The Business of Fashion Podcast

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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.”

Episode Date
Devising a New Social Contract for Fashion’s Garment Workers
31:45

Fashion has routinely failed the millions of people who make its clothes. What should the industry do to create systemic change?

 

Over the past year, the pandemic has laid bare — and worsened — the stark inequality, financial insecurity and poor working conditions endemic to the global garment industry. This has been driven by years of voluntary self-regulation, outsourced labour, and the pursuit of maximum profits by brands and retailers.

At the BoF Professional Summit: Closing Fashion’s Sustainability Gap, BoF London editor Sarah Kent was joined by Ayesha Barenblat, founder and chief executive of Remake; Ritu Sethi, founder-trustee, Craft Revival Trust and editor, Global InCH; and Anannya Bhattacharjee, international coordinator, Asia Floor Wage Alliance, to discuss how the global fashion industry is failing its garment makers, and what needs to change.

  • Many of the challenges facing the garment industry today are systemic. “The business model, whether luxury or mass market, is set to exploit people,” said Barenblat, also noting that it is mostly women of colour “who make our clothes and bring our fashion to life.”

  • Bhattacharjee said brands need to redress the “extreme imbalance of power” with their suppliers by paying the actual cost of production, producing goods in an environmentally sustainable way, and moving away from the industry’s reliance on overproduction and overconsumption. It is also crucial that brands make good on their commitments to support freedom of association in factories, she added.

  • While the global fashion industry benefits from widespread deregulation, mounting consumer engagement is proving a powerful force for increased accountability. “Consumerism is changing, and I think for the first time we actually have the right period where we can change the discourse from the consumer’s point of view,” said Sethi. Indeed, said Bhattacharjee, “this is a time of opportunity and radical change.”

 

Related Articles:

Fashion’s Humanitarian Crisis

Racism and Inequality Are Stitched Into the Garments We Wear

Brands Say They Want to Keep Workers Safe. Not All Are Willing to Pay for It.

 

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Apr 20, 2021
Stella McCartney on the Business of Sustainable Design
26:13

The pioneering designer spoke to BoF’s Imran Amed about continuing to push the envelope for sustainable luxury at the BoF Professional Summit: Closing Fashion’s Sustainability Gap.

British designer Stella McCartney has been an advocate and pioneer for sustainability long before it became an industry buzzword. But she is still developing new ways to work. More recently that’s included experiments with leather-like material made with mycelium — or mushroom root structures — and efforts to use cotton and wool sourced from regenerative farms, which restore the health and biodiversity of the land instead of purely extracting from it.

”It’s very simple but today it seems very radical, and really it could be the future of fashion,” she told BoF editor in chief Imran Amed in a keynote address at the BoF Professional Summit: Closing Fashion’s Sustainability Gap. McCartney also shared the compromises she has to make as a designer to work within the parameters of sustainable materials and low-waste production methods and what it will take for the wider industry to wake up to its imperative to change:

  • Consumer pressure and better regulation will be key for the fashion industry to make changes that are urgently needed. “I don’t think we can rely on our industry to commit to this, as much as we can rely on tomorrow’s customers insisting that this is the only thing they’re going to invest in,” she said. “The only way truly to have significant change in the timeline that we have is for policies to be set into place, for there to be legislation.”

  • When LVMH took a minority stake in her brand in 2019, McCartney took on a role advising the luxury conglomerate’s CEO Bernard Arnault on sustainability. “The reality with Monsieur Arnault is that he would never have invested in a brand like mine if he didn’t think that this was the future,” she said. “I think it gives off a huge message of positivity for the industry.”

  • For the crop of young designers looking to work sustainably, McCartney has some sage advice: value collaboration and mutual learning over competition; “be a fighter” when it comes to securing better incentives for sustainable practices; and always look for new information on how to be better. “You never stop learning when you work sustainably,” she said.

 

Related Articles:

Why LVMH Struck a Deal with Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Announces UN Charter for Sustainable Fashion

The BoF Podcast: Stella McCartney: ‘Everything Is at Stake’

 

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Apr 16, 2021
The New Model for Building DTC Brands
12:54

A new generation of direct-to-consumer brands like Topicals and Parade are finding success with a powerful community-based approach to marketing.

In a fashion and beauty market packed with look-alike labels, a new generation of digitally native direct-to-consumer brands are adopting a new playbook, pushing bolder messages and aesthetics starting with their key differentiator: community. Skincare brand Topicals and lingerie label Parade have turned celebrating their customers’ skin issues and body shapes that don’t conform to traditional ideals of beauty into a powerful and authentic marketing centrepiece.

In this episode of the BoF Podcast, Topicals’ co-founders Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng and Parade’s co-founder and chief executive Cami Téllez speak with BoF senior editorial associate Alexandra Mondalek on the power of community and the new direct-to-consumer model.

  • The new generation of community-focused DTC brands are abandoning the increasingly standardised marketing playbook that has resulted in a proliferation of identical-looking “blands.” Instead, they’re finding new ways to identify with their customer base.  “We now know that branding is about creatively finding where [the customer] is and centring around reintroducing the customer to self-expression,” Téllez explains.

  • Consumers particularly respond to products that speak to their issues in a way that’s relatable and fun. Digitally native brands have often made the consumer experience “quite sterile and bland and their product experience was lacklustre,” says Topicals’ Olowe. Instead Topicals is  “celebrating the fun of flare ups.”

  • Authenticity is key to building community with the new generation of DTC brands utilising their founders’ stories to speak about their products as customers too. Topicals brings “a different perspective to the way that people experience the beauty community… [and] speaking authentically with our community in a different kind of way,” Teng says.

 

Related Articles:

The New 4 Ps of DTC Marketing

How Not to Be a Boring Direct-to-Consumer Brand

The New Rules of Going DTC

 

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Apr 13, 2021
10 Retail Archetypes for the Post-Pandemic Era
19:25

As retail stores begin to re-open this summer after a year of lockdown, Doug Stephens shares strategies for post-pandemic success from his new book, Resurrecting Retail.

 

Retail’s Darwinian shakeout over the last year has consolidated market power in the hands of dominant e-commerce players. But a brand, even if small, can still be mighty. The key is focus and finding a relevant niche, Doug Stephens said at VOICES 2020, previewing his new book, Resurrecting Retail, out on April 13.”

In the post-pandemic retail era, purpose will be the new positioning,” Stephens said. “What will be your brand’s reason for existing?” he asked.Stephens outlines 10 reasons why retail should exist in 2021 and beyond, from product education to activism.

  • “I see Covid-19 not as a mere accelerator, I see it as a threshold,” said Stephens. “As a unique wormhole in time where society as a whole is being pulled out of the industrial era and across the threshold of the digital age.” Though 2020 was challenging for a lot of retail companies, it has made the big ones like Amazon, Alibaba, JD.com and Walmart even stronger and better prepared to capture more of the global retail economy.

  • Brands must think about purpose: what is the question your brand answers? Companies that succeed in the marketplace do this well. “When we buy Nike products, we’re buying a cultural point of view, and Nike answers a very specific consumer question. The question, of course, is ‘Who inspires me?’” Stephens said.

  • In the post-pandemic world, the media will no longer be just the message. “Every form of media now, that the consumer has exposure to, is no longer simply a call out to go to the store,” Stephens said. “Every form of media must be the store.”

 

Related Articles:

Take a Look Inside The Post-Pandemic Store

The New Rules of Brick-and-Mortar Retail

Tapping Into the Future of Physical Retail

 

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Apr 09, 2021
Rethinking the Fashion Rental Model for the Post-Pandemic Era
18:35

Rent the Runway chief executive Jennifer Hyman shares her strategy for making the fashion rental model work as retail, restaurants and workplaces slowly begin to re-open.

 

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The pandemic was a near-death experience for Rent the Runway, the business that introduced and popularised renting fashion on a wide scale in the United States. As consumers stopped heading to offices and events, chief executive Jennifer Hyman was left wondering: “Will my business still be relevant after Covid?” The executive had to make difficult decisions, fast, laying off and furloughing staff and cutting spending.”

As a leader, that was for sure the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do,” Hyman told BoF’s Lauren Sherman at VOICES 2020, describing it as “the second founding moment of the company.”

Now, as retail, restaurants and workplaces slowly begin to re-open, the company is betting on a post-pandemic shift in consumer values that couples a desire for more sustainable consumption with a “hedonistic” environment of “worldwide euphoria,” Hyman said.

 

Related Articles:

The Return of Rental

Inside the Closet of the Future

The Pandemic Changed the Way People Live. How Can Fashion Adapt?

 

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Apr 06, 2021
A Crash Course on The BoF Sustainability Index
34:42

BoF’s London editor Sarah Kent and editor-in-chief Imran Amed delve into The BoF Sustainability Index, measuring fashion’s progress towards avoiding catastrophic climate change and achieving broader social imperatives by 2030.

Fashion’s negative impact on people and the planet is in focus like never before. Pressure to change is coming from investors, consumers, regulators and even inside big brands themselves. Companies are responding with high-profile commitments to do better. But are they actually making a difference?

In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, London editor Sarah Kent and editor-in-chief Imran Amed discuss The BoF Sustainability Index, an in-depth analysis of how 15 of fashion’s largest companies measure up on sustainability.

  • The fashion industry has an important role to play in tackling global sustainability challenges, both because of its impact and its influence. “Fashion often flies under the radar,” explains Kent. “[But] it has power to really change people’s views and behaviours and drive a shift that other industries cannot so easily engage in.”

  • Overall, BoF’s analysis found that the big companies’ commitments are outpacing action. “Some [companies] are leading the pack and some are just getting started, but overall things are not changing fast enough.”

  • While the pandemic remains an immediate crisis for the industry, the climate crisis is increasingly in focus ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference due to take place in Glasgow later this year. “I think what is pretty well established now is the direction of travel that is needed,” says Kent. “What we need to start seeing is the strategies that are going to get us there. Where are the investments going to be made?”

 

Related Articles:

Sustainability: What Brands Are Prioritising in 2021

The Waste Opportunity: How Fashion Could Turn Trash to Treasure

Fashion’s Long Road to Transparency

 

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Apr 02, 2021
The Multi-Versal Self and the Rise of Virtual Fashion
20:53
  Billions of people across the world call themselves gamers. And as gaming technology improves and increasingly acts as an extension of the real world, it’s becoming a prime market for fashion brands. BoF's Imran Amed talks to Herman Narula, co-founder and CEO of Improbable to learn more.   Gaming is often synonymous with entertainment. But Herman Narula, co-founder and chief executive of Improbable, a London-based gaming company, says that’s a misconception — games dominate all kinds of culture. Footballers perform dances that happened first on Fortnight, and gamer verbiage like “level up” is now used in human resources initiatives.   Now, Narula says, the multiplayer games people play have become part of their social lives. Gaming is no longer just entertainment, but a space for experiences and learning lessons. Further, with the growth of gaming, Narula predicts we will see the rise of the multiversal self: people will no longer have just one identity, but many distinct selves within the various game worlds they occupy.   On the latest edition of the BoF podcast, BoF’s Imran Amed chats with Narula about how the notion multi-versal self is driving the rise of virtual fashion, and how brands can position themselves to thrive in the space.
  • People who start playing games typically don’t ever stop — even as they shift life stages. “The primary reason people remain engaged and keep playing games, especially online and social games, boils down to three key motivations: a desire to be more competent at something, a need to relate to other people, and a desire to self-express,” Narula said.
  • Games are no longer just something people do to pass the time, and that has consequences related to their real-world significance. “Games are something that the majority of gamers are seeking out doing, and avoiding other activities to go and do, and beginning to contest other forms of spending,” Narula said. “That means that they are where culture is going to be born.”
  • The opportunity for fashion is real. “I think [gaming] will become not merely a place for brands to go, but a place in which brands will be born, a place in which first class cultural ideas will emerge and begin to populate other aspects of how our society works,” Narula said. But, he warned customers will be able to see through superficial engagement with gaming, so brands must find a way to  authentically engage in order to not cheapen the experience of their brand in either realm — the real world or the gaming world.

Related Articles:

NFTs for Fashion: Fad or Opportunity?

What the NFT Gold Rush Means for Fashion

Gucci Is Selling $12 (Virtual) Sneakers

 

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Mar 30, 2021
Combatting Anti-Asian Racism in Fashion
53:30

BoF’s Imran Amed talks with Michelle Lee, Susanna Lau and Phillip Lim about the intersectional issues and structural barriers at the core of Anti-Asian hate, and how the fashion professionals can be better allies.

A recent wave of violence directed toward Asian Americans — exacerbated by the hateful dialogue propagated by Donald Trump amid the pandemic — has brought anti-Asian racism to the forefront of global conversation. The issues facing Asian people are unique — for one, the term “Asian” represents a diverse group of people often clumped into a monolith that neglects to recognise nuances in culture and history. And racism against Asians often doesn’t culminate in easily-identifiable signs or symbols, sometimes making it difficult to spot from the outside. But, it’s pervasive, and has real, lived consequences.

On the latest BoF podcast, BoF’s Imran Amed spoke with designer Phillip Lim, Michelle Lee, the editor in chief of Allure and British journalist Susanna Lau about their experiences being Asian in fashion, examining painful stereotypes and learning on how fashion professionals can be better allies.

  • Anti-Asian racism is not new, but Lau believes it has become an unavoidable topic in 2021 because of the visceral nature of the images and videos coming from social media. “Everyone has these stories pertaining back to their past but they were sporadic… because they were sporadic you would bury them, and then they would come up again, but you would bury them again. And then the cycle repeats itself,” Lau said.

  • Often, Chinese people are conflated with the growing superpower that is the country of China, ignoring the fact that many Asians live below the poverty line and often face racial bias. “When it comes to public sentiment, I think it boils down to whether or not the mainstream thinks that there is a group that is oppressed,” Lee said. “Ultimately, unfortunately for Asians because of the ‘model minority’ myth, people don’t think that we’re oppressed, and they think that racism against Asians doesn’t exist.”

  • Lim acknowledged that while brands are no longer silent, they need to be thoughtful in speaking out, looking for talent and trying to foster change. “Lend us your microphone, lend us your platform, but don’t speak for us. Let us speak for ourselves,” Lim said.

External clips courtesy of BBC News, Al Jazeera English and NBC News.

 

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Mar 26, 2021
Sterling Ruby on His Boundary-Bending Work in Art and Fashion
55:42
In the latest edition of the BoF podcast, Tim Blanks talks with the artist, designer and first American in over a decade to present at Paris haute couture week.   Even though he’s worked with Raf Simons at Calvin Klein and runs his own brand, SR. STUDIO. LA. CA., Sterling Ruby is perhaps still known primarily for his art: multidisciplinary work that often deals in dripping urethane sculptures, illusory canvases, and handmade ceramics. But on the heels of his Paris haute couture presentation in February over zoom, Ruby is becoming a force in the industry. So much so, that editor at large Tim Blanks asks him whether he would like to become a certifiable “fashion tycoon” in the near future.On the latest edition of the BoF podcast, Blanks sits down with Ruby to talk about fashion, Ruby’s future, and the blurred boundaries between his art and his clothes.
  • Ruby’s work is distinctly American, drawing on the nation’s history of puritanism and violence, wickedness and hope. That was present in his work with Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, and still reverberates through it today. “I always walked away feeling like I’d seen an echo of Stephen king or something. It was a very particular view of America,” Blanks said.
  • When asked to present at Paris haute couture week, Ruby and his team were skeptical about how they fit into the implied status, standards, and rules of couture. “We decided to kind of think about couture as our version of something made by hand.” Ruby said. “Maybe it was unique, maybe it was something that was strictly made in the studio, and that’s how it kind of came about. We justified it by kind of thinking that this is our version of couture.”
  • Ruby’s interest in fashion traces back to his youth in the conservative town of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, where dressing became a form of both rebellion and therapy.“I was very obsessed with clothes when I was thirteen, and the kind of power of clothes, and interrogation you would get because you were wearing something very particular in an environment where you weren’t supposed to, and I love that,” Ruby said. “I just didn’t realise that’s probably what the heart of fashion is.”

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Mar 23, 2021
The Year That Changed the World
31:04

A year after coronavirus lockdowns swept the world, BoF’s Imran Amed looks back at a period of sweeping change in conversation with leading voices from inside and outside fashion.

Last March, when the Covid-19 virus that had already swept across China was officially declared a global pandemic, few grasped the extent to which the fashion industry stood on the precipice of a paradigm-shifting year, but everyone seemed to understand that this was an opportunity for great change. Amid lockdowns and social distancing measures, stores were forced to close, sales plummeted, and shocks were felt across the supply chain as garment factories were shut down around the world. Across societies, stark economic inequalities were laid bare and exacerbated by the crisis. Millions of people across all industries and professions lost their jobs; millions more lost their lives.

From virtual fashion weeks to the booms in e-commerce and sweatpants, the fashion industry learned how to adapt to the “new normal” — and fast. Many saw an opportunity to reset a broken fashion system and build a more sustainable, inclusive way of operating. But the last year has also underscored deeper failings within the industry. While the pandemic has underscored broad social inequalities, fashion has had to grapple with its role in perpetuating racism and elitism — from boardrooms to magazine pages and contributing to a looming climate crisis.

In this week’s episode of The BoF Podcast, we reflect on the events of the year gone by, a period of sweeping change, uncertainty and hope in conversations with leading voices from inside and outside the industry.

 

Related Articles:

How Covid-19 Is Catalysing a New Era of Luxury

The State of Fashion 2021: Reality Check

 

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Mar 19, 2021
Somali Supermodel Iman on the Struggle for Representation in Fashion
53:05

The Black model and entrepreneur speaks with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks about paving the way for a more inclusive fashion industry — and the work that remains to be done.

 

Iman stands out as a trailblazer in the fashion industry. She was one of the first Black models to star on the catwalk and followed her modelling career with a successful cosmetics business designed for women of colour. While she helped pave the way for more representation, she also experienced first hand the racism and discrimination that persists within the industry today.

In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, Iman speaks with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks about her experiences and the work that still needs to be done to address the problem.

  • The supermodel credits her mother’s empowering vision of self-worth for enabling her to navigate a tricky industry. “[Self-worth] is what [my mother] heavily instilled in me to be able to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you well regardless [of] how enticing it is,” she said. “Whether it’s a man or work or whatever it is … I would always make the right decision for myself if I had a sense of self-worth.”

  • Iman has achieved stellar success and helped pave the way for greater representation throughout the industry, but throughout her career, she’s had to work harder than her peers to secure her place. “Most of the time makeup artists had no clue how to do our makeup,” says Iman. “Forget about hair, that is why most of the pictures you will see [Black women’s] hair is just pulled back because [stylists] didn’t know what to do with it.”

  • Iman remains actively involved in efforts to tackle racism in the industry through The Black Girls Coalition, a pressure group she co-founded with close friend Bethann Hardison to highlight the lack of representation in the fashion industry. “It’s a learning experience because you just have to manoeuvre and find your place in this system [as a Black woman and model.]”

 

Related Articles:

Secrets of the Supermodel Trade

The BoF Podcast: Tackling Systemic Racism in the Fashion Industry

Op-Ed | Racial Diversity on the Runway

 

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Mar 16, 2021
The Business of the British Monarchy: What Happens Now?
29:39

On Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — also known as Harry and Meghan — rocked the world when they revealed intimate details about their experiences in the British royal family and their decision to step back as ‘senior members’ in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. What they revealed in the interview has left not just the UK and the Commonwealth reeling, but challenged the entire world’s perception of the monarchy. BoF’s Imran Amed sat down with Elizabeth Holmes, a New York Times bestselling author, notable ‘royal watcher’ and style expert to contextualise the conversation with Winfrey and what it means for the future of royal fashion.

”When Princess Diana left the Royal Family, she made it very clear she did not need fashion in the same way, because she was able to use her own voice… And I think Meghan — now in her move to California — definitely doesn’t need it either,” Holmes said. “She will still continue to use it and promote brands that she believes in and has connections to, but when you can use your voice, you’re not relying on your fashion to talk for you.”

 

Related Articles:

Have We Reached Peak Royalty?

Monetising Meghan Markle

Could Meghan Markle Cash In on Her Powerful Influencer Status?

 

External clips courtesy of Today, India Today, Sky News Australia, CPAC, Good Morning Britain, Harpo Productions/CBS, and CTV News.

 

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Mar 12, 2021
Norma Kamali on Rebelliousness, Creativity and How She Made a Lasting Business
01:00:19

After the release of her new book, I Am Invincible, designer Norma Kamali sat down with BoF’s chief correspondent Lauren Sherman to talk about the inception of her brand, its evolving purpose and plan, creativity and ageing.

Norma Kamali has always been a conversation starter. Her timeless sleeping bag coats were favourites of Studio 54 bodyguards (as well as aspiring partygoers looking to gain their favour), and now serve as a comforting hug around the shoulders of chilly outdoor diners across the US. She also speaks out regularly on the noxiousness of the fashion system — particularly when it comes to the objectification and policing of women’s bodies.

In the latest episode of the BoF podcast, Kamali takes us back to a time when she hated fashion for its pinned-up restrictiveness, and how London’s rebelliousness rejuvenated her. The designer also unpacks the barriers she had to overcome when creating a fashion line with endurance.

  • Kamali sees her mission as much wider than just designing women’s clothes. In her new book, I Am Invincible, she writes about her overarching goal of understanding life and love, and giving women a map of how to age with power. “I put everything into it because I also know my purpose is to service women, and I knew that the day I recognised I found my dream job,” Kamali said.

