LONDON, United Kingdom - As we wind down our second year here on The Business of Fashion, I thought it would be interesting take a look back at our most popular articles from the last 12 months in what was quite the eventful year, not only for the Luxury industry, but for the economy as a whole.
With more than 200 posts over the course of 2008, we had much to sort through and have chosen these posts based on the highest number of page views. This resulted in a wide cross-section of articles, from posts that are part of ongoing series like Fashion 2.0, Luxury Outlook and CEO Talk, to others from our travels to Japan and conversations with industry experts.
The drumroll please...
1. Fashion 2.0 | Top 10 Online Fashion Magazines - This article, ranking online fashion magazines from incumbent media players like Style.com and Vogue to emerging upstarts like Fashion156.com and Hintmag, caught the attention of The New York Times, resulting in almost 10,000 page views and flurry of comments from BoF readers.
2. Luxury Outlook 2008 | How much padding does that luxury cushion have? - Back in January, while some were still arguing that the luxury industry would be immune to any economic slowdown, we were amongst the first to report that the luxury industry would not be spared. Not in the slightest.
3. Everybody's talking about | Men's Underwear - Amongst others, David Beckham's campaign for a brand new line of underwear by Emporio Armani was the latest sign of the growing popularity of designer underwear amongst a new generation of brand-conscious men.
4. Japanese Women | From Luxury to Yuru-Nachu - From Tokyo, BoF Contributing Editor W. David Marx dispatched an interesting article highlighting a trend for more relaxed, natural fashion for women in one of the world's most fashion forward style capitals.
5. Tokyo | The decline of big brand luxury - On a trip to Tokyo in June, even before the subsequent market meltdown exacerbated the deterioration of the luxury business in Japan, I learned of an emerging trend drawing Japanese consumers away from big Western brands and towards innovative brands providing a more special, personalised experience.
6. Rad Hourani | Self-styled - We took the opportunity to get to know Rad Hourani's budding talent a bit better, revealing a confident designer whose vision had been honed during his young career as a stylist in Montreal, with no formal fashion training whatsoever.
7. CEO Talk | Natalie Massenet, Founder and Chairman of Net-a-Porter - In our first CEO Talk, Natalie Massenet, frequently described as one of the most influential women in the fashion business, spoke to us about NET-A-PORTER and her plans for the burgeoning online luxury retailer during the downturn.
8. Benjamin Bixby | It's all about merchandising - During London Fashion Week in September, I spoke to Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000 of Outkast) at a Harrods event about setting up his new menswear collection, Benjamin Bixby. Lesson number one? It's all about merchandising.
9. Everybody's talking about | Fashion phones - We shared our views and analysis on an emerging luxury category which has been getting a lot more interest from fashion brands: the fashion phone. Not all players have been approaching the category with a long-term, strategic view.
10. Q&A | The lowdown on H&M Comme des Garçons - Our colleagues at MEKAS in Tokyo shared this interview with the H&M's top brass on BoF to better understand the thinking and strategy behind their unexpected but highly-successful collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons.