444 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.”
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The Business of Fashion Podcast The Business of Fashion

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 240 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.”
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Charles Jeffrey on 10 Years of Loverboy

    Charles Jeffrey on 10 Years of Loverboy

    In 2014, in a nondescript basement club in East London, Charles Jeffrey’s Loverboy was born. At the age of 18, the Scottish-born designer moved from Glasgow to London to pursue a BA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins and has since earned his place in the long line of highly creative fashion designers coming from the city. With an upcoming exhibition at Somerset House, the one time upstart is ready to look back on 10 years of his brand.
    “I'm Charles Jeffrey, I'm not Alexander McQueen, I'm Charles Jeffrey, I'm not Gareth Pugh. I'm Charles Jeffrey, I'm not John Galliano,” he said. “I have a way of looking at fashion and I want to nurture that and see it to its end.”
    This week on The BoF Podcast, Jeffrey joins me to share his journey into London’s fashion scene and reflect on the past, present and future of Loverboy, underscoring that he has his own unique vision to contribute to fashion. 
    Key Insights:

    Jeffrey credits video games for sparking his interest in fashion design. “I was a big geek and me and my friends would play in the forests and play Lord of the Rings with sticks. I would sit and draw the outfits and characters that we would all be. We all had our own alter egos and we would just really live in that world.” 
    Since the inception of Loverboy, Jeffrey was conscious of building a brand, and chose not to name the brand after himself. “I could have had a business that was just called Charles Jeffrey but I wanted to keep that Loverboy thing because I felt it was a sticky kind of concept. I could apply it to products, Loverboy tartan, Loverboy polka dot, Loverboy pinstripe, or the Loverboy beanie,” he said. “All these things, you start to give them names; it's the psychology of business and brands and advertising.”
    Jeffrey understands that creating core hero products is essential to creating brand loyalty and drawing in customers to discover other products.  “How can I make a beanie, which is a bit of a novelty and a throwaway, something that people will buy from us for another ten years? How do you change the perspective of that to somebody so that they come to us for that but then the psychology of this novelty beanie also makes them think, ‘I bet they do great jumpers or I bet they do a really nice bag’.” 
    Looking to the future, Jefrrey’s  aim is to create a sustainable, independent business. “My goal, in the next three to five years, is to build an element of the brand that's not reliant on a wholesale model, that's not relying on the fashion model, per se.” he says. “You can push the brand into all these spaces but if the sell-through isn't right, if you've not got the story behind it, if you've not got the relationship with the clients, it just dies a death.”
    Additional resources 
    Charles Jeffrey on What It’s Like to Be a Rising Designer in the Midst of a Pandemic Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s Furious Physicality   A Tang of Revolution at Charles Jeffrey  
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    • 44 min
    How Esteban Cortázar Got His Groove Back

    How Esteban Cortázar Got His Groove Back

    Esteban Cortázar first fell in love with fashion as a teenager growing up in Miami. Over the years, his career in fashion has come with lots of ups and downs. After he became one of the youngest designers to ever present at New York Fashion Week he had to shut his label down. He went on to become the creative director of Emanuel Ungaro at just 22 years old, before leaving after he disagreed with the owners’ plans to bring on Lindsay Lohan as a consultant. He relaunched his eponymous fashion house but it closed during Covid. Now, Esteban is launching ‘Donde Esteban,’ a new brand on his own terms, on his own schedule, celebrating his roots in Colombia, Miami and Ibiza. 
    “Where we can lack as young designers or as designers doing independent brands is that it's really like a puzzle,” says Cortazár. “And you have to have all of the pieces in place for it to work. Having an investor is certainly not enough, you really need to have all of the different angles in place, especially today, to be able to sustain a business.”
    This week on The BoF Podcast Esteban joins me to share his career journey and the lessons he’s learned about building an independent fashion business today.
    Key insights:

    Born to a Colombian painter and former British jazz singer, Cortazár’s childhood straddled continents, lifestyles, and subcultures, all of which has greatly influenced his artistic sensibilities. “I grew up around a very bohemian environment through my family and my parents — colours and paints and oils and instruments. That already set the tone of a very artistic point of view from a very early stage,” he says. 
    Emulating what he saw in the fashion magazines he devoured as a teenager, Cortazár’s early shows were always organised to a professional standard despite his young age and lack of training.
    Cortazár jumped at the opportunity to become creative director of Ungaro at the age of 22. “I knew how much questioning there was going to be from the industry about me and my age, my experience, my lack of experience. I just took it and I went for it because I knew that that kind of opportunity wouldn't just continue to come like this.”
    Heavily influenced by his upbringing, Cortazar’s new label Donde Esteban is somewhat of a homecoming. “My take on fashion has changed and evolved and I wanted to create something that felt so authentically me, that really celebrated the multicultural aspect of my life. The fact that I was born in Colombia, grew up in Miami, then went to New York, then went to Paris, that I spent all my summers in Ibiza.”
    Additional resources:
    Turning Point | Esteban Cortazar, Comeback Kid | BoFEsteban Cortázar Tackles Fashion's Timing Gap | BoFUnlikely Directions at Esteban Cortazar | BoF 

