The Debrief

The Business of Fashion

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

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Episodes

Why Getting Dressed Up Is Here to Stay in 2023
Jan 18 2023
Why Getting Dressed Up Is Here to Stay in 2023
Occasionwear’s late-pandemic comeback may have felt like a reactionary fluke, but retailers and designers are betting it’s more than a trend. Background: Post-pandemic, occasionwear has been booming. During the second half of 2022 US and UK retailers introduced nearly twice as many dresses embellished with sequins, beads and jewels compared to 2019, according to retail intelligence firm Edited,. Over the same period, sequined dresses sold out 52 percent more compared to 2019, while high-heel shoes sold out 121 percent more. Retailers and designers don’t think the trend will slow any time soon as bold looks continue to flood runways and shop floors.“It's natural that now that the world is even more open compared to last year when we had just gotten vaccinated, that there's this desire for a little bit of escapism,” said Cathaleen Chen, BoF retail correspondent.  Key Insights: Outside of work-from-home and sweatpants, there’s a growing appetite for loud, statement pieces that go beyond old occasionwear staples like sequins and bold colours, and expand into split-hem pants, corset tops and velvet shoes. Much about dressing up has changed too. Consumers are looking for versatility now more than ever, and demanding comfort out of occasionwear — opting for kitten heels rather than stilettos, and slip dresses rather than form fitting looks. Though some of the uptick can be chalked up to a pandemic hangover, and some styles will stay while others fade away, the statement dressing category will remain strong through 2023. Still, cycles of consumption and consumer sentiment remain unwieldy amid wider economic uncertainty.Further Reading: Hyper Growth Is Over for Sneakers. What’s Next?Why Sequins and Platform Heels Are Here to StayJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How Harry Styles Built a Nail Polish Empire
Jan 11 2023
How Harry Styles Built a Nail Polish Empire
Priya Rao, executive editor, Business of Beauty, joins Lauren Sherman to unpack how the singer’s lifestyle label has managed to build a loyal fan base — without his direct involvement. Background: Harry Styles has managed to pull off a feat that has eluded countless celebrities, despite their many attempts: Building a popular beauty brand. He’s managed to do so even while taking a backseat when it comes to running Pleasing, his lifestyle line which predominantly sells nail polish as well as skin care and sweatshirts. Since launching in November 2022, Styles has not talked much about Pleasing publicly or on social media. But, the brand, created in partnership with his stylist Harry Lambert and creative director Molly Hawkins, has generated a plugged-in community of loyalists nonetheless. “[Celebrities] are coming out with these really full lines that have nothing to do with what they’ve been about before. Pleasing really feels like Harry … like you’re getting a piece of Harry when you buy [products],” said Priya Rao, executive editor, Business of Beauty.Key Insights: The Pleasing team, including stylist Harry Lambert and creative director Molly Hawkins, have distilled Styles’ aesthetic into a burgeoning brand — with fans who feel they’re buying a piece of the singer when they shop. Styles’ hands off approach has given the brand an interesting air of mystery, and his fanatical fans have helped build hype by visiting the brands’ maximalist pop-ups and collecting every colour of polish. Just because a celebrity or influencer has fans doesn’t mean their brand will be a hit — products have to be effective and messaging has to be on point for a label to have staying power.  Additional resources:Why Harry Styles Fans Can’t Get Enough of Pleasing Why Do We Root Against Celebrity Beauty Brands?The State of the Celebrity Beauty BrandWhy Male Celebrities Are Launching Nail LinesJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Why Designer Shoes Are So Expensive
Jan 4 2023
Why Designer Shoes Are So Expensive
A new BoF Insights report tracks the evolution of the fast-growing high-end footwear market — and why luxury shoppers are willing to spend more than ever on the perfect shoe. Background: Luxury footwear is booming as consumers opt to spend more than ever on shoes with soaring prices. The market for designer shoes is set to grow to $40 billion by 2027, up from $31 billion in 2022, according to Euromonitor International. As consumer demand grows, competition is heating up for brands from Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin to Chanel and Prada who stake much of their businesses on the core segment. The market is much-changed: shoppers crave comfort, but also newness and uniqueness. They also have more choices than ever: cowboy boots, Mary Janes, stilettos and mules have been trending recently. “There was this vibe shift occurring post-pandemic. The shoes that consumers want today look and feel very different from what they had before,” said Diana Lee, BoF’s director of research and analysis, on the heels of publishing BoF Insights’ latest report “The Statement Shoe: Reimagining Designer Footwear.” Key Insights: The footwear category is poised for growth this year: 84 percent of consumers surveyed across the UK, US and China told BoF Insights they were planning on investing in footwear in the coming year. At the same time, prices for women’s footwear have increased 10 percent from 2019. Shoes have gotten more expensive, partially, thanks to streetwear’s hype cycle, which has conditioned consumers to shell out for limited edition items. Of course, inflation and rising costs across the supply chain have contributed to increases. Much about the footwear market has changed. Mass trends toward casualisation have led consumers to seek out comfort, primarily, when buying shoes. Still, high heels are performing well following the return of in-person events. And, the high heel space has seen a sort of reinvention as brands opt for designs that grab consumers attention — like Loewe’s eggshell and balloon designs. Meanwhile, newcomers like Amina Muaddi are stealing share. Additional resources:BoF Insights | The New Statement Shoe: Reimagining Designer FootwearBoF Insights | What’s Next for Luxury Shoes in 5 ChartsJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What Happened With Fashion and NFTs?
