33 episodes

Welcome to The Debrief, a new weekly podcast from The Business of Fashion, where we go beyond the glossy veneer and unpack our most popular BoF Professional stories. Hosted by BoF’s chief correspondent Lauren Sherman, who after covering fashion and beauty for nearly two decades, will be your guide into the mega labels, indie upstarts and unforgettable  personalities shaping the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry.
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The Debrief The Business of Fashion

    • Fashion & Beauty
    • 4.8 • 27 Ratings

Welcome to The Debrief, a new weekly podcast from The Business of Fashion, where we go beyond the glossy veneer and unpack our most popular BoF Professional stories. Hosted by BoF’s chief correspondent Lauren Sherman, who after covering fashion and beauty for nearly two decades, will be your guide into the mega labels, indie upstarts and unforgettable  personalities shaping the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Why So Many Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are for Sale Right Now

    Why So Many Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are for Sale Right Now

    As the economy weakens and funding dries up, digital brands may face pressure to sell from investors. To do so, they’ll need to prove they’re more than just another money-losing start-up.
    Background:
    Over the past few years, investors have been bullish on fast-growing digital brands — rewarding their rapid sales growth with sky-high valuations. More recently, physical retail has rebounded and e-commerce sales have shrunk. As a result, a number of digital-first brands are burning through cash as inflation and the cost of goods rises. VCs are increasingly wary of investing in companies without clear paths to profitability, so a number of those money-losing labels are finding it difficult to raise funds. Many, with few options to weather the imminent recession, are looking for an exit. 
    “A great deal of these digital brands were growing at all costs… people did not anticipate a large slowdown and then a possible recession — so they weren’t managing their money well,” said Malique Morris, BoF direct-to-consumer correspondent. 
    Key Insights:

    To catch the eye of a potential investor, brands must focus on profitability. But they also need to set themselves apart with new ideas and business models. A number of retailers struggling to adapt to shifting consumer tastes — like Victoria’s Secret, which acquired lingerie start-up Adore Me in November — are in need of a boost. To set the stage for an attractive exit, Ministry of Supply, which sells wrinkle-free dress shirts, has focused on getting old customers to make additional purchases, rather than acquire new ones. Seeing lower valuations, profitable brands that are attractive acquisition targets don’t have much incentive to sell at the moment. 
    Additional Resources:

    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/direct-to-consumer/buck-mason-ministry-of-supply-adore-me-dtc-acquisitions-/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/entrepreneurship/why-venture-capital-is-a-bad-fit-for-most-fashion-businesses/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/entrepreneurship/a-new-model-for-funding-fashion-start-ups/
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    • 14 min
    Fashion’s Gen-Z Obsession

    Fashion’s Gen-Z Obsession

    The BoF Insights team shares details from their recent report on why these young consumers are so crucial to the success of the fashion industry — and what brands can do to woo them. 
    Background: 
    Gen-Z, or those born between 1997 and 2010, accounts for 25 percent of the world’s population. With the oldest of the generation turning 25 this year, the group has already come into its own with a purchasing power of about $360 billion. Fashion brands have always chased youth, but Gen-Z brings a whole new set of marketing challenges. Having grown up in the midst of rapid technological advancement, a worsening climate crisis and global movements like Me Too and Black Lives Matter, Gen-Z has been characterised as more pragmatic and socially aware, while also being trend-fixated. The contradictions are endless.
    Key Insights: 

    Sometimes, Gen-Z contradicts itself. For example, top fashion brands including Nike and Gucci were among the general group’s favourite brands — but smaller focus groups said they wanted to support underrepresented designers. As well, fast fashion brands like Shein are popular, but the group says they care about sustainability. Gen-Zers increasingly impact the economy. However, the group will come into its own with more financial insecurity than those before it. BoF Insights distilled the demographic down to a few key personas with distinct characteristics to understand its habits and behaviours: the forgers, signatures, satellites, rebels, explorers and idealists. Generally, brands should communicate with Gen-Z in a casual, natural, community-forward way. The group is less beholden to traditional tastemakers, and trends move fast. 
    BoF Insights is the new data and analysis think tank from The Business of Fashion, arming fashion and luxury professionals with the business intelligence they need to make better strategic decisions. For more insights, please see BoF Insights’ archive on topics like designer bags, resale, digital fashion, and fashion’s supply chain.
    Additional resources:

    https://www.businessoffashion.com/reports/retail/gen-z-fashion-in-the-age-of-realism-bof-insights-social-media-report/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/retail/implications-of-gen-z-for-the-fashion-industry-bof-insights-charts/https://www.businessoffashion.com/events/retail/gen-z-and-fashion-in-the-age-of-realism-bof-live-insights-report/
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    • 28 min
    The State of the Influencer Economy

    The State of the Influencer Economy

    A panel of experts, including BoF’s Lauren Sherman and Diana Pearl, detail how the business of influencing has evolved — and where it's all going.
    Things move fast on the internet. In just the past few years, there have been a number of changes in the social media space and the influencer economy built around it. For one, brands are betting on influencers with day jobs, working with creators like Sky Ting Yoga founder Krissy Jones or James Whiteside, principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, as they look for relatable ambassadors to reach engaged audiences. The line between the average social media user and influencer is increasingly blurred as non-influencers endorse products online. Widely, people learn more about brands from other people, rather than brands’ own storytelling. It's becoming even more important for brands to be on every platform — and influencers to have their own platforms. 
    Key Insights: 

    In many ways, the shift represents a return to old days of influence — where hobbyists set up YouTube channels and churned out authentic content viewers found refreshingly relatable. Influencer pay increased almost 50 percent overall from 2020 to mid-2021, said Nord. But, there are a lot more influencers getting paid, which means more competition as brands have a deepening pool of options. There’s been a shift to video-first content. And younger generations are starting to snag brand deals from more established figures. Overall, marketers are paying whether influencers actually have influence — not just followers.
    Additional Resources:

    Why You Should Hire an Influencer With a Day Job: Influencers who gained online fame for offline pursuits are rapidly earning brand attention, but working with them requires a different type of partnership.Why Nordstrom Appears to Be Pivoting Away From Influencers: Influencers helped turn Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale into a major moment for the department store. This year, they say the retailer is leaning less on social media marketing, leading some creators to downplay the annual event.Is Now the Time to Hire a Virtual Influencer? Virtual influencers had faded from fashion campaigns, but now amid all the metaverse hype they’re popping up again, with Prada and Pacsun turning to virtual faces.The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing: As the creator space has matured, brands must be thoughtful about crafting a strategy that leverages influencer marketing’s full power, considering everything from talent scouting to the effectiveness of metrics.
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    • 32 min
    Is Luxury’s Streetwear Obsession Over?

    Is Luxury’s Streetwear Obsession Over?

    BoF’s Daniel-Yaw Miller discusses streetwear’s evolution from subculture to high fashion favourite — and whether the aesthetic’s waning influence spells its end. 
    Background: 
    After years of build up, from its origins in cultural movements like New York’s hip-hop scene and LA’s skating community to early commercialisation in the early 2000s from brands like Fubu and Stussy and Japanese designers Nigo and Hiroshi Fujiwara, by the late 2010s, streetwear found itself at the centre of luxury fashion. The breaking point came in 2018, when, after success at his label Off-White, Virgil Abloh was named creative director of Louis Vuitton. 
    But lately, streetwear institutions like Bape and Stussy have been losing heat — and luxury brands are pivoting away from streetwear staples like hoodies and sneakers. 
    “Streetwear brands are more commercial and less connected to the actual street culture where they found their roots,” said BoF editorial associate Daniel-Yaw Miller. 
    Key Insights: 

    Streetwear brought items like puffer jackets and hoodies, graffiti details and logo-centric designs to high fashion runways. Lately, designers have been more focused on harder shoes, knitwear and tailoring. But, streetwear-centric items haven’t disappeared from brands’ assortments, they’re more absorbed into the core offerings — and in consumers' day-to-day wardrobe. A new crop of brands, including Daily Paper, Corteiz and Free The Youth, are making the case for streetwear’s enduring fashion relevance. Streetwear mainstay Supreme is still driving growth with its savvy marketing and collaborations. Owner VF Corp. said it expects the label to generate $600 million in revenue this year — up from $500 million when it was acquired in 2020. 
    Additional Resources:

    Why Supreme Sold to VF Corporation: In a deal that values the New York streetwear brand at $2.1 billion, Supreme picks up a long-term partner with back-end prowess and ambitions to scale it past $1 billion in annual sales.Is Streetwear Still Cool? Luxury brands may have pivoted away from sneakers, puffer jackets and hoodies, but new labels like Corteiz and Free The Youth are making a case for street culture’s enduring relevance in fashion.
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    • 16 min
    What Makes Jacquemus So Successful?

