Week in Review | Garment Workers, Milan, MBAs, Umit Benan, Activewear, Fashion’s Global Melting Pot

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

Prada A/W 2014 | Photo: Sonny Vandevelde

PARIS, France — This week, as the menswear tribe continued its bi-annual trek, touching down in London, Florence, Milan and, finally, Paris, BoF continued to explore the unique characteristics of these fashion capitals and their specific contributions to the global menswear market.

Milan has undoubtedly suffered a malaise in recent seasons, failing to deliver the excitement that can come from mixing a new generation of young designers with the mega-brands who currently dominate the Italian fashion landscape. But, in this menswear season at least, there were some early signs that things might be about to change. We spoke to a wide range of industry insiders to get their perspectives on what it will take to make Milan sparkle again.

One young designer who has chosen to leave Milan is the Stuttgart-born, Istanbul-raised Umit Benan, who said the decision was about both brand visibility and making sales. “Most of the buyers prefer to come to Paris,” he said. “I have met a lot of buyers in recent years and Paris gives me more visibility to international buyers and press.”

He is not alone. Combing through the Paris fashion week schedule, it becomes clear that Paris is the true global melting pot of fashion, for both menswear and womenswear. In fashion, at least, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!

Back to the shows for now. See you all next week.

Here are some of our top articles from the week gone by:

Op-Ed | Garment Workers Deserve a Global Minimum Wage
Garment manufacturing is global. But the rules that protect workers are not, creating a race to the bottom amongst poor countries aiming to attract foreign investment with the lowest wages and flimsiest safety standards. In the wake of recent tragedies and protests in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Haiti, it’s time for a global minimum wage, argues Tansy E. Hoskins.

Is Milan Finally Seeing a Young Designer Renaissance?
Is Milan, once an impenetrable fortress of old, world-renowned fashion houses, finally seeing the emergence of a new guard of design talent? BoF reports.

6 Tips for MBAs Trying to Break into the Fashion Business
As a new university term begins, BoF’s editor-in-chief Imran Amed outlines 6 important pieces of advice for MBAs trying to break into the fashion industry.

Umit Benan’s Recalculation
Why did Umit Benan decide to leave Milan Fashion Week for Paris?

For the Activewear Market, There’s No Way But Up
A range of retailers, from H&M to Tory Burch, are following the likes of Lululemon and Nike into the fast-expanding fashion-meets-fitness sweet spot.

Paris, Fashion’s Global Melting Pot
Thirty-five of the fifty designers showing this week in Paris have made the trek from foreign countries to present their work at a menswear showcase with an incredible mix of cultures and labels. BoF reports.


Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief