353 episodes

The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as “indispensable,” “required reading” and “an addiction.”

The Business of Fashion Podcast The Business of Fashion

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 228 Ratings

The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as “indispensable,” “required reading” and “an addiction.”

    Tracee Ellis Ross on Killing Perfectionism and Finding Self-Love

    Tracee Ellis Ross on Killing Perfectionism and Finding Self-Love

    The multi-tasking actor, executive producer and beauty entrepreneur shares her personal journey with BoF’s Imran Amed and explains how she unlocked her full potential across a variety of pursuits.
     
     
    Background: 
     
    Tracee Ellis Ross is best known for her roles in Girlfriends and Black-ish, but she is also the founder and CEO of Pattern which she launched in 2019 after more than a decade of development to address the gap in the market for products designed specifically for curly, coily, textured hair.
     
    The Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated Ross joins BoF’s Imran Amed on The BoF Podcast to talk about managing the little voice in her head, killing perfectionism and cultivating self-love and acceptance. 
     
    Finding purpose and unlocking potential starts by interrogating what you love, then finding ways to merge who you are with “what makes your heart sing,” said Ross. 
     
     
    Key Insights: 
     
    Pattern was born out of frustration. Ross couldn’t find the right tools or products to serve her needs, and never saw Black women being centred — despite sitting at the centre of culture.   Ross took learnings from developing a clothing line with JCPenney to help get her business off the ground. From there, she sought out the right partners. Key to evaluating partners was learning to be present during conversation.  In her work with Pattern and with companies like Ulta on diversity and inclusion, Ross hopes to dissolve the myth that Black hair care and beauty is a niche market.  
     
    Additional Resources:
     
    Modernising the Black Hair Care Market: A new wave of start-ups shaking up the textured hair care space are catching the attention of major retailers and investors, grabbing more shelf space and venture capital. Building the Glossier of the Black Hair Market: With her new DTC beauty brand, Radswan, blogger-turned-entrepreneur Freddie Harrel is pitching clip-in textured hair extensions and wigs to the digitally savvy black consumer.  
     
    To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link.

    • 47 min
    Ommy Akhe on How Augmented Reality Could Transform Fashion

    Ommy Akhe on How Augmented Reality Could Transform Fashion

    The creative technologist believes that experimenting with new AR technologies could radically reshape products, experiences and habits. 
     
     
    Background: 
    When it comes to testing new technologies, there is always an element of the unknown for brands. While tech investments may not immediately translate to a revenue bump, willingness to experiment could radically transform the fashion industry, according to Ommy Akhe, a creative technologist specialising in experimental software and augmented reality prototypes, who spoke at The BoF Professional Summit: New Frontiers in Fashion and Technology. 
     
    “Understanding your customers, the things they value, the challenges you can help them overcome and what gets them excited — it's essential to meet users where they are,” says Ahke. “The only constant is change. So why not join the journey and start enjoying the current future?” 
     
    Consumers today are younger, spend more time online and are used to valuing arbitrary digital assets like follower counts and verified check marks. This means they are also more apt to spend money on digital items that hold value in the real world.  The tools that will build the metaverse — including 5G, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, for example — are well established and consumers are used to interacting with them.  Ahke’s digital skins projects overlay dynamic imagery on bags, clothes and shoes through a phone lens. Brands can implement this sort of technology to drive loyalty and give buyers more avenues for expression.   
     
    Additional Resources:
     
     
    How the Smart Money in Fashion Is Thinking About Web3. Investors with track records of predicting where fashion is headed have their own ideas of where the big opportunities lie in web3. Fashion’s Metaverse Reality Check. The marketing value of digital fashion and NFTs may now be clear, but fashion brands will need to separate hype from the concrete opportunities to generate sustainable revenue streams from the metaverse. The Debrief: Who Is Designing Fashion in the Metaverse? BoF’s Marc Bain chats with Lauren Sherman about the 3D creators, game designers and NFT experts bringing fashion into the virtual world  
     
    To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link.