    What Makes Jacquemus So Successful?

    BoF luxury editor Robert Williams unpacks how the French luxury brand has managed to grab the industry’s attention and maintain a sound business model without outside help. 
    Simon Porte Jacquemus is one of fashion’s hottest independent designers — and his namesake label is one of its most impressive businesses. The company, known for its tiny bags and minimalist playfulness, is on track to double annual revenues to over €200 million ($199 million) by year-end, with plans to reach €500 million by 2025. The designer has been able to build buzz with his clear brand vision, and savvy ability to storytell through social media.  
    “He was one of the first designers to realise how powerful of a tool Instagram was going to be, and to have something really compelling to say on that platform — to have a universe that was just really organically compelling,” said BoF luxury editor Robert Williams. 
    Key Insights:

    Simon Porte Jacquemus has managed to build a scalable luxury start-up without the help of a conglomerate or big investor: a rarity in fashion. Jacquemus thinks the pressure to up sales every season to keep the business running pushed him to commercial success. Armed with a new store on Avenue Montaigne, the brand reaches up into luxury prices, but maintains a more accessible, fun, young and playful bent.Handbags — led by the brand’s hit, Chiquito style — are an essential profit driver for the business. With a new CEO on board in Puig’s Bastien Daguzan, the brand is looking to solidify its footwear business and diversify its menswear offering. As of now, Jacquemus does not plan on taking outside investment. The brand believes it's momentum and strong retail partnerships will help it reach its sales goal of €500 million by 2025.
    Additional Resources:

    Jacquemus: A Fashion Star’s Business Vision: For the first-time, the industry’s hottest independent designer — a charismatic, social-media savvy storyteller from the south of France — reveals the financial underpinnings of his burgeoning company and plans for the next phase of growth. How to Open a Store in 2022: From seamless online-to-offline offerings to metaverse-inspired installations, the standards of brick-and-mortar retail have evolved since the pandemic struck.Jacquemus, Now Nike-Approved, Opens ‘New Era’ in Provence: Simon Porte Jacquemus’ showmanship, social-media savvy and ultra-recognisable designs have turned his regionally-inspired label into a global hit.
    Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. 


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    • 21 min
    Giorgio Armani, Fashion’s Most Successful Designer

    Giorgio Armani, Fashion’s Most Successful Designer

    BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks describes the designer and businessman’s life, continuing impact on fashion, mysterious succession plans and newfound vulnerability.
    Over his decades-long career, Giorgio Armani has built one of fashion’s most successful businesses. Known for his signature tailoring and functional glamour, at 88, he’s retained his dominance in an ever-changing, hyper-competitive industry. Amid speculation about what's to come for the Armani fashion empire, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks met the titan at his garden in Milan for an intimate conversation about his life, business and future — including succession plans. 
    “He was a revolutionary in his own way. I can think of maybe five people in fashion who had the impact he had,” said Blanks. 
    Key Insights: 
    The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates Armani has a personal net worth of $9.5 billion. He still owns and runs his company and as Blanks says, may value his independence more than anything.  Rumours about Giorgio Armani’s future after Armani include a potential takeover by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH, the Agnelli family’s Exor or Valentino parent Mayhoola. One thing people don’t fully realise about Armani is he is an eccentric, said Blanks. Armani told Blanks his eccentricity lies in his radical approach to design, which is both streamlined and nuanced.  Armani’s close relationship with partner Sergio Galeotti, who passed away in 1985, has helped fuel his ascent to status as fashion’s most successful designer. Now, Armani, who has no children and doesn’t claim many friends outside his family and his company, is leaning into a new kind of love and vulnerability, thanks to the presence of his collaborator’s young daughter at the office.   
    Additional Resources:
    Giorgio Armani: Lion in Winter Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

zonoia! ,

Love it

In-depth analysis of interesting topics. Lauren Sherman does an amazing job, I’m definitely going to subscribe to BOF for more from her.

princesspeach1310 ,

So so good

Great investigative coverage

Frankiefiveoh ,

> BOF

Lauren delivers a deeper dive in a more digestible format.

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