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The Business of Fashion on Instagram

The Business of Fashion on Instagram

An essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs all over the world.

#FentyBeauty took to Instagram last week to announce that it was further expanding into Asia, entering the Chinese and South Korean markets in September. The brand is already available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The news comes two years after Fenty exploded onto the beauty scene with its 40 shades of foundation, generating nearly  500 million in sales for parent #LVMH in its first year and igniting a global conversation around inclusivity in the beauty industry.  
 
The push includes Hong Kong and Seoul   two cultural hotspots that influence trends across the continent   as well as Macau and the Korean resort island of Jeju. The expansion may prove to be a dry run for a far bigger milestone: Fenty s eventual entry into China, the world s second-biggest #beauty market after the US. While it sounds like an eternity in a digital age that s breeding Instagram-first beauty lines and new product launches by the day, two years isn t long for a Western brand to make its way to Asia. 
 
But #Fenty may need to tweak its messaging to ensure lasting popularity. The brand s #inclusivity campaigns have mainly focused on women of colour who feel underrepresented by the beauty industry in terms of both products and visuals. But such messaging hasn t penetrated as deeply in some Asian beauty markets.  Traditional beauty stereotypes and perceptions still prevail in Hong Kong. Diversity is not celebrated in local [or] regional beauty ad campaigns,  says South China Morning Post s Senior Fashion Correspondent Divia Harilela.  
 
Even so, Fenty is pushing forward with its  Beauty for All  mantra. According to a brand representative in Hong Kong, it will carry its full shade range of foundations and concealers   spanning 50 shades   in the city. Getting the messaging right is only the beginning and Fenty is likely to benefit from shifts underway in Asia s beauty market.  They won t be buying the brand because it celebrates diversity... they will be buying it because it reflects Rihanna s styles, tastes and aesthetic,  says Harilela. So, does Fenty Beauty have a future in Asia? [Link in bio]  
 : @fentybeauty
#FentyBeauty took to Instagram last week to announce that it was further expanding into Asia, entering the Chinese and South Korean markets in Septemb
Sales at Gucci rose more slowly than expected in the second quarter, taking the shine off a jump in margins at the Italian fashion label and an otherwise solid performance at parent Kering. The conglomerate relies on #Gucci for the bulk of its sales and profit, and investors are keeping a close watch on the extent to which it might lose steam after three years of explosive growth. The brand is partly at a disadvantage due to a high comparison base, but the slowdown, while expected, comes just as sales growth at rivals including LVMH's Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior brands leapt ahead of forecasts in the period.

A weak performance in the United States, linked partly to a drop in Chinese visitors there, dragged on Gucci's sales and that of other #Kering labels, which include Saint Laurent, explains the group's financial director Jean-Marc Duplaix. "It's a market that's becoming more difficult, we've seen that for all our brands," he says. But Gucci's margins jumped to 40.6 percent at the end of June, already exceeding the medium-term goals set out a year ago, and bucking an industry trend of flatlining profitability in the second quarter. Margins were helped by the group improving its sales per square meter in stores.

Overall, Kering reported a 15.9 percent rise in revenue for the April to June period to  3.85 billion ($4.3 billion), up 13.2 percent on a comparable basis   roughly in line with analyst forecasts and helped by a slight turnaround at its Bottega Veneta label. [Link in bio]   : @reuters
Sales at Gucci rose more slowly than expected in the second quarter, taking the shine off a jump in margins at the Italian fashion label and an otherw
Stella McCartney wants to save the planet. She also wants to sell new clothes. Her latest ad campaign is an attempt to do both. Featuring an unlikely mix of models and activists from the environmental group #ExtinctionRebellion, the  Agents of Change  campaign is intended to promote the brand s more environmentally conscious clothes while also calling for #climateaction.

It s an unlikely association, even for a brand that has long been an industry leader on environmental issues. Extinction Rebellion has been vocal in highlighting fashion s negative impact on the planet and earlier this year called for consumers to stage a year-long boycott on buying new clothes   a message seemingly at odds with a seasonal ad campaign. The decentralised movement didn t coordinate the individual activists  participation in the campaign, but said it is in  positive talks  with #StellaMcCartney.  We believe that the world has enough clothing and textiles in circulation. We invite the good people in the fashion industry to join us in calling for an end to unnecessary consumption, excess and waste,  the group said in an emailed statement.