Dec 28 2022
What Happened With Fashion and NFTs?
Background: For fashion, one of the most alluring prospects for NFTs is how they could help brands collect royalties — forever — on secondary sales of physical goods. Though the mechanics of doing so are not ironed out yet, brands could ideally code NFTs tied to physical products with smart contracts triggered by certain conditions and benefit every time an item is sold, not just at the initial sale. But, technical loopholes used to circumvent loyalties and finicky marketplaces leave brands and creators without ways to enforce rules. “One of the big principles of Web3 is these royalties are the idea that it's a creator led economy, it wouldn’t necessarily be controlled by a big centralised organisation … Except that’s not really playing out,” said BoF technology correspondent Marc Bain. Key Insights: Marketplaces are responding to controversy over enforcing royalties. Opensea, one of the biggest Web3 marketplaces, wants to attract creators, so it has an incentive to honour creator royalties. Newer marketplaces just looking for sales are willing to cut fees for buyers. This has led to an existential crisis for the NFT community, showcasing that creators are not entirely in charge in a space that was touted as having enormous potential to empower them. Marketplaces and infrastructure for fashion brands that would want to get royalties for secondary sales don’t exist right now. It also remains to be seen how brands would scale such a system. A number of start-ups including EON and Aurora Blockchain Consortium are working on linking digital identities to physical goods, but doing so is complicated. Additional resources:Is Fashion’s NFT Dream Over Before It Started?How Fashion Is Using NFTs to Sell Exclusive Physical ProductsThe Secrets to a Successful NFT DropJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Fashion CEOs Explain Why This Downturn Is Different
Dec 21 2022
Fashion CEOs Explain Why This Downturn Is Different
Much has changed about the world since the last recession — meaning, fashion’s reaction will shift this time around, explains BoF’s workplace and talent correspondent Sheena Butler Young.  Background:Fashion is bracing itself for a 2023 filled with uncertainty. An impending recession hangs in the background of executives’ conversations about the year ahead. Leaders will have to strike a balance between safe-guarding their companies (which, may inevitably will include layoffs) while continuing to fuel growth and retaining crucial employees“There’s this mindshift shift that’s happened that people truly aren’t disposable … a lot of things that would have typically happened [during a recession] are now a last resort,” said BoF’s workplace and talent correspondent Sheena Butler-Young. Key Insights: In the coming months, fashion executives will inevitably start pulling recession-reaction levers, including doing hiring pauses and layoffs, reorganising responsibilities across teams and reigning in focus on experimental spaces like the metaverse. But, market conditions are different now compared to prior recessions, and the industry has changed drastically. Because of the labour shortage, CEOs are first and foremost focused on keeping workers happy. Teams that were once considered “nice-to-haves” and “first-to-gos” — including sustainability and diversity and inclusion — have become crucial to business function for fashion companies in the past few years. Additional resources:Advice From Fashion CEOs on Leading in a RecessionQuiet Quitting, Labour Hoarding and Other Workplace Trends, ExplainedFollow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Is ‘Vegan Leather’ Better?
Dec 14 2022
Is ‘Vegan Leather’ Better?
