there is a hole in the market and that it’s never been capitalised on. This is where we find our sweet spot is. But I think that when people think of our fashion channel, they think just runway. They think runway after runway and that’s not what we plan to do. We’re giving our viewers something that’s engaging.
Content that they can actually watch and is not passive and will keep our viewers on our channel and keep them interested. In this day and age, more and more women and their obsession with fashion is never-ending. So I believe that we really have something to capitalise on that fortunately for us nobody has capitalised on properly.
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