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business

BoF moves to walled content model, intros monthly and annual subscriptions

 

BoF Professional
BoF Professional

The Business of Fashion is introducing a paywall in front of much of its content in a bid to move forward with monetisation, it announced today.

From October 25, BoF Professional, as the subscription setup has been dubbed, will be the only way to get unlimited access to its content as well as exclusive analysis, special briefings and networking events. There are both monthly and annual payment plans available.

“For almost a decade, The Business of Fashion has been a trusted source of independent, authoritative analysis on the global fashion industry, arming fashion professionals all over the world with a powerful competitive advantage in today’s turbulent times. Now, it’s time for BoF to take the next step in our journey as a business,” founder Imran Amed wrote in his post about the plans.

Students and occasional readers will continue to have access to five articles per month free of charge, as well as unlimited access to the site’s Daily Digest Newsletter, BoF Fashion Week galleries, the BoF 500 and BoF Careers.

There will also be a special discount to students who wish to upgrade to BoF Professional, as well as special group rates to companies and other organisations of 10 people or more.

BoF has been steadily moving towards more of a revenue-driven model over the past couple of years, with services including a careers site, education platform and offline events under the header BoF Voices all bringing in money to the growing company.

The team raised £1.3m in seed funding from a group of investors in 2013, including Index Ventures, LVMH, Carmen Busquets and Felix Capital. This was followed by a Series A round in 2015.

For those looking to subscribe, the team is offering a 50% early bird discount to the annual subscription of £9 per month. The monthly subscription is £18 per month.

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business Comment Editor's pick

The big writers you should know about in #fashiontech

writers

I’m always asked how I do my research. Short of listing every event I go to, and speaking about how to network and maintain contacts, the easiest answer is almost always about reading.

On the right hand site of this site you’ll find a list of go-to sources for other entities covering either fashion or technology, and occasionally both. I curate the highlights of many of these through the digital snippets posts on Fashion & Mash each week.

But otherwise, I ensure I keep tabs on my fellow writers in this space too. I do so not only through their writing, but what they curate via their own social media channels. Here’s a breakdown of some names to know about:

Lauren Sherman

Perhaps the most prolific writer currently out there, Sherman became New York editor for The Business of Fashion in August 2015. She continues to write for a number of other outlets, and put us all to shame with a tweet on January 6 (third day back at work after the New Year) linking to, yes, her third big story of the year. She brings a fresh perspective to BoF, a wider stream of thought and more embracing view. She also curates a regular newsletter with other must-read articles, and produces a podcast with hubby Dan Frommer, who also happens to be tech editor over at Quartz.

Lauren Indvik

Former associate editor at Mashable, then editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com, Indvik has been bringing the worlds of business and technology together under the fashion heading since the early days of her career. She has recently ventured into the freelance world in a bid to get back to writing more again, so expect to see some great pieces popping up from her all over the shop.

Vanessa Friedman

It goes without saying that Friedman of The New York Times is a must-read. She continues to critique fashion as much as she provides a true business view on developments in the industry as varied how fashion week is shifting through to what she really thinks about wearable technology. Elizabeth Paton, who worked with her at the Financial Times and now serves as European Styles correspondent for the NY Times, based in London, is also one to follow. She too contributes to the newspaper’s On The Runway blog.

Hilary Milnes

As retail reporter at Digiday, Milnes churns out stories 10 to the dozen, varying from the likes of How Tiffany found its Twitter voice to Retailers spending 200% more on skippable YouTube ads. Her work is a credit to Digiday and its willingness to wholeheartedly cover the fashion and retail space as much as it does many other industries. Milnes’ in-depth coverage serves as one of the strongest resources for keeping on top of which brands are doing a good job in digital. She also only graduated in 2013.

Marc Bain

As fashion reporter at Quartz, Bain broadly covers the business side of the industry, with some great stories ranging from Bangladesh’s factories still being ‘death traps’ years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, to The huge underclass of ghost workers making shirts in their homes. He also has his finger on the pulse across things like endorsements, advertising and market movements. Another one ticking the ‘prolific’ box, and keeping us all updated in the process.

