SYDNEY, Australia — It’s been an exciting week here in Australia, where we were fortunate to participate in the Australian Financial Review’s first Bespoke Luxury Summit, a global gathering of leaders from across the luxury sector held at the iconic Sydney Opera House. No matter how many times I visit Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, those sculptural sails always take my breath away and speaking on that stage was an unforgettable experience. Many thanks to Marion Hume for the invitation.
It was wonderful to meet with the BoF community in Sydney, especially the more than 400 students who attended the conference and participated in a special BoF Q&A with Coco Rocha, the digitally-savvy fashion model who has built a following of more than ten million people across a range of social media platforms, including Sina Weibo in China.
The most interesting tidbit from our chat? As Ms Rocha doesn’t speak, read or write Chinese, it’s the bilingual members of her online fanbase who translate her messages into Chinese for her. Now that’s the power of an online community.
Back at home in London, our team has been hard at work. For our new series Founder Stories, we met with Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries of New York-based Refinery29. Justin and Philippe shared their journey in creating what has become one of the most visited fashion media sites in the world and outlined their ambitious plans for its future.
In a powerful and clearly laid-out Op-Ed, Kate Sekules, founder of ReFashioner, predicted that after scores of new players have entered the online fashion resale market, it’s likely to take a nosedive, not unlike the one we saw after the explosion of flash sales sites a few years ago. Still, the week also came with the announcement that Carmen Busquets, one of the industry’s most respected investors, has participated in a small seed investment round in BuyMyWardrobe, a so-called “re-commerce” site trading in vintage and pre-owned clothing.
I loved Suleman Anaya’s piece this week on Hood By Air, the New York-based luxury streetwear label that has the captured the fashion industry’s attention. With an endorsement from hip-hop star turned fashion-plate A$AP Rocky and new commercial strategy, the brand is firmly on the ascent.
We also had some interesting contributions from BoF’s content partners in China and Japan this week. Anne Zhang of CBN Weekly, a leading Chinese business magazine, reported that the root causes of the ongoing slowdown in China that has the whole luxury sector on tenterhooks goes far beyond the government crackdown on luxury gift-giving. Meanwhile, our friends at JapanConsuming covered the arrival of Singapore-based fast-fashion shoes and accessories retailer Charles & Keith in Tokyo.
Congratulations are in order for one of my former Central Saint Martins students, Olya Kuryshchuk who announced the launch of CSM’s 1Granary, a new magazine which has grown out of the very good blog with the same name that Olya and many of her classmates have been creating together over the past year or so. To celebrate the launch, we shared an excerpt of the magazine’s interview with Robin Derrick, creative director of Spring Studios and former creative director of British Vogue. It’s a lovely interview and well worth a read.
More from us next week.
Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Hood By Air’s Ascent (Intelligence)
A New Growth Brand for Japan’s Onward Holdings: Charles & Keith (Global Currents)
BoF Exclusive | Robin Derrick Speaks to CSM’s New Magazine, 1Granary (News & Analysis)