A number of products made from leather alternatives have begun to hit store shelves. BoF’s chief sustainability correspondent Sarah Kent unpacks why it's so hard to market — and scale — these new products.Background: Leather alternatives have been called both industry-changing eco-innovation, and dismissed as mere plastic — covering up complexities in how products are made and how much better or worse for the environment they are. At the same time, brands are increasingly using buzzy terms like “vegan leather” and “plant-based” to sell products, without doing much to explain their environmental impact.“You have to be very careful and very switched on to understand what it is you’re buying as a consumer,” said BoF chief sustainability correspondent Sarah Kent.  Key Insights: The emergence of items made with alternative materials — like mycelium, also known as mushroom “leather” — has sparked a conversation about how brands should name and market products without greenwashing.Because innovation is in its early stages, it's hard to understand, track and compare impact versus leather. Without clear data, the space is difficult to regulate.  Plastic is a dirty word. But, the material is so useful, it's hard to replace in fashion. Most available leather alternatives aren’t plastic free, but rather, just feature reduced plastic content. For brands working with such materials, the best course of action when it comes to talking about them is to be transparent with the consumer — rather than leading them to believe they’re buying a magic, new harmless material. Additional resources:The Truth About ‘Vegan Leather’ The Debrief: Is This the Beginning of the End for Leather?Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How The Frankie Shop Became Instagram’s Favourite Fashion Brand
Dec 7 2022
How The Frankie Shop Became Instagram’s Favourite Fashion Brand
In the past decade, the independent label has grown from downtown storefront to indie force with $40 million in net sales so far this year. BoF contributor M.C. Nanda breaks down how founder Gaëlle Drevet did it. Background: Whether you know it or not, you’ve come across The Frankie Shop. Founded by former journalist Gaëlle Drevet in 2014, the brand’s monochrome tracksuits, oversized blazers, T-shirts and cargo pants have become almost ubiquitous amongst a certain set of Instagram creators, and a staple for downtown fashion types across the globe. Over the past few years, the brand has expanded from a single Lower East Side Manhattan store front, to three (including two in Paris), inked retail partnerships with Matchesfashion and Ssense, and generated $40 million in net sales so far this year. Now, The Frankie Shop is charting its next phase of growth, with expansion into menswear and home. “There is consistent demand — they’re not over extending themselves, which I think can be a really hard brand to toe as a brand of this size,” said BoF contributor M.C. Nanda. Key Insights: The Frankie Shop started as a multi-brand store carrying up-and-coming brands that are now industry mainstays, including Ganni and Loulou Studio.Drevet soon started producing her own items. Her label took off partially because of her ability to stay attuned to, and draw in influencers with newness and keen styling — without having to resort to paid posts. The brand has managed to toe the lines between cool and cheesy, high end and accessible, basic and trendy. Often, items are paired with pieces from higher end labels like Toteme and The Row. The Frankie Shop operates on a drop model, which has kept it in demand and helped the independent brand grow in a manageable way without taking on additional funding. Additional resources:What’s Next for The Frankie ShopAimé Leon Dore’s Teddy Santis on New Balance and the Future of MenswearJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Luxury’s Battle With Counterfeiters
Nov 30 2022
Luxury’s Battle With Counterfeiters
BoF retail correspondent Cathaleen Chen details the consumer shifts that have made it easier — and more popular than ever — to buy luxury dupes. Background: A growing number of young consumers are embracing counterfeit Prada loafers and Gucci bags, as the internet has made access to these dupes easier than ever. The value of the fake and pirated goods market has tripled since 2013 to be worth $3 trillion, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. That’s thanks to a number of factors. For one, websites like Aliexpress and DHgate connect consumers directly with counterfeit manufacturers. It’s no longer a necessity for the dupe-curious shopper to visit the shady alleys of Canal Street. Meanwhile, the skyrocketing prices of luxury products are pushing aspirational shoppers away. At the same time, the quality of luxury goods has diminished as much production has been outsourced to Asia, narrowing the gap between what’s real and what’s fake. Lastly, social media and constant seasonal trends have conditioned consumers to covet not only the “it” bag of the season but shoes, tank tops and more. “I think there’s a sense of consumer alienation with luxury goods — where it's like you’re super close to it, but at the same time it's extremely inaccessible,” said retail correspondent Cathaleen Chen. Key Insights: Counterfeits have gotten much easier to find and buy: Chinese websites