The move is hardly the first time a fashion brand has aligned itself with a cause or weighed in on a controversial topic. But McCartney s latest campaign is another sign that mainstream players in the industry are becoming bolder in their activism. Still, for some, the campaign missed an opportunity to do something more ambitious, to drive greater change and a more meaningful conversation. Weigh in with your thoughts below and continue the story at businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @stellamccartney
Stella McCartney wants to save the planet. She also wants to sell new clothes. Her latest ad campaign is an attempt to do both. Featuring an unlikely
Just in, Sonia Rykiel, founded by the legendary designer best known for her stripy knits, will liquidate operations effective immediately.

The decision was made after a Paris commercial court judge rejected the lone remaining bidder for the company, Lévy, a Paris-based family operating in the real estate and medical sectors. Their plan involved a focus on digital and the divestment of the Boulevard Saint-Germain flagship.

#SoniaRykiel has 134 employees. The brand's six stores in France and Monaco, as well as its intellectual property and archives will be sold. Read the full story on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @indigital.tv
Just in, Sonia Rykiel, founded by the legendary designer best known for her stripy knits, will liquidate operations effective immediately. The decisi
What pushed #Barneys New York to the edge? For the past few weeks, one of America s most important sellers of high-end fashion, has been the talk of the industry   for all the wrong reasons. In July, Reuters reported that the luxury department store chain was exploring bankruptcy after a steep rent increase at its #MadisonAvenue flagship, which pushed monthly rates to $27.9 million, up 72 percent from $16.2 million.  I want to emphasise that this is an ongoing process and no decisions have been made,  Barneys Chief Executive Daniella Vitale wrote in a recent email to staff, which was seen by BoF.  Our business is operating normally and we are continuing to serve our customers and work with our business partners as usual,  she added.  But  business as usual  it wasn t at Barneys earlier this week, when the vendor that manages  maintenance, cleaning crews and housekeeping  for the Madison Avenue store suspended its work with the retailer, which owed it more than $500,000, according to an email viewed by BoF. As of Monday, several of the store s bathrooms were closed.

Barneys  financial woes, combined with increased competition from multi-brand e-commerce sites and fundamental changes in the way people buy clothes   including the rise of direct-to-consumer retail and the blossoming of the second-hand luxury market   has meant that the retailer is perhaps no longer in a position to take as big of bets on emerging labels, the thing that long set it apart from competitors. Instead of owning cool, Barneys began chasing it, much to the detriment of the store and many of the smaller labels whose brands and businesses it once cultivated.

However, even if Barneys is indeed making the right bet on physical retail, finding a buyer willing to invest further may be more challenging than ever. And with the future of retail in flux, there s no guarantee that Barneys will survive. Like many other great American fashion stores that have come before it, from Charivari to Henri Bendel to Marshall Fields, it's time may simply have passed. It will be up to Barneys   and an enthusiastic new buyer   to prove that notion wrong. [Link in bio]  : @gettyimages
What pushed #Barneys New York to the edge? For the past few weeks, one of America s most important sellers of high-end fashion, has been the talk of t
LVMH s creative shuffle is paying off. The luxury conglomerate's sales breezed past analysts  estimates as creative revamps at Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior helped fuel growth. While analysts expected a 14.4 percent gain, sales of fashion and leather goods rose 20 percent on an organic basis in the second quarter. The company s overall sales grew 12 percent.

The robust growth in the key fashion and leather division is a sign that LVMH s move to reshuffle its #menswear designers last year is proving successful. In his first year at Christian #Dior, new designer Kim Jones has won fans by reworking the brand s classic Saddlebag for men, as well as designing leopard-print sneakers and romantic double-breasted suits. His counterpart at #LouisVuitton, Virgil Abloh, issued crocodile utility harnesses, puffer coats and runway collections rife with references to pop culture like the Wizard of Oz. Another star designer, Hedi Slimane, took over at #Celine, where he is overseeing women s collections and has added the brand s first menswear line. Brands   consistently refreshed creativity  was key to LVMH s success, Chairman Bernard Arnault, who briefly overtook Bill Gates as the world s second-richest person last week, said in a statement. [Link in bio]  : @bloomberg
LVMH s creative shuffle is paying off. The luxury conglomerate's sales breezed past analysts estimates as creative revamps at Louis Vuitton and Chris
50 percent of engagement on sponsored content is probably fake, with influencer fraud now a billion-dollar problem. Whether it s buying followers or hiring  click farms  to like or comment on posts, this problem will cost advertisers $1.3 billion in 2019, according to a study by the cybersecurity company Cheq and the University of Baltimore. That figure is projected to grow to $1.5 billion next year. It s an intractable problem that has swelled along with the wider #influencer economy, despite the best efforts of #socialmedia platforms, brands and cybersecurity experts. Marketers this year will spend $8.5 billion on influencers, according to Mediakix, which forecasts that spending to hit $10 billion next year. Stories about influencers who buy #followers and automate their online presence in order to inflate their social media numbers cause scepticism amongst consumers who look to influencers for shopping suggestions. It also erodes the confidence of brands that believe they are getting what they ve paid for.

The tactic of buying followers isn't just common   it's also incredibly easy. Although #Instagram has claimed it purged many fake accounts from the platform, and continues to do so, the industry for buying fake followers is thriving. But as Roberto Cavazos, a University of Baltimore professor and economist who was commissioned by Cheq to write the report noted, the issue hasn't changed and influencer fraud will likely continue to grow as the market becomes more complicated with the rise of micro-influencers and nano-influencers, who brands hire by the dozen to promote products to niche audiences. What can brands, advertisers and the social media platforms themselves do to tackle the issue? Weigh in below and read the full story at businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @shutterstock
50 percent of engagement on sponsored content is probably fake, with influencer fraud now a billion-dollar problem. Whether it s buying followers or h
After an elephantine gestation, #BorisJohnson s prime ministerial ambitions were finally birthed, courtesy of the 80,000 or so members of the Conservative Party who selected him as their new leader and by a toxic combination of circumstance and formality, as the next Prime Minister of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So much for democracy,  writes Tim Blanks in a new op-ed for BoF, referring to the fact that 80,000 distils to less than 0.5% of the #UK's registered voters. Read our editor-at-large s fiery observations on the incoming prime minister of the United Kingdom on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @shutterstock
After an elephantine gestation, #BorisJohnson s prime ministerial ambitions were finally birthed, courtesy of the 80,000 or so members of the Conserv
The popularity of a social media post is typically judged by its number of likes. The thumb s up button on Facebook, the upvote on Reddit, the favourite on Twitter; they indicate user interest, and they also help content travel, because usually, you like what your friends like. This system on Instagram, however, could soon be turned on its head. The social media platform began experimenting with hiding likes in Canada back in May, and last week rolled out the test to Australia, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Brazil and New Zealand. In those countries, users are now no longer able to see the number of likes or video views on other people s posts. Instagram posits that this shift will minimise the social pressures that come with social media.  We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,  Instagram wrote in a tweet last week.

But it s already raising anxiety among influencers and the fashion brands that advertise through them. Experts believe the move could nudge brands to spend more on ads and less on posts that feature influencers.  Getting rid of likes is a big deal,  says Alessandro Bogliari, chief executive of the Influencer Marketing Factory.  There are pros and cons to the decision, but it has the potential to hurt the entire system.  Marketing agencies and brands that analyse influencers look at several metrics, including likes, followers and comments, to measure the popularity of an influencer and how their audience reach can translate to sales. Bogliari says all metrics are important to consider because everyone s audiences are different, and some followers prefer to like while others prefer to comment. And because likes have always been an integral part of a social media presence, Bogliari believes influencers will likely start to leave Instagram and move to up-and-coming platforms like TikTok. What do you think? Weigh in with your comments below and read the full story at businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]
The popularity of a social media post is typically judged by its number of likes. The thumb s up button on Facebook, the upvote on Reddit, the favouri
How does Hearst makes it work? Troy Young, the president of the global #magazine division, is tasked with finding a substitute for print advertising revenue, which has declined relentlessly over the last decade. Young is accustomed to seeing value in magazines beyond the printed page. As the former head of Hearst Magazines #digitalmedia team, he pushed the company to figure out how to make content and money online faster than many of its peers. Now he is trying to future-proof the whole division, one part of the Hearst family s $11.4 billion media and information services business empire. Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Women s Health are among the titles under his watch.  The modern incarnation of a magazine company is hard to communicate. Clearly we are going through change, but it s a golden age because it s an age of reinvention,  says Young.