Adam Wray

If this list so far doesn’t give you enough to get through each day, then Adam Wray’s curation abilities will. He pulls together everything one absolutely must digest daily about the fashion industry in the Fashion REDEF newsletter – an absolute necessity to sign-up to if you haven’t already. It literally does what it says on the tin, providing you with a full daily understanding of what’s happening in fashion from every angle. His rantnrave section at the top is usually very entertaining too.

Also worth checking out:

  • Rachel Strugatz has held the position of digital news and features editor at WWD for some time, and continues to write in-depth analysis on the impact of social media on the industry, as well as exclusives on what US fashion brands like Rebecca Minkoff or Ralph Lauren are doing with digital.
  • As retail editor at Business Insider, Ashley Lutz reports on a large cross section of consumer goods companies (including fast food), but there’s a good sprinkling of fashion in there too.
  • Natalie Mortimer at The Drum is another one who covers a wide variety of subjects, including food and drink as well as broader retail, but more often than not, a strong dose of fashion. She gets some good UK exclusives too.
  • Kate Abnett is a more junior member of The Business of Fashion team, but the one curating many of the best fashion and tech stories for the site.
  • And if you’re into wearable technology, most of the team over at Wareable are also worth checking out. Features editor Sophie Charara does a great curation job via Twitter too.
  • Last but not least, keep tabs on everything I’m writing either here on Fashion & Mash, or via Forbes.
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business

The Business of Fashion launches new event series for “big thinkers”

BusinessofFashion_Voices

In what comes as little in the way of a surprise, The Business of Fashion has announced it will enter the event space in a big way with the launch of Voices, a three-day invitation-only affair to be held on the outskirts of London next year.

Referred to as an “annual gathering for big thinkers”, it will bring industry leaders, entrepreneurs and inspirational individuals together from December 1-3, 2016. Its aim is to explore new frontiers and challenge received wisdom about this ever-changing business through a programme of rousing talks, interactive presentations and immersive experiences.

The news was announced during a satellite Voices event held in Hong Kong today. “Fashioning China’s Future”, as it was called, was run in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, and supported by principal partner QIC Global Real Estate, with additional support from DFS. QIC Global Real Estate will also be the partner for satellite versions in Sydney and New York, as well as the main event in the UK.

Attendees will be hand-selected, with the aim being to gather figures not just from fashion and other creative fields, but from science, technology, health and wellness, food, finance, politics, urban planning, film, philosophy and philanthropy. “Through a cross-pollination of personalities and industries, Voices aims to spark new ideas and solve real-world challenges impacting the global fashion business,” reads the write-up.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Nike, Bloomingdale’s, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Sephora

A round-up of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

meality

  • Holographic ad gives live demo of Nike shoes on the street [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s installs body scanners to help you find jeans that fit (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Michael Kors releases limited edition sneakers to celebrate reaching 500 million fans on Facebook [Web & Luxe]
  • Marc Jacobs to dress famous Japanese holograph, Hatsune Miku [Fashionista]
  • Armani touts brand personality in latest Frames of Life eyewear campaign [Luxury Daily]
  • How Sephora differentiates in digital [Digiday]
  • The Business of Fashion is nominated for a Webby Award [BoF]
  • This Bond No. 9 ‘digital fragrance’ is only sold via QR code [Styleite]
  • Tavi Gevinson creator of The Style Rookie is the next big media mogul [AdWeek]
  • Menswear e-tailer FreshCotton creates drug cookbook to promote Stüssy’s spring line [Campaign]
  • Fashion e-commerce flowers in the Middle East [BoF]
  • Japanese luxury market evolves to keep up with digital generation [Japan Daily Press]
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Uncategorized

#SXSW Interactive: Fashion’s greatest challenge lies in realigning production with communications

“If I were the CEO of a major fashion brand today, my focus would be on trying to compress the production cycle so it realigned with communications,” Imran Amed, founder and editor of The Business of Fashion, said at SXSW earlier this week.

Speaking on a panel called Who needs a fashion cycle? I’ve got social media, he explained that we’re at the beginning of a seismic change in the way consumers communicate with each other, make decisions, and ultimately purchase.  It’s only by changing the operational side of what we do, he said, that we’re going to be able to catch up.

As we all know, the internet has revolutionised this industry. Where once fashion shows were private trade events, now they’re more consumer facing than ever before, highlighted Michelle Sadlier, global digital communications consultant for Karla Otto International, and moderator of the session.

Designer collections used to only be seen by the public when they hit shop floors six months later – or the pages of the magazines just before. Now they’re viewable in real-time. The likes of Twitter and Instagram, not to mention bloggers and live-streams, mean consumers have the same level of access, at exactly the same time, as those invited to the catwalk presentations.

The issue of course, is that the operational side of the process is still the same. Rather than speeding up alongside, production has remained a lengthy and complicated system. The user is subsequently seeing something online, that isn’t available to buy for a further four to six months.

This gap, said Chris Morton, founder and CEO of fashion discovery site Lyst, means brands are missing out on capturing that “intent to purchase at the point of inspiration”.

He referenced a handful of companies attempting to address this: Burberry’s Runway to Reality initiative – where viewers can shop straight from the catwalk for delivery in just eight weeks – for example, as well as start-up Moda Operandi, which offers a similar solution across a variety of brand names.

Lyst itself launched a Runway Tracking service last September, which at least reminds consumers of the items they liked, by sending them a notification once they’re available to buy.

Amed however, said while each of these ideas is attempting to work around the issues, they’re not actually solving the problem. This is the industry’s biggest challenge, he added, and there’s no easy solution.

One of his suggestions was to create two separate events around the shows. One small and quiet for trade to see the season ahead, and the other a big, all-out affair for consumers, timed so it’s in sync with the actual season. So in other words, shifting the position of the fashion show as we know it today, so it sits at the end of the cycle rather than the beginning.

Of course to do so, would mean skipping a season, something Natalie Massanet, founder of Net-a-Porter, first suggested to Amed in an interview in 2010. No mean feat to pull off…

Which takes us back full circle to the very first line of this post. At the end of the day the company that masters how to realign the production cycle with the communications one, will be the one that finds success. And the likeliest way of achieving that right now, is by focusing first on compressing operations.

Watch this space.

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digital snippets e-commerce Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Oscar PR Girl, Daphne Guinness for Printemps, Narciso Rodriguez, FashionStake

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital this week:

  • Oscar PR Girl joins Pinterest (as pictured) [Pinterest]
  • Here’s why Pinterest works better than Google+ [ReadWriteWeb]
  • Daphne Guinness to play virtual mannequin at Printemps using cutting-edge three-dimensional scanning technology [WWD]
  • Narciso Rodriguez to create exclusive line for online retail store Rent the Runway [PSFK]
  • Why brands including Tiffany & Co, Puma and Burberry are using Instagram [AdAge]
  • New e-commerce business models, including personal subscription, social merchandising, mass customisation and collaborative consumption [BoF]
  • Fab.com acquires FashionStake after seven months of rapid growth [All Things D]
  • Women’s Wear Daily launches on iPad [Mashable]
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digital snippets Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Jimmy Choo, The Sartorialist, Target, Jamie Beck, New Look, Polyvore

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

 

  • Target website issues continue; “plagued by glitches” [AdAge]
  • Profiling From Me To You’s Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg: how a blogging duo is changing fashion photography with animated cinemagraphs [Mashable]
  • New Look launches first iPhone app, designed for use in-store [New Media Age]
  • Polyvore creates monthly magazine [AdWeek]
  • Publishers say tablet business is picking up; $10m for Condé Nast and Hearst not far off [WWD]
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e-commerce Uncategorized

Dolce & Gabbana launches e-commerce site

Dolce & Gabbana is set to open its online store tomorrow in partnership with e-commerce website Yoox.

Dolcegabbanastore.com will be available in seven languages across computer, mobile and social networks, offering both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.

“We’re fascinated by the idea of opening a boutique that’s available to the entire world. We’ve believed in the power of the web right from day one. Now, even people not living in large cities will be able to experience the Dolce & Gabbana world,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

The aim of the e-store is to offer the product within the narrative of the brand, meaning a strong editorial focus will surround the merchandising.

“Shop by look” pages will provide the feel of a magazine, while photos will be viewable in 360° and videos will accompany each look.

Delivery on the site will be free for the first three months.

Meanwhile, there’s a great post on The Business of Fashion today featuring a video interview with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana talking about their digital strategy for the first time.

“[They] speak candidly, not only about the way they use digital technology in their business, but also how it has impacted their own lives, and how this has changed the way they work with each other, and with their teams,” reads the accompanying text.

Check it out below:

 

A quick look at Dolce & Gabbana’s digital history:

– 2004: Dolce & Gabbana opens its mobile channel, a step ahead of the smartphone wave
– 2005: The first fashion shows available in live streaming via the internet
– 2007: Dolce & Gabbana becomes a digital publisher, launching its magazine Swide.com
– 2009: The D&G e-store opens in partnership with Yoox
– 2009: D&G is the first to invite fashion bloggers to sit in the front row at its fashion shows
– 2010: Pre-show press conference with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana via YouTube. Snack videos are posted, previewing the collection themes
– 2010: Stefano Gabbana opens a Twitter account, riding the personal branding trend
– 2011: Stefano Gabbana opens his own Tumblr account

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Uncategorized

BoF: From fashion curation to faux shopping with Lyst

There was an interesting post on The Business of Fashion last week which looked at the rise of a new generation of niche social curation sites.

Included were the likes of virtual pinboard Pinterest (love) and “Tumblr meets Amazon” platform Svpply (need to learn more about). The focus however was on Lyst. “Fashion has emerged as one of the most popular categories on these sites and even sparked specialist services,” writes the BoF’s managing editor, Vikram Alexei Kansara.

Accordingly, inspired by the likes of Last.fm and Pandora, Lyst is designed to enable the discovery of fashion online.

“Right now it’s hard to [do this]” said Lyst’s CEO Chris Morton. “The space is becoming increasingly fragmented: every day there are new online retailers, designers and blogs, making it even harder to sift through all the noise.”

Users can create their own lists of content as well as following those of their favourite designers or stylists.

The site also works with retailers in real-time, adding products or inventory as it becomes available. As a result, the service in effect is based around driving sales, therefore equally beneficial for the brand to get involved.

What I loved about this article however is the idea of “faux shopping” in fashion. “This is when a user goes to a site like Net-a-Porter, puts together an amazing shopping cart, but instead of checking out, just sighs wistfully and closes the browser. We were conscious that users were effectively creating rich content and expressing their style, but then destroying it afterwards. With Lyst, we wanted to build a service where users could keep those items for as long as they liked and share their style,” said Morton.

Read the full piece, here: Fashion 2.0 | Social Curation Start-ups Target Fashion Industry

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film Uncategorized

BoF – top 10 fashion films of the season

The Business of Fashion has revealed its top 10 fashion films of the season, with Prada’s spring/summer 2011 campaign leading the charge.

Also featured is Tom Ford’s spring 2011 show; Chanel’s robots in Here Comes The Beauty Pack; Gareth Pugh’s film from Pitti Immagine created by Ruth Hogben; and Seven Henrietta Street by Kate Spade New York.

Anatomy of Change for House of Mugler Menswear takes the number six spot – featuring tattooed “zombie” Rick Genest, with a soundtrack by Lady Gaga.

And rounding off the top 10 is Vanessa Bruno’s Miracle; Spying on Kate Moss, a film from on the set of the autumn/winter 2010/11 Balmain campaign featured on NOWNESS; Miu Miu’s The Powder Room; and Net-a-Porter’s Bag Guide.

Check them all out alongside the BoF’s full write up, here.

1. Prada S/S 201