Portrait of Rana Sidahmed
People Spotlight
People are spending much more time and money on experiences than on things. So we’re confronted with figuring out how we can create an experience through branding.

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Rana Sidahmed

Global Creative Director, Trends and Insights

My leadership style:
I like to play to people’s strengths and talents. I’m fairly hands-off, preferring to trust my team to make smart decisions. But it changes based on the situation or person. It’s really about supporting my team and being in tune with where people are and what they each need to be successful.

I’m an explorer:
I love getting lost, whether it’s unplugging in the middle of Nowhere California or wandering the streets of New York City. Inspiration comes to me in many forms, from fine art and urban graffiti to vintage fabrics and emerging technology.

How I encourage creative thinking:
I come from a yes place. If I’m excited by an idea, I think about how we make it a reality. It’s important our creative team feels heard and people have an opportunity to lead, take ownership, and get credit when it’s due.

Biggest challenges facing brands:
People are spending much more time and money on experiences than on things. So we’re confronted with figuring out how we can create an experience through branding. How can we provide consumers with experiences while they are shopping? And how do we make it meaningful? Then there are the issues of sustainability and transparency. People want to know who made their clothes, what they’re made of, were they manufactured ethically and sustainably? It’s an opportunity for brands to be honest and connect on a deeper level with their consumers who are much more aware today than they were even a just a couple of years ago.

On branding and mindfulness:
The apparel and footwear industry is heading in the direction less is more, so there has to be a vital reason for any piece of branding on a garment or accessory. Brands have to be really mindful about placement, density, and material. It’s no longer let’s just throw a bunch of logos on the front of this shirt. It’s not a casual decision anymore. And it’s as much about sustainability as it is about competition.

Balancing creativity and sustainability:
Sustainability is an integral part of the design process. The design and the choice of materials is so important. Where we used to ask ourselves, how can we design something beautiful, it’s now how can we design something beautiful and sustainable? It pushes everything forward.

Rana collaborating with reknowned designer, Vivienne Tam

My path here:
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really great brands over the years. I started my career at Levi’s in San Francisco. I stayed in denim for a while, working with Diesel in Italy and Abercrombie & Fitch in Ohio. Then I switched over to performance when I joined Nike. When I started my own design firm, Grafik Bodega, I worked with brands like J. Crew and Madewell. Over the years, I’ve learned to hustle and think about the commercial side of things. But one of the most important things I picked up was the importance of connecting with people, building and maintaining relationships. It really serves me today.

Why Avery Dennison:
As I started the conversation about joining the company, I was really struck by the idea of sustainability and shifting the paradigm, and also that not every day is the same. You get to touch so many brands:  you’re working with Adidas, then Levi’s, then Christopher Raeburn. That part really excited me. Now that I’m here, I really love how truly global we are, millions of accents and different point of views. We’re so global yet we’re a family.  

Best career advice I’ve received:
There is a fundamental difference between doing things right and doing the right thing.

 

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