Week in Review | New York’s Shifting Retail Landscape, Talent Spotters, Faustine Steinmetz, China’s Slowdown, Ottavio Missoni, Faye Toogood

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.

The northern section of New York's Soho | Illustration: Rick Richards

LONDON, United Kingdom — This week, we published an in-depth, three part report on the shifting winds of New York’s retail landscape, chock full of on-the-ground insight and expert commentary on one of the most dynamic retail markets in the world. From the rise and recasting of the Meatpacking District to the resurgence of Soho and the emergence of NoMad, we covered it all.

We also spoke to some of the industry’s top talent spotters and matchmakers. From New York to London to Paris to Bombay to Beijing, these are the women who have spotted and supported some of the world’s top fashion talent. Without their encouragement and advice, we may never have surfaced globally recognised names like Christopher Bailey, Sabyasachi and Qiu Hao.

Another one of our favourite talent spotters is young designer aficionado Susanna Lau, aka Susie Bubble. Indeed, given the volume of young fashion talent that she meets, there may nobody better positioned to surface the emerging designers with the most creative potential than Ms Lau. In her latest column for BoF, Susie writes about the Paris-born, London-based Faustine Steinmetz and her ‘petite maison’ of handmade creations.

As usual, there was no shortage of international reporting from our global correspondents, contributors and partners around the world this week. Our friends at CBN Weekly, a highly respected Chinese business magazine, assert that the real causes of the luxury slowdown taking hold in China go far beyond the new government’s anti-corruption campaign. According to CBN, the decelerating growth can be traced to fundamental shifts in consumer preferences, as well as the on-going pricing gap for luxury goods between Chinese and Western markets.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the prospects for luxury in the UK seem to be much brighter, driven in part by the growing importance of tourist flows, especially from China. This week, the Walpole — a non-profit association of prestigious British luxury brands — and Ledbury Research published a new report that predicts the UK’s luxury market will double by 2017, reaching more than £12.2 billion.

There was some very sad news from Italy this week: Ottavio Missoni, patriarch of a clan who are now managing the global fashion business that carries his name, passed away at the age of 92. The last time I saw Mr Missoni was at the IHT Luxury conference in London back in 2010. I was touched by the evident closeness of the Missoni family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

Speaking of a conference, to all our readers in Australia, I look forward to meeting you next week at the Bespoke luxury conference, hosted by the Australian Financial Review at the Sydney Opera House. It’s shaping up to be a great conversation about contemporary fashion and business.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief


The Creative Class | Faye Toogood, Set and Interiors Designer (People)

The Shifting Winds of New York Retail (Intelligence)

5 of Fashion’s Top Global Talent Spotters and Matchmakers (People)

Bubble and Speak | Faustine Steinmetz (Opinion)

China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign is Masking the Real Causes of the Luxury Slowdown (Global Currents)

Ottavio Missoni | 1921-2013 (News & Analysis) 

UK Luxury Market Set to Double Over the Next 5 Years (News & Analysis) 

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  1. Congratulations wonderful blog!
    Very interesting post!
    I follow you! ;-)

    The Blend Style from Italy
  2. The CBN observations are correct, and in fact the luxury market in China reached a tipping point in the second half of 2012, as political changes and burn out of many big named luxury brands coincided. Consumers took a step back and began to look more carefully at where they spent their money, and on what. Since that time, the market dynamics changed and they will not revert back to the old ways again.

    Whether the UK luxury market will benefit as much as the article predicts, is questionable. The more cautious Chinese are now travelling closer to home to buy luxury products and avoiding higher airfares, so Asian countries such as Korea and Japan are popular. Those travelling further afield are very wealthy, but also more selective on what they spend their money, UK luxury retailers need to learn how to make these people feel special.

    Ken Grant 鸿俊 from Shanghai, Shanghai, China