like DHgate and AliExpress ship inexpensive dupes to Western consumers’ doorsteps.The counterfeit surge doesn't seem to be affecting the bottom lines of luxury goods companies, whose profits have only risen in the past few years. Resale plays an interesting role in the counterfeit conversation. On the one hand, resale could curb the continued growth of dupes by providing shoppers an entry to luxury pieces. On the other, resale is particularly vulnerable to fakes, as platforms have to be on guard against ever-more-sophisticated fakes. Additional resources:https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/luxury/fashion-counterfeit-problem-authentication-technology/ https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/global-markets/china-luxury-counterfeits-flourish-louis-vuitton-covid-19-douyin-pinduoduo/Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Why So Many Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are for Sale Right Now
Nov 23 2022
Why So Many Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are for Sale Right Now
As the economy weakens and funding dries up, digital brands may face pressure to sell from investors. To do so, they’ll need to prove they’re more than just another money-losing start-up.Background:Over the past few years, investors have been bullish on fast-growing digital brands — rewarding their rapid sales growth with sky-high valuations. More recently, physical retail has rebounded and e-commerce sales have shrunk. As a result, a number of digital-first brands are burning through cash as inflation and the cost of goods rises. VCs are increasingly wary of investing in companies without clear paths to profitability, so a number of those money-losing labels are finding it difficult to raise funds. Many, with few options to weather the imminent recession, are looking for an exit. “A great deal of these digital brands were growing at all costs… people did not anticipate a large slowdown and then a possible recession — so they weren’t managing their money well,” said Malique Morris, BoF direct-to-consumer correspondent. Key Insights:To catch the eye of a potential investor, brands must focus on profitability. But they also need to set themselves apart with new ideas and business models. A number of retailers struggling to adapt to shifting consumer tastes — like Victoria’s Secret, which acquired lingerie start-up Adore Me in November — are in need of a boost. To set the stage for an attractive exit, Ministry of Supply, which sells wrinkle-free dress shirts, has focused on getting old customers to make additional purchases, rather than acquire new ones. Seeing lower valuations, profitable brands that are attractive acquisition targets don’t have much incentive to sell at the moment. Additional Resources:https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/direct-to-consumer/buck-mason-ministry-of-supply-adore-me-dtc-acquisitions-/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/entrepreneurship/why-venture-capital-is-a-bad-fit-for-most-fashion-businesses/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/entrepreneurship/a-new-model-for-funding-fashion-start-ups/Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Fashion’s Gen-Z Obsession
Nov 16 2022
Fashion’s Gen-Z Obsession
The BoF Insights team shares details from their recent report on why these young consumers are so crucial to the success of the fashion industry — and what brands can do to woo them. Background: Gen-Z, or those born between 1997 and 2010, accounts for 25 percent of the world’s population. With the oldest of the generation turning 25 this year, the group has already come into its own with a purchasing power of about $360 billion. Fashion brands have always chased youth, but Gen-Z brings a whole new set of marketing challenges. Having grown up in the midst of rapid technological advancement, a worsening climate crisis and global movements like Me Too and Black Lives Matter, Gen-Z has been characterised as more pragmatic and socially aware, while also being trend-fixated. The contradictions are endless.Key Insights: Sometimes, Gen-Z contradicts itself. For example, top fashion brands including Nike and Gucci were among the general group’s favourite brands — but smaller focus groups said they wanted to support underrepresented designers. As well, fast fashion brands like Shein are popular, but the group says they care about sustainability. Gen-Zers increasingly impact the economy. However, the group will come into its own with more financial insecurity than those before it. BoF Insights distilled the demographic down to a few key personas with distinct characteristics to understand its habits and behaviours: the forgers, signatures, satellites, rebels, explorers and idealists. Generally, brands should communicate with Gen-Z in a casual, natural, community-forward way. The group is less beholden to traditional tastemakers, and trends move fast. BoF Insights is the new data and analysis think tank from The Business of Fashion, arming fashion and luxury professionals with the business intelligence they need to make better strategic decisions. For more insights, please see BoF Insights’ archive on topics like designer bags, resale, digital fashion, and fashion’s supply chain.Additional resources:https://www.businessoffashion.com/reports/retail/gen-z-fashion-in-the-age-of-realism-bof-insights-social-media-report/https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/retail/implications-of-gen-z-for-the-fashion-industry-bof-insights-charts/https://www.businessoffashion.com/events/retail/gen-z-and-fashion-in-the-age-of-realism-bof-live-insights-report/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The State of the Influencer Economy
Nov 9 2022
The State of the Influencer Economy
A panel of experts, including BoF’s Lauren Sherman and Diana Pearl, detail how the business of influencing has evolved — and where it's all going. Things move fast on the internet. In just the past few years, there have been a number of changes in the social media space and the influencer economy built around it. For one, brands are betting on influencers with day jobs, working with creators like Sky Ting Yoga founder Krissy Jones or James Whiteside, principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, as they look for relatable ambassadors to reach engaged audiences. The line between the average social media user and influencer is increasingly blurred as non-influencers endorse products online. Widely, people learn more about brands from other people, rather than brands’ own storytelling. It's becoming even more important for brands to be on every platform — and influencers to have their own platforms. Key Insights: In many ways, the shift represents a return to old days of influence — where hobbyists set up YouTube channels and churned out authentic content viewers found refreshingly relatable. Influencer pay increased almost 50 percent overall from 2020 to mid-2021, said Nord. But, there are a lot more influencers getting paid, which means more competition as brands have a deepening pool of options. There’s been a shift to video-first content. And younger generations are starting to snag brand deals from more established figures. Overall, marketers are paying whether influencers actually have influence — not just followers. Additional Resources:Why You Should Hire an Influencer With a Day Job: Influencers who gained online fame for offline pursuits are rapidly earning brand attention, but working with them requires a different type of partnership.Why Nordstrom Appears to Be Pivoting Away From Influencers: Influencers helped turn Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale into a major moment for the department store. This year, they say the retailer is leaning less on social media marketing, leading some creators to downplay the annual event.Is Now the Time to Hire a Virtual Influencer? Virtual influencers had faded from fashion campaigns, but now amid all the metaverse hype they’re popping up again, with Prada and Pacsun turning to virtual faces.The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing: As the creator space has matured, brands must be thoughtful about crafting a strategy that leverages influencer marketing’s full power, considering everything from talent scouting to the effectiveness of metrics. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Is Luxury’s Streetwear Obsession Over?
Nov 2 2022
Is Luxury’s Streetwear Obsession Over?
Background: After years of build up, from its origins in cultural movements like New York’s hip-hop scene and LA’s skating community to early commercialisation in the early 2000s from brands like Fubu and Stussy and Japanese designers Nigo and Hiroshi Fujiwara, by the late 2010s, streetwear found itself at the centre of luxury fashion. The breaking point came in 2018, when, after success at his label Off-White, Virgil Abloh was named creative director of Louis Vuitton. But lately, streetwear institutions like Bape and Stussy have been losing heat — and luxury brands are pivoting away from streetwear staples like hoodies and sneakers. “Streetwear brands are more commercial and less connected to the actual street culture where they found their roots,” said BoF editorial associate Daniel-Yaw Miller. Key Insights: Streetwear brought items like puffer jackets and hoodies, graffiti details and logo-centric designs to high fashion runways. Lately, designers have been more focused on harder shoes, knitwear and tailoring. But, streetwear-centric items haven’t disappeared from brands’ assortments, they’re more absorbed into the core offerings — and in consumers' day-to-day wardrobe. A new crop of brands, including Daily Paper, Corteiz and Free The Youth, are making the case for streetwear’s enduring fashion relevance. Streetwear mainstay Supreme is still driving growth with its savvy marketing and collaborations. Owner VF Corp. said it expects the label to generate $600 million in revenue this year — up from $500 million when it was acquired in 2020. Additional Resources:Why Supreme Sold to VF Corporation: In a deal that values the New York streetwear brand at $2.1 billion, Supreme picks up a long-term partner with back-end prowess and ambitions to scale it past $1 billion in annual sales.Is Streetwear Still Cool? Luxury brands may have pivoted away from sneakers, puffer jackets and hoodies, but new labels like Corteiz and Free The Youth are making a case for street culture’s enduring relevance in fashion.Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What Makes Jacquemus So Successful?
Oct 26 2022
What Makes Jacquemus So Successful?
