The business of fashion is an exciting and challenging profession. It requires a strong knowledge of marketing, manufacturing and retailing.
Consumers’ growing expectations of convenience, price, quality and newness are forcing fashion companies to deliver a more premium customer experience. Moreover, the digital revolution has speeded up the time from runway to store.
What is the business of fashion?
The business of fashion is a $2.5 trillion industry that is undergoing a period of profound transformation, including technological innovation, globalization and economic turmoil. Informed by this new landscape, the Business of Fashion aims to build a global membership community that opens, informs and connects the fashion industry.
The past year has seen a wave of innovation, including the introduction of new digital platforms and the launch of a sustainability marketing initiative. But fashion companies will have to adapt to shifting consumer priorities, get digital right and respond to rising climate-change concerns in order to achieve success in 2022 and beyond.
To navigate these challenges, executives will have to make a few important decisions that will shape the future of their industry. These include developing strategies to unlock growth, align with changing customer needs and focus intently on the bottom line.
What is the future
As the business of fashion continues to evolve, new trends are emerging and new technologies are shaping the industry. For instance, fashion companies are adapting to consumers’ shift in mindset around digital channels and their demand for sustainability and social justice.
In addition, brands are blurring the lines between menswear and womenswear by offering fluid fashion that combines men’s and women’s styles. This is a trend that requires brands to redesign their product design, marketing and customer experience.
Increasingly, retailers are leveraging virtual dressing rooms to help shoppers visualize and try on clothing before they purchase it. Solutions such as 3DLOOK’s YourFit allow customers to scan their body and receive a tailored size recommendation.
In addition, brands are investing in technology that can maintain and share product information digitally – called “product passports” – to improve transparency and reduce counterfeiting. This technology can also offer consumers a more accurate picture of how a garment was made and its environmental impact.
What are the challenges facing the business of fashion?
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been around the block, setting up your own brand can be one of the most exciting things to ever happen. You can design your dream range, sell it in renowned stores and make a shitload of money.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges to face. The business of fashion is unique and requires a completely different approach than any other retail industry.
To thrive, companies must be able to address challenges such as sustainability, inclusivity and fair pay while maintaining their profitability. They need to be proactive guarantors, advocates of diversity and inclusion, and champions of transparency.
In 2020, these issues will continue to be at the forefront of fashion companies’ agendas. They will affect their R+D, advertising campaigns and collections as well as their own business practices.
What are the opportunities for the business of fashion?
In the aftermath of a year marked by economic, political and consumer shock waves, it’s time for fashion companies to take stock. It’s a chance to reset their business models, sharpen customer propositions and focus on the value of their brands through the entire chain of production.
The business of fashion is a $2.5 trillion industry with huge opportunities for new entrants and existing players. The key is to be nimble, digital-first and achieve ever-faster speed to market.
But there are also risks and challenges to be overcome. As consumers grow more educated about fashion and become less predictable in their purchasing behavior, leaders need to be prepared for a volatile future. They’ll need to think carefully about their sustainability and sourcing practices, as well as their ability to attract and retain top talent and execute on digital acceleration, industry consolidation, and corporate innovation.