After the whirlwind of parties- from the Cannes Film Festival, to New York Fashion Week’s Official Party, (should we also mention the Milan Fashion Week’s Party- voted #1 party in Milan), it’s a wonder that Sasha Devic, one of the world’s leading event planners and CEO of 7D, has any energy left to sit down and have a chat with Joonbug. Luckily for us, even with his hectic schedule, he lets his passion for nightlife fuel and inspire him. Who knew that the young Sasha Devic (He’s turning 25 this weekend ladies)- a former pro basketball player, hailing from Sarajevo, could have accomplished so much in so little time? The answer: He did.
He began his empire in fashion and high society parties shortly after getting injured in basketball. “I first played professional basketball and I would go out every night after the games. After my injury, I met Zark Fatah, one of the key players in the nightlife industry in Toronto. He owns around six venues in his hometown. I told him I was interested in learning more, so for the first year and a half he connected me with other promoters and clubs owners and his partners. He was my biggest influence to start this. I was promoter and then I became a host, and soon founded Showtime Productions.”
And why did he name it Showtime Productions? (he laughs) "When I came to play basketball in the states, I would act like Borat, you know, “I come from Europe.” I was always called Showtime. It was a big joke, so I named it after that. Soon after, I partnered with the World Fashion Channel, one of the top channels in the world. I became their worldwide event director.”
Like most old fashioned business men, Sasha Devic is no stranger to hard work. So when he became director of events for WFC, you can imagine the feeling. “It was amazing. It felt like all my hard work had finally paid off. I put so much into my work, and it was unbelievable when they created the position of Event Director of World Fashion Channel, for me. So at the age of 23 (2 years) my first party opened London Fashion Week. And that’s where it all took off, WMC Miami- I took out the #1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, to all the best places in Miami. It was a fun night.”
It’s not all fun and games though. It may sound easy but a lot of sleepless nights go into an event before he can even think to relax. “It’s important to mention that I am the creator/founder of 7D. It became a recognizable brand because of our great design, reputation, and successful events. Business is most important, I’m there 24/7. Cannes Film Festival was a huge project. I was there for an entire month and before that I literally didn’t sleep for 3 months. We were getting a lot of requests. People like the royal family of Saudi Arabia wanted a table. We had to do everything, from getting the right lighting, to booking the best DJs, we had to fly production teams and interior designers, Playboy bunnies, and most importantly the people. The night before the closing party, we had Lamborghini and Playboy in the same house. It was over capacity and we were in awe at how many people attended.”
Owning a company and being Event Director of World Fashion Channel, aren’t the only hats that Sasha has worn. And you’d be surprised to hear which has been the most stressful. “While being the GM of Playboy Mansion Europe was unbelievable, it was definitely the hardest I’ve ever worked.”
How did he get the idea (and the chutzpah) to start a Playboy Mansion, you ask? “A good friend and business partner of mine, Richard Nilsson owns the most beautiful property in Cannes called Villa Oxygene. And every year we create amazing events for people to be enthralled at the film festival. So this summer we made an agreement with Playboy to make a mansion outside of the USA. We built the mansion in Cannes. We also made an agreement with Lamborghini when they launched their drink, so (he laughs) every night was fun. And when you’re 25 and manager of Playboy Mansion Europe, what more could you ask for?”
But don’t be mistaken. While he knows how to party, he’s not out of control. “It sound like its all fun but it was the hardest I have ever had to work. I was working on 2 hours of sleep every day. Literally everything that was happening, I had to be aware of it. Even if a fly was in the kitchen, I had to take care of it, while still being available to all the girls, and venues. People think I’m like a party animal but most of the time I’m up for ten days straight preparing for the event. I organize everything from the camera crew, models, to publicity and atmosphere. I can’t complain though, love it. I get to meet people from all aspects of life, industry, and fields.”
While most of us would burn out at the thought of orchestrating haute society events- some simultaneously- Sasha sees the challenge in a light that we love. “My business is to create amazing events and generate an incredible vibe for people who love to go out. It’s fun. I get to travel to many places, and immerse myself in different cultures, not just party-wise. And people from all around the world come to my parties. For example, during the Cannes Film Festival, my friends from everywhere come to help create an enchanting party. The best night is the one that you have after you’ve done weeks (even months) of great work. Then you can enjoy what you’ve made. On top of all this, I am getting my education at Missouri Valley College and I have to thank them. They have such a great understanding for my business. I travel and work a lot, so I am absent from some classes, but they support what I am doing.”
We’re sure you’re all wondering how he can coordinate these parties, and go to school, without getting burnt out. “Every day I go over a lot of things. I watch videos, pictures, every kind of media, so I never lose passion. There’s always something new, which is the best part. When you’ve worked for yourself you can create something in your mind that people are going to follow.”
And of course Sasha has help running the nightlife empire of 7D. “Emidio Sacramento is the co-founder who brings the creativity and design to the company. Without him, it would be impossible to have 7D. Also, I have to say big THANK YOU to all club owners and operators around the World, for their daily and friendly advice to me. All of them really helped me a lot, even if it was just motivation through seeing their incredible work.”
Not to mention his own incredible work, among his massive portfolio- which includes the opening party London Fashion Week, Official Party NY Fashion week (2 years in a row), Cannes Film Festival, WMC Miami, Milan Fashion Week (voted best party of Milan Fashion Week), US Open, Playboy Mansion Europe, and Barcelona Moed Champagne (we know, it’s a pretty hefty portfolio)- he’s working on expansion and something we know all you Fashionistas will trade your left Louboutin for.
“I’m creating an interesting project that I think will be nice. It will involve a tour of all Fashion Weeks in all the major cities. In Paris, NY, Milan, London, and Miami or LA. I’m partnering with a few top lifestyle and fashion magazines which will bring nice coverage, and WFC, which means it’ll be seen in over 150 countries around the world. We’re also working on licensing Cannes Fashion Week which will take place next year during the film festival.”
While he plans some of the hottest worldwide events, he can’t lie. His favorite party moments are from the ones he throws for friends and family. “Personally, my favorite is my birthday party that I do every year in Miami with my friends that are in same business. Can you imagine: This year, I’m spreading my birthday over four days. I’m celebrating turning 25 this weekend actually, in Miami at Club WALL at the W. The next day I’m celebrating at LIV, the best club in the world."
"That’s on the personal side though; for the best business party moments, I have two. The first, I was in Miami, partying with the top tennis players in the world. Then at New York Fashion Week’s Official Party, I entertained celebs like Rihanna, Drake, P.Diddy, Ciara, and Kim Kardashian. It was crazy, I even had a TV crew from back home to cover the event.”
Any advice for those who aspire to work in nightlife?
“Twenty years ago, I survived a war and that helped me learn how to appreciate life, and work hard. How fortunate am I to have results like having lunch in New York with the biggest tennis legend in history, Monica Seles and people from the United Nations, and same the Saturday night, partying with Rihanna and P.Diddy. You can get there, too. But you have to be very enthusiastic, ready to work hard and be passionate. The biggest of mistake is if you come to this business because of girls and drinks. If that’s the case, you won’t last long because you’ll lose focus and responsibility-the keys to being successful.”
And with hot upcoming projects and his incredible love for life, it’s no wonder Sasha Devic’s 7D is booming, ready to top any nightlife experience you’ve ever had. Get ready world, and keep a close eye for what's brewing next in his immaculate mind of nightlife possibilities.