Simon Porte Jacquemus is one of fashion’s hottest independent designers — and his namesake label is one of its most impressive businesses. The company, known for its tiny bags and minimalist playfulness, is on track to double annual revenues to over €200 million ($199 million) by year-end, with plans to reach €500 million by 2025. The designer has been able to build buzz with his clear brand vision, and savvy ability to storytell through social media.  “He was one of the first designers to realise how powerful of a tool Instagram was going to be, and to have something really compelling to say on that platform — to have a universe that was just really organically compelling,” said BoF luxury editor Robert Williams. Key Insights:Simon Porte Jacquemus has managed to build a scalable luxury start-up without the help of a conglomerate or big investor: a rarity in fashion. Jacquemus thinks the pressure to up sales every season to keep the business running pushed him to commercial success. Armed with a new store on Avenue Montaigne, the brand reaches up into luxury prices, but maintains a more accessible, fun, young and playful bent.Handbags — led by the brand’s hit, Chiquito style — are an essential profit driver for the business. With a new CEO on board in Puig’s Bastien Daguzan, the brand is looking to solidify its footwear business and diversify its menswear offering. As of now, Jacquemus does not plan on taking outside investment. The brand believes it's momentum and strong retail partnerships will help it reach its sales goal of €500 million by 2025.Additional Resources:Jacquemus: A Fashion Star’s Business Vision: For the first-time, the industry’s hottest independent designer — a charismatic, social-media savvy storyteller from the south of France — reveals the financial underpinnings of his burgeoning company and plans for the next phase of growth. How to Open a Store in 2022: From seamless online-to-offline offerings to metaverse-inspired installations, the standards of brick-and-mortar retail have evolved since the pandemic struck.Jacquemus, Now Nike-Approved, Opens ‘New Era’ in Provence: Simon Porte Jacquemus’ showmanship, social-media savvy and ultra-recognisable designs have turned his regionally-inspired label into a global hit.Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout. Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Giorgio Armani, Fashion’s Most Successful Designer
Oct 19 2022
Giorgio Armani, Fashion’s Most Successful Designer
BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks describes the designer and businessman’s life, continuing impact on fashion, mysterious succession plans and newfound vulnerability.BackgroundOver his decades-long career, Giorgio Armani has built one of fashion’s most successful businesses. Known for his signature tailoring and functional glamour, at 88, he’s retained his dominance in an ever-changing, hyper-competitive industry. Amid speculation about what's to come for the Armani fashion empire, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks met the titan at his garden in Milan for an intimate conversation about his life, business and future — including succession plans. “He was a revolutionary in his own way. I can think of maybe five people in fashion who had the impact he had,” said Blanks. Key Insights: The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates Armani has a personal net worth of $9.5 billion. He still owns and runs his company and as Blanks says, may value his independence more than anything. Rumours about Giorgio Armani’s future after Armani include a potential takeover by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH, the Agnelli family’s Exor or Valentino parent Mayhoola.One thing people don’t fully realise about Armani is he is an eccentric, said Blanks. Armani told Blanks his eccentricity lies in his radical approach to design, which is both streamlined and nuanced. Armani’s close relationship with partner Sergio Galeotti, who passed away in 1985, has helped fuel his ascent to status as fashion’s most successful designer. Now, Armani, who has no children and doesn’t claim many friends outside his family and his company, is leaning into a new kind of love and vulnerability, thanks to the presence of his collaborator’s young daughter at the office.  Additional Resources: Giorgio Armani: Lion in WinterJoin BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Inside the $7 Billion Dior Phenomenon
Oct 12 2022
Inside the $7 Billion Dior Phenomenon
How the 75-year-old luxury house tripled its revenue in just four years, according to BoF luxury editor Robert Williams. Background: In 1947, months after being founded, Christian Dior Couture revolutionised dressing with its “New Look,” an exaggerated hourglass-shaped silhouette. In the ’80s, the then-withering brand was bought by entrepreneur Bernard Arnault, who would eventually transform it into one of the largest luxury labels in the world. In 2017, when LVMH — of which Arnault is CEO and chairman — took full control of the house, Dior transformed into one of fashion’s fastest-growing and most profitable labels — with estimated revenues of €6.6 billion.  “[LVMH] just said ‘We need to … do what it will take to get this business on the scale of these really big brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel,’” said BoF luxury editor Robert Williams.  Key Insights: More than a decade after buying Dior, Arnault hired designer John Galliano — who introduced the Lady Dior bag — and appointed executive Sidney Toleando (now chief executive of LVMH fashion group) to refashion Dior as a modern luxury brand. While Galliano and Toledano fully cemented Dior as a global fashion and leathergoods player with a robust beauty business over their 15-year partnership, the brand entered a new phase in 2017, when Arnault moved Dior from his personal holdings to LVMH.The brand’s beauty and fashion lines are segmented, which has led to a certain amount of success, particularly in the company’s perfume business. Now, the brand is slowly starting to connect the two to power the business. Dior’s total control over its brand — where it only sells through its channels, doesn’t discount and isn’t separated out on LVMH’s balance sheet — allows it to protect itself from investor demands and excess product risk.  Additional Resources: https://www.businessoffashion.com/case-studies/luxury/christian-dior-strategy-lvmh-pietro-beccari-maria-grazia-chiuri-kim-jones/  https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/luxury/diors-maria-grazia-chiuri-a-fashion-hitmakers-method/ https://www.businessoffashion.com/podcasts/luxury/why-chanel-is-opening-private-boutiques/Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Can Patagonia’s Radical Move Change the Fashion Industry?
Oct 5 2022
Can Patagonia’s Radical Move Change the Fashion Industry?
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s is giving away his billion-dollar company. BoF chief sustainability correspondent Sarah Kent explains why — and what influence the change could have on the culture of business. Background: Patagonia has long been the standard bearer for responsible capitalism: the jackets and fleece maker has donated 1 percent of all sales — which top $1 billion a year according to The New York Times — to environmental groups since the ’80s, and was one of the first companies to qualify for B-Corp sustainability certification. In its latest bid to live out its mission statement, “founder Yvon Chouinard gave most of Patagonia’s shares over to a non-profit which will be tasked with reinvesting its profits (projected at some $100 million a year) in fighting the climate crisis. “Earth is our shareholder now,” Chouinard wrote in an open letter on the company’s site.  “This is pretty unprecedented. Individuals don’t do this, and it almost broke the bounds of what people had imagined business should look like, ” said BoF chief sustainability correspondent Sarah Kent.  Key Insights: Chouinard created a structure in which Patagonia’s profits cycled toward charitable endeavours focused on climate change in perpetuity. All shares priorly held by the Chouinard family will be given away to different entities, two percent of shares will be put into a trust which will govern the company and ensure it operates in line with responsible business practices and the other 98 percent will be held by a non-profit that will be responsible for distributing them.  Through the years, Patagonia has made it a goal to balance turning a profit with encouraging responsible spending. It's managed to go about communicating that in an authentic way because it's transparent about the tension between those two goals. While the move by Patagonia will be hard to replicate elsewhere (given shares were owned by the family), it has created a template that could be used on a smaller scale.  Additional Resources: Can Patagonia Make Capitalism Climate Friendly? Patagonia’s Radical New Ownership Structure, Explained Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Inside the Luxury E-Commerce Race
Sep 28 2022
Inside the Luxury E-Commerce Race
After years of speculation, designer e-tailers are finally consolidating in an effort to increase profits and gain market share. BoF’s Robert Williams and Tamison O’Connor unpack what’s in store for major players including Farfetch, YNAP and MatchesFashion. Background: The launch of Net-a-Porter in 2000 changed fashion forever, heralding the first phase of luxury e-commerce, and inspiring a slew of competitors to get in the game. But in an increasingly competitive market, e-tailers have struggled to retain pricing power and turn a profit. Now, the space is starting to see some consolidation. In August, Farfetch took a stake in Yoox-Net-a-Porter Group, which laid the groundwork for an eventual acquisition, and allowed Richemont to offload the platform — which had long weighed on its portfolio. “This deal is a pretty major step for Farfetch in terms of setting up the platform to solidify a dominant position… YNAP was Farfetch’s biggest competitor,” said Tamison O’Connor, BoF luxury correspondent. Key Insights: As part of the deal, Farfetch acquired a 47.5 percent stake in YNAP, in an agreement that contains provisions for a full acquisition within a full year. Farfetch will power YNAP’s technology, and sell YNAP inventory — including Richemont brands — on its own platform. E-commerce can be hard. Farfetch is attractive to brands because it offers back-end management, stock management and connection to the company’s fulfilment logistics network, at a time when brands are struggling to wrangle their supply chains due to macroeconomic challenges.  Additional Resources: Richemont, Farfetch and YNAP: Understanding a Transformational E-Commerce Deal: The Swiss luxury group is spinning off Yoox Net-a-Porter in a joint venture with Farfetch. What does it mean for Richemont, Farfetch, YNAP and the luxury industry at large? BoF dissects the deal. Inside Farfetch’s Bid to Dominate Luxury E-Commerce — Download the Case Study: During a blockbuster year for online sales, Farfetch surged ahead of rivals to position itself at the front of luxury’s e-commerce race. Can it spin the current momentum into sustainable — and profitable — growth and become the unrivalled platform for luxury fashion online?Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Inside Banana Republic’s Bid to Regain Relevance
Sep 21 2022
Inside Banana Republic’s Bid to Regain Relevance
BoF’s retail correspondent Cathaleen Chen joins The Debrief to discuss how the mall brand plotted a turnaround that’s starting to pay off.Background:Gap Inc. has had a hard year, accented last week by a dramatic Ye break-up following an anticlimactic retail roll-out of Yeezy Gap, which it staked its comeback on a year ago. Old Navy sales sank, and its once fast-growing sportswear label Athleta has seen sales level. But there’s been one glimmer of hope in the midst of it all: Banana Republic. The long-struggling mall brand’s sales were up 9 percent in the quarter ended July 30, helping to send Gap Inc. shares up 6 percent after what was an otherwise grim report. It seems the company is finally starting to see the payoff of the brand and product re-fashioning it started a year ago under chief executive Sandra Stangl and then-chief brand officer Ana Andjelic.  “For the first time in a long time, it's exciting, it's different — and the fact that it’s not for everybody serves an advantage for Banana, because it finally has a point of view,” said retail correspondent Cathaleen Chen.  Key Insights: After getting lost in an amalgamation of indistinct mall brands, Banana Republic has started to redefine itself with a pointed aesthetic that doesn’t serve every consumer — reinventing its look and product offering. It launched a line “Imagined Worlds” IS THIS THE RIGHt NAME?” that nods to its heritage as a travel and safari line.Half of Banana Republic’s sales come from its off-price segment. Overall, the Banana Republic makeover could be a learning experience for Gap, which hasn’t yet mounted a brand turnaround as significant as this.  Additional Resources:  How Banana Republic Became a Bright Spot in Gap Inc.’s Portfolio: The mall retailer saw sales rise after swapping generic office clothes for a stronger point-of-view inspired by its safari-themed origins. The new look wasn’t for everyone — and that was the point. The Secret to Breathing New Life Into Old Brands: Banana Republic, J.Crew, Express and other mall brands are all promoting a new, more digital and fashion-forward identity in a bid to regain relevance.Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How Big Brands Choose their Creative Directors
Sep 14 2022
How Big Brands Choose their Creative Directors
Louis Vuitton is expected to name its Virgil Abloh successor within weeks. BoF’s Imran Amed joins Lauren Sherman to discuss what luxury labels think about when recruiting top designers.Background:Louis Vuitton has spent almost a year searching for a Virgil Abloh successor after the designer died in November 2021. According to sources, Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Telfar Clemens are among the names that were considered by owner LVMH, and the decision is expected to be announced within weeks. But how do brands like Louis Vuitton even go about finding a designer?“Without the creative energy, without that kind of excitement, there’s nothing to sell,” said Imran Amed, BoF founder and editor-in-chief.Key Insights:While all brands have their own personality and the situations that necessitate finding a new creative director differ, the things most brands look for in a leader are similar.Executives have to consider whether they’re looking for revolution, like when Gucci tapped Alessandro Michele for creative energy and new ideas, or evolution, like when Saint Laurent tapped Anthony Vaccarello to keep its aesthetic formula after Hedi Slimane departed.A strong vision is the most important thing. But creative directors also need to have commercial sensibility and the ability to work in a corporate environment.One of Abloh’s achievements was that he managed to build a community at Louis Vuitton, and engage consumers who had been traditionally excluded by the luxury industry.Additional Resources:Virgil Abloh: Building on a Legacy: Like Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gianni Versace before him, the late Virgil Abloh leaves a powerful legacy. What does this mean for Off-White and Louis Vuitton?Which Luxury Leadership Configuration Works Best? In luxury fashion, the right configuration of creative and commercial leadership is critical to success, writes Pierre Mallevays.Join BoF Professional today with our exclusive podcast listener discount of 25% off an annual membership, follow the link here and enter the coupon code ‘debrief’ at checkout.  Want more from The Business of Fashion? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Follow The Debrief wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.