PARIS, France — Once upon a time, for many people, fashion and technology seemed like strange bedfellows. But with the growth of new technologies which are transforming the way we do everything, it was only a matter of time before these two powerful forces collided with some very interesting results.
To wit, this week we debuted a new series examining the intersection of fashion and e-commerce, starting with a look at some of the business models that have emerged in the space in recent years. Speaking with a variety of leading fashion-tech entrepreneurs and investors, we got the lowdown on the most promising models to watch.
Also on the tech front, citing examples like Kering’s partnership with Yoox, inked last summer, the Boston Consulting Group went so far as to suggest that luxury brands should adopt an Apple-like approach to creating their own ‘ecosystem models’ to facilitate partnerships with other companies. Judging by your comments, most of you seem to think this idea is far-fetched for luxury brands, but it certainly sparked an interesting conversation!
Over a year ago, following the men’s shows, BoF declared: "From Pitti to Paris, Men are the New Women." And, indeed, today, signs of the growing importance of the global luxury menswear market are everywhere. A couple of weeks ago, on the first day of London Collections: Men, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana opened a men's-only tailoring-focused store on London’s Bond Street. It’s the latest in a wave of men’s only retail openings by Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Tod’s and others.
Speaking of menswear, last weekend in Milan, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Gildo Zegna, the man overseeing the largest luxury menswear brand in the world, built by three generations of his family, since the company was founded by his grandfather Ermenegildo Zegna in 1910. It was a timely discussion as Mr Zegna was just embarking on the latest phase of his strategy for global menswear domination, with arrival of Stefano Pilati at the house.
The following day, I attended a press conference organised by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana , to discuss the future of Italian fashion. While many of us left the early-morning discussion scratching our heads, the fact that the event even took place was a positive signal that the Italian fashion establishment recognises that there are issues it needs to address. So let's think of this as the first step in Italian fashion's rehabilitation. With the vast resources and incredible heritage of ‘Made in Italy,’ there is an excellent foundation upon which to build the next generation of Italian luxury brands.
Finally, this week I wanted to let you know about some changes at BoF. We are in the midst of streamlining the registration process for those who wish to sign up for our free daily newsletter, comment on articles and login to the website. If you are consuming our content regularly and reading more than 20 articles per month, you will be prompted to register to become a member of BoF so that we can learn more about the amazing global community that's formed around the website. Should you have any questions or feedback, please let us know. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Apple-like Ecosystems for Luxury Brands? (Fashion 2.0)
A Wave of Men’s Only Flagships (Intelligence)
Op-Ed | Going ‘Net Native’ (Opinion)