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The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

What Fashion Designers Need to Know Today

This month, BoF Careers provides essential sector insights to help design professionals decode fashion’s creative landscape.
Shot of a successful young fashion designer working on her latest design.
A fashion designer at work in a studio. (PeopleImages.com - Yuri A)

Discover the most relevant industry news and insights for fashion designers, updated each month to enable you to excel in job interviews, promotion conversations or perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events — to deliver key takeaways and learnings tailored to your job function, listed alongside a selection of the most exciting live jobs advertised by BoF Careers partners.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for fashion designers today:


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1. Jean Paul Gaultier to Collaborate With Shayne Oliver

The logos of imagined streetwear concepts like "GLTR Sportswear" feature in Shayne Oliver's collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier.
The logos of imagined streetwear concepts like "GLTR Sportswear" feature in Shayne Oliver's collaboration with Jean-Paul Gaultier. (Jean Paul Gaultier)

Jean Paul Gaultier has added a talent to its guest designer programme, tapping Shayne Oliver — the co-founder of Hood By Air who left the design collective last year — to design a ready-to-wear capsule for the Paris-based brand.

Gaultier plans to launch the collection in New York on May 6 — the same night as the Met Gala — throwing an after-hours party for the project on American fashion’s biggest night. [...] The provocative, yet wearable line could help revive awareness for Gaultier’s more elevated ready-to-wear propositions after years in which the most visible elements of the brand were either its theatrical haute couture looks, or at the other end of the spectrum, sailor-striped T-shirts and perfumes that generate the majority of sales.

Related Jobs:

Womenswear Designer, Simone Rocha — London, United Kingdom

Junior Designer, A-Cold-Wall — Milan, Italy

Design Development Assistant, Lein Studio — New York, United States


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2. How Adidas Sambas Took Over the World

Models wearing trainers
Adidas' collaboration with menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner has been one of the driving forces behind the Samba's popularity. (Adidas)

The humble Adidas Samba, once the reserve of football fans, Britpop kids and the odd skateboarder, has become as ubiquitous as battered Converse All Stars in the 00s indie sleaze years. [...] Over the past two years, UK-wide searches for ‘Adidas Samba’ have more than doubled. And, in the celeb world, everyone from Hailey Bieber to A$AP Rocky, Rihanna and Harry Styles have been papped in the trainer.

It is not hard to see the appeal of the 74-year-old trainer. [...] At about £75 ($94), they are affordable for an “it” shoe. But, for a lot of young people, it was the brand’s 2020 collaboration with menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner — trainers that are now going for up to £4,000 ($5,008) on some sites — that really elevated the Samba to stratospheric levels. [But] the Samba obsession doesn’t exist in a bubble. Look on TikTok and you will see that there is a wider hunger for nostalgia (see also: Adidas track tops, low-rise jeans, Timberland boots).

Related Jobs:

Fashion Designer, Another Community — London, United Kingdom

Lead Colour & Materials Designer, On — Zurich, Switzerland

Sportswear Fashion Designer, Oysho — Barcelona, Spain


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3. Why Salone del Mobile Is Irresistible for Luxury Brands

People visit the design exhibition “Vieni a vedere” by Gaetano Pesce at Bottega Veneta flagship store.
People visit the design exhibition “Vieni a vedere” by Gaetano Pesce at Bottega Veneta flagship store. (Getty Images)

Milan’s Salone del Mobile design fair has taken on new proportions in recent years. Proposing a 360-degree luxury lifestyle to their wealthiest customers is a bigger focus than ever this year as aspirational customers continue to spend less. Loro Piana’s home universe has seen real success in recent years, [...] while Hermès produces a full range of furniture in addition to its best-selling H-logo pillows and leather tchotchkes. Armani/Casa, Versace and Fendi also feature established furniture and homeware extensions.

Brands [...] understand the power of hosting influential people, particularly during Salone when the Italian spring creates a potent backdrop for gatherings. It’s a big moment for cross-industry networking, as the event tends to draw a broader range of people from culture- and design-adjacent fields (architecture, fashion, design, art, media and marketing) than more insular events like fashion week or Cannes Lions.

Related Jobs:

Accessories Designer, House of CB — London, United Kingdom

Pattern Cutter, Toteme — Stockholm, Sweden

Sample Maker, Dion Lee — New York, United States


4. Remembering Roberto Cavalli, ‘King of Bling’

Larger-than-life Italian designer Robert Cavalli, who built a fashion empire based on his own image, died in Florence last Friday at the age of 83.
Roberto Cavalli Unveils His New Store Larger-than-life Italian designer Robert Cavalli, who built a fashion empire based on his own image, died in Florence last Friday at the age of 83. (Getty Images)

There was nothing subtle about Roberto Cavalli, the designer known for his maximalism and over-the-top animal prints — not on his runways and certainly not in his personal life [...]. Cavalli, who died in Florence this month at the age of 83, was a larger-than-life character who built a fashion empire based on his own image, a picture of Italian swagger, which he called the “Cavalli World.”

After Cavalli sold a majority stake in the company to Clessidra, a private equity fund, in 2015, Peter Dundas took over the brand’s creative direction, only to be replaced two years later by Paul Surridge, who himself left the house in 2017. After a bankruptcy in 2019 that saw the closure of the brand’s stores and operations in the United States, Cavalli was sold to the Dubai luxury real estate developer Hussain Sajwani, who named Fausto Puglisi creative director in 2020. “It is the greatest honour of my career to work under your legacy and to create for you the brand you founded with such vision and style,” Puglisi said on Instagram.