  • Throughout her career, Kamali prioritised her independence and being able to “have a creative life,” which informed how she grew her business — notably, she was selective when it came to partnerships and expansion. “It wasn’t easy,” she said. “There were a lot of very scary crying on my pillow nights of trying to figure out ‘How do I make this work without having people who are working for me feel nervous or anxious?’ And I found ways.”

  • Still, Kamali was open to unexpected collaborations. In 2008, she released a line with Walmart that allowed both partners to tap into new markets and grow their customer bases. For Kamali, the partnership changed the way she thought about her business’s future. “I realised the power of e-commerce, and that’s when I transformed my company totally into an e-commerce company … and I will tell you, this year I’m so happy I made that decision back then because that’s how you make it through a year like we just had.”

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Mar 09, 2021
Unraveling Kering’s Investment in Vestiaire Collective
33:21

Vestiaire Collective’s chief executive Max Bittner opens up about the resale platform’s big deal with the French luxury group.

 

This week, a new €178 million round of financing put Vestiaire Collective’s valuation above $1 billion and gave it a high-profile new partner in the form of Kering, one of the world’s leading luxury groups. Having acquired a 5 percent stake in the Paris-based resale company, Kering joined investors like Condé Nast, French private equity firm Eurazeo and tech-focused investment firm Tiger Global Management.

Though resale has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the growth of platforms like Vestiaire Collective, luxury brands have been reticent to get involved. Kering’s investment marks a notable shift in attitude.

In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, Vestiaire Collectives’s chief executive, Max Bittner, sits down with BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed, to explain why Kering invested in the company and what that investment means for the company’s future, and why he believes the resale market is an exciting and fast-expanding sector.

”This is not a short term trend,” said Bittner. “This is something consumers are looking for. This is something especially young consumers are expecting from the brands they want to endorse. So, I think both us and the brands are realising consumers expect us.”

Related Articles:

Why Kering Invested in Vestiaire Collective

Should Luxury Build Resale Into Its Business Model?

The Resale Gold Rush Rolls On

 

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Mar 05, 2021
José Neves Unpacks the Farfetch-Alibaba-Richemont Partnership
22:14

The Farfetch founder and chief executive and Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans discuss the industry-changing deal designed to dominate luxury e-commerce.

 

Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans and Farfetch founder José Neves take BoF’s editor-in-chief Imran Amed behind-the-scenes of the industry-changing joint venture between Alibaba, Farfetch and Richemont at VOICES 2020, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers.

The biggest appeal for all three parties? A shared vision of the importance of technology and omnichannel retail.

”We think as tech businesses, we’re not retailers,” Neves said. “We’re at the service of the best brands, the best retailers and we’re here to enable the industry… and this is open to everyone.”

 

Related Articles:

What the Farfetch-Alibaba-Richemont Mega-Deal Means for Luxury E-Commerce

Duelling Visions for Online Luxury in Mytheresa and Farfetch’s Latest Results

Farfetch and Alibaba Open Up About Their Mega-Deal with Richemont

 

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Mar 02, 2021
Three Designers In Search of Digital Beauty
38:40

This week on The BoF Podcast, editor-in-chief Imran Amed speaks with Saul Nash, Stephen Jones and Roksanda Ilinčić about how to tell compelling fashion stories amid the pandemic.

Another season of mostly virtual fashion weeks have helped fashion films to become an increasingly popular tool for designers to create an elaborate narrative out of their collections off the catwalk. These new, online-first presentations have forced designers to think creatively and push storytelling further in order to emotionally connect with audiences.

But as with any emerging phenomenon, there’s still much to learn. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, designers Saul Nash, Stephen Jones and Roksanda Ilinčić, and BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks, delve into the dynamics of digital comunication and how to stand out with a meaningful story.

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Related Articles: London’s Creativity Lights Up Dark Times Stephen Jones Says the Constant Quest for Perfection Often Kills Spontaneity Roksanda and Richard Quinn Bring Art to Their Fashion

Feb 26, 2021
How Virgil Abloh Is Lifting Up Fashion’s Next Generation of Creatives
58:46

The designer speaks with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks about his latest collection, making change and the importance of elevating the next generation of fashion creatives.

 

When Virgil Abloh first broke into fashion he remembers feeling like a tourist. The designer began his career in architecture and says he struggled to find his place in an industry of insiders. But after three years at the helm of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, the Off-White founder is now very much part of the establishment. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, Abloh speaks with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks about his hopes of paving the way to a more democratic and inclusive industry for the younger generation and why he’s launched a TV station.

The designer is increasingly focused on lifting up the next generation of young designers, conscious of his responsibility to open up the industry. Last year, he raised $1 million to launch the “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund for Black students.

 

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Feb 23, 2021
The Future of New York Fashion Week
31:19

This week on The BoF Podcast, designer Jason Wu and BoF’s senior correspondent Chantal Fernandez examine the evolving purpose of runway shows and what New York Fashion Week might look like after the pandemic.

Fashion Week looks very different this season, with most designers choosing to present their collections through digital lookbooks and short films instead of traditional runway shows. But even after the pandemic subsides, New York Fashion Week isn’t likely to revert to its prior form. As BoF senior correspondent Chantal Fernandez reported in a BoF Professional article last week, the “unbundling” of New York Fashion Week has been happening for years.

”What worked 10, 15 years ago, doesn’t work today,” designer Jason Wu told BoF’s Imran Amed on this week’s podcast. “The backbone of American fashion has always been about diversifying and being less traditional in its approach in what luxury and what fashion looks like.”

”Fashion week has become something of a different creature, but that happened long before the pandemic,” he added. “I feel like it’s my job to keep part of it alive, even though it’s forever changing.”

 

External clip courtesy of Fashion By Look - Eleanor Lambert: Defining Decades of Fashion

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Feb 19, 2021
How Independent Fashion Brands Are Navigating the Crisis
24:44

BoF’s Imran Amed discusses transparency, cooperation and disruption with Dries Van Noten, Anya Hindmarch and Stefano Martinetto, leaders of two early pandemic initiatives — The Forum and Rewiring Fashion — to share thinking on the role of independent fashion brands and retailers amidst the biggest crisis in the history of the modern fashion industry.

The fashion industry has long been operating in a cyclically inefficient and anti-creative way. Issues like waste, early discounts, power imbalances and a suboptimal, wholesale-controlled calendar hurt brands at every level, as well as consumers.

But when the Covid-19 pandemic prompted lockdowns around the world in early 2020, the industry was put on pause. In response, two initiatives, Forum and the BoF-facilitated Rewiring Fashion, emerged to make this period one of retrospection and discussion in hopes of bringing about systematic change.

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, which features a conversation from VOICES 2020, BoF’s Imran Amed sits down with Van Noten, as well as Anya Hindmarch and Stefano Martinetto, co-founder and chief executive of Tomorrow London to discuss the lessons the industry has learned during the pandemic and how that new perspective will shape its future.

  • Candour has never been one of the industry’s priorities or strengths, which has hampered progress in the past. Hindmarch emphasises that there is a power to coming together. “You solve problems by not just thinking about yourself but collaborating as an industry,” she said.

  • Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and the convenience economy, storytelling is more important than ever for luxury brands. “Just showing clothes and that’s it, forget it. That’s not going to work anymore… I think we have to offer different things,” said Van Noten. “We have to tell a story to show why the clothes are more expensive than high street labels, you have to give the whole package of support to people who come to the store.”

  • Wholesale retail is changing — hopefully, to allow more space for creativity and development of strong products. Hindmarch thinks that wholesalers still have an important, localised role that helps designers connect with their buyers in a personal way. Martinetto believes shifts are for the better. He said: “The notion that wholesale is dying is most appropriately defined as ‘bad wholesale is dying.’”

Related Articles:

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DTC vs Wholesale: Striking the Right Balance

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Feb 16, 2021
Racism and Inequality Are Stitched Into the Garments We Wear
31:41

This week, Doug Stephens speaks with Kalkidan Legesse and Robert Hoppenheim about the imperative for fashion to take responsibility for the people it impacts.

 

The pandemic’s economic impact is radically changing the retail landscape, but for fashion, the fallout is not just financial. The crisis has amplified anger over racial injustice and financial inequality among consumers and employees, redoubling pressure on brands to adjust their operations to serve both shareholders and the greater good. Increasingly, companies must respond to demands for change from outside the boardroom.

In this week’s podcast, retail columnist Doug Stephens discusses how the fashion industry must address the systemic inequality and racism buried in its supply chain with the co-founder of UK-based ethical brand and retailer Sancho’s, Kalkidan Legesse, and the founder of brand strategy and communications advisory Kindustry, Robert Hoppenheim.

 

External clips courtesy of BBC, NBC Latino,  and CGTN. 

 

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Feb 12, 2021
Kim Jones on the Making of Air Dior
17:20

The artistic director of Dior Men who is now also leading the women's collections at Fendi, speaks with BoF’s Imran Amed about the enduring power of youth and desire and the making of the Air Dior shoe.

Designer Kim Jones went from being a teenager with joint custody over one pair of on-sale Jordan 5s with three friends to creating one of the most sought after shoes in the world by bringing together three iconic brands: Nike, Jordan and Dior. To create the Dior X Air Jordan, which dropped mid-pandemic in June of 2020, he took the Jordan 1 silhouette, applied Dior’s leather and Italian techniques and infused it all with Michael Jordan’s personal cool-guy style.The much-hyped, $2,200 shoe sold out in minutes after being released online. Soon after, the shoes were spotted being resold for as much as $12,000 on StockX.In this conversation from VOICES 2020, Jones covers everything from ethical consumption to the enduring power of youth and desire.  

  • Young people influence the way Jones thinks about his designs. He invites his god children and children of friends over to watch them dissect his wardrobe, listening carefully to what they have to say. “Young people are learning they want to buy less, and things that last longer,” Jones said.
  • Buying vintage, handing things down through generations, and luxury all tie together for Jones. “The thing about luxury that I like is it’s clothes that are built to last and there’s not that many made of things,” he said. “I care about the world a lot so it’s something I do consider that there’s not much waste. We don’t have tons of stuff left over.”
  • The streetwear-meets-luxury space has exploded in the last few years. Jones sees it as a mix of comfort and easiness that fit in with modern daily life. His go-to is tailored pants and jackets with knitwear or a jersey piece. “When you’re working quite often, when it’s with your hands it’s easy,” he said.
  • He advises aspiring designers and other young creatives to think less about status and more about fulfilment. “Never think about the money, think about doing the job. Work hard,” he said. “Don’t think about social media, think about the actual reality. Just get on with it, and ask questions. I ask questions all the time and that’s why I’ve learned so much.”

     

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LVMH Is Trusting Kim Jones to Define Fendi’s Post-Karl Look Dior’s Air Jordans and the Return of Pre-Pandemic Hype Will Luxury Streetwear Get Millennials Into Department Stores

 

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Feb 09, 2021
Dissecting the Rise, Fall and Future of Topshop
28:38

A new era for Topshop is about to begin. On Monday, digital fashion retailer Asos purchased the high-street label, along with sister brands Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT, for £295 million ($403 million). The deal ended months of speculation about Topshop’s future after parent Arcadia Group fell into administration last November, as BoF senior editorial associate Tamison O’Connor reported in a BoF Professional article breaking down why Asos needs Topshop.

“It’s been very sad for me to see them go through what they’ve been through in the last few months,” retail veteran and former Topshop brand director Jane Shepherdson told BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed on this week’s podcast.

Shepherdson discusses her time at Topshop when it was at the height of its success, the internal and external forces that caused the brand’s demise, before O’Connor weighs in on what the future might hold for the brand under Asos’ ownership.

  • Topshop’s decline was a long-time coming, Shepherdson said, reflecting on her time at the brand. She joined Arcadia as a young graduate and worked her way up the ranks as a buyer, spearheading Topshop’s transformation into a fashion destination. But she left the company in 2006 as Philip Green, who bought Arcadia Group in 2002, became more involved in the business. “He was an asset stripper, more than anything else. He bought businesses, and then sold them again,” she said. “My philosophy was that you would make sure that you designed and bought something that was so amazing that no one would be able to resist it.”

 

  • Asos’ ambition to capitalise on the newly acquired Arcadia brands and customer databases will depend on establishing a strong and independent identities for Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT on the Asos platform, O’Connor said.

 

  • O’Connor goes on to explain how the British high street’s transformation into a largely online market has been accelerated by the pandemic, having brought long-struggling British retailers like Debenhams and Arcadia Group to their knees.

     

 

Related Articles:

Why Asos Needs Topshop

Why Digital Fashion Companies Are Buying Up Tired Brands

The Rise and Fall of Topshop: What Went Wrong

   

 

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Feb 05, 2021
How Fashion Can Leverage the Audio Appeal of Clubhouse
21:17

At VOICES 2020. Paul Davison and Virgil Abloh discussed the audio-only social network’s potential impact in the fashion industry with BoF’s Imran Amed.

While the influence of Clubhouse has been growing in the power corridors of Silicon Valley for almost one year, the audio-only social network officially hit the mainstream this month, having grown to more than 2 million users and closed a funding round valuing the business at $1.4 billion. Then, on Monday, none other than Elon Musk made a surprise appearance on Clubhouse, driving global news coverage of his impromptu conversation with Robinhood’s co-founder, Vladimir Tenev, about the remarkable rise in value of Gamestop shares driven by passionate Reddit users.

But what could the rise of Clubhouse mean for fashion? In December, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Paul Davison made his first public speaking appearance at BoF VOICES alongside Virgil Abloh to discuss the power of creating a space to listen and learn — and how the fashion industry can get involved.

“All the conversations that I’ve hosted or been a part of on Clubhouse related to fashion in a weird way have been more in-depth than interviews or regular-format media,” Abloh said. “It’s an interesting case study making sure brands have something to say when you can’t escape to creating an image.”

 

Related Articles:

LVMH Is Trusting Kim Jones to Define Fendi’s Post-Karl Look Dior’s Air Jordans and the Return of Pre-Pandemic Hype Will Luxury Streetwear Get Millennials Into Department Stores

 

 

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Feb 02, 2021
Alber Elbaz on Making His Return to Fashion
53:55

The celebrated designer talks to BoF’s Imran Amed about fashion’s new digital landscape and the launch of AZ Factory during Haute Couture Week.

The timing of Alber Elbaz’s return to fashion is apt. After a five-year hiatus following his departure from Lanvin in 2015, the designer debuted his new venture AZ Factory this week. The philosophy underpinning the label, a partnership with Richemont, is to tackle fashion’s challenges of excess, irrelevance and exclusivity with technology, focus and innovation.In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, editor-in-chief Imran Amed and Elbaz discuss how the designer fell back in love with fashion why it is necessary to slow the pace of the industry.
  • AZ Factory was born out of Elbaz’s disillusionment with the fashion world. His goal is to bring greater transparency to the design process and a more inclusive feel to customers. His first collection runs from size XS to XXXL. “We always have to remember again and again that this is 2021. How do women live, what do they need, how can I give them what they need?” said Elbaz. “It is taking all this information and processing it and then [giving my] take on it.”
  • The label made a digital debut at Paris couture week with a fashion film. Elbaz said the restrictions created by the pandemic were both a creative challenge and opportunity. “I cannot tell you that it was always easy” Elbaz said. “The night before we air[ed] the film I was still working in editing and looking and changing the music.”
  • One outcome of fashion’s current crisis that the designer is fully onboard with is the move towards a slower pace. Elbaz is increasingly focusing on new and innovative fabrics that require time to fully understand from a design perspective. “I cannot do it every couple of weeks so I know that I will have to keep [it to] two projects [at a time],” said Elbaz.

 

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The BoF Podcast: Alber Elbaz Is a ‘Zoombie’ Now

   

 

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Jan 29, 2021
Rick Owens on Drawing Inspiration From Imperfection
58:44

The American designer speaks with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks about his latest collection, born from ‘anger and darkness,’ and why limitations often make way for creative ingenuity.

 

The location of Rick Owens latest show is a reflection of the ongoing sense of global loss as the death toll from Covid-19 continues to rise. The designer’s new men’s collection was presented at Tempio Votivo, a shrine to the fallen soldiers of the two world wars. The collection, Owens tells BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks, was born out of “anger and darkness,” despite a fresh sense of optimism brought about by Joe Biden’s recent inauguration.In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Owens and Blanks discuss the many references that informed the American designer’s new collection and why imperfection is central to his pursuit of creativity.
  • The show, although full of music and models, was without a live audience, a move that turned the presentation into “personal ritual,” Owens said. “We are doing it for ourselves… Some of the people [I’m working with] have been with me for 18 years. For us to be able to nurture and develop the collection to this point together, we’ve never fully done that before. It’s been this great bonding exercise.”
  • For Owens, lockdown life has not deviated far from his pre-pandemic routine. “I don’t participate or circulate in the world as much as most people do,” he said. But the social restrictions have reminded him that limitations can be central to creative ingenuity. “I like the idea of working within small boundaries,” he told Blanks. “I like the idea of doing the best with what you’ve got.”
  • References for Owens’ work include the Bible, the Rocky Horror Show and S&M, as well as his own imperfections and personal experience of manhood. “My men’s runway shows are always about men’s flaws, and about men’s worst urges because they’re autobiographical,” he said. “When I’m thinking about men, I’m thinking about my own experience. And my own experience is very critical.”
Related Articles: Rick Owens: Control and Abandon Tim Blanks’ Top Fashion Shows of All-Time: Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2014, September 26, 2013 What Fashion Wants From a Biden Presidency       To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email podcast@businessoffashion.com.  

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Jan 26, 2021
What Extended Lockdowns and Slow Vaccine Distribution Mean for the Fashion Business
33:52

BoF’s Imran Amed and McKinsey’s Achim Berg discuss what the fashion industry can expect as the world continues to battle Covid-19.

With coronavirus cases surging in most of Europe, extended lockdowns show no immediate sign of easing, while in the US ongoing political and social unrest is set against a backdrop of widespread Covid-19 infections. For fashion, the repercussions will be felt for years to come, but the extent of the impact will largely depend on the handling of such crises over the course of the next year.In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed and Achim Berg, global leader of McKinsey’s apparel, fashion and luxury group, discuss the key trends laid out in BoF and McKinsey’s joint annual report, The State of Fashion 2021, in light of recent developments.
  • While experts had warned that the winter months would be challenging, super-spreading virus mutations in Brazil, South Africa and the UK have further complicated matters. “It’s fair to say that we expected lockdowns, we expected restrictions, but we didn’t expect them that early, and we didn’t expect them to take that long,” said Berg, adding that these developments might indicate a slower-than-anticipated recovery for fashion.
  • The closing of physical retail and low consumer confidence has hit retailers both with and without e-commerce hard. “Even if online is growing at 50 percent, you cannot compensate for physical retail,” said Berg. But it’s not all bad news. “The moment things normalise, I think people want to have the shopping experience again,” he added.
  • Stores reliant on tourists for a large portion of their sales are reeling from losses as flights stay grounded, but there is also cause for optimism. “It’s a whole new game, but it’s also an opportunity” said Berg. “I would argue that because in some locations it was easy to serve international customers, they didn’t put [enough] emphasis on serving local consumers.”
Related Articles: The State of Fashion 2021 Report: Finding Promise in Perilous Times Tapping Into the Future of Physical Retail Travel Disruption Will Redraw the Fashion Map     Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email podcast@businessoffashion.com.  

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Jan 21, 2021
How An Emergency Nurse Broke into Fashion During the Pandemic
20:23

Oluwole Olosunde, the founder of streetwear and home goods label Against Medical Advice, speaks at BoF VOICES 2020 on lessons from the crisis and the importance of making room for new talent.

 

In the fight to curb the coronavirus pandemic, frontline medical workers emerged as heroes. During VOICES 2020 last December, BoF welcomed one of them, the emergency nurse-turned-fashion designer Oluwole Olosunde, to share his truly unique perspective on what the fashion industry can learn about nurturing young talent.Olosunde is a trauma nurse whose ambitions go far beyond healthcare. Known as Wole to friends and as Guacawole online to his more than 20,000 followers, he spent 2020 juggling treating patients at a New York City emergency ward with launching his streetwear and home goods line, Against Medical Advice.In this week’s BoF podcast, he discusses how his experiences treating patients in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual city have informed his approach to design, and the importance of giving motivated young talent a chance.

 

Related Articles: The Emergency Room Nurse Turning His Fashion Dreams Into a Reality VOICES 2020: Fixing the Fashion System

 

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Jan 19, 2021
Robin Givhan on the US Capitol Siege and Vogue’s Kamala Harris Cover
29:24

Speaking with Imran Amed, the Washington Post’s senior critic-at-large shares her thoughts on the controversially ‘familiar’ image of the vice president-elect, and explains where it sits within the wider political climate of the United States as it is due to enter a new chapter.