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    • 43 min
    Vanessa Friedman on the Past, Present and Future of the Met Gala

    Vanessa Friedman on the Past, Present and Future of the Met Gala

    The first Monday in May has become synonymous with the Met Gala. Every year, celebrities and brands come together on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year’s theme was The Garden of Time and attendees went to enormous efforts to try to catch the spotlight amid one of the busiest red carpet moments of the year, orchestrated by Anna Wintour, global chief content officer of Conde Nast and editor-in-chief of American Vogue.
    “Anna Wintour has raised the ante every year to the extent that this Met Gala made $26 million in one night,” says New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman on this week’s episode of The BoF Podcast. “The amount of social media impressions it generates is beyond compare. The guest list that she curates, because it is an entirely curated guest list, is like nothing else.”.
    Friedman joins BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed to share her journey into fashion journalism, reflect on what this year’s Met Gala says about the state of fashion and culture and of course, dissects the standout looks of the night.
    Key Insights:

    Over the past few decades, fashion has become a pillar of popular culture thanks to  the rise of social media and our image-first culture, said Friedman. “We now communicate globally more through imagery than we communicate through words or papers or speeches or books,” she says. “We are constantly making judgments based on the images we see … and those images are intrinsically connected to fashion … It's a language that we all think we speak and therefore we can use as communication.”
    The Spanish luxury house Loewe, owned by LVMH, was one of the evening’s sponsors, which for Friedman is an embodiment of the culture-shaping ethos held by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault. “He doesn't want his brands to be just fashion brands. He wants them to be culture brands. It's going past luxury into shaping culture at large.”
    This year’s Met Gala raised an impressive $26 million, but Friedman says this raises questions about the event’s future. “Has this party reached its apogee? Is it possible to make more than $26 million in one night?”
    Reflecting on her 20 plus years in the fashion industry, Friedman’s advice to aspiring critics is to think beyond the industry. “Learn as much as you can about things that aren’t fashion. Broaden your viewpoint and think about the world in as wide and exciting and curious a way as possible.”  
    Additional resources:
    Met Gala 2024 Beauty Trends: Boho Princesses and Bling Queens Embrace Garden FairytaleAt the Met Gala, the Fantasy Was Intact The Met Gala’s TikTok Headache  
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    • 46 min
    Stan Herman on a Lifetime in Fashion

    Stan Herman on a Lifetime in Fashion

    Stan Herman may be 95 years old, but the designer, activist and former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America remains an unstoppable force. His recent memoir, “Uncross Your Legs: A Life in Fashion” details his journey through the American fashion industry, including bringing New York Fashion Week to Bryant Park. 
    This week on The BoF Podcast, Herman joins BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed to reflect on his remarkable life and career, and to talk about how big business has changed the fashion industry.
    “With so much money being floated out there, it's changed the whole nature of the business,” he says.“Once we anointed designers as superstars, once big business and Wall Street put their cashmere gloves on, fashion was not the same.”
    Key Insights
    Herman, who grew up in a Jewish family in New Jersey, traces his initial interest in fashion to his parents. His father owned a number of silk stores. His mother died when he was only 12 years old, but in writing his book he discovered that she was a talented seamstress. “I found things about her that I had never known. How she sewed, how she made patterns on the floor, how she knew how to cut a bias dress,” he recalls. “We didn't have very much money at the time and she made lots of house dresses that she lived in.”
    Herman’s career includes  stints designing ready-to-wear under the label Mr. Mort and creating uniforms for America’s largest corporations. “I lived this life of a designer with an intellectual school teacher and I plotted my life,” he says. “I worked for eight years in companies, then I was first a third designer, second designer. I learned the hard way.”
    In 1991, Herman became the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, a position he held for 16 years. During his time at the CFDA, New York Fashion Week was born, initially staged in a cluster of white tents in Bryant Park. “That park has become for me my life in New York,” he said. “It's never been the same since they left Bryant Park. But that's okay, things do change.” 
    Additional resources:
    Thom Browne Named CFDA ChairmanWhat Tom Ford’s CFDA Post Means for American Fashion

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    • 36 min
    How Calvin Klein Taps Into Culture

    How Calvin Klein Taps Into Culture

    On January 4th of this year, when Calvin Klein dropped its new spring 2024 campaign with a shirtless Jeremy Allen White wearing the brand’s signature underwear, it set the internet ablaze. Social media feeds flooded with reaction videos and media outlets covered the campaign widely. The following week, Calvin Klein saw a 30 percent year-over-year increase in underwear sales.
    While the brand could never have predicted the gigantic response the campaign would generate, Calvin Klein’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley says the brand did everything it could to put the strategy in place for it to do so.
    “In a culture that's very flat, how do you create those spikes … we adopt what we call an entertainment mentality,” said Bottomley on stage at the BoF Professional Summit in New York. 
    This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed sits down with Bottomley to unpack Calvin Klein’s marketing strategy and how they cut through the noise to create cultural moments.
    Key Insights:
    Calvin Klein’s entertainment mentality can be broken down into three main parts. “Firstly, we put a lot of focus on creating stories and creating content that people are going to want to spend time with. The second thing is we think really hard about the talent, not just in terms of reach of engagement, but the opportunity to create a cultural character, show them in a way that maybe you haven't seen before,” Bottomley explains. “And then the third thing is media. We work with real intention to blend the media mix, to try and game the algorithm and and really to cut through.” 
    Bottomley stresses that the brand does not aim to court controversy. “There's an authenticity to what we do, which is partly the DNA as a brand. This idea of sensuality and empowerment, they go together,” he says. “It's much more to do with partnership, creative expression, and this idea of a character that we feel is going to work, but that our partner really believes in.”
    On balancing brand marketing and performance marketing, Bottomley believes the two are intertwined. “The way we think about it is that everything is brand and everything is performance. … The imperative of a brand is to lead and to say from within the confines of where culture is going, ‘how can we step outside that and excite people with something?’”
    Additional resources:
    Calvin Klein, Levi’s and the Real Value of MarketingWhy Calvin Klein Ads Still Get People TalkingCalvin Klein’s New Strategy: Don’t Market the Dream, Market What Sells

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    • 22 min
    Willy Vanderperre on Youth Culture and His New Exhibition in Antwerp

    Willy Vanderperre on Youth Culture and His New Exhibition in Antwerp

    For more than  30 years, photographer Willy Vanderperre has been fascinated with youth. Vanderperre has carved a niche for himself in the fashion industry, capturing the youthful essence of models like Julia Nobis and Clément Chabernaud for fashion houses including Dior, Prada and Givenchy.
    “It would be bordering on pretentious to say that I understand youth. I am 53 years old and I am fully aware of that. It's impossible to understand youth nowadays. I can just have an interpretation of what I think youth is through my eyes and through the experiences I have with those kids,” says Vanderperre.
    Ahead of the opening of his  exhibition “Willy Vanderperre Prints, Films, a Rave and More…” at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, Vanderperre sits down with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks to discuss this approach to image-making his creative collaborations with Raf Simons and Olivier Rizzo, and more.

    Key Insights
    Whilst studying photography at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Vanderperre first encountered the friends who would become his closest collaborators: Raf Simons, Olivier Rizzo and Peter Philips. “We all grew up in different parts of Belgium, we all have very different backgrounds, we also come from different subcultures, so I think it's also that that linked us together at one point.”
    A rave and hedonistic subculture is an essential component of his body of work. “Of course we had to include the rave. My main focus has always been youth, and it will always be. I am from that generation of Belgian kids that when the rave scene was big, I was young and I indulged in that lifestyle,” he shared.
    Vanderperre views challenge, both for himself and his audience, as a defining characteristic of his work. “What is a beautiful picture? Does it always have to be beautifully lit or perfectly lit? … Technique is important, but it's a means and I think we should play with that,” he explains. 
    As for his work philosophy, Vanderperre keeps it simple: “I like the idea of observing, creating and bringing that character to life and being genuinely interested in that person in front of the camera” he says. “I think the last three decades we’ve just been trying to translate youth through our eyes.”
    Additional Resources:
    Willy Vanderperre: ‘Youth Is an Emotion. Youth Is the Breaking Point’ Willy Vanderperre Has a New Instagram Project  
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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
240 Ratings

240 Ratings

It's time to Bloom ,

Insightful and inspiring

Such a great podcast for anyone interested in the changing landscape of fashion and beauty. Covering the important issues beyond just the sometime superficial aspects of the industry!

marc londun ,


Well done … excellent work

cassiebrown7917 ,

it's helping me ...

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

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