Related Jobs:

Product Development Administrator, Burberry — London, United Kingdom

Senior Tailoring Menswear Designer, Massimo Dutti — Barcelona, Spain

Hardware Designer, Tory Burch — New York, United States


5. Armani ‘Doesn’t Rule Out’ Merger or IPO In Succession Plan

Giorgio Armani poses with models at the end of the runway show for his Privé couture line.
Giorgio Armani poses with models at the end of the runway show for his Privé couture line. (Marco Erba / SGP/ Courtesy of Armani)

Three months before his 90th birthday, Giorgio Armani is hinting at possible big changes for his Italian fashion empire once he’s no longer in charge. After fighting for years to keep Giorgio Armani SpA independent amid the mergers and acquisitions that reshaped the luxury sector, the billionaire design virtuoso now says he won’t rule out his firm someday combining with a bigger rival or listing on an exchange.

“Independence from large groups could still be a driving value for the Armani Group in the future, but I don’t feel I can rule anything out,” Armani said in a written interview. “What has always characterised the success of my work is an ability to adapt to changing times.” It’s a striking shift in tone for Armani, who rose from Milan window dresser to creator of one of the world’s most prominent luxury houses, keeping tight control along the way and dropping few hints about what would happen once he exited the scene.

Related Jobs:

Production Assistant, JW Anderson — London, United Kingdom

Handbag Designer, Kate Spade — New York, United States

Assistant Handbag Designer, Tommy Hilfiger — New York, United States


6. Chanel’s Latest Legal Battleground: Upcycling

Travis Kelsey wears a shirt made from up cycled Chanel scarves by J. Logan Home.
Travis Kelce wears a design by J. Logan Home featuring upcycled Chanel scarves. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Revolve)

A little over a year ago, Travis Kelce, the American football star and boyfriend of Taylor Swift, stepped out in a flamboyant silk shirt emblazoned with two barrel-chest-sized pink flamingos and trimmed across the bottom with a giant Chanel logo. The design was upcycled from vintage Chanel scarves by stylist Logan Horne, whose brand, J. Logan Home, specialises in refashioning heritage luxury accessories. His pieces, which retail at close to $3,000 each, have been worn by musicians Dua Lipa and 2 Chainz and sold at stores including Farfetch, Kith and The Webster. They’ve also caught the attention of the French luxury giant’s legal department.

In February, lawyers acting for Chanel sent Horne a cease and desist letter, demanding his label stop selling products bearing its logo and other brand signifiers. It’s the latest in a flurry of cases that have turned upcycling into an emerging legal battle ground, pitting a practice that’s been pitched as key to improving the industry’s sustainability credentials against the established bounds of trademark protection.

Related Jobs:

Atelier Assistant, Halfpenny London — London, United Kingdom

Senior Designer, Hugo Boss — Metzingen, Germany

Design Studio Manager, Coach — New York, United States


7 . Fashion’s Virgin Plastic Problem

A worker inspects spools of recycled polyester thread.
Fashion needs to accelerate efforts to rid its increased supply of recycled polyester and other materials made of fossil fuels. (Getty)

Fashion needs to not only stop making so much new stuff but also ditch its reliance on virgin-plastic materials like polyester altogether in order to meet the industry’s climate goals, according to a new report by sustainable materials-focused trade group Textile Exchange. The sector’s emissions need to more-or-less halve by the end of the decade to stay in line with internationally agreed ambitions to keep a cap on global heating. But that won’t happen unless the industry slows down and stops using new volumes of the fossil fuel-based textiles that have helped propel its growth for decades, the report said.

That would be a drastic change to fashion’s dominant business model. Cheap and versatile polyester is the world’s most used material, accounting for more than half of global production in 2022, according to Textile Exchange. Throw in other synthetics, like nylon and acrylic, and plastic’s market share rises to nearly two thirds of the textiles produced each year. [...] It all comes at a heavy environmental cost. To feed demand from the apparel, footwear and home textile industries, polyester producers spewed 125 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2022, according to Textile Exchange

Related Jobs:

Knitwear Design Intern, Galvan London — London, United Kingdom

Lead Technical Product Manager, Gucci — Milan, Italy

Associate Designer, Calvin Klein — New York, United States


8. Gucci Hires Deputy CEO to Bolster Turnaround Efforts

Louis Vuitton’s marketing chief Stefano Cantino is joining Kering flagship Gucci, effective May 2nd.
Louis Vuitton’s marketing chief Stefano Cantino is joining Kering flagship Gucci, effective May 2nd. (Matthew Brookes)

Kering flagship Gucci has hired Stefano Cantino, a veteran communications executive from Louis Vuitton, to the newly created role of deputy CEO, bolstering its efforts to reignite growth. Before joining Vuitton, Cantino rose through the ranks at Prada, becoming a top communications officer and then chief executive for the French market. At Vuitton, he oversaw the now €20 billion-a-year brand’s sprawling communications apparatus, including blockbuster fashion week spectacles such as Pharrell Williams debut on Paris’ Pont Neuf and elaborate museum-style exhibitions.

The appointment comes at a pivotal moment for Gucci as Kering attempts to revamp the brand’s image, collections and organisation in a bid to get things back on track after a precipitous sales decline. Under new leadership — including creative director Sabato de Sarno, CEO Jean-François Palus (Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault’s most trusted deputy) and Kering deputy CEO Francesca Bellettini — the brand is angling for a more high-end, timeless image, but will need to balance that ambition with efforts to attract attention and gets customers excited about Gucci again.

Related Jobs:

Designer Specialist, AWWG — London, United Kingdom

Product Developer, Alexander McQueen — Parabiago, Italy

Jewellery Designer, Tiffany & Co. — New York, United States

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