When the cover of American Vogue’s February issue leaked on Saturday, January 9, a flurry of controversy ensued. Many took to social media to deride the image of vice president-elect Kamala Harris, lensed by Tyler Mitchell, for its casual styling, unflattering lighting and lack of gravitas. The criticism focused on the argument that the portrait lacked the stately deference they believed such a political figure — not least the first Black, South Asian female vice-president — should command.Among those to share their thoughts was Robin Givhan, The Washington Post’s senior critic-at-large who penned a column on January 11 in which she said “the cover did not give Kamala D. Harris due respect… It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation.” Givhan, who became the first fashion writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006, sat down with Imran Amed in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, to further discuss the cover’s significance and the wider tumultuous landscape of US politics. 
  • Debating Harris’ portrait is about more than just a critique of the technicalities and production value of a fashion glossy. Its release comes at a time of political division and fraught race relations, just days after a violent right-wing mob stormed Washington D.C.’s Capitol building, an event incited by President Trump, who now faces a second impeachment for his involvement in the incident. “The last few years have been an exhausting, emotionally draining time,” said Givhan. “I was very surprised that [the cover] became such an issue. I was really stunned that people were so exercised about it. When you think about it, it’s [like] pain from a thousand papercuts, and this was the 1001st papercut.”
  • The informality of the image chosen for the print cover carries greater historical significance and weight. Vogue and Anna Wintour defended it as an extension of the Biden-Harris campaign’s platform of accessibility, which Givhan described as a “legitimate” point of view. But, she said, “I think that the upset is rooted not so much in the current moment but its history. Throughout history, Black women in particular were not given the kind of respect that white women were. People had this familiarity with Black women that was not about friendship and equality but was condescending. Understanding the complicated nature of that would give one pause in presenting the first female vice president — a Black woman — in that way.”
  • While the alternative digital cover image, which depicts Harris in a more presidential light and formal style, offers some reprieve, this print issue has significance as a cultural souvenir (“you can’t give a screengrab to your grandchildren,” said Givhan), and there is no real opportunity for a do-over. “There’s no way to make people happy,” said Givhan, adding that it’s important to instead listen to criticism and “recognise where things went astray” in allowing this misstep to happen. “You just have to do better the next time, and the time after that and the time after that.”

External clips courtesy of Good Morning America and ABC7 News

 

Related Articles: Anna Wintour Speaks on VP Cover Controversy, Amazon and Diversity Efforts The Risks and Rewards of Dressing American Politicians 

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Jan 14, 2021
Big Tech’s Threat to Fashion
23:45
It’s hard to imagine running a successful brand in 2021 without advertising on Instagram, buying search ads on Google or selling on Amazon. At BoF VOICES, H&M’s Christopher Wylie and venture capitalist Roger McNamee talked about why that’s probably not a good thing — and how the industry can reduce its reliance on tech giants.   Before the pandemic, social media and e-commerce giants like Facebook and Amazon were ascendant. The physical isolation caused by the ongoing global health crisis has only consolidated their power. Nevertheless, fashion brands can’t rely on a handful of Silicon Valley firms to run their businesses, venture capitalist Roger McNamee said at BoF’s VOICES.   In an interview with Christopher Wylie, who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of Facebook user data during the 2016 election, McNamee outlined how big tech has touched off a “cascading series of catastrophes going from the online world into the real world.” In fashion, Facebook, Amazon and Google have inserted themselves between brands and their customers. Though they offer unparalleled marketing and commerce capabilities, McNamee noted their clients pay a steep price in the long run by ceding control of such crucial elements of their businesses. But all is not lost.   “The fashion industry has a superpower,” he said. “You’re actually connected to culture, so people care what you have to say. You have to recognise as an industry that these guys are changing the rules and you have to fight back.”     Find out more about #BoFVOICES here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email 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.
Jan 12, 2021
Who Will Win De-Globalisation?
26:08

At BoF VOICES, Axios journalist Felix Salmon, economist Dr Dambisa Moyo and Sinovation Ventures chief executive Kai-Fu Lee discussed how fashion can navigate challenging economic times.

The current global outlook of mounting debt levels, contracting global trade and rising nationalism bear more than a passing resemblance to conditions in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression. But that alarming trajectory is not set in stone, panelists at BoF VOICES, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers, said. Dr Dambisa Moyo, an economist and author who drew the comparison, said she was “optimistic in many respects,” and sees technological innovation as one way out of the global economy’s current troubles. That’s not to downplay the challenges. Journalist Felix Salmon described an economic “balkanisation” that was making it more difficult for cross-border business, while noting that China’s rapid rebound from Covid-19 could power global markets.

Related Articles:

Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Antidote to Globalisation VOICES 2020: Finding Opportunity in a Global Crisis

 

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Jan 07, 2021
How Does the World Feel About Covid-19?
19:08

Leading health experts Sarah Jones and Noel Brewer discuss how successfully controlling the pandemic is a question of culture as well as science at BoF VOICES 2020.

 

The development of working Covid-19 vaccines in a matter of months is a remarkable feat of the pandemic. The biggest challenge in successfully bringing them to market may be cultural rather than scientific.Whether populations trust public health officials and accept widespread vaccination programmes will determine how the world emerges from the pandemic, said Noel Brewer, professor of health behaviour at the University of North Carolina in conversation at BoF VOICES.Already substantial differences in cultural norms have had a significant influence on how successfully countries have responded to the health crisis, as Sarah Jones, creator of the corporate mental health programme Mental Health Intelligence, explained. Jones has contributed to the largest open-access study that has been conducted on behaviour related to Covid-19 health.Among its findings: There is no global consensus about the value of social distancing measures. Nordic countries like Denmark and Finland have few people who report always wearing a mask, while other countries report a high percentage of people who say they always wear masks. In Asia, social norms around mask-wearing mean that citizens are more likely to voluntarily wear them, while in Europe, people are less likely to wear a mask unless they are legally obligated to do so. The diverging mask-wearing behaviour has led to lopsided progress in tackling the Covid-19 crisis, and extends to how people feel about taking the vaccine. Brewer said that this is where public health officials and government leaders have a responsibility to encourage their citizens to practice social distancing and receive a vaccination. The goal: To emerge from the crisis together.

 

Find out more about #BoFVOICES here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email 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.
Jan 05, 2021
How Meditation Can Improve Your Life
26:38

Is mindfulness powerful enough to help stave off illness? Wellness guru Deepak Chopra and entrepreneur Carmen Busquets discuss the benefits the practice can bring to mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing at BoF VOICES.

The world is currently battling three simultaneous crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the attendant economic downturn, and stress, world-renowned wellness guru Deepak Chopra, during a discussion with investor Carmen Busquets and BoF founder and CEO Imran Amed at BoF VOICES. Meditation is a tonic for all of them, Chopra said, in that it can help promote epigenetic responses, awareness and personal and social enrichment.Those who have never meditated need not be intimidated. “Give 60 seconds to yourself,” Busquets said. “Create that awareness of having that 60 seconds of silence, anybody can do it.”

 

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Dec 21, 2020
Rashad Robinson on Addressing Racial Inequality in Fashion
21:16

This summer’s protests forced fashion to examine its longstanding issues with racial discrimination at every level. At BoF VOICES, Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson laid out how to turn the industry’s new awareness into meaningful action.

In 2020, the fashion industry reckoned with its history — and present — of racial discrimination. Companies promised to address the lack of Black voices on their creative teams and in the C-suite, as well as toxic internal cultures.But visibility is only the first step. Now is the time to “translate caring into action,” Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson said at BoF’s VOICES.The most important change the industry can make, he said, is to stop talking about race in a passive voice. It’s not that Black people are less likely to get hired in the fashion industry — rather, the fashion industry excludes Black people.Inclusivity measures such as mentorship and creating career pipelines for Black employees are inadequate, he went on to say. Too much effort is focused on “fixing” individuals, without addressing the system that created barriers to advancement in the first place.“When we talk about vulnerable communities, we spend our time trying to fix those people,” Robinson said. “When we talk about systems and structures, we spend our time trying to fix those systems and those structures.”

 

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Dec 17, 2020
A Covid Survivor’s Story
19:36

When Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, editor-in-chief of 10, returned home after a whirlwind month zipping between shows in fashion’s capitals last March, she thought she’d come down with a case of the “fashion month flu.” What came next changed her perspective on both the industry and her life. 

 

Beating Covid-19 was a battle as draining mentally as it was physically, 10 magazine editor Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou told BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks during BoF VOICES 2020. “It’s not just a physical assault on your body, it’s a mental assault as well,” she said. Neophitou-Apostolou contracted the disease and was admitted to hospital just after fashion month in March. She’s still recovering. The experience had made her  reconsider both how she lives her own life (being “COVID-safe,” she said, is her top priority) and the way the fashion industry operates. “It was a big wake-up call… we have to all of us contribute to things to change them.”

 

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Dec 15, 2020
‘Change Isn’t Good Enough if It’s Just Change for Me’
33:51

Can fashion avoid tokenism and make sincere inclusivity a reality? At BoF VOICES, Sinéad Burke and Samira Nasr talk about how to be an inclusive leader in 2020.

 

After a year when awareness of the need for greater racial, physical and socioeconomic inclusion surged, can the fashion industry learn to avoid tokenism and turn that momentum into enduring change?In a conversation with activist, educator and writer Sinéad Burke at BoF VOICES, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Samira Nasr spoke about how and why she is working to build an inclusive team in her new role.“The best dinner parties are the ones with more difference. You don’t want to be sitting there with someone with the same ideas,” said Nasr, who was appointed to lead the magazine’s US edition in June.In many parts of the fashion industry, the status quo is only just beginning to shift. “I’m thinking about how to measure and put a process in place so that there’s systemic change,” Burke said. “Change isn’t good enough if it’s just change for me.”

 

Related Articles: VOICES 2020: Fixing the Fashion System

 

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Dec 10, 2020
The Future of Moncler’s ‘Genius’
24:52

At BoF VOICES, Remo Ruffini speaks to Imran Amed about adapting his brand’s programme of designer collaborations to a post-pandemic reality where Chinese customers and online activations are paramount.

 

After global fashion sales fell by 27 percent to 30 percent this year, according to estimates in BoF and McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2021 report (released Wednesday), the industry is bracing for a difficult and (likely incomplete) recovery next year. The important thing is to adapt. “This crisis could be an opportunity,” Moncler chief executive Remo Ruffini said at VOICES last week, predicting the fashion market is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic norms before 2023. “You cannot stay sitting in your chair for two or three years. We need to find new projects and new ways to work.”

With an eye on the rising importance of both digital and China, he’s planning to stage the launch for his next round of “Genius” collaborations in the country this September, with an event mixing physical and online elements. Since 2018, the Italian outerwear label’s “Genius” programme — a series of ultra-hyped, one-off collections from guest designers — has helped the brand reach untapped consumer niches, been a focal point for parties and store activations, and, perhaps most importantly, fuelled visibility on social media.

“The collection will be more customer-centric,” Ruffini said. “We’ll still have people there, but with a different approach.”

Elsewhere, the executive is planning bolder moves. Our conversation took place shortly before Moncler announced it would acquire Stone Island in a transformational move — opening the door to becoming a multi-brand group after nearly two decades of rapid expansion under the banner of a single brand.

 

Related Articles: Moncler Buys Stone Island in Transformative Move VOICES 2020: Fixing the Fashion System Moncler to Stage Genius Show in China in Pandemic Pivot

 

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Dec 08, 2020
How to Master Sleep During the Pandemic
21:32
Good sleeping habits have been linked to higher productivity and better health. At BoF VOICES, Imran Amed discusses the secrets to a good night’s rest with neuroscience Professor Matthew Walker and Oura Founder Harpreet Singh Rai.   Thanks to the pandemic, people are spending more time in their pyjamas, but their sleep patterns are worse than ever. Job loss or worry about job loss and general anxiety surrounding staying healthy are among the chief causes for why sleep, on the whole, has become worse both in quality and quantity for so many.With “sleep hygiene” more important than ever, BoF’s CEO and founder Imran Amed spoke with Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California Berkeley, and Harpreet Singh Rai, CEO of wearable technology company Oura, as part of BoF’s 2020 VOICES conference.Deep sleep is when you refresh your “immune weaponry in your health arsenal,” Walker said. And better sleep has also been linked to making individuals more receptive to vaccines.
  • Singh Rai — whose wearable product, the Oura Ring, helps track sleep and other health information — explained that international stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have made many people less active. That’s bad for sleep quality, especially when coupled with an increase in screen time. “All of us are sleeping less on average and we’re more distracted than ever before,” said Singh Rai. Sleep progress should really be tracked like diet or a workout regimen because “whatever gets measured gets mastered,” he said.
  • A cavalier attitude to sleep can be costly because it is intimately linked to health and productivity. For example, Walker cited a study that found insufficient sleep costs most nations about two percent of their gross domestic product, amounting to $411 billion in the US. “If we could solve the sleep loss crisis within most first-world nations, [we] could almost double the budget for health care or for education,” Walker said. He added: People should consider sleep to be an “investment in tomorrow” rather than a cost on one’s time.
  • Among Walker and Singh Rai’s top sleep hacks: saunas and warm baths are highly effective at helping the body expel heat once you exit those environments, and help set ideal conditions for sleep; setting sleep alarms (those reminders that nudge you to bed at roughly the same time every evening) is just as important as an alarm to help you wake up in the morning; avoiding naps during the day, caffeine in the afternoon and alcohol in the evening allow people to grow tired enough for sleep at night; and finally, abide by the 25-minute rule: if you’re lying in bed for longer than that trying to sleep, then go and do something else (that does not include screen time or food) until your body is tired. “You would never sit at a dinner table waiting to get hungry. Why would you lie in bed waiting to get sleepy?” Walker said. “The answer is, you shouldn’t.”
  Find out more about #BoFVOICES  here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email podcast@businessoffashion.com.  

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Dec 03, 2020
Tory Burch on Finding Purpose in Female Empowerment
50:01

The American designer discusses the power of many businesses to be advocates for change.

 

The last few years have offered Tory Burch, founder of her namesake womenswear label, time to focus less on business and more on design, particularly since her husband Pierre-Yves Roussel took on the role of chief executive in 2018. Now, the pandemic is giving her even more time to focus on perfecting product, a rare silver lining of an otherwise challenging situation.   In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks speaks with Burch about her activist-focused approach to business and how the last 10 months have shaped her fashion label.  
  • Restriction is a crucial component of creativity. To Burch, the travel restrictions and social distancing measures have opened new avenues of creativity, fostering agility and resourcefulness. “One thing that’s happened because of lockdown is it makes you stand still,” said Burch. “To be able to be in one place has been really transformative on many levels.”
  • Burch emphasises that what constitutes luxury needs to be reconsidered. “I really believe luxury isn’t about a price point, and I think that’s relatable particularly today,” she said. “How do you design beautiful things that are timeless and that will last? That’s what I’ve been thinking about,” she said, adding that having time to spend is the ultimate luxury.
  • Through the Tory Burch Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women’s empowerment, Burch is finding new avenues through which to support women and help them weather the coronavirus crisis. “Its horrendous for women right now,” said Burch. “They are taking care of children at a much higher rate than men. We have had to help many women figure out how to take out PPP loans… We had to pivot to really be a resource for women.”

 

Related Articles: Tory Burch Names Pierre-Yves Roussel CEO Independent Women Brought Hope to Fashion’s Virtual Spring Visual Metaphors at Tory Burch

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Nov 26, 2020
David Bailey on a Life of ‘Looking Again’
01:06:16

The acclaimed photographer talks to Tim Blanks about his new autobiography and extraordinary career.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — David Bailey has authored dozens of books, but “Look Again” is his first autobiography. As the title suggests, the photographer is less interested in reminiscing about the past, and more keen on pushing himself and others to look beyond first impressions. 

 

The memoir delves into Bailey’s past and includes sometimes-scathing accounts of his relationships with heavyweights in the world of fashion, media, show business and politics — though he maintains he told the stories “in the nicest possible way.” 

 

“Being a photographer, you have to know how to deal with anyone, from the bloke on the [street] corner to the Queen, so you have to behave,” he said.

 

Speaking in conversation with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, the famed photographer shares anecdotes from his storied and colourful past. 

 

  • Since he first burst onto the scene in 1960, photography has drastically changed alongside technology. “iPhones killed photography in a way, because everyone can take a picture,” he said, adding, “it’s made it into a kind of folk art,” which has its merits.  
  • As Blanks notes, Bailey lost interest in fashion photography for a while in the 1970s, a period  Bailey blames on  his dislike of some editors and the grind of the fashion cycle. It was “another frock and another frock and another girl and another girl.” It took the emergence of Kate Moss — alongside ‘60s supermodel Jean Shrimpton one of Bailey’s top muses — to excite him again. “They’re both exceptional,… important people, much more important than people think.”
  • While Bailey is not one for nostalgia, he can pinpoint one photograph that defines an era — and himself as a photographer. “I’ve got one picture that I feel sums up everything: [British actor] Michael Caine with an unlit cigarette,” he said. “I feel it sums up the ‘60s for me. Not a miniskirt but a close-up of Michael Caine.”

 

Related Articles:

David Bailey Turns Editor for Citizens of Humanity

100 Years of British Vogue

Will Covid-19 Change Fashion Photography?

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Nov 19, 2020
Tremaine Emory on Mixing Politics and Fashion
54:06
Imran Amed talks to the designer, also known as Denim Tears, about the US election and putting conditions on his collaboration with Converse.   This is just the beginning for designer Tremaine Emory. Following the US election, the designer, who is also known as Denim Tears, spoke to BoF’s Imran Amed about negotiating with big brands, leading with purpose and the work still ahead. “It’s been an incredible week and there’s a lot more work to do,” said Emory. “I hope this is the start.”  
  • For Emory, principles come first when it comes to working with big brands, especially if they are using corporate activism in their marketing. The designer notably withheld the release of a collaboration with Converse earlier this year, posting a set of conditions for parent company Nike on Instagram that ranged from disclosing the number of Black employees in leadership roles to stopping all support for the Republican party. “I can’t put these sneakers out if all the company is doing is donating money,” said Emory. “I need to know specifically what they’re doing to combat police brutality in Black neighbourhoods… Who are we protecting with this money?” In negotiations with brands, Emory delineated the tango that comes with corporate partnerships: “Their number one thing is making money... how can I dance their bottom line with my bottom line?”
  • Reflecting on the results of the election, Emory emphasised the importance of registering young voters and getting them excited about the upcoming senate elections, particularly in his home state of Georgia. “We’re going to work to get people to vote and get Democrats in those seats,” he said.
  • Emory also hopes to introduce young consumers to new ideas and ways of thinking about American history and civil rights. “That’s probably my favourite part of my practice is being a bridge of knowledge between generations,” he said. “How can I condense... a James Baldwin book [or] a Black Panther book into a T-shirt?”
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Nov 12, 2020
The Fashion Industry Unpacks the US Election
50:21
The BoF team and industry experts Sharifa Murdock and Stephen Lamar discuss what the close vote means for the future of fashion.   LONDON, United Kingdom — Election night ended in the US without a clear answer as to who will lead the country for the next four years. And though former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have established a small lead over President Donald Trump in several key states as of Thursday afternoon, many questions remain about what will happen next.  Sharifa Murdock, co-owner of Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs, and Stephen Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association joined BoF’s Lauren Sherman, Brian Baskin and Imran Amed to discuss what’s at stake for tariffs, trade agreements and corporate activism whatever the outcome.  Trade policies have changed under the current administration. Trump renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement and levied tariffs on goods imported from China and some European countries. Biden may not have implemented these polices given the choice, but his administration will be cautious about retreating from Trump’s trade positions, Lamar said. “They don’t want to be seen as the new government immediately going soft on China,” he said.  Trump campaigned in 2016 on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US, but in the fashion industry at least, American factories cannot compete directly with overseas rivals on price, said Murdock of Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs. “News flash, stuff that left isn’t coming back,” said Lamar, who added that a Trump or Biden administration should focus instead on creating new kinds of apparel production jobs in the US.  Sales of luxury goods are holding up relatively well in the US as the wealthy redirect money that normally would be used on trips and hotels toward handbags and apparel. Trump’s tax cut has also played a role, giving wealthy consumers more disposable income. Biden campaigned on raising corporate taxes and reversing some of Trump’s tax policies. However, his ability to implement his vision depends on Democratic control of the Senate, which appeared unlikely as of Wednesday afternoon.  Corporate activism has flourished under the Trump presidency, as brands and retailers that previously remained neutral on political issues came under increased pressure by consumers to take a stance. The panelists predicted that activism was likely to continue, no matter who wins the election. “One thing that Trump did do was bring out… views that haven’t been looked at previously,” said Murdock. “No matter who wins [diversity and inclusion] is going to be on people’s minds.” Related Articles:
The US Election: What’s at Stake for Fashion?
American Fashion Executives on What Happens Now

 Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email 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.
Nov 05, 2020
Gareth Pugh on Returning to Fashion in Extraordinary Times
47:30
The British designer tells Tim Blanks about his latest creative endeavour, a documentary about creating his first collection in two years.   LONDON, United Kingdom — Acclaimed designer Gareth Pugh showed his last collection in September 2018. Two years on, he has returned to the industry at a time of global tumult. Its effects are clearly reflected in “The Reconstruction,” a documentary made by Pugh, his husband Carson McColl and Showstudio director Nick Knight showcasing 13 new designs and the inspiration behind them.   “This project really has been born out of some insane historical moments,” said Pugh. “2020’s been a shitty year and so much has gone on,” he continued, and he would be remiss “not to look it in the face and acknowledge its presence.”  
  • No stranger to the medium, Pugh has previously released films of his designs in lieu of a fashion show, and in 2019 made a documentary with McColl about the fight for LGBTQ+ rights across the UK. In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Pugh discussed what the current state of the industry means for young designers, and how he considers film to be a medium loaded with potential depth. The “new normal” can also mean opportunities. “The playing field is now level; you don’t have that established way of having to do things. like young designers being forced into this idea that ’we have to spend a load of money doing a show,’” said Pugh. “You never had to do that anyway, but now more than ever you really don’t.”
  • For many designers, film has been the go-to medium in the absence of in-person fashion shows, but it presents its own challenges. “Once you have that physical exchange taken away, you have that hole, that vacuum that you need to fill,” said Pugh. That said, alternative art forms allow for a more profound exploration of themes. “In a [fashion] show context it’s very difficult to dig down deep… simply because you’ve got this tennis match-esque way of presenting things,” he added.
  • “The Reconstruction” is a meditation on permanence, longevity and wider political significance as it pertains to creativity — from the “monumental” looks showcased in the film, to an entire section documenting the Black Lives Matter movement and activism of trans women of colour. “Wanting to build something really febrile and really temporal doesn’t sit with me,” said Pugh, admitting that he “never did very well with playing that commercial game” as a designer. “Fashion for me is part of the wider cultural conversation and does link to so many things we are part of… [It] doesn’t exist within a vacuum.”

 

Related Articles: Gareth Pugh's Fashion Battlefield Gareth Pugh's Macabre Movie A Life in Extreme Style: Michèle Lamy

 

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Nov 03, 2020
Dries Van Noten on Opening a Store During a Pandemic
47:48
BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks speaks with the Belgian designer about his new community-centred art hub and why the clothing store could do with a makeover.   LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s been just over two weeks since Dries Van Noten opened his latest store in downtown Los Angeles — a 8,500-square-foot, multi-storey building intended as a hub for art, fashion, music and community. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, the Belgian designer speaks with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the inspiration behind his new brick-and-mortar venture and his plans for future fashion weeks.
  • It may seem counterintuitive to debut a new store during a pandemic, when shops are open one day and forced to close the next, but Van Noten’s latest venture is an attempt to reimagine what brick and mortar can be. “Stores become very static. I wanted to have more of a youth club, where people can just come in… and do things,” he said. He recently had four local artists come in and repaint the walls in an homage to street art.
  • One of the rooms in Van Noten’s store serves as an archive of unsold garments from the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. It was inspired by the idea to slow down the fashion industry. “We have a room for men and a room for women where you have a selection of pieces from old collections.”
  • When looking to the future, Van Noten reflects on the possibility of combining fashion shows with alternative ways to present collections — like fashion films or lookbooks. “By the time we go back to fashion shows, perhaps the fashion shows will be changed,” Van Noten said. “It felt not right to see — in the times we are in — a fashion show.”

 

Related Articles: At Dries Van Noten, New Ways of Seeing Dries Van Noten Proposes Reset to Fashion’s Deliveries and Discounting Calendar What Happened to Rethinking the Fashion System?

 

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Oct 29, 2020
The Earthshot: A New Sustainability Mindset for Fashion Retail
29:48

In the final episode of BoF’s new podcast series Retail Reborn, Doug Stephens explores how fashion retail must evolve so it can operate within planetary boundaries featuring guests including sustainable design authority William McDonough, founder and CEO of Jordan Alliance Group Inc, Ilka Jordan, and Sanjeev Bahl, founder of sustainable denim manufacturer Saitex.

 

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Oct 27, 2020
Paul Smith on the Past 50 Years
49:13
The designer speaks with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about how the current moment is shaping the future of creativity.   LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s been 50 years since Paul Smith opened his first shop in Nottingham. Now, he has 200 shops worldwide. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, the celebrated designer speaks with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the last five decades, his latest book and how the current moment is prompting a return to craft.
  • Reflecting on the past 50 years, Smith emphasises the importance of making the most of any luck or opportunity by working at it. “For a lot of people opportunities come their way but they don’t embrace them,” he said.
  • To celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary, Smith has released a book. In it, he tells the story of the last 50 years through 50 objects. “Instead of it just being a coffee table book with pictures of clothes in it, [I wanted it to] be a little bit lateral,” said Smith. “I very quickly chose 50 things — and I say ‘very quickly’ because I wanted it to be spontaneous.” Each object signifies a particular time or a memory that has shaped Smith's life and brought him to where he is today.
  • Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, the designer says he is excited about the industry’s return to craft. “What’s been inspiring for me is the construction,” said Smith. “Instead of the inspiration coming from a Matisse or a Basquiat, going back to how we make things has been really wonderful.”
Related Articles: Restructuring and Redundancies at Paul Smith Streamlining Collections, Paul Smith Reveals Own Fashion Calendar Fix   Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here.   To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email podcast@businessoffashion.com.  

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Oct 22, 2020
Imran Amed and Tim Blanks on a Most Unusual Fashion Month
53:52

Amed and Blanks reflect on this season’s collections, the shift to digital and the limitless potential power of creative collaboration.

 

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — This last fashion month has been unlike any other. After much of the year working under lockdowns, brands largely shifted to digital channels to showcase their newest collections. In the latest episode of the BoF podcast, BoF Founder and CEO Imran Amed and BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks reflect on the season's most compelling moments and lasting impact.

  • Virtual presentations haven’t always landed, but this season felt different, said Blanks. “There was so much thought and creativity and ingenuity applied to new ways of doing business and new ways [of showing work]... It was a very different ball game.”
  • In London, Blanks was struck by female designers like Bianca Saunders, Ahluwalia and Supriya Lele who “did these super strong presentations that were provocative and affirmative and positive,” he said. Overall, London Fashion Week was defined by a joyful defiance during a time of crisis. In Milan and Paris, Blanks and Amed referenced Prada and Rick Owens as two of many shows that stood out to them.
  • This season also made clear the power of strong partnerships. Through creative collaborations between designers and filmmakers, brands have managed to bring their collections to life to audiences the world over. “It changes the fundamental conception of fashion being about the designer, now we have a much more collaborative thing happening,” said Blanks. “That’s a shift, I think.”

Related Articles:

How Impactful Were the Digital Fashion Week Shows, Really?

Who Will Win the Digital Fashion Week Battle?

How to Make Digital Fashion Weeks Work

 

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Oct 15, 2020
Kenneth Cole on Why Mental Health is the Other Big Pandemic
31:14

The American designer talks about his efforts to destigmatize mental health issues and the importance of improving emotional wellbeing in the fashion industry. 

LONDON, United Kingdom — “[There] needs to be a cultural shift… a new narrative, a new vocabulary, a new way to talk about mental health that [isn’t] debilitating, but is in fact empowering,” designer and social activist Kenneth Cole told BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed. 

Cole recently brought together leading US mental health organisations and high-profile advocates and media platforms to launch the Mental Health Coalition, an organisation that seeks to destigmatize the topic. In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, he discussed how the issue pervades the fashion industry and efforts to address it. 

 

  • “The fashion industry is a perception industry, and how we are perceived often is how we see ourselves,” Cole said, warning of the dangers to mental health when designers become preoccupied with reviews, likes on a post or comments from editors. “We define ourselves so often by these external forces that we can’t control and to a degree if you allow them to take hold then you become a victim of that. I often say, ‘fashion is what I do, it's not who I am.’”
  • The pressures on designers have become even more intense with the rise of social media. That’s more true than ever in an era where the pandemic has at times made digital the only available avenue of communication. Constantly being exposed to the feedback and opinions of others can feel debilitating Cole said.  “Unfortunately our industry embraces it and rewards it… and the more likes you have and the bigger audience you have, the more access you will often have.” 
  • What’s next is changing the way people speak about mental health so it there’s less stigma attached to it. The best way to do that “be supportive and non-judgemental and listen,” Cole said. “We all have different degrees and we have ups and we have downs. And we have periods where we’re feeling more in control than other [times]... [but] having a conversation is a big first step.” 

 

Related Articles:

Inside Fashion’s Enduring Mental Health Epidemic

Stressed and Depressed: A Mental Health Guide for Fashion Students

Op-Ed | The Perils of Fashion's 'Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It' Culture

 

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Oct 08, 2020
Will Covid-19 Kill Experiential Retail? Not So Fast | Retail Reborn Episode 4
35:05

"Will a newly minted generation of germaphobic, socially distanced consumers put the kybosh on touchy-feely retail?” In episode 4 of BoF’s Retail Reborn podcast series, Doug Stephens examines how the concept of reimagining the store as media can be applied even during a pandemic, with guests including Neighborhood Goods’ Matt Alexander, Story founder Rachel Shechtman and Ben Kaufman, CEO and co-founder of CAMP.

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Oct 06, 2020
Daniel Roseberry on the Schiaparelli Challenge
51:36

The artistic director tells Tim Blanks about reigniting the surrealist maison, and why fashion doesn’t have to be ‘relevant’ right now.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — Daniel Roseberry grew up in Texas, far from his current professional home at Elsa Schiaparelli’s Place Vendôme headquarters, but he always knew he wanted to work in fashion. “It was always something that I was interested in that no one else around me knew anything about,” he told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “It was this idea of fantasy.” Appointed as Schiaparelli’s artistic director last year, Roseberry lifts the lid on his journey as a designer and his approach to honouring, but not replicating, the vision of the maison’s founder.
  • Before Schiaparelli, Roseberry, spent more than 10 years at ready-to-wear label Thom Browne “There’s nowhere else I could have worked in New York that could have prepared me for the kind of hours that go into a garment… It was my only job before Schiaparelli in fashion and so that was my first foray into this kind of approach.” Despite having over a decade worth of experience, nothing could have prepared him for the challenges of being that “person that has to step out at the end of the show and wave.” Roseberry often wondered when his time would come and the journey has been a learning process. “I thought I knew what it was like to maintain a vision throughout the entire creative process… when there’s so many moving parts… that is the challenge… and it’s something that I’m getting better at.”
  • When it comes to adding his stamp and reinventing the maison, Roseberry tries to “honour... and embody [Elsa Schiaparelli’s] ethos.” The maison shuttered in 1954 and only reopened six years ago. Roseberry is the third artistic director to take its helm. “Trying to replicate what [Schiaparelli] did, which also seemed to be so effortless and such a product of the time and place in which she lived, would be a very arrogant disaster,” he said.
  • Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the industry all but came to a halt and brands had to find ways to pivot to keep their heads above water. For Roseberry “fashion shows don’t have to be relevant right now. There’s so many other things that are more important and I wish that fashion people could allow themselves to sit with that discomfort.” When asked about the future of fashion, Roseberry, like many during this crisis, is unsure but believes that is ok. “Fashion is so obsessed with predicting itself and I think it’s because deep down we know how… not essential we are [right now]… and I think there is an insecurity there.”
  Related Articles:

 

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Oct 01, 2020
The Future of Digital Commerce | Retail Reborn Episode 3
27:32

Doug Stephens speaks with innovators about the technologies and business models driving a new era of online retail — with guests Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein, Christina Fontana, head of Tmall’s fashion and luxury division in Europe, Chen Xiaodong, chief executive of Intime and Neha Singh, founder of Obsess.

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Sep 29, 2020
Lulu Kennedy on London's Young Creatives
53:44

BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks speaks with the Fashion East Founder about the future of London’s emerging designers.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — For twenty years, London's Fashion East has helped incubate and support emerging designers hoping to establish themselves as the industry’s next big thing. The imperative to nurture emerging talent is even more urgent now, as young designers enter an increasingly uncertain industry. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks speaks with Fashion East Founder Lulu Kennedy about what the future of fashion might look like for emerging creatives and independent designers.

  • One major change in the last twenty years is the decline in funding available to stage grandiose fashion shows. “Sponsorship was very good [20 years ago],” Kennedy said. “It’s not as easy now; you have to work harder with the budgets you have.” While strict financial limitations can help foster creativity, it also adds pressure on young designers hoping to compete with more established players.
  • When asked why London remains a central hub of exciting new design talent, Kennedy points to its stellar colleges and powerful and pervasive youth culture. But London-based designers also face specific challenges. “There is a lot of frustration with designers trying to get stuff made on time, in budget and that’s good quality,” Kennedy said. “Going forward with Fashion East, I would love to secure some manufacturing partnership.”
  • Lookbooks and short films have become crucial for designers during the pandemic, when real-life shows are restricted. But standing out amid the social media noise is no easy feat. In fact, the best advice Kennedy has to offer is authenticity: “Be true to yourself. Don’t be second guessing and looking at what other people are doing over your shoulder. Just do you.”

 

Related Articles:

In London, Emerging Designers Face a Critical Season

Where Do Independent Fashion Brands Go From Here?

How to Break Into Fashion When You Don’t Already Have Money

 

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Sep 24, 2020
Building Smarter, More Sustainable Supply Chains | Retail Reborn Episode 2
33:19

In Episode 2 of BoF’s new podcast series, Doug Stephens investigates how supply chains must evolve to meet the novel challenges faced by both the fashion industry and the planet — with guests John Thorbeck, chairman of Chainge Capital, Nina Marenzi, founder of The Sustainable Angle and Dio Kurazawa, co-founder of The Bear Scouts.

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Sep 22, 2020
Craig Green Says, ‘Fashion Can Come From Anywhere’
52:09
The designer speaks with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about his ongoing Moncler collaboration and his dream of designing a wardrobe classic.   LONDON, United Kingdom — Known for his intricate seaming and detailed designs, Craig Green is currently hard at work on his Spring/Summer 2021 collection — which he is aiming to reveal in October. This time, however, it won’t be in a fashion show format. Rather, Green is exploring alternative ways of showcasing his collection that he feels are more appropriate to the times. “The way everything changed so suddenly shows you can’t really plan for anything,” Green told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks. In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Green and Blanks reflect on the designer’s ongoing collaboration with Moncler, his love of problem-solving, and his dream of designing a wardrobe classic.
  • Protection and functionality are the two words that come to Green’s mind when he thinks of Moncler, so it was crucial to incorporate them into the collections he continues to design for the heritage skiwear label. “The first collection we did with Moncler, I thought it would be interesting to think about the most obvious imagery that we associate with [the brand] like mountains and the outdoors,” the designer said. The initial partnership gave birth to many years of collaboration that most recently saw Green reimagining Moncler’s staple winter jackets into wearable art for Collection 5, which launched last December.
  • “Fashion can come from anywhere and can come from anyone,” said Green. “You have an idea of what fashion as a career will be, and then you discover designers who are so uncompromising in what they do and so individual in their voice.” For Green, it is problem-solving that continues to draw him to fashion; the endless possibilities of constructing new shapes and silhouettes using a range of textiles and patterns.
  • Green’s ultimate goal is to design a wardrobe classic, like a Burberry trench coat. But for Green, the staple is more likely to be a workwear jacket. “For a brand or designer to create one of those items is really an achievement,” said Green. “I have great respect for designers that own wardrobe classics.”
Related Articles: Packaging the Body at Craig Green Craig Green Talks Creative Evolution    

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Sep 17, 2020
How Trauma Transforms Consumer Psyche | Retail Reborn Episode 1
27:24

In Episode 1 of The Business of Fashion’s new podcast series, presented by Brookfield Properties, Doug Stephens and social psychologist Sheldon Solomon PhD. examine the impact of collective trauma on consumer behaviour, as Covid-19 sees consumers grapple with mortality. 

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Sep 15, 2020
Welcome to Retail Reborn from The Business of Fashion | Trailer
02:27

In an exclusive new series from The Business of Fashion in partnership with Brookfield Properties, Doug Stephens and BoF investigate the seismic shifts transforming the retail ecosystem. From the post-pandemic consumer psyches to increased risk and growing calls for responsibility, BoF identifies the forces transforming the retail market and what they mean for the global industry.

The Retail Reborn Podcast launches on Tuesday 15 September. Subscribe now to never miss an episode.

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Sep 14, 2020
The Fate of the Physical Runway Show
46:48

BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, The Washington Post’s fashion critic Robin Givhan and GQ’s Rachel Tashjian explore the past, present and the future of the event that makes the industry go round — the fashion show.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — Do fashion shows still matter? In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, The Washington Post’s fashion critic Robin Givhan and GQ Magazine writer Rachel Tashjian join BoF Executive Editor Lauren Sherman in a virtual panel discussion on how the pandemic tested designers’ ability to captivate buyers, media and consumers through creativity and the use of digital tool. What happens next?
  • For Blanks, in order to look forward, you must look back. Fashion shows have always “[meant] almost everything in fashion to an enormous degree… They challenge, they provoke, they’re disturbing, they’re overwhelming,” he said. However, over the years, people have looked at the shows of the past as “a world that’s gone in a way… it has that kind of poignant tug.”
  • As industry commentators, Blanks, Givhan and Tashjian have taken note of how designers pivoted their strategies following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and what set them apart. For Givhan, JW Anderson’s “show in a box” tapped into “the desire for something tactile, the desire for something that felt personal… that you could hold, that wasn’t a digital... distant thing.” Although livestreams have a way of broadening a brand’s reach, as a critic, Givhan finds being “forced to look in one particular direction” hinders the experience. “Sometimes I find the most interesting element to be something that’s over in a corner, but that’s not the main thing that’s walking down the runway towards me,” she said.
  • In the future, Givhan hopes designers will use technology to “tell a story about their clothing, to weave a narrative in some way… to evoke emotion,” instead of carbon-copying a traditional runway in a digital way. “It [just] feels… like something that… doesn’t really quite fit,” she said. For Blanks, what has come out of this period of uncertainty — and the modes of communication adopted — shouldn’t be forgotten. “I hope that there will be this immediate contact, this sort of intimacy,” he said. “I find that more interesting than maybe the way that we used to deal with things. I don’t want a press release, I want to talk to people.”
Related Articles: A Year Without Fashion Shows Will Covid-19 Change Fashion Shows Forever? Who Are Fashion Shows For?

 

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Sep 10, 2020
Cathy Horyn on Why Fashion Media Must Evolve
01:00:06

The industry veteran and renowned Critic-at-Large at New York Magazine and The Cut discusses how the pandemic has shifted the way journalists cover fashion, signalling an editorial transformation.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — For fashion critic Cathy Horyn, the pandemic has ushered in yet another transformation of fashion media. Just like the brands and designers who pivoted and adopted new digital tools to reach buyers and consumers amid show cancellations, publications maximised their online presence to guide the industry at large through a period of upheaval.

In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Horyn sat down with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks to discuss reviewing the upcoming shows this month (a mixture of both physical and live events) and her outlook for a post-Covid-19 fashion industry.

  • For Horyn, the media reflects and adapts to the needs of its time. “There’s been incredible [fashion] writers all the way back to the 1830s at least… and they all did something different. Journalists adapted to whatever was going on at that time,” she said. With the advent of the internet and social media, the industry saw the emergence of new voices and new talent. Amid this current period of uncertainty, Horyn remains optimistic that the industry will emerge stronger and transformed. “We’ve seen a lot of experimentation in the last… two months… I think going forward...it’s going to be an adjustment for everybody covering fashion, [but] I certainly think it should be covered.”
  • Will the show go on? This has been one of the questions on the minds of designers across the globe, but with New York Fashion Week given the go ahead (sort of) industry insiders and consumers are in for a fashion week unlike anything ever seen before: a mixture of in-person shows, livestreams, films and virtual panel discussions. What does this mean for journalists, like Horyn, that usually review the collections gracing the runway? “We don’t even know if we’re going to be covering shows like we did till possibly next fall,” she said. “My long-term feelings for the industry are really strong… [fashion] will transform itself but we just don’t know what that’s going to [look like].”
  • For Horyn and other critics, it would be remiss to ignore the allure of the physical runway show. A collection “doesn’t [always] translate so well on television or on a video screen,” Horyn said. But one thing that remains, whether via a screen or in real time, is the “sense of discovery and [realisation] that some of that stuff ... moves the historical needle of fashion and we get to see that,” she said.

 

Related Articles:

The Best-Case, Worst-Case for Fashion Media

For Fashion Magazines, It's Crunch Time

At Condé Nast and Hearst, It’s About More Than the Current Crisis

 

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Sep 03, 2020
Stella Jean Asks ‘Do Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion?’
55:27

The Italian-Haitian designer and the only Black member of Italy’s Camera della Moda speaks to BoF Editor-in-Chief about racism within the country’s fashion industry.

LONDON, United Kingdom —  For designer Stella Jean, enough is enough. “It’s time to turn the page” and demand fashion reform, she said. Last month, alongside Milan-based designer Edward Buchanan, Jean issued letters to Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera della Moda, and to the organisation’s 14 executive members in what Jean described as “an historical appeal to bring to the forefront for the first time in our history, the paradoxical taboo topic of racism in Italy… and also to support Black designers who are still invisible in the business of Italian fashion.” In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Jean sat down with BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed to share her personal history growing up the daughter of a Haitian mother and Italian father, discuss the systemic racism within Italy’s fashion sector and focus on fostering change.
  • The self-taught designer, whose clothes have been worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Zendaya, called out fashion giants for making “performative gestures of public support” regarding racism in America, while simultaneously “overlooking what is happening to the Black minority in their own country among its workforce.” During the virtual call with Amed, Jean shared that she had received a letter from Capasa regarding the creation of a new unit in the Italian fashion council to tackle racism within the sector. Jean hopes that this will transform her question “do Black lives matter in Italian fashion?’” into the statement “Black lives matter in Italian fashion.”
  • In order to effect change, fashion leaders and executives must have an open discussion about what more can be done to boost diversity within their organisations, Jean said. While brands rushed to post black squares on social media, Jean urged leaders to first address the lack of diversity within their corporate structures. “[Brands] have long preached multiculturalism but have rarely applied such concepts beyond the media window… [and] in the spaces away from the spotlight where no one is watching,” she said. “[This is a] wound that we have ignored for far too long… If you don’t understand that awareness is the first step in solving the problem, this wound will never heal.”
  • For Jean, who founded the sustainable development initiative Laboratorio delle Nazioni, growing up in the 1980s “and struggling [with] being so diverse from [her] fellow citizens has motivated [her] to find a way to show people not to be afraid of different cultures and colours, but instead to see them… as a chance to grow better and together.” Jean recognises fashion as a tool that can offer fair and equitable opportunities for people in low-income countries. When Jean creates a collection she meets and works with various artisans in countries like Peru, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Mali or Pakistan for example, researching and learning about the local indigenous skills to then create a textile or garment, combining the country’s traditional craftsmanship with Italian design. “The beauty of fashion is it has no borders,” Jean said.

Related Articles: Op-Ed | Fashion Is Part of the Race Problem Op-Ed | Inclusivity Demands More Than a Show Fashion's New Stella

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Aug 27, 2020
Rebuilding Lebanon’s Fashion Industry
46:04

Elie Saab Jr, chief executive of Elie Saab Group, and Lebanese designers Roni Helou and Amine Jreissati speak about the urgent need for global solidarity in the face of crisis.

 

BEIRUT, Lebanon — At around 6pm on August 4, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in the Beirut port caused a devastating explosion that killed 137 people and injured thousands. The blast also destroyed buildings across the city, including the homes and studios of many members of Lebanon’s fashion community. In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed speaks with Elie Saab Jr., chief executive of Elie Saab Group, as well as Lebanese designers Roni Helou and Amine Jreissati about what it will take to rebuild Lebanon's local fashion industry.

  • The challenges facing many people in Lebanon are overwhelming. But the Lebanese fashion community must attempt to see this as an opportunity to grow, said Saab. “Either you look at this incident as something that will destroy you, or you look at this incident as something that will make you stronger,” he said. “We encourage all Lebanese not to dwell on the destruction that took place, but to use this destruction to go back to work in a stronger, more focused way.”
  • The Beirut explosion occurred in the midst of a pre-existing economic, social and political crisis. It is often such desperate times that can generate an influx of progress and growth in the long term. “I have been emphasising the importance of reshaping the [fashion] industry. We have seen both locally and globally that something isn’t working,” said Helou. “If we don’t put a plan in place to recover, we are taking the hope away from people of putting food on the table.” It is crucial that this plan includes careful financial planning, added Jreissati, in order to navigate the economic uncertainty that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and implement the foundations of a more resilient industry.
  • When looking to the future, the importance of patience and hope is underscored by all three designers, but global solidarity and aid is just as crucial. “Brands located in Lebanon today have been very limited with everything that’s been happening. Some of them are not able to rebuild. We need international support,” said Jreissati.

To aid Beirut's creative community, the Starch Foundation has partnered with The Slow Factory Foundation to launch crowdfunding campaign "United for Lebanese Creatives," which offers financial support to independent designers impacted by the explosion.

To support local grassroots and independent NGOs in Lebanon, The Slow Factory Foundation has also created a fundraiser  dedicated to improving "sustainability literacy" in fashion.

 

Related Articles:

Lebanon's Fashion Industry Hit by Triple Crisis

Elie Saab Sets a New Course in New York 

 

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Aug 20, 2020
Jerry Lorenzo Says, 'I Know What I’m Fighting For'
47:50

The Fear of God designer talks American luxury and why feeling like an outsider is a strength.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — For Fear of God Founder Jerry Lorenzo, being an outsider is an advantage. “I just feel like I never fit,” he told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “I’ve gotten to a place where I’m ok with that and I don’t need to fit within fashion to be validated… and so I know that I’m outside but I feel like my strength is that I’m outside. My strength is that I see [things] differently.”

Lorenzo has often taken a less-beaten path, but it’s his approach to collection drops — his latest is the first he has released in two years — as well an ability to use fashion as a platform to foster social change, that have helped to position him as an industry leader. An outsider no longer?

  • "The Pelican Brief," "The Breakfast Club," "License to Drive" and "Rocky IV" are just some of ‘80s movies Lorenzo often references. “There’s something about that time period that to me was the highest level of effortlessness and sophistication,” he said. That spirit is alive in his seventh collection, which offers an “unfiltered vision of tailoring and suiting” for the first time, as well as accessories and handknits. “It’s a move from an emerging brand to a foundational brand,” Lorenzo said. “What we’re doing with [this] collection is purely our point of view.”
  • Using his platform, Lorenzo looks to inspire young people to pursue their passions relentlessly in whatever field. “I know what I’m fighting for and I’m clear on that,” he said. “Some kids just don’t have the example of someone that looks like them… and without that visual example, sometimes it feels impossible… fashion just happens to be the platform that I’m using to do that.”
  • Fear of God might be rooted in streetwear, but Lorenzo explained why it’s more than that. “Some people just chalk it up to be a hoodie and that’s okay but we understand that we’re providing the solution for the lifestyle that today is the modern man,” he said. “We’re putting out clothes when we feel like… we have something to say… [and] that we have solutions for what’s missing in the marketplace. We don’t feel like we’re operating from a place of a capitalistic spirit, we feel we’re proposing what’s needed.”

 

Related Articles:

The Decade When Streetwear Rewrote the Rules of Luxury

What the Merger of Suiting and Streetwear Says About the Men’s Market

Streetwear Took Over the Fashion Industry. Now What?

 

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Aug 18, 2020
Lily Cole on Why the Fashion System Needs Reform Now
38:09

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.
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Aug 13, 2020
Tackling Systemic Racism in the Fashion Industry
43:32

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 Problem Fashion Media Called Out Over Workplace Racism How PR Firms Are Navigating Fashion’s Race Problem

 

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Aug 06, 2020
Michael Kors on Why He Left Fashion Week
58:06

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?

 

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Aug 04, 2020
LOVE Magazine’s Editors on the Fashion Magazine’s New Role in Culture
52:22

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 LOVE For Fashion Magazines, It's Crunch Time How to Make a Magazine Under Lockdown  

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Jul 30, 2020
Fabien Baron Says, 'The Way We Communicate Is Going to Change'
58:04

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

 

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Jul 28, 2020
Imran Amed and Tim Blanks on Where Fashion Goes From Here
54:14

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?

 

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Jul 23, 2020
Stephen Jones Says the Constant Quest for Perfection Often Kills Spontaneity
52:09

Celebrated milliner Stephen Jones talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about how the pandemic has signalled an opportunity to reshape the fashion industry.

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — For Stephen Jones, a prolific hatter and one of the most lauded milliners in modern memory, “hats and dressing up are a sign of optimism in spite of everything.” In his storied career, which spans four decades, he has created visual masterpieces both under his namesake brand and as the artistic director of hats at Christian Dior.

“The purpose of fashion… is maybe to give people a dream,” Jones told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “To give people the idea of more fun times, a better life… something which is solely for their pleasure,”

  • For Jones, who has created hats for high-profile clients from Princess Diana to Rihanna, forced isolation has provided an opportunity for reflection and “just being able to focus on one thing,” he told Blanks. “I’ve only ever done that in my first collection [and] that was 40 years ago. So in a funny way, I’ve been able to have the focus and the time to do something that I haven’t been able to in 40 years.”
  • “Fashion is that fabulous escapism that people yearn for,” Jones said, and when it comes crafting intricate designs, he avoids the “constant quest for perfection because perfection often kills spontaneity.”
  • As with many industry professionals across the globe, the pandemic and political unrest has signalled an opportunity for Jones to transform old practices and reshape the industry. “The one thing about fashion is it evolves,” he said. “If it doesn’t evolve it doesn’t make sense.”

 

Related Articles:

Stephen Jones and the Grammar of Hats

The BoF Podcast: Stephen Jones on the Craft of Millinery

 

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Jul 22, 2020
Neiman Marcus Chief Executive Sees Stores As Vital for Digital Growth
58:55

In an exclusive conversation with BoF’s Imran Amed, Geoffroy van Raemdonck expresses optimism for the retailer’s bankruptcy process and explains why brick-and-mortar remains integral to its core business.

LONDON, United Kingdom — When facing both a nation-wide retail shutdown and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing, Neiman Marcus Group Chief Executive Geoffroy van Raemdonck found solace in one fact: his most loyal customers, even at stores that have yet to re-open to the public, are shopping more than they did last year.

“Neiman Marcus is a relationships business,” Van Raemdonck told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in an exclusive interview this week.

Despite the global health crisis — and a dire debt problem that loomed even pre-pandemic — Van Raemdonck sees an opportunity for growth.

  • As consumers continue to migrate online, Neiman Marcus’ 43 stores remain integral to forging lasting connections between shoppers and sales associates. Prior to the coronavirus, every Neiman Marcus store that was open for more than a year was profitable. That’s why the retailer is planning on closing fewer than 10 stores, Van Raemdonck said.
  • Neiman Marcus’ primary problem is debt. In 2019, the company generated $415 million in adjusted EBITDA, which represented 9 percent of its sales. The issue is that $365 million of that profit had to go toward paying down its debt. In the bankruptcy process, Neiman Marcus has been able to convince more than 75 percent of its debtholders to exchange what they are owed for equity in the company.
  • The retailer's objective now is to maximise its existing relationships with customers and meeting them where they are. To do so, it recently unveiled a new clienteling app called Neiman Marcus Connect. The app allows sales associates to connect with their individual customers wherever and however they like to shop.

 

Related Articles:

Can Neiman Marcus Survive Bankruptcy?

Can the American Department Store Be Saved?

Why Neiman Marcus Is Getting Rid of Its Off-Price Stores

 

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Jul 16, 2020
Amber Valletta Says, ‘I Don’t Want to Work in an Industry That Is the Same as Before’
59:14

The supermodel, actress and environmental activist talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about why the fashion industry cannot return to ‘business as normal.’

 

LONDON, United Kingdom — “The uncertainty has forced us to get really present.... We have an amazing opportunity to restart and to begin again,” Amber Valletta told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast. “It is an incredible opportunity to stop and really figure out where we want to go from here. We can redesign a future.”

 

The American supermodel and actress, who has graced the cover of American Vogue 13 times and starred in various television and film series, including Revenge, Legends and Hitch, shared her thoughts on why the pandemic and political unrest has signalled the need for an equitable supply chain and an overhaul of the fashion calendar to reflect the industry’s “new normal.” 

 

  • Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, many garment workers in countries like India and Bangladesh were left destitute as textile factories shuttered and retailers in the west cancelled orders. “Before the designers make this amazing piece, [garment workers] are the people who put in the blood, sweat and tears,” Valletta said. . “In the 21st century, we should have a supply chain that’s fair and equitable.” 
  • Affecting change may not be simple but it is definitely required, Valletta said. In order to thrive in a post-pandemic climate, the fashion industry at large needs “to be resilient… which means we have to really stop doing business as normal because normal is archaic now.” For Valletta, fashion is about change and innovation: “I don’t want to work in an industry that is the same as before,” she said. 
  • “Why aren’t we slowing down the calendar?,” Valletta asked, addressing the industry’s incessant output of clothes that has accelerated over the years. “I was blessed to live in the most spectacular time in fashion… the crews were smaller, everything… There was an intimacy and excitement that we don’t have today,” she said, reflecting on her modelling career. . “There was no [social media]... and there was anticipation of the next season… Everything coming at you was a discovery.”

 

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Jul 14, 2020
Farfetch’s José Neves Says Profitability Is Still Possible in 2021
53:08

LONDON, United Kingdom —For Farfetch Founder and Chief Executive José Neves, the last six months have not only been about protecting his own business from the fallout of Covid-19, but also supporting the hundreds of boutiques around the world — from China, Japan and Korea to the Middle East and Europe — that sell their goods online through the luxury marketplace.

“We've been able to support the boutiques and the brands on the platform at crucial time where online is, for many, the main channel and for some... the only channel,” Neves told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast.

But as Neves explained, more challenges lie ahead for Farfetch and the global fashion industry at large.

  • Neves described the platform’s performance as “very solid,” and expects to see an acceleration in its second quarter, with year over year growth of 25-30%. Part of this success can be attributed to the business shifting its focus to markets where consumer sentiment has started to recover, according to Neves.
  • But Farfetch is still losing money, and investors and market analysts have questioned the company's recent acquisition of New Guards Group (NGG). The acquisition may have bolstered profitability, but it took the business in an unexpected direction: actually owning the brands it sells on its platform. But Neves said he remains “confident” that Farfetch will achieve profitability by 2021 — a goal it outlined last year, and that the NGG business is a brand platform in its own right.
  • The luxury industry has been bracing for what has been called “the mother of all sales,” as retailers are forced to drastically discount their surplus of spring merchandise. Some observers have pointed to Farfetch as a regular culprit with respect to the industry's discounting addiction even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Neves says the discounting decisions are made by the brands and the retailers themselves, and that Farfetch is simply the platform they use to go to the market, but acknowledges that deep discounting is a systemic industry problem.
  • Neves believes the fashion industry will finally reckon with its wasteful and unsustainable business practices — and partially because it can also reduce costs. “I do think the industry had an oversupply problem, which is an environmental problem as well," he said. “Platforms have a responsibility to… incentivise customers to shop consciously. By doing that you create an incentive for brands to be more conscious or to be totally ethical and sustainable if they can.”

 

Related Articles:

A Cloudy Picture at Farfetch

Farfetch Signals Growing Ambitions in Resale

Why Farfetch's Free-Spending Ways Have Some Investors Concerned

 

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Jul 09, 2020
Roger Federer on Partnering with On Running and Designing his First Shoe, The Roger
37:33

The tennis legend and cult running shoe label On are launching a sneaker together. In the latest edition of the BoF Podcast, Federer shares what's next.

ZURICH, Switzerland — It’s been 17 years since Roger Federer won his first Wimbledon championship. Now, the 20-time Grand Slam winner is commemorating the date with the launch of his first sneaker for Swiss running label On.

Named “The Roger,” Federer’s debut is inspired by a tennis shoe, but it’s designed to be much lighter and intended for everyday wear, rather than professional sports. As with On’s more performance-driven trainers, the shoe is outfitted with the “CloudTec” technology (a special sole designed to enhance the running experience) for which On is best known. The company’s first “Cloud” performance sneaker, launched in 2010, quickly gained traction among the running community.

Federer’s tie-up with On is much more than the typical ambassador-brand relationship. For starters, he invested an undisclosed amount in the company last year, consulting for the brand before signing on to co-develop product. As the tennis star put it to BoF's Imran Amed in an exclusive interview for the BoF Podcast, he wanted to see if it would be possible “to create a deal and partnership that is more than the pay-to-play deal.”

 

Related Articles:

Roger Federer Buys Stake in Swiss Running Shoemaker

How Are Sports Brands Marketing Without Sports?

Uniqlo’s $300 Million Bet on Federer

 

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Jul 06, 2020
Giles Deacon on Carving Out His Own Fashion Calendar
36:17
The designer speaks with BoF's Imran Amed about the importance of creative autonomy in a time of 'product for more product’s sake.'  

LONDON, United Kingdom — Designer Giles Deacon’s list of clients is impressive, including Billie Porter, Sarah Jessica Parker and the New York City ballet, while his runway shows were once counted as one of the most exciting events at London Fashion Week. But a few years ago, he decided to leave all that behind, focusing on growing his private client business instead. In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Deacon spoke with BoF Founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about what it's been like to buck the system in a meaningful way.

  • After a few years working in the fashion industry, Deacon became disillusioned by the pace of production. “[It] was about designing more and more product for more product’s sake,” he said. So he decided to return to his art school days, focusing on craftsmanship and elaborate designs.
  • For Deacon, creative autonomy is crucial. If couture designers are to deliver spectacular garments, they need time and artistic independence. “The beauty of the bespoke is to be able to work with the client to give them that sense of service and exclusivity,” said Deacon, adding that his network of VIP customers has grown organically through word of mouth.
  • Lockdown hasn’t stopped Deacon from working over the past few months. "I have been doing sketching, consultations and FedExing patterns,” he said. “It’s gotten smaller, but things still move along.”
  • Looking to the future, Deacon said social distancing measures have prompted him to rethink his own practices. “I have become more conscious of my travelling… [Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, I may travel] less but possibly for longer.”

 

Related Articles:

Giles Deacon on the Inspiration and Couture Craft Behind Pippa Middleton's Wedding Dress

Why Fashion 'Seasons' Are Obsolete

A Proposal for Rewiring the Fashion System

 

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Jul 03, 2020
Aniyia Williams on Why Self-Examination Is Critical to Dismantling Racism in Fashion
59:10
LONDON, United Kingdom — Aniyia Williams is ready for difficult conversations. The opera singer-turned-fashion tech entrepreneur has navigated systemic racism within corporate culture for years. And as companies slowly begin the process of dismantling policies and norms that harm Black people within them, Williams has a few ideas on where they go from here.

“The biggest thing that gets in the way is self-interest,” Williams told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in the latest edition of the BoF Podcast. “Discomfort is the key ingredient to getting to the other side.”

  • Self-examination is critical. “It starts with the blind spots,” Williams said. “You are going to find things you don’t like about yourself.” Companies should look to their own practises and corporate culture to understand who they benefit and what needs to change.
  • You’re not going to hire your way to diversity, inclusion and equity. “What’s more important,” said Williams, is the environment that exists to support those people once they’re hired. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can only go so far, and it starts with senior leadership recognising the need to change both policies and company culture. “If the leadership isn’t buying into those ideals... I don't know how you can expect anyone else to,” Williams added.
  • Act to make it true. Aside from social media posts and one-time donations, fashion companies need to push for a larger, longer-term change. Diversity and inclusion at its core is about creating shared realities that understand what each employee is facing. “What is our relationship to each other going to be and is it going to be as fair and equitable as it can be?” asked Williams.
 

Related Articles:

When Your Corporate Diversity Strategy Isn’t Enough

How to Navigate the Workplace as a Minority Voice

How to Create an Inclusive Workplace

 

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Jul 01, 2020
Rick Owens on Why Fashion Shows Aren’t Going Away
52:06
The American designer talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the future of the industry, sustainability and runway shows.To subscribe to the BoF  LONDON, United Kingdom —  “This is science’s moment...so my responsibility was to study as much as I could so when my turn to contribute came I would be ready,” Rick Owens told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of the BoF Podcast. “I’m concentrating on absorbing as much information, aesthetic information, that will serve me and nourish me in the future.” The American designer, who has earned a cult following for his “’grungy glamorous” aesthetic, has been spending the pandemic studying the work of English architect Edward William Godwin, as well as listening to operas including “Elektra” and “Salome” by German composer Richard Strauss. Owens shared his thoughts on why the pandemic and political unrest has accelerated the conversation around responsibility in the fashion industry.
  • “This period of resetting and enforced reflection has just recharged me,” Owens said. The designer revisited his past work and discussed how fashion is a powerful mode of communication. “When I think back on everything I’ve been doing I feel like I was able to do beautiful things but I was also able to talk about values that I believe in.” The outbreak of Covid-19 and the killing of George Floyd, which has led to protests across the globe, has brought conversations about fashion’s contributions to systemic racism to the surface.
  • Owens pointed out that the broader discussion around sustainability is forcing brands to reassess their businesses and consumers now more than ever are holding companies to account.
  • Even as lockdown measures begin to ease and designers pivot to live stream their shows, Owens underscored that runways are not obsolete. “Adorning oneself and communicating through the way you look, it’s an ancient ritual and it’s an important part of communication… [Fashion shows will] always be there in one way or another.”

 

Related Articles: 

Constructing Rick Owens' Creative Bubble

A Year Without Fashion Shows

The Depraved Kindness of Rick Owens

 

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Jun 26, 2020
Ibrahim Kamara on Photography as a Powerful Force for Change
57:26
The renowned stylist and fashion director talks to BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about his time creating under lockdown.   Quarantine hasn’t stopped stylist and art director Ibrahim Kamara from creating. Although he is unable to work on his usual fantastical fashion visuals, the time spent in his London home is nonetheless far from wasted. “I might not be able to achieve my dreams right now, but I can write them and make a note of them,” Kamara told BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of the BoF Podcast. Born in Sierra Leone, Kamara moved to London in his early teens. He has since worked with some of fashion’s biggest names, including Stella McCartney, Fenty and Hermès as well as British Vogue, Love and AnOther. During lockdown, Kamara and Blanks touched base to talk about photography as a force for change. 
  • Kamara’s ethereal aesthetic pays tribute both to his West African roots and to London, the city he has lived in for the past ten years. For Kamara, the beauty of his visuals exist in this intersection of cultures. “When I’m making work, I want people to stop and take in so much,” he said. “If an image doesn’t stop you, it doesn’t really do it’s job… That’s how I make photos, I want people to look at them twice.”
  • Kamara sees technology as a source of endless inspiration. It is through Instagram he met and befriended Kristin-Lee Moolman, one of Kamara’s longtime collaborators, with whom he has worked on countless projects. “It’s so good to find people who you think can bring something to your world,” he said. Social media has also upended fashion’s longstanding hierarchies, Kamara said, adding that people can now more easily collaborate on ambitious projects without the approval and support of established magazines. 
  • Looking to the future, Kamara hopes to inspire a new generation of young image-makers to find confidence in their ways of seeing and believe in their creative visions. Only by supporting, cultivating and promoting the next generation of creative talent can the fashion industry progress: “[I want to] push the industry [forward]… and make it a space where everyone can dream.”

 

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Jun 23, 2020
June Sarpong Says Fashion’s Gatekeepers Need to Start Thinking Differently About Diversity
37:13

 June Sarpong shares her advice on how organisations can improve their diversity and inclusive representation, and effectively champion allyship.

