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Week in Review | Fashion-Tech, Pietro Beccari, Elle and Angelina, Maria Lemos, Magazines and Power, Zeus + Dione

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

LONDON, United Kingdom — This week, another wave of cries warning of a growing tech bubble began to spread online, some pointing to the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the sector. "Silicon Valley is the hottest story going these days, and not just because The New Yorker, New York magazine, and The New York Times Magazine have discovered it. New digital publications devoted exclusively to covering technology have sprung up, including PandoDaily, The Information, Re/code and (in its early years) Mashable. That, in turn, has provoked a frenzy of tech-coverage hiring at the likes of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News," wrote Adam Lashinsky of Fortune.

But in a post entitled "" Om Malik, founder of influential technology website Giga Om, took another stance. He recalled the heady days of 1999, before the "dot com" bubble spectacularly burst and start-ups in Silicon Valley, and around the world, saw their paper fortunes disappear almost overnight. But Malik ultimately concluded that, rather than the kind of "gold rush mentality" seen in 1999, today, the broader mainstreaming of technology has created a scale and scope of activity in the tech sector that has engendered an unhealthy sense of entitlement in entrepreneurs who "show up expecting millions even if their companies fail."

"Avoid the spectacle of technology," Malik advised, "and instead focus on technology and science solving real problems."

How does this apply to the fashion community? Well, there is certainly no less hype around fashion-tech. In the last few months alone, there have been multiple fashion-tech conferences on both sides of the Atlantic, with still more to come, as an industry that once rejected technology has started to learn to embrace it. (As early-stage investor Jay Deng pointed out in an Op-Ed on BoF this week, the opportunity at the intersection of fashion and technology remains largely untapped).

But are we in fashion also hyping technology for the wrong reasons, starting companies that are not solving real problems, and falling for the frenzy, egged on by investors who don't really understand fashion, but simply want a piece of the pie? The jury's still out, but there certainly seems to be more focus on big fundraising announcements than genuinely innovative ideas — and the multitude of fashion-tech conferences does make one wonder where meaningful discussion ends and hype begins.

I'm heading out to Silicon Valley next week and will report back with my findings when I'm on the ground. Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy our top stories from the week gone by.

Op-Ed | Why Fashion is the Next Big Thing in Venture Capital The multi-trillion dollar fashion business is ripe for disruption and venture capitalists who seize the opportunity will see huge returns, argues Jay Deng.

CEO Talk | Pietro Beccari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fendi
In his latest CEO Talk, Imran Amed sits down with Pietro Beccari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fendi, to discuss his approach to brand building and reasserting Fendi's desirability and positioning.

The Creative Class | Maria Lemos, Showroom Director
Maria Lemos, star-making showroom director whose current client roster includes Lucas Nascimento, Ostwald Helgason, Peter Pilotto and Rachel Comey, talks to BoF about nurturing fashion talent and how to turn a young designer into a commercially viable brand.

Behind Elle's Angelina Jolie Cover
In the next instalment of Cover Stories, we explore the story behind the making of the June cover of American Elle and how the title tapped Hedi Slimane to give Angelina Jolie just the right fashion edge to generate plenty of positive buzz for the magazine, the designer and the actress, just before the debut of her latest film.

Op-Ed | Fashion, Magazines, Brands and Power
Fashion publications are primarily in the business of seducing the consumer at the behest of big brands. But editors can reclaim the meaning of their work by looking for cracks in the system, argues Anja Aronowsky Cronberg.

Zeus + Dione, Rising from the Ashes of the Greek Crisis
For Mareva Grabowski and Dimitra Kolotoura of Zeus + Dione, the Greek economic crisis provided the perfect launchpad for a fashion brand that unites Hellenic heritage, traditional craftmanship and contemporary design elements.

And don't forget, check out BoF Weekly, a week in review published with Flipboard and updated every Saturday.

Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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