    • 17 min
    The Debrief: Why Chanel Is Opening Private Boutiques

    The Debrief: Why Chanel Is Opening Private Boutiques

    BoF’s luxury editor Robert Williams offers insight into the surprising news that the mega-label plans to open stores dedicated to serving top customers.
    Background: 
    As traffic to stores soars, Chanel’s chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux said the brand plans to open dedicated boutiques for top-spending clients starting in key Asian cities. It's a strategy that emphasises the importance of big-spenders to the in-demand French luxury brand’s future amid whispers of an impending recession — but one that risks alienating first time and occasional shoppers who are still dropping upwards of $10,000 for bags.
    “Brands like Chanel, they’ve lived through lots of cycles of boom and bust in the economy… When there’s an economic crisis, they need to be ready to have a real focus on repeat business,” said BoF’s luxury editor Robert Williams. 
    Key Insights: 
    Chanel sells many items in-store only, and limits locations to the most luxurious places in the world’s most luxury cities — operating just around 250 stores compared with Louis Vuitton’s over 400 doors.  Chanel is not the first brand to open special stores for private clients; Brunello Cucinelli deployed a similar concept last December. Other brands like Zegna have dedicated spaces in-store for special items.  In 2021, the company’s profits have tripled and revenue jumped 50 percent year over year. The brand’s growth in fashion, watches and jewellery last year was driven by its decision to raise prices and a flood of new clients and first-time buyers to luxury.  In addition to focusing on its physical footprint, Chanel is pushing its beauty business, which has been historically driven by department stores and beauty retailers like Sephora and Marionnaud, toward majority direct-to-consumer.   
    Additional Resources:  
    Chanel to Open Private Stores for Top Clients as Sales Soar 50% How Luxury Brands Court the 1 Percent  
    Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. 
    Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. 

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    • 20 min
    Ross Bailey on Building a Business From Humble Beginnings

    Ross Bailey on Building a Business From Humble Beginnings

    The founder and CEO of retail pop-up marketplace Appear Here shares his entrepreneurial journey and advice for young founders looking to break through. 
     
     
    Background: 
     
    Ross Bailey’s love of entrepreneurship didn’t start  in business school or a corporate job, but at the hair salon his parents owned in London. 
     
    “I watched my parents take this little shop and it became their livelihood,” he says to BoF’s founder and editor in chief, Imran Amed, describing himself as a “busybody” who rearranged furniture and conducted customer satisfaction surveys from a young age. “To me, entrepreneurship was a game. It was about ‘how do I get people involved and have a bit of fun?’”
     
    That mindset eventually led him to found Appear Here, “the Airbnb of retail,” in 2014. “The story of the world … was that the high street is dead, nobody wants it. And we had a contrarian view on that. When you have small high street stores and streets, people want to be on them … our data has always backed it up.”
     
    By 2019, Appear Here was a global business with 250,000 entrepreneurs signed up to the platform and 30,000 stores launched. The company has facilitated pop-ups for fashion giants like Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Supreme, a bookstore for Michelle Obama’s autobiography, as well as Harry’s House for pop superstar Harry Styles. 
     
    Then the pandemic hit. Appear Here went from having its best year ever and closing a funding round with a nine-figure valuation, to losing 95 percent of revenue with just months’ worth of cash left.
     
    On this week’s episode of The BoF Podcast, Bailey shares his lessons and advice from the early days of founding a business and the role leaders play in leading employees and stakeholders through challenging times. 
     
     
     
    Key Insights: 
     
    The traditional world of commercial real estate and retail is inaccessible and opaque, creating systemic barriers for entrepreneurs from marginalised backgrounds. But small independent stores are also the backbone of entrepreneurship for immigrants and other communities. “Whether it's the local takeaway restaurant, whether it's the local shop, all of those places… were people who were entrepreneurial, who were doing something, who were trying to build a livelihood.” Despite Covid’s impact on retail, Bailey doubled down on Appear Here’s mission. Seeing people returning to streets, even when non-essential retail was curbed, and queuing for coffees highlighted the human desire for in-person community. “I just felt that this wasn't the time to pivot, this wasn't the time to relax on our idea or rein it in. Actually, Appear Here would make more sense coming out of this than ever before.”  The future of retail is hyper-local, says Bailey, citing examples of global brands playing into cultural niches, like Adidas and Gucci’s takeover of a working men’s social club in Peckham. “It's no longer about Fifth Avenue and Regent Street or the Champs-Élysées, it's about neighbourhoods and interesting places.”  
     
     
    Additional Resources: 
    How Temporary Pop-Ups Became a Permanent Strategy
    What Happens When the E-Commerce Boom Ends  
    How to Open a Store in 2022 | BoF
     
    To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link.

    • 54 min
    Ian Rogers on the Inevitability of Virtual Fashion

    Ian Rogers on the Inevitability of Virtual Fashion

    Ian Rogers moved from Silicon Valley to Paris in 2015 when he was appointed chief digital officer of LVMH. There, Rogers, a veteran of Apple Music and Beats, was tasked with building out the luxury conglomerate’s e-commerce and data strategy and serving as a digital whisperer to executives.  
    Background:
    Now, he’s chief experience officer of Ledger, a security system that provides protection for digital currencies. Given his experience at the cutting edge of both tech and fashion, he is uniquely positioned to speak to the opportunities being created as crypto technologies, gaming and fashion converge. In his mind, one day, virtual fashion will be ubiquitous. 
    His insights were originally featured in the fourth episode of The BoF Show, “Dematerialisation: Why the Metaverse Is Fashion’s Next Goldmine,” streaming on Bloomberg Quicktake. 
     
