The Best of BoF | Top 10 Articles of 2011

Chloe Spring/Summer 2012 show at Jardins des Tuileries, Paris | Photo: BoF

LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s hard to believe 2011 is coming to a close. It’s been an action packed year in the business of fashion. From the rise of digital to the fall of Galliano, and everything in between, BoF has found itself exploring the heart of an ever-changing fashion ecosystem, fuelled by creativity, digital innovation and globalisation.

We are grateful to all of the fashion visionaries, entrepreneurs and professionals who have shared their stories with us over the past year, offering us lessons from fashion’s front-lines. Their insights have sparked conversations here on BoF, across the social web, and in boardrooms, classrooms and studios all over the world. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and interest in BoF.

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for us to take a break. The BoF team will be off until 3 January, 2012. Until then, to whet your appetites for 2012, we look back the defining BoF stories in 2011.

Happy holidays to everyone!

1. The Business of Blogging

Bloggers’ businesses have been garnering headlines in the mainstream media in recent months, but BoF has been exploring the business models emerging from the fashion blogosphere since 2007. This year, we launched a series of in-depth interviews with some of the world’s leading fashion bloggers, revealing that there is as much variety in their approaches to business as there is in the ways they express themselves online. The Business of Blogging series was by far the most shared and discussed content on BoF this year. Our interview with The Sartorialist Scott Schuman alone has been viewed more than 80,000 times.

The Business of Blogging | The Sartorialist

The Business of Blogging | Elin King

The Business of Blogging | Susie Bubble

The Business of Blogging | Tommy Ton

The Business of Blogging | Bag Snob

2. Trouble with iPad Magazines

Vanity Fair’s June 2011 iPad Issue | Source: Vanity Fair

Magazines have jumped into the iPad fray with gusto, but how are they succeeding in creating a digital magazine experience that is genuinely new? Our managing editor Vikram Kansara investigates.

3. Fashion PR in the Digital Age

YSL Tweet Denying Pilati Rumours | Source: Twitter

In the speedy new world of fashion communication, PR’s operate in an ‘always-on’ viral world where rumours can spread faster than ever before and new fashion communities are springing up everyday. BoF talks to the fashion industry’s leading PR agencies about their strategies for managing communication in the digital age.

4. Finding the Luxury in Mass Customisation 

Prada SS11 Lace-Up Project | Source: Prada

Could new technologies help to revive one of the original tenets of luxury? The rise of a new mode of production called “mass customisation” promises to restore individuality to the product design process, bringing a variety of new personalised product experiences to consumers.

5. Social Curation Start-ups Target Fashion Industry

Lyst Screenshot | Source: Lyst

Filtering content through recommendations from our friends and colleagues has become an important way of sorting through all the noise. Now, a gr0up of innovative social curation startups are providing a new way to discover and enjoy content, and are attracting investor attention. Since our report in April, Pinterest raised $37m in funding with a valuation greater than $200m, and The Fancy, received a $10m investment from PPR, valuing the business at $100m.

6. The French Contemporary Wave That’s Reshaping Ready-To-Wear

Couples from The Kooples ad campaigns | Source: The Kooples

Over the past couple of years, a slew of French contemporary brands including Sandro, Maje, The Kooples and Zadig & Voltaire have attempted to conquer London and New York, two of the most competitive retail landscapes on the planet. Is contemporary pricing the future of a failing ready-to-wear model that’s increasingly out of sync with consumer expectations and budgets?

7. How Commercial Content is Changing Editorial

Mr Porter Screenshot | Source: Mr Porter

It seems that there are almost weekly reports announcing that yet another magazine veteran has fled a traditional publishing company to take up a position at a brand or retailer. BoF guest contributor Ken Miller explores the implications of  the content-meets-commerce fashion fusion.

8. The Long View | How Realtime Data is Reshaping the Fashion Business

Julia Fowler and Geoff Watts | Source: Editd

EDITd is the London-based start-up whose real-time analytics of social data serve up predictions on trends, colours and silhouettes in the seasons to come. BoF sat down with founders Julia Fowler and Geoff Watts to learn more.

9. BoF Exclusive | Style.com to Launch Magazine and ‘Dip Toes’ in E-Commerce

Dirk Standen, Editor-in-Chief, Style.com | Photo: Style.com/Lexie Moreland

We’ve all seen print media go digital, but when digital goes print, you know something interesting is happening in fashion media. I spoke to Dirk Standen, editor-in-chief of Style.com, in a BoF Exclusive on the launch of Style.com Print magazine.

10. Introducing the Calgary bag and Crowdsourcing Experiment with Bill Amberg

The Calgary bag panorama | Photo: Bill Amberg

And last but not least, the Calgary bag, a collaboration and crowd-sourcing project with leather goods craftsman Bill Amberg, sparked a huge reaction amongst the BoF community, with people from all over the world weighing in on the merits (and demerits) of fashion crowdsourcing, and revealing some interesting results in the process. The Calgary bag has now sold out twice on BillAmberg.com and more are due in early next year.

Imran Amed is founder and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion