Jason Basmajian’s career to date has seen him rejuvenate numerous luxury brands in his role as Chief Creative Officer, including ST Dupont, Brioni, Gieves & Hawkes and most recently Cerruti.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Basmajian has lived in NYC, Paris, Milan and London and travelled extensively in Asia. Dubbed a “luxury visionary” by The Times London, Basmajian is known for balancing a brand’s core DNA with a fresh and relevant perspective across design, marketing and communications.
Basmajian is also a published interior designer and has been profiled for his design work in the Financial Times’ “How to Spend It”, Architectural Digest, Wallpaper, Esquire, Elle Decor, GQ and Times Luxury amongst others. He has been a guest lecturer at the London Business School, Condé Nast College of Fashion, Royal College of Art, Parsons School of Design, the Wired Retail conference and the China Business Forum.
As an Art Director, Basmajian has produced numerous global print and digital campaigns with photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Paolo Roversi, Ellen von Unwerth and Erik Madigan Heck. He serves as an advisory board member of art fair ‘Eye of the Collector’ as well as Editorial Director of online magazine ‘The Luxury Channel’.
Basmajian is based in London and lives with his partner and their border terrier Cosmo.
1. What was your very first job?
My first job at 18 was working as a sales associate at a beautiful men’s and women’s specialty clothing boutique on Cape Cod. It was a summer job and my fist experience working with luxury and fashion
2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
My roll over the years has evolved from designer to Creative Director to Chief Creative Officer. I oversee and manage the verticals of design, marketing, and communications for a brand and work in tandem to a CEO. I see myself as an orchestra conductor where I need to obtain the best sound of each player but the entire piece of music has to sound fantastic and harmonious.
3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Was there a train of events that brought you where you are today?
As a young child I was always changing my clothes and moving my furniture around to create a “better look or ambiance” . At University I started studying marketing and communications but would work summer jobs selling beautiful clothing. I was always aesthetic, tactile, and creative but liked the idea branding and imagery as a strategy and communication. I am lucky to have worked in various roles that allows me to bring all of these elements together into one experience
4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
I find inspiration in travel, film, and art. I love to meet new people and challenge my perspective. I love cook. Food is such an important part of culture. It’s communal and a way of sharing. It’s uses all five of our senses. In my role I have always tried to balance experienced key people with young fresh talent. It’s import to mentor and be reverse mentored to keep it relevant, alive and exciting
5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be?
One of my favourite aspects of my job is creative collaboration. The parts make a stronger whole. In one of the last Cerruti runway shows I collaborated with a friend music producer Benji B and a Grammy nominated performer Sabina Sciubba. The set design was inspired by a show of Oceanic Arts at the Royal academy and was a take on modern totems.
Another project I loved and was rewarding was working with Parson’s New school Paris on a course where we challenged the students to create a gender fluid collection signed Cerruti. It went beyond design to include merchandising, market research, construction, sketching, presentation and advertising. It was a 360 degree approach and devised to bring the create, commercial, and communication elements together. We worked in collaboration with Woolmark and it was such a win win project for everyone involved.
6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? Which of these disciplines are you most interested in seeing at CONNECTIONS? (ie photo, film, production, social, experiential, vr, cgi, animation etc)
I would say I mostly commission digital short films, advertising imagery, package design, and innovative ways of communicating a brand story and experience