What fashion designers need to know today

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

BoF Careers distills business intelligence across the breadth of our content – ​​editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events – to deliver takeaways and key learnings tailored to your role, listed alongside a selection of the most exciting live jobs advertised by BoF Career Partners.

Key articles and essential information for design professionals today:

1. How does a brand like Louis Vuitton choose a new designer?

Most important is that candidates are able to establish a clear point of view. If they have their own label, they must also convince recruiters that they have the skills to simultaneously produce two distinct and differentiated visions, even if they are linked by an underlying approach.

Increasingly, a candidate’s personal brand is also a factor. If they have their own suite and can bring that suite for the ride, that can be considered a big plus. [Virgil] Abloh did it exceptionally well. Gabriela Hearst, too, has brought eco-consciousness at the heart of her personal brand to her work at Chloé with some success (her Nama sneakers, made from low-impact materials, are a bestseller.)

Related jobs:

Head of Design, Sahara — London, UK

Head of Design and Styling, Ralph Lauren — New York, USA

Design Manager, Aje — Sydney, Australia

2. Why Eileen Fisher’s approach to sustainable fashion works

Eileen Fisher standing in front of a pink background.

Eileen Fisher’s oldest and most important innovation was taking a concept that was spreading in luxury circles – minimalist capsule wardrobes – and making it accessible to a wider group of people. Today, brands at all price points tout their collections of polished basics, but Fisher was there on the ground floor.

Fisherman [also] had the luxury of spending so much time on circularity before there was a clear win with consumers – and weather periods when sales were down – largely because she didn’t take outside investment (the brand, profitable in all but a handful of years since its inception, is owned by its employees). Maybe that’s why there are about 60 Eileen Fisher stores instead of 600, and why sales peaked at $500 million instead of $5 billion.

Related jobs:

Production Manager, Completedworks — London, UK

Junior Sustainable Packaging Manager, Zalando — Berlin, Germany

Director of Sustainable Design, Coach — New York, USA

3. Why Hermès’ MetaBirkins lawsuit has high stakes for brands and designers

A collage shows six MetaBirkins in different colors, including a bright yellow and another sporting a reproduction of the Mona Lisa.

The [MetaBirkins] The case is already shaping how the industry views NFTs from a legal perspective. In his order, the judge clarified that NFTs, despite being code pointing to an image, qualify as artistic expression, which means – and more importantly – that they could be protected as freedom of expression. expression by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, according to Felicia Boyd. , US head of IP trademarks at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Products such as reprints of mass-produced works of art do not enjoy this protection.

The tribunal [also] acknowledged that there is a distinction between the MetaBirkins and a digital wearable. It remains unclear whether an eventual ruling would determine whether the law should treat them differently, but the point is hardly debatable when digital creators make and sell items for use in online spaces from Roblox to The Sandbox, a new blockchain-based world.

Related jobs:

CAD Assistant, A-Cold-Wall — London, UK

Digital Art Director, Acne Studios — Stockholm, Sweden

3D Design Assistant, Calvin Klein — New York, USA

4. Eco-Fashion’s next big idea: turning pollution into products

A dress from Zara's capsule collection containing materials derived from captured carbon.

Efforts to develop materials from captured emissions are nascent, in many cases still under development in the laboratory. Products currently on the market typically contain only a small amount of recycled carbon and face significant financial and structural barriers to scaling up.

A landmark climate bill signed into law in the United States this month could help change that. […] The Cut Inflation Act is a sweeping set of laws that represents the most aggressive climate action ever taken by the US government. It is designed to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into technologies that will help the country meet global climate goals, including carbon capture.

Related jobs:

Children’s clothing designer, Zara — La Coruña, Spain

Design intern, by Malene Birger — Bredgade, Denmark

Ready-to-wear design consultant, Lingua Franca — New York, United States

5. The great fashion show boom

The finale of Dior's Fall/Winter 2022 Haute Couture show.

This year, the biggest luxury brands emerged from lockdowns, with Dior having staged a staggering eight shows since January 2022, compared to seven during the same period in 2019. Chanel and Louis Vuitton both staged five this year. While the biggest spenders are being flown in and sitting front row in hopes of losing six figures on a single collection, the content created by these all-important customers and other attendees is far more authentic than content designed just for Internet.

However, spectacular fashion shows usually cost millions of dollars to produce, so the bigger brands have an advantage. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Dior – which generated an estimated $7 billion in sales in 2021 and is considered the fastest-growing megalabel over the past 12 months – staged the most shows of any other during the same period.

Related jobs:

Design Assistant, Prada Group — Milan, Italy

Designer, Clothing — Zurich, Switzerland

Showroom Designer, PVH — Amsterdam, Netherlands

6. What designers can learn from Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake at the finale of his Fall/Winter 1997 show in Paris.

[One Issey] Miyake’s lesson: let go of nostalgia. Since he established Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo in 1970, [the designer] has constantly progressed, channeling countless advances in construction and manufacturing. Resolutely anchored in the moment, he continued to look forward rather than backward, while nurturing a keen awareness of past traditions.

Creating clothes that move instead of just looking good in a static image – the main curse of contemporary fashion design – was another key achievement of Miyake. The flowing shapes and volumes he designed were meant to float around the body; his silhouettes were never static, as movement was always part of his creative process. So was the space between his clothes and the body. Miyake’s epic collaboration with Irving Penn is proof of that.

Related jobs:

Senior Fashion Designer, Anest Collective — Milan, Italy

Fashion Design Intern, Deity New York — New York, USA

Associate Designer, White House Black Market — Fort Myers, USA

seven. Explainer – Why the menswear market is on fire

Matches, Gucci, menswear, retailer

The menswear boom is largely due to a fashion reset. The casualness of menswear began long before the pandemic, but the new work-from-home lifestyle that emerged in 2020 has cemented new silhouettes that prioritize comfort.

Lowering barriers to entry and the proliferation of social media have created opportunities for the launch of new brands. New luxury cult brands like Aimé Leon Dore have captured the zeitgeist of contemporary menswear, capitalizing on trends like “blokecore” – a viral subculture that celebrates the style of middle-aged men, like wide leg jeans, quilted cardigans, polo shirts and bucket hats. The blokecore hashtag has over 27 million views on TikTok.

Related jobs:

Head of Menswear, Hugo Boss — Stuttgart, Germany

Accessories Designer, Peter Millar — Los Angeles, USA

Associate Designer for Men, Figs — Santa Monica, USA

8. How to let shoppers know your brand is worth it

In an economic downturn, brands will leverage messaging that marks their products as good value for consumers.

Despite all the bad economic headlines, consumer spending remains strong in the US and some other major markets. But retailers fear their customers will soon start watching their wallets, especially when it comes to non-essential fashion and beauty purchases.

To make their case effectively, labels need to do more than introduce new buzzwords into their ads. They will need to reinforce their brand narrative, ensure they sell around truly timeless pieces rather than chasing trends, and be honest in their marketing.

Related jobs:

Print Designer, Stella McCartney — London, UK

Atelier Design Intern, Gauge81 — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ready-to-wear Associate Designer, Veronica Beard — New York, United States

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