 

Related Articles: Fashion Media Called Out Over Workplace Racism On Racism, Fashion Must Do More Than Speak Up Op-Ed | Fashion Is Part of the Race Problem

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Jun 19, 2020
Anna Sui Says, ‘You Can Define an Era By the Clothes’
55:28
The American designer speaks to BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about how fashion mirrors politics. LONDON, United Kingdom — The world has changed immeasurably since designer Anna Sui’s last fashion show took place in New York in February. Her next collection is likely to reflect this transformation. “Fashion is a mirror of the times — you can define an era by the clothes,” Sui told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks. “What people are wearing mimics the politics of the times.” Over the last few months, the world has grappled with a pandemic, a steep economic downturn and, more recently, widespread anti-racist protests. In this week’s special edition of the BoF podcast, Sui makes predictions on how these global events might impact the future of her industry.  
  • People have spent much of the lockdowns at home in sweats and a T-shirt. Sui believes that people might go polar opposite once social distancing restrictions are relaxed. “Suddenly [people] are going to want to be seen,” Sui said, adding that eating at restaurants and drinking at bars will once become occasions for self-expression.
  • Handicrafts may see a resurgence as “people are now taking the time to relearn those skills,” Sui said. Tie dying, crocheting and knitting might well become popular creative outlets for the many people investing time in new hobbies — and this shift could be reflected in upcoming collections.
  • Sui hopes the pace of the industry will slow down and allow space for self-reflection. Looking back to the 1990s, “[There] wasn’t this frantic need to be working all the time, I remember enjoying the holidays,” Sui said. “Let’s hope that this gets back under control and that we learn how to balance out our lifestyles again.”

Sweatsuits and Yoga Pants Are Selling Like Crazy. What Happens When Lockdowns End? A Proposal for Rewiring the Fashion System Why Fashion 'Seasons' Are Obsolete 

 

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Jun 16, 2020
Graydon Carter Says, ‘There Is More Good Journalism Being Produced Now Than There Was 25 Years Ago’
48:19
LONDON, United Kingdom —  “Magazines bring the world to you more than newspapers do and more than books do,” Graydon Carter, former editor of Vanity Fairand creator of email newsletter Air Mail, told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in the latest episode of the BoF Podcast. “They bring the cultural nuances of what’s going on now to your door. They [tell] you about a world outside of the small town that you’re living in.”Carter’s journalism career spans over four decades, during which he was a staff writer at Time and Life, co-founded Spy magazine in 1986 and served as the editor of The New York Observer. His “third act,” the digital weekly newsletter Air Mail, employs a team of remotely working individuals from across the globe.Carter shared his thoughts on the state of the publishing industry in this time of upheaval.    
  • An upended global economy is not uncharted territory for magazines. During the Great Recession, publications were hit hard as brands cut their advertising budgets to retain cash, Carter said. More than a decade later, magazines are faced with these same challenges, and for Carter, although there remains “a certain romance for magazines” the print industry “is going to have its issues and I think the strong magazines will survive and thrive and the weak ones will go away. That is a natural process in any industry.” The winners that emerge from this crisis will be the publications that form a connection with their readers. “You have to be the first or second favourite magazine of your reader… if you’re the fifth favourite magazine of a reader, they could probably do without you,” he said.
  • During his time running Vanity Fair, Carter spearheaded several newsmaking issues, including the 2015 “Call Me Caitlyn” cover, revealing Caitlyn Jenner for the first time as a woman and the “Africa Issue” that was designed to amplify the region and came with 20 special covers fronted by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Dr Maya Angelou and Barack Obama. However, his leadership was not without controversy. In a recent Netflix documentary, “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” allegations resurfaced that Carter removed information about the sexual abuse of Annie and Maria Farmer from an article about the disgraced billionaire written by Vicky Ward in 2003. In response to the claims, Carter said: “The legal and fact-checking elements of Vanity Fair, which was quite extensive,... is your line of defence and my head of fact-checking, my legal review editor and the lawyer for the company said we simply do not have what we needed to print this and it came in late,” he said. “In this case, they said we did not have the information we needed to publish that little bit of information in the story... I feel great pain and sorrow for the women he took advantage of, it’s an appalling situation.”
  • As the publishing industry pivots to adapt to a new normal, relying on digital tools like Zoom, cutting back the number of issues and reassessing the diversity of their organisations, Carter believes there are opportunities to be capitalised on. “I think there is more good journalism being produced now than there was 25 years ago… The fact is, now… you can start your own thing, you can do it on your kitchen table.” In a sea of start-ups it can be difficult to stand out, but “it’s just about being good at doing something that somebody else doesn’t do… You can make a name doing anything as long as it’s done well.”

 

Related Articles:  Graydon Carter to Step Down as Vanity Fair Editor After 25 Years Fashion Magazines Hit as Luxury Ad Spend Dwindles For Fashion Magazines, It's Crunch Time

 

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Jun 12, 2020
Activist DeRay Mckesson on the Realities of Social Injustice
12:26

The Black Lives Matter activist recently launched 8CantWait, a new campaign aimed at reducing police violence.

 

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Jun 05, 2020
Scott Galloway on Breaking Up Big Luxury | Inside Fashion
54:04

The bestselling author and business professor offers his insight into the challenging market and M&A landscape that industry players of all sizes have to navigate.

Scott Galloway is no stranger to expressing views as provocative as they are incisive. The author, business school professor and serial entrepreneur has a lot to say about the state of the market in the era of Covid-19, but his observations and predictions are also, crucially, grounded in wider social, political and economic arguments — whether that’s the now-untenable position of American exceptionalism, the burden of student debt or the failings of intergenerational wealth distribution. Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, Galloway shares his thoughts on the state of the luxury sector, importance of e-commerce and the indomitable power of Amazon, a company he describes as “firing on all 12,000 cylinders” yet still can’t crack the fashion market. Here are some of the key takeaways:  
  • “The class of IPOs that will come to the markets in the next 3-6 months will boom,” said Galloway. “I think the markets are going to accelerate but people conflate the markets with the economic health of america. The markets are nothing more than an indication of how the top decile of Europe and America are doing.” 
  • Amazon’s tricky relationship with fashion and luxury is hard to reconcile. “Amazon partners with an industry the way a virus partners with a host,” he said, which explains why luxury brands have traditionally kept the e-commerce giant at arm’s length. Even with the remarkable acceleration of e-commerce in the past eight weeks, however, Amazon’s algorithmically driven retail model does not allow for the forward-looking trend cycle on which the fashion industry operates.
  • Luxury is a relatively well-positioned industry. “The majority of sectors in the world would pray for luxury’s problems right now,” he said, but much like big tech companies, conglomerates in the luxury space create “an unhealthy environment where too few players are allowed to [accrue] too much power... if you wanted to oxygenate the economy around luxury you would go ahead and break them up.”
Related Articles: The New Normal: A Darwinian Shakeout Will Create Fresh Opportunities For Luxury, an Acceleration of the Inevitable Case Study: The Next Wave of Luxury E-Commerce      Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

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May 29, 2020
Jochen Zeitz on the Power of Fashion to Drive Sustainable Change
37:51

The former CEO of Puma has been one of the fashion industry’s leading sustainability advocates. As part of our special edition on building a responsible fashion business, Zeitz talks to BoF CEO Imran Amed about finding opportunities in crisis.

  • The former CEO of Puma has spent his career advocating, and sometimes agitating, for change to more responsible business practices. As he steps into a new role at the head of Harley-Davidson, he offers advice about finding opportunities in crisis.
  • “Iconic brands have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to a change in consumer behaviour as a whole,” Zeitz said, mounting a defense of consumer culture when managed responsibly. “Growing while reducing has to be the parameter of the future. We can grow, but we have to reduce our footprint over-proportionately to the impact we are having through our growth.”
  • The current crisis in particular could prove an important catalyst to drive change towards better ways of doing business. “Now you can make the business case for the planet and you can say what we’re experiencing now with the virus is just a fast way of experiencing climate change that will happen over decades,” Zeitz said. “This virus is testament for a needed fast change in order to deal with a much bigger crisis that will be affecting all our lives around the world in 20, 30 years to come.”
  • Companies that fail to move may well get left behind. “I look at every crisis as an opportunity… to look at your business and how you operate and say what can we really essentially change to adjust ourselves to the new normal,” Zeitz said. “If businesses don’t ask themselves that question, you will be part of history, rather than the future.”

 

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May 21, 2020
Marc Jacobs Says, 'I Still Have Stories to Tell’
51:19

As American fashion changes rapidly in real-time, Jacobs shared his thoughts on the state of an industry in flux.

  • Jacobs revisited his last fashion show at the Park Avenue Armory. “I would be very happy if that were my last show,” he said. New York’s role in global fashion is waning, and the future of live fashion shows in the coming months and years remains uncertain. “We don’t know if there will be much of a fashion industry in New York,” said Jacobs. “Will the people that have the skill still be around?”
  • Furthermore, the waste within the industry, and the flawed system of scheduling and orders has put more of an impetus on designers to slow down. “The idea of being forced to create something and tell a story constantly when it has no soul feels so vacant,” said Jacobs, pointing also to the wasted fabrics and unused products that end up in landfills. “The urge to make things and create things hasn’t gone away… I still have stories to tell,” he added. Maybe how that happens will change.
  • Digital collections and online shopping aren’t adequate substitutes. “Ordering online in a pair of grubby sweats is not my idea of living life,” said Jacobs, comparing the experience to looking at art online. “I don’t look at a Rothko online and cry.”

 

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May 18, 2020
Millard Drexler on Why ‘Growth Is the Enemy
42:38
The New York-based “merchant prince,” best known for his time at J. Crew and Gap, is now watching the American retail landscape crumble as brands and retailers struggle under store shutdowns and debt restructuring. He did offer some advice, and warnings, on the state of American shopping, and what it might look like after the pandemic.
  • “If you’re not a micromanager, you’re not doing your job well,” said Drexler. With too much assortment, and too much retail space, brands need to determine what’s necessary and get creative with their offerings. This same practice should also be applied to wholesale accounts. “Own the brand, don’t let someone else put it on sale, and you’re safe,” he said.
  • Rethink what growth means for your brand. “Growth is the enemy,” said Drexler, looking to the rise of VC-backed brands that have struggled to successfully scale and break even. Now is not the time to pursue top-line growth at the cost of profit margins. “That’s what investors want, and they’ll do dumb things to get there,” said Drexler. “More is not better, the new big is small in my mind.”
  • The American department store’s make or break. “It’s pretty much near the end,” said Drexler. There’s no reason for them, he argued, unless the assortment and store curation are unique and compelling: “I’m not impressed [and] I haven't been for years with the choices out there.”

 

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May 15, 2020
Special Edition: Alber Elbaz Is a ‘Zoombie’ Now
35:18

The designer speaks to BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about life under lockdown and the future of young designers.

 

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May 12, 2020
Special Edition: Jonathan Anderson Says, ‘If It Feels Fake, I Don’t Want It’
53:45

The creative director of JW Anderson and Loewe talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the need for greater transparency in the fashion industry.

 

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May 09, 2020
Special Edition: Kalpona Akter on Choosing Between Lives and Livelihood
34:35

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity, joins BoF’s Imran Amed to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the millions of garment workers left destitute as the world's largest retailers cancel orders.

 

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May 05, 2020
Special Edition: Rafat Ali on the Month the World Stopped Travelling
39:52

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of the B2B travel news site Skift, talks to BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about the tourism standstill following the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on travel retail.

 

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May 01, 2020
Special Edition: Imran Amed on Finding Opportunity in a Crisis
39:08

BoF’s Founder and Editor in Chief joins educator and activist Sinéad Burke to discuss how BoF is forging ahead during the Covid-19 crisis in a live event hosted by Istituto Marangoni.

 

 

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Apr 29, 2020
Special Edition: Silvia Venturini Fendi Will Surprise You
50:28

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Fendi Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about everything from the future of smart clothing to the end of the fashion show as we know it.

 

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Apr 24, 2020
Luis Venegas on Print Media in an Age of Uncertainty | Inside Fashion
57:43

In the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, Madrid-based publisher Luis Venegas talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the fate — and resilience — of print magazines.

 

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Apr 17, 2020
Special Edition: Sam McKnight on Why Fashion Is the ‘Eternal Optimist’
34:35

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, celebrated hair stylist Sam McKnight talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about the future of hairstyling and the fashion industry beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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Apr 10, 2020
Special Edition: Charles Jeffrey on What It’s Like to Be a Rising Designer in the Midst of a Pandemic
45:45

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, designer Charles Jeffrey talks to BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about self-reflection during the coronavirus crisis, and the evolution of his brand, Loverboy.

 

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Apr 06, 2020
Special Edition: Journalist Rana Ayyub on Why Social Distancing Is a Privilege
41:19

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Indian journalist and author Rana Ayyub joins BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the lives thousands of migrant labourers, many of whom work in India's now-shuttered textile industry.

 

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Apr 03, 2020
Special Edition: Riz Ahmed on a Watershed Moment for the Fashion Industry
26:49

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, rapper and actor Riz Ahmed speaks with BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about why the world should pause and reset its priorities in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

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Apr 01, 2020
Special Edition: Li Edelkoort Says the Coronavirus Is a Representation of our Conscience
43:56

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, the Dutch trend forecaster says that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing to light what is wrong with society, teaching us to slow down and to change our ways.

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Mar 27, 2020
Special Edition: Jefferson Hack on Why The World Must Not Be Complacent
45:48

The Dazed Media founder speaks to BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about the role of fashion media companies during a pandemic.

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Mar 25, 2020
Special Edition: Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief on Lessons Learned in Isolation
40:23

In our first edition of #BoFLIVE, Emanuele Farneti speaks with BoF’s Robin Mellery-Pratt about running a publication in the coronavirus-spurred lockdown.

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Mar 24, 2020
Carine Roitfeld’s Remarkable Fashion Career | Inside Fashion
40:20
The acclaimed stylist and editor, whose name has become synonymous with French style, talks to Imran Amed about how the industry has changed since her days at French Vogue, working with Karl Lagerfeld, becoming a brand and the importance of staying curious.

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Mar 20, 2020
Special Edition: Luca Solca on ‘The Worst Year in the History of Modern Luxury’
38:14

BoF’s Imran Amed and the Bernstein analyst discuss what the sector should expect as coronavirus threatens sales and supply chains.

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Mar 19, 2020
Special Edition: Retail Futurist Doug Stephens on How Coronavirus Will Shift Consumer Behaviour
39:18

As the pandemic jolts global markets and consumption habits, Imran Amed and Doug Stephens discuss the mindset fashion companies should adopt to stay above water.

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Mar 13, 2020
A Fashion Month Unlike Any Other | Inside Fashion
54:57

As wildfires swept across Australia and the coronavirus spread across the globe, Imran Amed and Tim Blanks reflect on how the world’s uncertainties have informed the Autumn/Winter 2020 season.

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Mar 06, 2020
How Christian Louboutin Turned Red Soles into a Status Symbol | Inside Fashion
41:47

Just as he unveils his L'Exhibition[niste] showcase in Paris this week, the luxury footwear designer speaks with BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about transforming his namesake brand from a single-store enterprise into a global success.

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Feb 28, 2020
Lewis Hamilton on How his Formula 1 Career Led Him to Collaborate with Tommy Hilfiger | Inside Fashion
55:35
  From race cars to runways, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton sat down with BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed to discuss his collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, who also makes a special appearance in this week’s episode of the BoF Podcast.   Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

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Feb 21, 2020
The Rise of The Resale Economy | BoF VOICES
21:34

Vestiaire Collective’s Max Bittner and Depop’s Maria Raga discussed the opportunities and growing pains of the burgeoning resale market at VOICES 2019.

To watch this talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Feb 14, 2020
Caroline de Maigret Rips Up Fashion’s Rulebook | Inside Fashion
44:00

The author and model speaks with BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about challenging beauty standards, working with Karl Lagerfeld and her new book ‘Older, But Better, But Older.’

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Feb 07, 2020
Alok Vaid-Menon on Why Clothes Have No Gender | BoF VOICES
16:39

At VOICES 2019, performance artist and designer Alok Vaid-Menon lifted the lid on fashion’s ‘regressive’ gender stereotypes and urged the industry to ‘de-gender’ and redefine the meaning of beauty.

To watch Alok's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Jan 31, 2020
Mickey Drexler on How to Make Things People Will Buy | Inside Fashion
01:12:37

The New York-based ‘merchant prince’ speaks with BoF’s Lauren Sherman about discount culture and how tapping into the zeitgeist helped turn around brands like Gap and J.Crew.

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Jan 24, 2020
Women Are at the Forefront of the Sustainable Fashion Revolution | BoF VOICES
17:23

At VOICES 2019, renowned fashion journalist and author Dana Thomas lifted the lid on how fast fashion is damaging the environment while championing the female pioneers blazing the trail and effecting real change.

To watch Dana's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Jan 17, 2020
A-Cold-Wall Plots Next Chapter in Milan | Inside Fashion
01:10:04

Samuel Ross sat down with Tim Blanks to discuss preparing his luxury streetwear brand for its next stage of growth, as he’s sharpening and humanizing his approach.

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Jan 12, 2020
Inside Iran’s Underground Fashion Industry | BoF VOICES
28:44

Activist Hoda Katebi speaks passionately about fashion’s ‘revolution-washing,’ while Tehran-based design duo Shirin and Shiva Vaqar lift the lid on the restrictive conditions faced by Iran’s emerging brands at VOICES 2019.

To watch this talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Jan 10, 2020
Trisha Shetty on Human Rights and Human Wrongs | BoF VOICES
25:23

In the face of ongoing gender discrimination and human rights violations around the world, activist Trisha Shetty amplifies the importance of speaking up and demanding change from world leaders at VOICES 2019. 

To watch Trisha's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Jan 03, 2020
2019’s Pivotal Fashion Moments | Inside Fashion
42:53

This week on Inside Fashion, BoF’s Imran Amed and Tim Blanks discuss the key themes and events that defined the global fashion industry in 2019.

 

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Dec 20, 2019
Everlane’s Michael Preysman on 'Balancing Time, Customer and Product' | Drive Season 2
37:29

Michael Preysman shares his experience of building Everlane from the ground up and putting sustainability and something he calls 'radical transparency' at the centre of his business model and operations.

 

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Dec 20, 2019
Eileen Fisher Reflects On 35 Years of Implementing Sustainable Thinking | Drive Season 2
50:13

As a sustainability pioneer long before ‘sustainability’ became an industry buzzword, Eileen Fisher and her eponymous brand have been pushing the boundaries for decades. Here’s what she’s learned.

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Dec 13, 2019
Carole Cadwalladr Asks, Is This the End of Democracy? | BoF VOICES
24:22

In the face of major data breaches, investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr brings to light the failure of Western governments to punish Facebook.

To watch Carole's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Dec 06, 2019
Inside The State of Fashion 2020 | Inside Fashion
40:28

Listen to BoF's Imran Amed and McKinsey’s Achim Berg discuss the key themes that will define the global fashion industry in the next year.

 

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Nov 29, 2019
Noah Founder Brendon Babenzien on ‘Taking Greed Out of the Equation’ | Drive Season 2
39:32

Brendon Babenzien’s streetwear brand Noah focuses on values and collaboration instead of profit margins and competition.

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Nov 22, 2019
Sandy Liang Takes Risks | Inside Fashion
39:25

The New-York based designer discusses the highs and lows of launching a label straight out of fashion school with BoF's Lauren Sherman.

 

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Nov 15, 2019
Ganni’s Nicolaj Reffstrup on Measuring Ecological Impact Effectively | Drive Season 2
46:09

Having turned the Danish womenswear brand from a virtual unknown to a global trendsetter, Ganni's founder discusses how his tech background fuelled his approach.

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Nov 08, 2019
Theory Founder Andrew Rosen on Fashion’s Past and Future | Inside Fashion
47:06

The fashion retail pioneer speaks with BoF Chief Correspondent Lauren Sherman about identifying a gap in US and international markets for contemporary clothing brands and investing in emerging designers.

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Nov 01, 2019
Reformation's Yael Aflalo On Finding a Sustainable Focus | Drive Season 2
38:51

BoF meets Reformation Founder and CEO Yael Aflalo, who created her brand in 2009 around the idea of upcycling, after years of frustration battling with inefficiencies of the fashion wholesale system.

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Oct 25, 2019
Tim Brown on Allbirds' Sustainable Footwear Revolution | Drive Season 2
45:20

In episode 1 of the new season of BoF’s podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, the Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO discusses how his high-risk strategy has created a sustainable brand that is disrupting the established footwear market.

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Oct 11, 2019
Welcome to Season 2 of Drive | Drive
02:10

In a new season of our entrepreneurship podcast series, we hear from six of fashion’s most dynamic sustainable entrepreneurs — Allbirds’ Tim Brown, Eileen Fisher, Everlane’s Michael Preysman, Reformation's Yael Aflalo, Ganni’s founder and Noah's founder — to hear what it takes to make successful businesses sustainable.

The first episode with Allbirds’ Tim Brown launches on October 12, 2019.

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Sep 27, 2019
Tim Walker Talks ‘Wonderful Things’ | Inside Fashion
57:55

The acclaimed photographer sat down with Tim Blanks to discuss the ‘infinite objects of beauty’ that inspired his new V&A exhibition.

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Sep 20, 2019
Dana Thomas' 'Book of Hope' | Inside Fashion
49:03

The acclaimed fashion journalist discusses "Fashionopolis," a seething indictment of the industry's hugely damaging environmental and social impact that concludes with a glimmer of optimism.

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Sep 13, 2019
Doug Stephens on the Most Important Metric in Retail | Inside Fashion
38:29

The retail prophet speaks with BoF Chief Correspondent Lauren Sherman about what brands should really be focusing on as a measure of brick-and-mortar store success.

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Aug 30, 2019
The Aspirational Business of Beauty with John Demsey | Inside Fashion
47:43

John Demsey, in conversation with Imran Amed, discusses his career path, working with MAC Cosmetics post-acquisition, and what it takes to build the perfect enduring beauty brand. 

