211 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

    • Fashion & Beauty
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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.”

    Lily Cole on Why the Fashion System Needs Reform Now

    Lily Cole on Why the Fashion System Needs Reform Now

    The model and activist speaks with BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about the lessons she learnt while writing her new book Who Cares Wins.
     
    LONDON, United Kingdom — Lily Cole was once on the side of every bus, fronting the industry’s biggest fashion campaigns. But the more time Cole spent in the industry, the more she became aware of widespread problems and structural inequalities that prop up its glamorous facade. She cut back on modelling jobs and instead prioritised working on improving the fashion system from within.In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, Lily Cole speaks with BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about the lessons she learned while writing her new book Who Cares Wins: Reasons For Optimism in Our Changing World, published by Penguin, a call to action that emphasises the importance of optimism and collaboration in times of uncertainty.
    The fashion industry must grapple with the role consumer culture plays in upholding social, environmental and ethical problems. “There is a practical need for new stuff that we don’t want to shut down entirely, so while we’re making it in a better way,” said Cole. “Equally, can we think of new business models that don’t require people to buy new things to make them economically sustainable?” These may include more transparent supply chains or adopting a circular business model.
    The very way progress is measured must also be reconsidered. Economic growth must be replaced by alternative metrics like happiness, health and environmental wellbeing. “It’s about quality rather than quantity… about loving material things more,” Cole told Amed. “The more you love something the more you respect it.” For consumers, buying fewer products of higher value is less wasteful and also places more emphasis on the artisanal craftsmanship of each garment.
    Cole is optimistic about the future generation of consumers who put more emphasis on sustainability. When the scandal broke that Boohoo paid workers less than minimum wage for example, the ultra fast fashion e-tailer’s share price plummeted. This, Cole said, indicates that the market expects consumers to stop shopping from unethical brands. “It’s a tangible reflection that people do care when they are given information,” she said.
    Related Articles:
    Fashion Says It Can Police Its Supply Chain. So Why Are There So Many Scandals?
    Independent Brands Must Change Their Business Strategies
    Will Fashion Ever Be Good for the World? Its Future May Depend on It.
     
    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
     
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
     
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 38 min
    Tackling Systemic Racism in the Fashion Industry

    Tackling Systemic Racism in the Fashion Industry

    Harlem Fashion Row’s Brandice Daniel, Black in Fashion Council Co-Founder Sandrine Charles and creative consultant Henrietta Gallina on actionable anti-racism steps brands must take to move the industry forward.
     
    NEW YORK, United States — The anti-racism protests that erupted across the US over the last two months have brought conversations around racism in the fashion industry to the fore. In the latest #BoFLIVE event, BoF’s Lauren Sherman spoke with Harlem Fashion Row Chief Executive Brandice Daniel, Sandrine Charles Consultancy Founder Sandrine Charles as well as brand and creative consultant Henrietta Gallina about combatting systemic racism in the fashion industry.
    In order to implement meaningful change, brands must introduce clear, public goals for which they are accountable. Vague, performative messages will no longer suffice as employees and consumers put pressure on brands to deliver actionable progress. “When we talk about the problem, I always come back to equity and that’s what I’m striving for,” said Gallina. “We are no longer asking for the industry to support us, we are asking for the power structures to be rebuilt.”
    Companies must be holistic in their approach when tackling racism in the workplace. “It absolutely starts at the leadership level and C-suite level,” Daniel said. “Black people have set the foundation for the fashion industry but we’ve never held leadership roles.” Hiring a D&I chief, while a step in the right direction, doesn’t hold much weight if anti-racism measures aren’t implemented throughout the business, both from the bottom up and the top down.
    “What’s really important is that everyone else acknowledges where they have a privilege in this industry,” said Charles, who is also the co-founder of the Black in Fashion Council. “Moving forward, they also have to do the work.” Charles, Daniel and Gallina all underscored the importance of introspection and then action, particularly from white and non-Black people. Committed allies are a crucial step to moving the fashion industry forward. “It’s essential that we do the work with everyone because there are various spaces that we don’t have access to,” Charles said.
     
    Related Articles:
    Op-Ed | Fashion Is Part of the Race ProblemFashion Media Called Out Over Workplace RacismHow PR Firms Are Navigating Fashion’s Race Problem
     
    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
     
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
     
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 43 min
    Michael Kors on Why He Left Fashion Week

    Michael Kors on Why He Left Fashion Week

    The celebrated American designer has spent four decades creating garments at the industry’s pace — now he’s streamlined his collections to just two per year.
     
    LONDON, United Kingdom — To show or not to show: that is the question on the minds of designers as the calendar inches closer to Fashion Month. Some designers have set their sights on a September show, others are using this pandemic-induced upheaval to take a pause and consider whether or not they should be showing during the traditional Fashion Weeks at all.
    American all-star designer Michael Kors joined several other big names, including Saint Laurent and Gucci, in questioning the efficacy of the schedule’s incessant pace when he announced he won’t be presenting a Spring/Summer 2021 collection at New York Fashion Week.
    “We can’t just always do things the way we’ve done them in the past… Everyone I think realises that the whole system is mixed up, [it] doesn’t make sense,” Kors told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks on the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “You can’t look over your shoulder, you have to think about what’s next… right now we have slowed up and I think slowing up is important.”
    Kors, whose shows have historically kicked off the last day of New York Fashion Week, discusses his decision to move off the calendar and reduce his production schedule to two collections per year.
    Recently, the designer announced that he will be presenting his Spring/Summer 2021 collection globally on October 15 on the brand’s social and digital platforms. This will allow consumers to shop the Autumn/Winter collection, which lands in stores in September, before a new season hits the shelves. “October... really became the perfect moment to show a new collection, without cutting off the previous collection that had just arrived in the shops,” he said.
    For Kors, one reason that influenced the decision to streamline the number collections was the fact that multiple seasons felt convoluted. “Whatever was wrong with calling it Spring/Summer, these are two actual seasons. Fall/Winter, what is Pre-Fall? There is no such thing as Pre-Fall.” he said. “Why are we confusing the consumer and the press with a new season when they haven’t even absorbed the one that has just arrived in the shops? It just didn’t make sense to me.”
    Part of what has fuelled the high-frequency garment output in the industry is “this insatiable appetite for what’s new,” Kors added. If it makes sense, great, but “new for newness' sake, or because it will look cool on Instagram? Forget it.” Social media has played a critical role in shaping the view that if an item of clothing has been worn once, it can’t be worn again. “The word ‘content’ has diseased the fashion industry. I want to see an image that lasts for more than a second. I want words that actually resonate.”
    Related Articles:
    Michael Kors Is the Latest Brand to Depart from the Fashion Calendar
    A Proposal for Rewiring the Fashion System
    Gucci Just Left the Fashion Calendar Behind. Who Will Follow?
     
    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
     
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
     
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 58 min
    LOVE Magazine’s Editors on the Fashion Magazine’s New Role in Culture

    LOVE Magazine’s Editors on the Fashion Magazine’s New Role in Culture

    Ben Cobb and Pierre A. M’Pelé discuss the creative process behind LOVE’s latest two-volume issue and how they responded to the unprecedented events of the last six months.
     
    LONDON, United Kingdom — What is the role of a fashion magazine at this moment in time? For Ben Cobb, editor-in-chief, men’s, of LOVE Magazine, and Pierre A. M’Pelé, the title’s senior editor, community and collaboration is key.Launching August 4, the latest iteration of the biannual magazine is two volumes of hardback books, titled “LOVE ‘Diaries 3 March - 4 July’ Volumes 1 and 2” featuring a total of four covers. “I hesitate to even call it a magazine,” said BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in conversation with Cobb and M’Pelé. “[It’s] a remarkable time capsule of this remarkable time.”
    Despite its triumphant final form, the process behind creating the magazine has not been without its challenges. “There were three senior members very ill with Covid,” said Cobb, describing how the team stepped in to carry out work depending on how healthy they were feeling each day, ahead of M’Pelé joining the team in late June. “We were exhausted and suffering from fatigue, [but] Pierre came in with so much energy.” As a highly collaborative process, it also dissolved the traditional hierarchy of the masthead — “a new way of putting together a magazine,” said Blanks, reminiscent of “the idealistic height of the ’60s.”
    Producing a fashion magazine — particularly one as extensive as LOVE’s two-tome edition — typically takes a long period of planning and forethought, but the seismic and fast-developing events of the last six months required quickfire changes. The Black Lives Matter protests of May and June “changed the course of action,” said M’Pelé, who himself attended protests in Paris. “The team was very reactive because it was a matter of ‘let’s speak now, let’s take a stance now and let’s be clear of our intentions now...’ If we hadn’t added these Black Lives Matter and systemic racism conversations into the magazine, it would have been too late.” In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, M’Pelé’s “manifesto,” a portable pamphlet-like insert in the book, “became a lot more about new voices, bringing people of colour into the picture,” he said. “I want someone to be able to take it out and give it to their racist aunt.”
    This period has also called into question the formats and fundamental role that fashion magazines assume. “Editorial perspective…[typically] crystallises a moment and it’s about dictating what that moment means,” said Cobb. “I think what’s been really incredible and transformative about this is that … that dynamic has been completely reversed and the moment tells you what it needs to be.” As for what the next issue of LOVE will look like, “Who knows?” said Cobb. “Maybe a magazine can just be a film.”
     
    Related Articles:Katie Grand Names Ben Cobb Co-Editor-in-Chief of LOVEFor Fashion Magazines, It's Crunch TimeHow to Make a Magazine Under Lockdown
     

    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
     
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
     
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 52 min
    Fabien Baron Says, 'The Way We Communicate Is Going to Change'

    Fabien Baron Says, 'The Way We Communicate Is Going to Change'

    The celebrated art director Fabien Baron talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the future of image-making.
     
    LONDON, United Kingdom —  For famed art director Fabien Baron, the chaos and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic presents an opportunity for the fashion industry to go “back to basics.”
    “When there’s doubt like this there’s not really an answer… so there’s opportunities to take more risks and be more creative,” Baron told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “It’s going to bring a lot of changes… but there’s something very optimistic about change. To be forced to change allows one to really [reflect] on the issues we are all facing.”
    This period of uncertainty has unlocked conversations that were rippling below the surface, said Baron. Both the pandemic and the recent political unrest has highlighted an opportunity for the fashion industry at large to reshape “old formats” that feel at odds with the world’s new normal. For Baron, that means “a new way of looking things… which may lead you to a new path… it’s going to be an evolution [for the industry].”
    According to Baron, creativity is the key to unlocking change and as the world adjusts to a new set of challenges, industries must do the same. From this health crisis a new way of approaching magazines, photography, styling and the buying and selling of merchandise will emerge where storytelling must supersede superficiality, said Baron. Brands and publications must hone an authentic voice which reflects the time and inspires “people with new ideas and new ways of looking at things. You need freshness and you need a lot of positiveness.”
    Simplicity could be the antidote to the incessant pace at which the industry has been operating. The months of travelling it took to view runway shows or presentations, whether it was buyers or editors, hopping from “this city to that city just to see a show… After a while it [didn’t] make sense.” However, the outbreak of the coronavirus brought the fashion calendar to a standstill and designers turned towards digital tools in order to showcase their collections. This new way of using technology means “the way we communicate is going to change because the tools are changing and they’re opening new doors,” he said.They allow us to do different things and view things [from] different angles.”
    Related Articles:
    A Year Without Fashion Shows
    Who Will Win the Digital Fashion Week Battle?
    Fashion’s New Outlook on 2020
    Fabien Baron Is Not Nostalgic
     
    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 58 min
    Imran Amed and Tim Blanks on Where Fashion Goes From Here

    Imran Amed and Tim Blanks on Where Fashion Goes From Here

    This week on Inside Fashion, the BoF tag team discuss the state of an industry in flux, digital pivots and the future of fashion shows.
     
    LONDON, United Kingdom — The outbreak of Covid-19 signalled major disruptions across the global fashion supply chain, from the garment workers left destitute in India and Bangladesh after retailers in the West cancelled orders to businesses temporarily shuttering brick-and-mortar sites in order to curb the spread of the virus. “This pandemic is shaping up to be one of those collective experiences of complete change… It seems like [there has been] such a momentous shift in perception and [in] the way all of us are thinking about life,” said BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed.
    For both Amed and BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, this period of uncertainty offered an opportunity for the industry to reassess the way it operates. “This industry is so important, it’s so big... and there’s so much of an opportunity to do things better,” Amed said.“We have a moral responsibility to do better as an industry.”
    Blanks first realised the enormity of the health crisis after returning from Paris Fashion Week. “March 3 [the last day of Paris Fashion Week] was the day that you could feel the storm clouds had well and truly gathered over fashion… there was this sense of some enormous, ominous force,” he said. Even as lockdown measures have eased and designers have set their sights on an iteration of September fashion shows, the feeling of uncertainty still looms. “September isn’t in our hands, we don’t know what is going to happen in September or in January… I think the situation is incredibly volatile,” Blanks added.
    Like many industries, the fashion sector has adopted digital tools in order to keep working in the age of social distancing, from virtual showrooms and live streaming to online-only fashion shows. For Blanks, the allure of sitting in the pews of an elaborate runway show, just inches away from visual masterpieces, can never be duplicated on screen. However, he also acknowledged that the brands and designers' response to the disruption of the fashion calendar using digital presentations “was really interesting, [especially seeing]... how so many different creative sensibilities approached the same challenge.”
    The pandemic and political unrest has accelerated the conversation around responsibility in the fashion industry. Now more than ever, brands are being called upon to address the lack of diversity and inclusion within their corporate structures. “This momentum for change cannot be diverted, it cannot be still. It must roll on and I think fashion has to be a part of… the solution not the problem,” Blanks said. “The most critical challenge facing the industry is inclusivity… it has to be more inclusive and embracing… Opportunity needs to be equal for everybody.”
     
    Related Articles:
    A Year Without Fashion Shows
    Fashion’s New Outlook on 2020
    Op-Ed | Fashion Is Part of the Race Problem
    Designers Lobby to ‘Fix’ the Fashion System. Will It Work?
     
    Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.
    Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.
    Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.
    For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

    • 54 min

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