Links of the week: Ecko, Underwear, Blow, Fashion Inc

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CIT: Behind the Business – Mark Ecko
I enjoyed this series of video interviews with Mark Ecko, the graffiti artist-turned fashion entrepreneur,  who  founded  *ecko unltd which is now a multi-brand fashion and apparel company with combined annual revenues of $1.2b. Mark also shares nuggets of  insight at eckolog, a blog on running a creative business.

New York Times: Coloured undies
This is an article which shows how finding and developing an underserved, ignored or altogether empty market niche can be one of the best ways to build fashion and apparel brands. Novelty underwear, in bright patterns and colours, from the likes of Ginch Gonch, Aussie Bum and American Apparel, is a rapidly growing market segment, says the article by David Colman. These zany briefs are capturing share in the $1.1b mens knit underwear market, possibly as high as 50%, in a market, that up until now, has always been reserved for tighty-whiteys.

International Herald Tribune: Isabella Blow, Fashion Loses an Inventive Icon
The accolades have been pouring in (and the rumour mill has been working overtime) since the death of Isabella Blow, one of the fashion world’s true eccentrics, earlier this week. While there were many obituaries written, I found Suzy Menkes’ tribute the most honest and accurate. That Isabella Blow was, in and of herself,  a "work of art", was the highest of compliments from fashion’s reigning Queen of the critics.

Portfolio: Fashion Inc.
There’s some interesting fashion and business commentary, with the occasional gossipy diversion, at Fashion Inc, one of the new blogs that has emerged with the launch of Portfolio magazine, which is focused on various parts of the business world. Lauren Crowe, a former writer for DNR and one of my favourites, Time Style and Design, is the blogger behind Fashion Inc.  The latest news from Lauren is that Jil Sander may be on the block again, following Change Capital Partners’ investment only 2 years ago.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times.