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Aug 23, 2019
Craig Green Talks Creative Evolution | Inside Fashion
01:13:00

Speaking with Tim Blanks, the designer reflects on his journey from a love of 'making things' to becoming a fixture of London's menswear scene.

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Aug 16, 2019
Inside H&M’s $4B Inventory Challenge | Inside Fashion
41:50

Listen to BoF’s Lauren Sherman and Sarah Kent in conversation with John Thorbeck, chairman of Chainge Capital, as they discuss the challenges of inventory facing H&M, its competitors and the wider fashion industry.

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Aug 02, 2019
Tyler Mitchell, From Skateboarding to Photographing Beyoncé | Inside Fashion
37:39
Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the photographer behind Beyoncé's September 2018 Vogue cover talks identity, social media and how he found his way into fashion photography.   You can watch Tyler's 2017 American Eagle campaign film here.

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Jul 26, 2019
Veja Co-Founder Sébastien Kopp Talks Sustainable Business | Inside Fashion
46:50

Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the man behind the fashion world's buzziest ethical footwear brand discusses the company's journey, from sourcing rubber in Brazil to scaling for global demand.

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Jul 05, 2019
Tim Blanks on the Menswear Spring 2020 Season | Inside Fashion
49:24

This week on Inside Fashion, BoF’s editor-at-large gives his verdict on the season, discusses his favourite shows and recounts Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris memorial.

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Jun 28, 2019
Makeup Artist Isamaya Ffrench on How to Define Beauty | Inside Fashion
01:00:02

The makeup artist behind Rihanna's thin-eyebrowed British Vogue cover speaks to Tim Blanks about the curation of identity through makeup, and the rapidly changing face of beauty.

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Jun 21, 2019
Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini Talks 'Genius' Strategy | Inside Fashion
28:02

Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the chief executive of Moncler discusses the outerwear brand's game-changing Genius strategy and why the company now feels more like a start-up.

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Jun 14, 2019
Designing Cities for Prosperity and Joy | BoF VOICES
21:10

Speaking at BoF’s VOICES, architect Vishaan Chakrabarti argued that a well-designed urban environment would result in greater prosperity, sustainability, equity and joy.

To watch Vishaan's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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Jun 10, 2019
Trend Forecaster Li Edelkoort on Hybridity in Education | Inside Fashion
34:18

Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the trend forecaster-turned-course designer outlines the need for interdisciplinary studies when teaching generation next, and why the fashion industry needs to return — quite literally — to the roots of textile creation.

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Jun 07, 2019
Fashion’s Role in Solving Plastic Pollution | BoF VOICES
15:08

By 2030, 70 percent of all fabric fibres will come from plastics. Action needs to happen now to safeguard the future of our planet, says Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff.

To watch Rachel's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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Jun 03, 2019
Inside the $50B World of Indian Weddings with Deepika Padukone and Sabyasachi Mukherjee | Inside Fashion
45:32

At a recent exclusive BoF Professional event at Soho House Mumbai, Imran Amed sits down with leading Indian bridal designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee and movie star Deepika Padukone to discuss the changing landscape of India as a dynamic emerging market.

To watch this talk click here

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May 31, 2019
Designing With Biology | BoF VOICES
16:47

Meet the rock star fashion materials of the future: algae, bacteria and fungi. That’s according to Natsai Audrey Chieza, founder of biodesign consultancy Faber Futures, who spoke at BoF VOICES.

To watch Natsai's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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May 27, 2019
Dior's Kim Jones on the Legacy of Luxury Curation | Inside Fashion
57:06

Speaking in conversation with BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, Dior's menswear artistic director discusses everything from extra-terrestrial life to ancient Egypt and, of course, his philosophy as a designer. 

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May 24, 2019
Understanding India’s Ascent | BoF VOICES
16:51

India’s young population, thriving tech sector and spiritual roots add up to a promising future, said the Sun Group vice chairman Shiv Khemka, speaking at BoF’s VOICES.

To watch Shiv's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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May 20, 2019
Macy's Executive Rachel Shechtman on Redefining Retail | Inside Fashion
37:48

Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the founder of Story and brand experience officer at Macy's discusses her innate love of retail and the challenges of creating "a living magazine."

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May 17, 2019
Understanding Gen-Z | BoF VOICES
21:04

The fluidity and self-starting philosophy of Generation Z is seen as troubling by many in fashion and media. But Molly Logan and her panel of accomplished Gen-Z creatives discuss what it really means for brands to work with Generation Next.

To watch this talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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May 13, 2019
Why LA Is a Hub of Converging Industries | Inside Fashion
28:08

From art fairs to meditation apps, BoF West's panel of entrepreneurs discuss the value of interdisciplinary approaches and why Los Angeles is an ideal place to facilitate this.

To watch Bettina Korek (Frieze LA), Rich Pierson (Headspace) and Damian Bradfield (WeTransfer) in conversation with Rohan Silva (Second Home) at BoF West 2019 click here.

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May 10, 2019
Building Disruptive Direct-to-Consumer Brands | Inside Fashion
28:12

Speaking at BoF West, the entrepreneurs behind Allbirds, Hims and Hers and Good American outline the keys to their brands’ success.

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May 07, 2019
Benedict Evans on How Tech Will Change the World | BoF VOICES
28:52

Speaking at BoF’s VOICES, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist sketched out a vision for how software and the internet would transform the world’s economy, giving rise to new business opportunities.

To watch Benedict's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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May 06, 2019
Serena Williams on Being a Modern Entrepreneur | Inside Fashion
30:48

Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed at BoF West, the tennis champion unpacks how she balances life as an athlete with entrepreneurship and motherhood.

To watch Serena's and Imran's conversation at BoF West 2019 click here

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May 03, 2019
Behind Highsnobiety's First E-Commerce Partnership With Prada | Inside Fashion
34:53

The streetwear publications plans to launch its own private label within the year, and projects that its online shop will encompass up to 50 percent of overall business within five years. Founder David Fischer talks about the new project on the latest BoF Podcast.

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May 01, 2019
Blockchain Explained | BoF VOICES
25:24

Speaking at BoF VOICES, venture capitalist Ken Seiff and digital currency entrepreneur Peter Smith broke down the blockchain with a crash course on what it is and what it can do.

To watch Blockchain Explained at VOICES 2018 click here

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Apr 26, 2019
Activist Kalpona Akter on Improving the Lives of Bangladeshi Garment Workers | BoF VOICES
17:09

Speaking at BoF VOICES, the founder of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity outlines her campaign to establish fairer, safer working conditions across the garment industry.

To watch Kalpona's talk at VOICES 2018 click here

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Apr 22, 2019
Fetchr Co-Founder Joy Ajlouny on Being a Woman in Tech | BoF VOICES
13:00

In a deeply personal presentation at BoF VOICES, the entrepreneur behind two successful Silicon Valley ventures shares her lessons from the "double bind" of navigating her industry as a woman.

To watch Joy's talk at VOICES 2018 click here.  

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Apr 19, 2019
StockX Co-Founder on Luxury as the Next Stock Market of Things | BoF VOICES
12:09

The co-founder of the online sneaker marketplace explains why luxury is the perfect new frontier for expansion beyond footwear and streetwear.

To watch Josh's talk at VOICES 2018 click here.  

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Apr 15, 2019
LVMH's Andrew Wu on How to Connect With the Chinese Consumer | Inside Fashion
29:16

BoF’s Imran Amed sits down with LVMH Greater China group president Andrew Wu at the BoF China Summit to demystify the multi-faceted Chinese consumer.

To watch Andrew's conversation with Imran at our annual China Summit click here.  

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Apr 12, 2019
DeRay Mckesson on Dismantling the Legacy of Racism in America | BoF VOICES
13:02

Speaking at BoF VOICES, the activist and author unpacks his 'five big ideas' on how to redefine and dismantle the realities of social injustice.

To watch DeRay's talk at VOICES 2018 click here.  

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Apr 08, 2019
Inside Moda Operandi's Data-driven China Expansion Plans | Inside Fashion
27:39

Imran Amed sits down with co-founder and chief brand officer Lauren Santo Domingo and chief executive Ganesh Srivats to discuss their plans to enter the Chinese market and capitalise on the 'crystal ball' of data.

To watch the video of the conversation click here.

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Apr 05, 2019
Michèle Lamy on a Life in Extreme Style | BoF VOICES
21:20

Michèle Lamy defies categorisation and convention in all facets of her life, not least of all on stage at VOICES. She joined BoF’s Tim Blanks to discuss her open, nomadic approach to life, which has yielded some of the most fascinating creative collaborations in fashion in recent decades.

To watch Michèle's conversation with Tim Blanks at VOICES 2018 click here

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Apr 01, 2019
Supermodel Adut Akech on the Legacy of Being a Refugee | BoF VOICES
23:25

From living in a Kenyan refugee camp to travelling the globe as an international top model, the industry’s name to watch reveals her journey.

To watch Adut's conversation with Tim Blanks at VOICES 2018 click here

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Mar 29, 2019
McKinsey's Kevin Sneader on How to Win in China | BoF VOICES
14:52

The fashion industry must internalise the idea that there's no single Chinese market, as McKinsey & Co. global managing partner Kevin Sneader explains.

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Mar 25, 2019
Stephen Jones and Tim Blanks on the Craft of Millinery | Inside Fashion
57:05

In this week's episode of Inside Fashion, BoF's editor-at-large Tim Blanks sits down with Stephen Jones, the prolific hatter who has played a defining role in millinery for decades.

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This episode of Inside Fashion is brought to you by Klarna.

Mar 22, 2019
John Ridding and David Pemsel on Reinventing Old Media for a New Media World | BoF VOICES
25:35

The news media business is in crisis, but the chief executives of the Financial Times and Guardian say their models prove people value quality journalism in a world of fake news and political polarisation.

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Mar 18, 2019
Matthew Williams on His Journey to Founding Alyx | Inside Fashion
44:30

This week, Matthew Williams talks to Imran Amed about working with creative talent in music, art and fashion before launching his luxury streetwear brand Alyx.

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This episode of Inside Fashion is brought to you by Klarna.

Mar 15, 2019
Songkick Co-Founder Ian Hogarth on the Emerging Geopolitics of AI | BoF VOICES
16:19

Angel investor and co-founder of Songkick Ian Hogarth explores how the race to develop the most sophisticated artificial intelligence will define geopolitics in the coming decades.

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Mar 11, 2019
Tim Blanks on the Autumn 2019 Season | Inside Fashion
45:37

BoF's editor-at-large sits down with Imran Amed to discuss the commercial potential of bourgeois style, Fendi and Chanel's emotional farewell to Karl Lagerfeld, and the cultural impact of fashion's reflection on social issues.

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This episode of Inside Fashion is brought to you by Klarna.

Mar 08, 2019
Futurist Lucie Greene on Big Tech Versus the State | BoF VOICES
19:14

The futurist author and columnist unpacks tech giants' powerful influence over day-to-day life and public policy, making a case for deeper consideration of the ideology that underpins this culture of innovation and disruption.

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Mar 04, 2019
Stadium Goods' John McPheters on the Streetwear Resale Opportunity | Inside Fashion
38:37

In his first one-to-one interview since the acquisition by Farfetch, the Stadium Goods co-founder talks to Imran Amed about his unconventional way into fashion, how he nearly ended up in the diamond industry, and defying the ‘streetwear bubble.’

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This episode of Inside Fashion is brought to you by Klarna.

Mar 01, 2019
Francesca Bellettini on Forging Saint Laurent's Future | BoF VOICES
22:18

The CEO of Saint Laurent sits down with Imran Amed to discuss the importance of authenticity, balancing legacy with growth — and taking 500 employees to Morocco.

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Feb 25, 2019
Stephanie Phair on Nurturing Fashion’s Future Female Leaders | Inside Fashion
35:22

In conversation with BoF’s Imran Amed, in front of 150 fashion professionals from the BoF Careers community, Farfetch’s chief strategy officer and chair of the British Fashion Council Stephanie Phair shared her insight on how fashion can better support gender diversity within the workplace. As the global #MeToo movement has spotlighted sexual misconduct within creative industries, this issue has gained increasing momentum, sparking industry-wide conversation on the continuing gender imbalance in the fashion sector.

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Feb 22, 2019
Tim Blanks and Imran Amed on the Life and Work of Karl Lagerfeld | Inside Fashion
39:53

In a special episode of The BoF Podcast, Tim Blanks and Imran Amed sit down to discuss their memories and reflections on the passing of the fashion icon who died in Paris on Tuesday.

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Feb 19, 2019
Joshua Graham Lynn on the 'Vast Ring of Influence' in American Politics | BoF VOICES
11:51

The co-founder of non-profit organisation RepresentUs is fighting corruption at the state level in hopes that it will change the landscape that allowed President Trump’s election.

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Feb 18, 2019
Sadhguru on Wellbeing and the Sustainability of Indian Textiles | Inside Fashion
31:22

Imran Amed sits down with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, accomplished yogi and founder of the Isha foundation, whose latest social movement is pushing for the use of sustainable and natural textiles in the fashion industry.

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Feb 15, 2019
Christopher Wylie and Arti Zeighami on Harnessing AI for Sustainability | BoF VOICES
17:34

The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower discusses the way H&M can use artificial intelligence to curb waste production and reveals his new role with the fast-fashion giant. Wiley is joining H&M as its director of research. He will work closely with Arti Zeighami, the retailer’s head of AI and advanced analytics, exploring how AI can help fashion better tackle its sustainability crisis.

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Feb 11, 2019
Gwyneth Paltrow on Her Goop Journey | Inside Fashion
34:54

This week on BoF’s Inside Fashion podcast, Gwyneth Paltrow talks to Imran Amed about Goop’s rise from an email newsletter to a wellness empire worth $250 million.

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Feb 08, 2019
Bethann Hardison, K. Jean-Raymond, LaQuan Smith and P. Robinson on Fashion in America | BoF VOICES
23:21

At BoF’s VOICES, the creatives spoke about the barriers that black designers face and how a new generation is finding success outside the fashion system.

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Feb 04, 2019
Sonam Kapoor and Karla Bookman on Dismantling India's Patriarchy | BoF VOICES
24:38

Women in India are pushing back against social norms that limit their opportunities, though it can be an uphill battle.

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Feb 01, 2019
Maria Grazia Chiuri on Her Female Perspective at Dior | Inside Fashion
30:41

Ahead of the opening of the UK’s largest retrospective on Christian Dior, Chiuri talks about the importance of couture and her perspective as the first female creative director of the house.

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Jan 28, 2019
Tim Blanks on the January Menswear and Couture Shows | Inside Fashion
54:58

This week on Inside Fashion, BoF’s editor-at-large discusses menswear’s shift to tailoring and the new relevance of couture.

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Jan 26, 2019
Stella McCartney Warns Everything Is at Stake | BoF VOICES
19:29

The designer has always made sustainability practices her business priority. Now, with a new UN charter for climate action, she is hoping other fashion companies will follow in her footsteps.

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Jan 21, 2019
Clement Kwan and Mr Sherbinski Go Inside the Cannabis Economy | BoF VOICES
22:29

As cannabis becomes legal in more places, the founders of two of the category’s fastest-growing CBD-based luxury lifestyle brands discuss everything from their origin stories to their predictions for the future of the cannabis economy.

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Jan 18, 2019
Alber Elbaz on the Industry That Creates Dreams | BoF VOICES
25:24

Renowned fashion journalist Suzy Menkes once called superstar designer Alber Elbaz a "master of improvisation." That instinctual, passionate disposition was on full display onstage at VOICES, as Elbaz waxed on lyrically about what he’s learned since his abrupt firing from Lanvin in 2015. 

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Jan 11, 2019
Huda Kattan on the Power of Being Yourself | BoF VOICES
10:22

The founder of Huda Beauty says she wasn't able to build her cosmetics empire until she accepted her 'weirdness.'

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Jan 04, 2019
Jasmine Hemsley on How Ayurveda Became the New Wellness | BoF VOICES
21:38

The chef, author and wellness expert said wellness is coming full circle with a focus on the ancient Indian health system.

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Jan 02, 2019
Kate Gilmore on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 | BoF VOICES
23:22

The deputy high commissioner for human rights at the UN Human Rights Office reflects on the nature of human dignity and discrimination in turbulent times defined by financial inequality and misinformation.

Gilmore left the VOICES audience with a call to trail-blaze in a different sense of the word: to speak up, to shine forth. “In times of such uncertainty… the question is: Who are you?” she said. “We’ve got to blaze more brightly.”

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Dec 28, 2018
Christopher Wylie on Fashion Models and Cyber Warfare | BoF VOICES
47:21

The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower opened by revealing that the controversial firm weaponised fashion trends to target potential Trump supporters.

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Dec 21, 2018
Casey Gerald on Winning the Culture Wars | BoF VOICES
21:27

From growing up “on the wrong side of the river” in Dallas, to studying at Ivy League schools and taking on the trials and tribulations of both Wall Street and entrepreneurship, Casey Gerald has lived an extraordinary life at the ripe age of thirty-two.

Now, he has documented it all in his new memoir, “There Will Be No Miracles Here," which informed the emotional and inspiring talk he gave to conclude VOICES 2018, with a deeply personal glimpse into his thoughts on identity, courage and spirituality.

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Dec 14, 2018
Inside the State of Fashion 2019 | Inside Fashion
34:43

This week on Inside Fashion, Imran Amed and Achim Berg address the overall outlook for growth in the fashion market and 20 companies dominating value-creation in fashion.

To download the exclusive State of Fashion 2019 Report click here: http://bit.ly/Stateoffashion2019

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Dec 07, 2018
Ermenegildo Zegna Talks Bold Investments | Inside Fashion
24:01

Ermenegildo Zegna sits down with Imran Amed at the BoF China Summit to discuss the forward-looking, “millennial mindset” approach that underpins Zegna Group’s market strategy.

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Dec 07, 2018
Inside Ghizlan Guenez's Mission For Modest Dressing | Inside Fashion
34:42

Over the past few years, more and more women are opting for clothing that’s a little longer and slightly looser. It’s part of a shift towards modest dressing that goes beyond religious dictates and stretches from the Middle East to Los Angeles.

“There’s a whole spectrum of modesty that goes from a woman who covers her entire body and face, so you don’t see anything, to someone who is more moderate in the way that she dresses,” explained Ghizlan Guenez, founder and chief executive of The Modist, an e-commerce business launched in 2017 and targets the underserved market of women who want to dress fashionably yet in a demure way. Today, the company has offices in Dubai and London, and ships to over 120 countries.

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Nov 23, 2018
Marco Bizzarri on China’s Role in Gucci’s $10 Billion Plan | Inside Fashion
25:09

Marco Bizzarri sits down with Imran Amed at the BoF China Summit to uncover how much of Gucci's success hinges on the Chinese consumer and how he plans to leverage the market to achieve his lofty revenue target.

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Nov 16, 2018
Drive Episode 7: Rent the Runway’s Jennifer Hyman on Realising Radical Ideas | Drive
40:45

In episode seven of BoF’s podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Hyman tells BoF how she executed her radical idea and attracted 10 million members to her platform.

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Nov 09, 2018
Katharine Hamnett on Protest, Slogan Tees and Cancelling Brexit | Inside Fashion
49:39

This week on the Inside Fashion podcast, the British designer and original fashion activist discusses why the UK fashion industry needs a second referendum on Brexit.

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Nov 02, 2018
Drive Episode 6: Tom Chapman on Growing MatchesFashion | Drive
54:03

In episode six of BoF’s podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, co-founder Tom Chapman reveals how he and his wife grew a single store into a global e-commerce business valued at over $1 billion.

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Oct 26, 2018
Inside Derek Blasberg’s Plans for YouTube | Inside Fashion
47:13

This week on Inside Fashion, the editor discusses his long career in fashion and the moves he’s making in his new role as head of fashion partnerships at YouTube.

In this episode, Derek recounts his early days at Vogue US, where he wrote the captions for the cover shoot of the February 2005 issue, starring Melania Trump. To view the cover image click here: https://bit.ly/2NPh6xF

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Oct 19, 2018
Drive Episode 5: Warby Parker Founders on Forging Their Own Path | Drive
45:37

In this episode, BoF's chief correspondent in New York, Lauren Sherman, speaks to Neil Blumenthal and  Dave Gilboa, the co-founders of the disruptive eyewear company Warby Parker, which closed a $75 million Series E funding round in March 2018, valuing the company at $1.75 billion. Market sources report the business now generates north of $250 million in sales annually.

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Oct 12, 2018
Tim Blanks on the Spring 2019 Season | Inside Fashion
51:15

This week on Inside Fashion, BoF’s editor-at-large discusses Hedi Slimane’s Celine debut, his favourite shows of the season and fashion week in the #MeToo movement.

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Oct 05, 2018
Drive Episode 4: The Making of AMI with Alexandre Mattiussi | Drive
57:33

In episode four of Drive, delivered by DHL, Alexandre Mattiussi explains why his lauded French contemporary label, which now has 300 stockists and four flagship stores across the globe, was founded on the failures of his past as much as his successes.

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Sep 28, 2018
Inside Liya Kebede's Social Mission | Inside Fashion
42:11

This week on Inside Fashion, the Ethiopian supermodel gives a tour of her 20-year modelling career and discusses the opportunities for fashion in Africa.

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Sep 21, 2018
Drive Episode 3: Bobby Kim on Building Commerce with Community | Drive
44:43

In episode three of BoF’s new podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, the man who spearheaded the community-commerce model in 2003 with his early streetwear sensation, The Hundreds, discusses why not focusing on money was key to his success and why the essence of branding is saying “no”.