    Key Insights 
    Rogers’ background in the music industry has helped inform the way he perceives’ luxury’s need to take control of digital channels. Record labels lost out big on recorded music because they were in denial of consumers' desire to listen to music online.  Having goods that are both digital and physical, or, “phygital” is the gateway to the existence of purely virtual goods. In order for virtual goods to have real value and meaning, there need to be marketplaces and venues for using them.  People have a desire to collect things. With the rise of NFTs, there’s a way to create scarcity digitally — which gives fashion brands an opportunity to create virtual goods based on the principles and hype and rarity that drive the industry today.  The biggest misconceptions people have is that there’s a distinction between the physical and digital worlds, according to Rogers. The blurring of realities in the metaverse will ultimately change our perceptions of what’s real — and valuable. Most technology surrounding digital goods, NFTs, crypto and the metaverse is still nascent, and storytelling about its potential has been ahead of reality.  Additional Resources
    Dematerialisation: Why the Metaverse Is Fashion’s Next Goldmine. Physical and digital worlds merge in the Metaverse. Can the luxury world dematerialise into the virtual space fast enough to attract eager customers — and their avatars? What the NFT Gold Rush Means for Fashion. The market for digital collectibles is booming. Opportunity or passing fad? Why Streetwear and NFTs Are a Perfect Match. Both trade in heavily hyped, limited-edition products that offer a sense of community. Fashion brands aiming to tap digital art take note. To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link.

    • 44 min
    Jens Grede on Building Skims, Frame and the Future of Fashion

    Jens Grede on Building Skims, Frame and the Future of Fashion

    The multitasking entrepreneur joins BoF founder and chief executive Imran Amed to discuss the personal and professional journey that led him to co-create the category-disrupting brand Skims with Kim Kardashian. 
     
    Background: 
     
    Jens Grede has built some of the most successful direct-to-consumer brands in American fashion. Alongside his wife Emma, he launched Brady with Tom Brady, Good American with Khloe Kardashian, and, of course, Kim Kardashian’s category-disrupting Skims. This week on the BoF Podcast, the Swedish-born former ad man joins BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed to discuss his journey through the fashion industry — from realising one of his early dreams of creating an ad for Calvin Klein to to elevating Skims into a once-in-a generation brand in the vein of Lululemon or Nike’s Jordan brand. 
     
    “I've waited my whole career to be part of a moment like this, and I'm very scared of messing it up,” says Grede. “At the same time, I know that if we stop experimenting, if we stop innovating, that is the fastest way to mess it up.”



     
    Key Insights: 
     
    Cultivating a sense of community is one of the only ways to scale a brand now, according to Grede. Great community starts with creating for yourself: products you like, want to buy and can afford.  Grede describes one of his biggest mistakes — attempting to trademark the brand name “Kimono” with Kardashian — as one of the most important moments of his career because of what he learned about community and partnership. He said the Skims team listened, owned the mistake and pivoted.  Fashion is at the cusp of a huge change in distribution due to pivots in culture, algorithms and the outsized role of social media. Grede thinks every major fashion brand that has scaled successfully was born in the cracks of a major distribution change.    
     
    Additional Resources: 
    Skims Plots Its Next Moves: ‘We Don’t Have the Luxury of Failing.’ Skims recently raised funding at a $3.2 billion valuation. Kim Kardashian and Jens Grede, in an exclusive interview with BoF, explain how the ‘solution wear’ empire plans to prove it’s more than a pandemic fad. First up: swimwear. The BoF Podcast: Building Disruptive Direct-to-Consumer Brands. The entrepreneurs behind Allbirds, Hims and Hers and Good American outline the keys to their brands’ success. Building a DTC Challenger Brand | Download the Case Study. Fashion entrepreneurs need a new playbook to launch, scale and differentiate their companies, as regulations and rising costs mean performance marketing can no longer serve the critical role it once did for DTC brands.  
     
     
    Join BoF Professional today using the link here.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
228 Ratings

228 Ratings

cassiebrown7917 ,

it's helping me ...

so much of what i'm thinking, questioning and worrying about is being put into words here - thank you

Jenclr ,

Essential listening

If you are interested in the fashion industry and want to know the hot topics and inside info I would high recommend you subscribe to these Podcasts. It’s essential listening and hugely informative!

Hattie491 ,

Almost love it

Some fascinating guests but the interviews are so hard to listen too, some seem so awkward and unprepared for.

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