Fashion is an international industry with global reach. It encompasses various businesses from retail/online stores and designer brand stores to fashion magazines as well as smaller niche businesses like flower makers, embroiderers, seamstresses/tailors/craft workers etc.
Imran Amed is the founder, editor in chief and CEO of the Business of Fashion magazine and partner at McKinsey London office.
The business of fashion is a global industry
Fashion executives will face new pressures on performance and supply chain operations in 2022. Successful fashion players will seek ways to reduce avoidable costs while developing more efficient, simplified operating models tailored to the changing consumer behavior and to demand.
Fashion purchases involve an immense multibillion-dollar industry that shapes what’s for sale. This includes fashion designers, merchandisers, brand strategists, model agents, hair and makeup artists and others who help determine what goes into store shelves. Fabric and notion manufacturers, flower makers, embroiderers seamstresses/tailors all comprise part of this ecosystem.
Fashion brands must improve traceability and transparency to restore consumer trust, while at the same time prioritizing employee respect through increases in wages, reduction of unpaid internships and working with suppliers to promote fair working conditions that respect human rights. Such changes will help foster renewed loyalty from young consumers who actively look out for brands with sustainable practices.
It is a creative industry
The Business of Fashion (BoF) is an innovative media company designed for today’s global and hyper-connected world, featuring agenda-setting news and analysis as well as career development tools designed to foster positive change in fashion and beyond. BoF serves a worldwide network of fashion executives, creatives, students and other fashion professionals from over 200 countries and territories.
Fashion companies will face an eventful year ahead as they adjust to new realities and prepare for a different way of operating. Successful organizations will adopt a holistic strategy using digital channels while emphasizing talent acquisition across key functions.
Key challenges will include narrowing the performance gap between frontrunners and laggards. To do this, more collaboration among competitors may be required – for instance Virgil Abloh’s partnership with Nike is indicative of this trend. Fashion is an extremely specialized industry; success for each company depends on balancing creativity with strategic thinking.
It is a business industry
Fashion is an $8 trillion global industry that generates $2.5 trillion annually in revenues. Fashion products and services include raw materials like fabrics, leather and fur; design; production; retail sales and marketing. Unfortunately, fashion has had an adverse environmental impact due to inefficient supply chains and resource utilisation; over recent decades fashion has increased production while profit margins have decreased significantly.
Fashion leaders must reevaluate their business models and transition towards more sustainable operating models, improving digital strategies to compete with disruptors, and prioritizing customer experience and supply chain simplification. Furthermore, fashion leaders will need to work tirelessly to unlock growth for a new generation of customers that may require transformational organizational changes and focus on key priorities such as digital acceleration, discounting and industrial consolidation; ultimately this change will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption over time.
It is a cultural industry
Fashion is a cultural industry that influences and inspires our perception of ourselves and of others. Additionally, it can serve as a platform for social activism and dialogue – so it is crucial that your business decisions consider their long-term effects on people around you.
At a time when people can trace back the sources of clothing they purchase, avoiding cultural appropriation is essential to maintaining cultural diversity. Designers and brands must find a balance between creative expression and respect for marginalized groups.
The Business of Fashion was established in 2007 to fill a need for informed, analytical perspectives on the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry. Their mission is to open, inform and connect global fashion industry through independent agenda-setting journalism, career building tools and immersive events and experiences based out of London, serving over 125 countries around the world under Imran Amed’s management as founder/editor-in-chief – a former management consultant.