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Sep 14, 2018
Inside Zac Posen's Comeback | Inside Fashion
53:06

This week on Inside fashion, the American designer discusses the ups and downs of his long career in the industry and takes us inside the documentary that chronicles his downfall and remarkable comeback.

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Sep 07, 2018
Drive Episode 2: Diane von Furstenberg on Building a Business in a Man’s World | Drive
45:43

In Episode 2 of BoF’s new podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, the entrepreneur shares the highs and the lows of her forty-five-year career, and how she used factory scraps to create the first iconic wrap dress while pregnant, delivered by DHL.

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Sep 01, 2018
Inside Lucinda Chambers' Next Move | Inside Fashion
53:30

On this week's episode of on Inside Fashion, Lucinda Chambers discusses her 36-year career at British Vogue, the #MeToo movement and what it means to be a stylist today.

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Aug 24, 2018
Drive Episode 1: José Neves on Building Farfetch | Drive
45:28

Welcome to Episode 1 of Drive, BoF’s new podcast series featuring fashion’s most dynamic entrepreneurs discussing the special kind of resilience it takes to build a global fashion business, delivered by DHL.

In episode 1, Imran Amed sits down with Farfetch founder, José Neves, who shares his inspiring entrepreneurial journey — through the ups and downs of building a team, raising funding and staying afloat — of creating a truly disruptive fashion phenomenon.

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Aug 13, 2018
Welcome to Drive | Drive
02:48

Welcome to Drive: BoF’s New Podcast Series on Global Entrepreneurship. 

If you’re interested in building your own business, simply thinking about starting one or fascinated by fashion and entrepreneurship, BoF’s new podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, gives you insider access to the entrepreneurs who have already done it, each in their own way.

Too often, entrepreneurial success stories are reported as a stroke of genius, followed by overnight success. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. As you will see in these intimate and inspiring conversations, entrepreneurial success doesn’t happen in a straight line — nor does it come easy. There are ups and downs, and twists and turns, but with each unexpected challenge, there’s a new opportunity around the corner.

In the first season of Drive we hear from fashion’s most dynamic entrepreneurs — in their own words — to discover what it really takes to build a global fashion business from scratch. First up is José Neves. On August 7th, we will hear his inspiring story, how a young Portuguese computer engineer who took his business, Farfetch, from a self-funded start-up in 2007 to a global fashion marketplace on track to a multi-billion dollar IPO. "From a personal level, I was absolutely hell bent [on] creating something in the intersection of technology and fashion, and that's when the idea of Farfetch came about,” explains Neves.

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Jul 31, 2018
Turning Influence Into a Multi-Million Dollar Business | Inside Fashion
30:54

This week on Inside Fashion, Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner speak about working together as a family and turning influence into a multi-million dollar business.

On the 30th July, The Business of Fashion launches their new series, Drive. If you’re interested in building your own business, simply thinking about starting one, or fascinated by fashion and entrepreneurship, BoF’s new podcast series gives you insider access to the entrepreneurs shaping the fashion industry. Click here to subscribe to never miss an episode: http://bit.ly/bofdrive 

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Jul 27, 2018
Inside the Future of the Red Carpet | Inside Fashion
34:51

This week on Inside Fashion, Elizabeth Saltzman, Karla Welch and Jason Bolden discuss the future of the red carpet in a post-#MeToo era with The Hollywood Reporter’s Carol McColgin and media consultant Janice Min.

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Jul 20, 2018
Inside Stitch Fix, Everlane and Beautycon’s California-Based Businesses | Inside Fashion
34:33

Three of the most followed founders and entrepreneurs in fashion and beauty — Stitch Fix’s Katrina Lake, Everlane’s Michael Preysman and Beautycon’s Moj Mahdara — discuss their California-based businesses.

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Jul 13, 2018
Inside the Retail Hurricane with Doug Stephens | Inside Fashion
51:37

“It’s like standing in the middle of a hurricane and trying to grab things that fly by you, and hoping you’ve grabbed the right thing that can save your life,” says Doug Stephens. “That’s the way retailers feel.”

The renowned retail industry futurist, advisor and author talks to Imran Amed about how brands can make sense of all the change that’s happening in the fast-evolving retail landscape. 

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Jul 06, 2018
Inside the Streetwear Takeover at Paris Fashion Week Men's | Inside Fashion
45:44

After a menswear season that reached its crescendo with the debuts of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Kim Jones at Dior Homme, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks discusses his take on the shows and what they mean for the future of men’s fashion.

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Jun 29, 2018
Inside the Business of Wellness | Inside Fashion
46:59

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, Jason and Colleen Wachob explore the cutting edge trends in health and wellbeing, the link with fashion, and share tips on bringing wellness into the workplace.

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Jun 22, 2018
Inside the Alexander McQueen Documentary | Inside Fashion
57:33

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, the co-directors of the new Alexander McQueen documentary discuss Lee’s inner circle, their approach to filmmaking, and tackling the controversies with BoF's editor-at-large Tim Blanks.

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Jun 01, 2018
The Myths and Realities of Nutrition 'Diets Don't Work' (Dr Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay) | BoF VOICES
19:53

On stage at #BoFVOICES, entrepreneur and consultant Dr Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay offered a radically simple solution to society's nutritional woes: fibre. 

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May 28, 2018
Inside the Digital Revolution with LVMH's Ian Rogers | Inside Fashion
24:20

LVMH's chief digital officer discusses the birth of the digital music business, LVMH's digital strategy and France's potential as a hotbed for entrepreneurial tech talent.

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May 25, 2018
Why Age Is Irrelevant (Strauss Zelnick) | BoF VOICES
18:42

Fitness guru and media entrepreneur Strauss Zelnick debunks aging myths on stage at #BoFVOICES.

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May 21, 2018
Inside Chip Bergh’s Levi’s Turnaround | Inside Fashion
59:32

“The Levi’s brand is clearly back,” Chip Bergh, chief executive of Levi Strauss & Co., tells Imran Amed. “We are having a moment, and it is a moment that I believe we can sustain for a number of years.”

But standing up for social issues is also important as a leader, particularly since “governments have backed away from their responsibilities to their people and to humanity [and] that void needs to be filled by somebody,” is Bergh’s stance on immigration.

Listen to Chip Bergh talk to Imran Amed about the Amazon threat and opportunity, what it takes to be a great chief executive in an environment of uncertainty, and what are the disciplines and skillsets that companies like Levi’s are looking for in the next generation of talent.

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May 18, 2018
Algorithms And Unicorns (Rachel Blumenthal, Neil Blumenthal and Lauren Sherman) | BoF VOICES
19:21

Married entrepreneurs Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker and Rachel Blumenthal of Rockets of Awesome talk leveraging data and building consumer relationships on stage at #BoFVOICES 2017.

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May 17, 2018
Inside the Magic and Math of Digital Marketing | Inside Fashion
38:34

Having started his career aged 19 as an intern at Paper, Drew Elliott has established himself as an authority on creating content that connects with global audiences as co-owner and chief creative officer of Paper Communications. The magazine’s #BreakTheInternet Jean-Paul Goude cover of Kim Kardashian, which Elliott created and commissioned, drove 16 million people to the Paper website in just two days and made up 1 percent of all Google traffic in the United States. In his Digital Marketing course for BoF, he reveals the secret on how to make your video content go viral.

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, Drew Elliott talks to Imran Amed about his Digital Marketing course with BoF, including the key lessons learnt from the course and his secret formula of “magic and math,” discusses what people should know about the changes in marketing after the digital revolution, and gives advice to young creatives wanting to make it in the industry.

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May 11, 2018
Modest Fashion (Carine Roitfeld, Halima Aden and Tim Blanks) | BoF VOICES
26:18

IMG model Halima Aden and Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book, discussed modest dressing as a cultural and political issue at #BoFVOICES 2017.

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May 07, 2018
Inside Sinéad Burke's Inclusive Fashion Movement | Inside Fashion
48:42

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, Sinéad Burke talks to Imran Amed about what she’s going to do with her newfound influence and gives advice to designers and chief executives on how to make fashion more inclusive.

For a limited time only we are offering our podcast listeners an exclusive 25% discount on an annual BoF membership. To get 25% off your first year of an annual membership click the link here: http://bit.ly/2KoRRBH, select the annual packing and then enter the invitation code PODCAST2018 at checkout.  To watch Sinead's VOICES 2017 talk follow this link: http://bit.ly/SBVOICES2017 

To read 'Sinead Burke Versus the Bell Curve' click here: http://bit.ly/SBPOD 

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May 04, 2018
Inside Kim Kardashian West's Burgeoning Beauty Empire | Inside Fashion
46:15

"I've started two of my businesses just using social media," says Kim Kardashain West. "My career came about at a time when social media was just starting.… I took advantage of it and I figured out how to use it to my benefit."

The celebrity-turned-entrepreneur has built beauty and fragrance businesses that, according to market reports, sell an estimated 350,000 units per product launch and could result in an estimated turnover of more than $100 million in revenue in the first year. Not bad for reality TV star often dismissed as famous for being famous. ("Why does that matter?" she asks. "I never got that.")

Listen to Kardashian West talk to Imran Amed about her rise to fame, her approach to business and what's next on the beauty entrepreneur's agenda.

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Learn more about BoF West here: http://bit.ly/BoFWEST  

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To read 'Kim Kardashian Means Business' click here: http://bit.ly/KKWPOD 

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Apr 30, 2018
How Fashion Brands Can Think Like a Startup (Patrick Finnegan) | BoF VOICES
11:57

Teenage venture capitalist and entrepreneur Patrick Finnegan shares his secrets to running a successful startup on stage at #BoFVOICES.

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Apr 27, 2018
Welcome to the Era of Biofabrication (Andras Forgacs) | BoF VOICES
11:44

Biofabrication is set to shake up the $100-billion business of leather goods, explained Andras Forgacs of Modern Meadow on stage at #BoFVOICES 2017.

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Apr 23, 2018
The Science of Feel (Dr Tom Waller) | BoF VOICES
18:45

Lululemon’s Dr Tom Waller explains why the way clothing feels matters as much as the way it looks on stage at #BoFVOICES.

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Apr 16, 2018
What Can Fashion Learn from the Sharing Economy? (Joe Gebbia) | BoF VOICES
17:40

Speaking at #BoFVOICES, Joe Gebbia explained his duct tape philosophy on innovation and how the sharing economy can power philanthropy for the 21st century.

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Apr 09, 2018
Inside Scott Sternberg's Direct-to-Consumer Comeback | Inside Fashion
42:13

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, the entrepreneur talks to Imran Amed about his evolution at label Band of Outsiders, the reasoning behind building a direct-to-consumer business from scratch, and the importance of physical retail in a mobile-first world. Read BoF's exclusive interview and watch the video here.

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Apr 06, 2018
Is Fashion Missing the Ageing Consumer Opportunity? (Sarah Thomas) | BoF VOICES
14:22

Fashion should design with, not just for, older consumers, argued Sarah Thomas onstage at #BoFVOICES 2017. The fashion industry often seems obsessed with youth. But what about those who are young at heart? For the first time ever, the world’s population is entering a period when there will be more adults over the age of 65 than children under the age of five.

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Apr 02, 2018
How Can the Jewellery Industry Engage with Sustainable Development Goals? | Inside Fashion
34:51

BoF hosted a panel discussion In partnership with Chopard on how the jewellery industry can engage with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals — with Cherie Blair, the UN’s Lena Wendelen and Phillipe Fornier, general secretary of the Swiss Better Gold Association. 

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Mar 30, 2018
Building Community Around Experience (Melanie Whelan and Derek Blasberg) | BoF VOICES
14:42

On the #BoFVOICES stage, chief executive Melanie Whelan told CNN’s Derek Blasberg that people are the key to maintaining the cult-like indoor cycling company’s special culture as it grows.

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Mar 26, 2018
Inside Gucci's Explosive Growth Strategy | Inside Fashion
48:03

This week on Inside Fashion, Gucci chief Marco Bizzarri discusses his career path to Gucci’s helm, how he jumpstarted the company’s stellar success, and his approach to building a fashion business in today’s fraught, hyper-connected world.

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Mar 23, 2018
Building the Champion's Mindset (Akin Akman and Imran Amed) | BoF VOICES
26:34

On stage at #BoFVOICES 2017, Akin Akman, the former tennis player-turned-fitness influencer — whose wildly popular Soul Cycle classes sell out in minutes — says the key to getting to the next level is adaptability.

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Mar 19, 2018
Inside The Future of Fashion Image Making with Nick Knight | Inside Fashion
55:15

In this latest episode of Inside Fashion, the photographer talks to Imran Amed about the evolutionary changes modernising the industry, as well as the threats the field of fashion photography is facing, including the decline of traditional print media and the recent reports of sexual abuse and physical bullying that have plagued the creative sectors.

As he prepares for the inaugural ShowStudio Fashion Film Awards later this year, listen to Knight talk about the power of technology and the future of the fashion show, discuss the fate of glossy fashion magazines and address fashion's culture of abuse and bullying.

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Mar 16, 2018
Tapping the Potential of Conversational Commerce (Emily Weiss and Alexandra Shulman) | BoF VOICES
21:01

The consumer is already powerful, and the beauty industry's mission is realising and unlocking that power, Glossier's Emily Weiss told Alexandra Shulman on stage at #BoFVOICES.

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Mar 12, 2018
Inside Anna Dello Russo's Big Reset | Inside Fashion
41:32

“We have to reset,” Anna Dello Russo tells Imran Amed in this week’s Inside Fashion podcast. “My present now needs oxygen … I need time to reset.” As she takes a step back from street style stardom, the Vogue Japan editor-at-large talks to Imran Amed about her rise to fashion fame, Franca Sozzani and why now is the right time to reset.

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Mar 09, 2018
The Fur Debate (PJ Smith) | BoF VOICES
10:34

Is fur unethical and inhumane or sustainable and good for business? PJ Smith, senior manager of fashion policy at the Humane Society of the United States, took the stage at #BoFVOICES 2017 to explain how the fashion industry is undergoing a great transformation when it comes to the use of fur. 

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Mar 05, 2018
Inside the Power of Meditation: How it can Reduce Stress and Boost Creativity? | Inside Fashion
41:30

This week on Inside Fashion, Imran Amed sits down with Bob Roth, one of the worlds leading meditation teachers, to discuss the phenomenon known as the “epidemic of stress” and the powerful wellbeing benefits of transcendental meditation.

To watch Bob Roth's talk at VOICES 2016 click here.

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Mar 02, 2018
Why Girls Should Code (Karlie Kloss and Imran Amed) | BoF VOICES
13:56

The model and founder of Kode With Klossy tells BoF’s Imran Amed at #BoFVOICES how she discovered programming and its powerful implications for young women.

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Feb 26, 2018
Inside the Business of Red Carpet Dressing in the Age of #MeToo with Elizabeth Saltzman | Inside Fashion
50:35

In the latest episode of "Inside Fashion," Imran Amed sits down with celebrity stylist and Vanity Fair contributing editor Elizabeth Saltzman, who works with high-profile names — including Gwyneth Paltrow, Saoirse Ronan and Uma Thurman — on their red carpet and editorial dressing.

In this conversation, fresh off the heels of the BAFTAs in London, Saltzman shares highlights from her 30 years in the industry and discusses the impact of the #MeToo movement, which has transformed this year's awards season into a demonstration of unity in the face of the injustice, abuse and discrimination that has recently been uncovered in Hollywood, fashion and beyond.

To learn more about BoF Education go to http://bit.ly/2F2Avum

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Feb 23, 2018
Inside The Hearst Media Empire with David Carey | Inside Fashion
49:03

On this episode of “Inside Fashion”, Imran Amed sits down with David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly titles including Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and almost 300 more.

Speaking about the future of the print magazine industry in the digital media landscape, Carey explains Hearst’s unique acquisition and investment strategies, how magazine businesses can adapt to diminishing advertising revenue and how the industry has changed over the course of his career.

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Feb 16, 2018
Fashion and Philanthropy (Natalia Vodianova and Tim Blanks) | BoF VOICES
29:59

Inspired by the rise of 'clicktivism,' the model launched Elbi, a charitable-giving app designed to democratise philanthropy. On stage at #BoFVOICES 2017, she questioned how technology can better serve local charities around the world. 

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Feb 15, 2018
The Future of Retail (Doug Stephens) | BoF VOICES
28:32

In a world where traditional retail is dying, stores must embrace communal experiences, explained retail futurist Doug Stephens on stage at #BoFVOICES. 

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Feb 12, 2018
Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur (Marcia Kilgore and Lauren Sherman) | BoF VOICES
22:39

Marcia Kilgore, creator of Bliss, FitFlop, Soap & Glory and Beauty Pie, shares her fearless approach to business on stage at #BoFVOICES 2017.

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Feb 05, 2018
Imran Amed and Musa Tariq | Inside Fashion
01:01:33

On this episode of "Inside Fashion", Imran Amed sits down with Musa Tariq to discuss changes in technology, his love of authenticity and the challenges facing fashion today. Tariq is one of a highly select group of individuals appointed to the C-Suite under the age of 35. Following early leadership roles at JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, Tariq served as global head of digital marketing and the first-ever director of social media at Burberry. It was during Tariq’s tenure that the 150-year-old British brand established itself as a digital leader in the industry. Tariq left Burberry to join Nike as the first senior director of Social Media and Community, before going to work under Angela Ahrendts once again as Apple’s global marketing and communication director for retail. In 2017, he was appointed chief brand officer and vice president of Ford Motor Company.

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Feb 02, 2018
Niche is the New Mass (Moj Mahdara) | BoF VOICES
16:41

Beautycon chief executive Moj Mahdara took to the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage to share results of her extensive survey of Pivotals, the super-generation age 13 to 34.

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Feb 01, 2018
Imran Amed and Tim Blanks | Inside Fashion
01:15:12

Introducing BoF's new podcast series, 'Inside Fashion'. This series will feature original, weekly conversations with members of the BoF community, looking at the news and events from the week inside fashion.

In this first episode, Imran Amed will be joined by none other than BoF's inimitable editor-at-large, Tim Blanks, to talk about what has been a very busy week in fashion news. Not only as Tim comes back from the men’s and couture shows, but there has also been a lot of breaking news this week, including the return of Hedi Slimane to Celine, the acquisition of YNAP by Richemont, and the controversy surrounded by the racist notes, and transphobic and homophobic videos that surfaced from Miroslava Duma.

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Jan 26, 2018
The Power of Circularity (Dame Ellen MacArthur) | BoF VOICES
18:55

On stage at #BoFVOICES 2017 Dame Ellen MacArthur challenges the fashion industry, where less than 1 percent of garments are recycled, to work together to implement a circular economy.

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Jan 25, 2018
Citizen of the World (Dries Van Noten and Tim Blanks) | BoF VOICES
25:01

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten joined BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks on the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage to discuss the challenges of being a 'citizen of the world' amid rising critique of cultural appropriation.

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Jan 18, 2018
Are the Technology Giants Too Powerful? (Jonathan Taplin and Rohan Silva) | BoF VOICES
22:34

The destructive monopolisation of the internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon is undermining cultural production, argued Jonathan Taplin on the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage in a debate with Rohan Silva, co-founder of Second Home. 

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Jan 11, 2018
The Gender Revolution (Dr Shazhan Amed, Hanne Gaby Odelie, Phillip Picardi and Laith Ashley) | BoF VOICES
38:42

What is gender identity? What is gender expression? Dr Shazhan Amed, model Hanne Gaby Odelie, Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi and activist Laith Ashley shared their personal and professional experiences with gender on the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage.

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Jan 04, 2018
The State of the Global Economy (John Ferguson, John Detrexhe and Rohan Silva) | BoF VOICES
24:17

For the first time in years, all of the world’s major economies are growing again and yet geopolitical risk has never been higher. What to make of the apparent contradiction? #BoFVOICES 2017

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Dec 29, 2017
The Models Charter (James Scully and Antoine Arnault) | BoF VOICES
25:34

One year after James Scully issued a plea to end the ‘cruel and sadistic’ abuse of fashion models, LVMH’s Antoine Arnault joined the casting director to discuss the enforcement of a landmark charter to protect models. #BoFVOICES 2017

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Dec 25, 2017
Colette and the Future of Retail (Sarah Andelman and Rachel Shechtman) | BoF VOICES
16:22

On the BoFVOICES 2017 stage, Colette's Sarah Andelman announced her next move following the closure of the beloved Parisian concept store: a new consulting company called Just An Idea.

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Dec 21, 2017
Designing for Disability (Sinéad Burke) | BoF VOICES
14:49

It’s Time for Adaptive Fashion. Disabled people have long been ignored by the fashion industry, but it’s high time for reform, argued Sinéad Burke on the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage.

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Dec 18, 2017
The Business of Culture (Dapper Dan, Tim Blanks and Leila Fataar) | BoF VOICES
18:44

Dapper Dan and Leila Fataar joined BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks on the #BoFVOICES 2017 stage to discuss the power dynamics of appropriation and the legendary designer's historic partnership with Gucci.

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Dec 14, 2017
The Global Refugee Crisis (Chin Chin Yap and Amed Khan) | BoF VOICES
21:48

Taking the stage at #BoFVOICES 2017, private investor-turned-philanthropist Amed Khan and film producer Chin-Chin Yap discussed the shocking scale of the refugee crisis.

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Dec 11, 2017
The Importance of Meditation (Bob Roth) | BoF VOICES
22:32