He is working on the same fundamental problems facing another family-owned magazine business, its chief rival #CondéNast, which also recently installed a new leader with a focus on technology, former Pandora CEO Roger Lynch. The two biggest #print publishers in #fashionmedia are both looking for the magic formula that will replace print advertising, which declined from $20.74 billion to $8.97 billion since 2008, according to eMarketer. Both publishers are developing new revenue streams, whether it s online paywalls, conferences and events, membership programmes, e-commerce or   most lucrative so far   original video content. But, Young isn t looking for quick wins. Rather, he s putting the pieces in place that he hopes will pay off down the line, assuming his vision for the future of the media business comes to pass. [Link in bio]
How does Hearst makes it work? Troy Young, the president of the global #magazine division, is tasked with finding a substitute for print advertising r
Many direct-to-consumer companies have had a good run over the last few years, with start-ups Allbirds and Everlane generating tens of millions of dollars in sales through their own stores and website. But as the pool of fashion brands fighting for eyeballs on Instagram and Facebook becomes more and more crowded, the cost of acquiring customers is spiralling out of control. Many brands are reaching the conclusion that it s worth accepting slimmer margins with a wholesaler rather than going it alone online.

When former Zalando executive Luisa Krogmann decided to start her own upscale shoe brand, Aeyde, the resolve to sell exclusively through its own website, rather than department stores or boutiques, seemed like a no-brainer. After some initial success following the brand s launch, Aeyde struggled to find an affordable way to grow brand recognition and reach new customers outside its home base in Berlin. But, when a chance collaboration with an upscale boutique in Hamburg sold better than expected, Krogmann says she realised wholesale was the answer to her problems. Today, Aeyde generates 40 percent of its sales from department stores like Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, as well as boutiques like Assembly in Los Angeles and New York.

Deciding to go wholesale is one thing, knowing which stores to work with and how aggressively to pursue this strategy is another. Swipe across to discover our top tips and read the full story at businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @thisisaeyde
Many direct-to-consumer companies have had a good run over the last few years, with start-ups Allbirds and Everlane generating tens of millions of dol
For beauty journalists just starting out in the industry, becoming an editor at a high-profile magazine or website is a covetable career move.  But for aspiring editors of colour, it s a role that can come with strings attached,  argues style and beauty journalist Jamé Jackson, in a new op-ed today.  When we get those coveted jobs at major publications, they are often quickly revealed to be two roles packed into one: the usual job of sourcing stories and writing up what s new in the world of beauty, and an unspoken job of representing our race on mastheads that are still overwhelmingly white,  she says.

Jackson argues that black editors frequently find themselves in the role of  gatekeeping,  ensuring their white peers don t misuse or gloss over culturally sensitive terms and topics. And they are considered the staff experts on black beauty products, regardless of whether it s their primary area of interest. That role has only grown more complicated as the #beauty industry has taken steps toward improving its record on inclusivity in the face of growing consumer interest. More brands are putting a diverse range of models in their advertising campaigns, and rolling out products meant for customers with darker skin, from Rihanna s LVMH-backed Fenty Beauty to black-owned beauty brands such as Juvia s Place, Beauty Bakerie and Mented Cosmetics.

But beauty publications still often struggle to talk about #inclusivity in an authentic way, which is why, Jackson says, the task often falls to a handful of black staffers.  But the work of showing up for one s culture while still excelling in a mainstream, white-dominated environment, though rewarding, can also be draining for editors of colour. And that s on top of the wider everyday struggles of being black in fashion,  she says. So, what s the solution? Read the full op-ed on businessoffashion.com. [Link in bio]  : @gettyimages   : @theblondemisfit
For beauty journalists just starting out in the industry, becoming an editor at a high-profile magazine or website is a covetable career move. But fo

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