Dear BoF Community,
Back in June 2007, when BoF was still a simple blog, Henry Wu, a close friend from business school, wrote to me and said I should try to get my writing published elsewhere. So, I built up the courage to send a cold email to Vanessa Friedman, then fashion editor of the Financial Times, to see if she might be open to contributions from a newbie blogger.
You see, the Financial Times had long been my favourite weekend newspaper. Why not try to get my writing published there? I knew it was a long shot, but I hit send on the email.
“Since it was launched in January, BoF’s traffic has grown rapidly, doubling or tripling every month — currently there are about 1,500 unique visitors per week from 100+ countries,” I wrote. “I post a couple of times a week, discussing topics at the intersection of fashion, business and technology. I infuse my writing with real-life anecdotes from my experiences in the industry, rigorous business analysis honed during my days at McKinsey, and balanced critique and commentary that is targeted to a wide audience, not just those in the industry.”
When I read those words now, it amazes me how much of this early DNA is evident in what BoF has become today: an authoritative and independent platform that opens, informs and connects the global fashion industry. And, to my surprise and great delight, Vanessa wrote back right away. Soon, I was contributing articles to the special supplements that the FT published about the fashion and luxury industries.
As someone who was not formally trained in journalism, I learned a lot from writing for the FT: how to pitch an article, how to fact check, how to get sources to speak with me and, most importantly, how to blend storytelling with business analysis. And Vanessa, an ever-patient editor, gave me helpful feedback that made my pieces stronger.
So, it is an immense pleasure to announce a new partnership between The Business of Fashion and the Financial Times at this important juncture in the growth and development of our business. The FT is leading BoF’s Series B funding round, investing alongside existing investors Index Ventures and Felix Capital, who led our Seed and Series A rounds, respectively.
But our new partnership with the FT is more than a simple investment. It will enable us to accelerate the growth of our global community, which currently numbers five million people in more than 190 countries around the world, including more than 600,000 email subscribers, 35,000 paying members and over 500 corporate partners.
As a team, we have always admired the FT’s commitment to high quality journalism, its global perspective and its pioneering business model rooted in digital subscriptions. We regularly reference the FT as a benchmark in our editorial meetings, product meetings and commercial meetings. Now, this partnership will enable us to learn directly from the FT and work together to realise BoF’s mission and create the world’s largest community of fashion professionals.
So, what might this new partnership mean for you, our valued BoF community? Most importantly, it enables us to continue to invest in hiring the best talent in the world to deliver the best journalism on the global fashion industry, including analysis and advice you won’t find anywhere else.
I would like to personally thank the BoF team — now numbering more than 100 people across London, New York, Paris and Shanghai — for all of their hard work in bringing us to this important milestone in BoF’s trajectory. It is because of their dedication that we continue to be your daily destination for everything you need to know about the global fashion business.
And finally, a sincere thanks to all of you, our community of readers, for your loyalty and support over all these years. Many of you have been reading BoF from the earliest days of the site and have provided us with invaluable feedback, shared our articles with your colleagues and, more recently, paid to join our BoF Professional community. Ultimately, it’s you that live at the heart of BoF and we couldn’t do what we do without your support. Thank you.
Onwards and upwards!
Imran Amed, Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief