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

Do luxury brands have a  respect deficit  with Indian artisans? Brand leaders who claim that craft is the lifeblood of #luxury should see worker welfare as a moral duty that aligns with their strategic business interests. But protecting the valuable skills of Indian artisans is not the same as valuing the #artisans themselves. It is telling that in India, even while craft is venerated as a symbol of national pride, Indian artisans remain socially marginalised and poorly paid. Karishma Swali, managing director of family-run company Chanakya, which produces for brands including Christian Dior, Gucci and Valentino, reminds us why artisans at her Mumbai-based export house are working for western brands in the first place.  Europe has high degrees of creativity, but these days fewer and fewer possess craftsmanship knowledge,  she said.

Of course, the fact that labour costs in India are so much lower than those in Europe also helps keep luxury brands motivated to produce here. It is estimated that luxury #embroidery done in India would cost 10-15 times more to produce in Europe. Given their increasing reliance upon India for surface ornamentation like embroidery and other embellishments, it would make good business sense for brands to safeguard this essential industry so that it will continue to attract new generations of artisans.  There are three motivating factors [for luxury brands],  said Ashok Som, Professor and Global Strategy Director of the EMILUX programme at France s ESSEC Business School.  Diversifying their supply chain, global sustainability issues haunting the luxury brands vis-à-vis high ethical considerations that the brands [aim to] represent, and a shortage of highly-skilled craftsmen globally,  he explained.

Whatever their motivations   enlightened self-interest, pressure from consumers and shareholders or an emotionless cost-benefit analysis   luxury industry leaders have endeavoured to make some progress supporting artisans in India. Whether their initiatives are sufficiently fair and effective, however, is another matter.

Read the full story on our digital Special Edition  Can Fashion Clean Up Its Act?  on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]
Do luxury brands have a respect deficit with Indian artisans? Brand leaders who claim that craft is the lifeblood of #luxury should see worker welfa
The British Fashion Council and the Council for Fashion Designers of America released a joint statement on Thursday, backing recently assembled groups of industry players calling for systemic changes to how #fashion operates. 
 
Over the last month, three separate but sometimes overlapping groups of independent designers and executives   one led by Saks Fifth Avenue, one by Dries Van Noten, and one brought together by The Business of Fashion as #rewiringfashion   put forth suggestions to make the fashion system more streamlined and profitable. A key focus was resetting the buying, delivery and discounting calendar. One group suggested combining men s and women s shows and staging them twice per year in January and June.  
 
But regional trade groups were notably absent from the conversation. Until now.  We are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level,  read the statement from the BFC and CFDA.  We are listening to many conversations taking place.  The statement recommended the industry slow down its pace and produce fewer collections that arrive in stores  closer to the season for which it is intended.  The groups also suggested brands prioritise two collections per year and stop hosting far-flung travelling shows between the main #fashionweek seasons. And, the trade groups encouraged brands to show on calendar and at one of the fashion capitals to reduce the need for travel. [Link in bio]
The British Fashion Council and the Council for Fashion Designers of America released a joint statement on Thursday, backing recently assembled groups
Last week, two makeshift consortiums of designers and retailers signed open letters agitating for the realignment of the delivery and markdown calendar,  writes Eugene Rabkin in a new op-ed for BoF.  These moves have their roots in longstanding issues with the broken fashion cycle, and change is overdue. While it s clearly absurd for consumers to shop for cashmere turtlenecks in August or shorts in February, the early delivery schedule also puts unnecessary pressure on independent designers. By the time May and November come around, most of their clothes go on sale, eroding profitability and brand equity,  he says. 
 
But, for Rabkin, there is  an elephant in the room that nobody has yet addressed. One of the key reasons that markdowns happen so early in the season is pricing. In recent years, full-price designer fashion has become stratospherically expensive. Take a look at any luxury e-commerce site and you will see it peppered with $1,500 boots, $900 sweatshirts and $500 t-shirts,  he argues.  
 
Rabkin continues:  In this way, luxury fashion has become the perfect reflection of the growing economic stratification that has gripped Western society. There is the 1 percent who can afford such prices, and the 99 percent who shop on sale. What we are witnessing, when it comes to discounts, is a cat and mouse game between the fashion industry and its consumers, one in which everyone, understandably, acts in their own self-interest.  Read his full op-ed on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : @shutterstock
Last week, two makeshift consortiums of designers and retailers signed open letters agitating for the realignment of the delivery and markdown calend
Should all #fashion brands be selling masks? And should face coverings be incorporated into their long-term business plans? As Covid-19 struck, companies large and small managed to pivot their supply chains to produce #masks and see a long-term opportunity in continuing to do so. But while the mask opportunity is clear for now, no one is sure exactly what the long-term demand will be. (A prominent research firm has yet to publish global market size projections for 2021 and beyond.) What's more, ongoing execution won t be so cut and dry. BoF s MC Nanda outlines the opportunities and risks. [Link in bio]  : @airinum
Should all #fashion brands be selling masks? And should face coverings be incorporated into their long-term business plans? As Covid-19 struck, compan
Retailers are caught in an unusual, if not unprecedented situation: they are starting to go bankrupt because the economy is shut down, but the #bankruptcy process itself is a casualty of the lockdowns. The repercussions go far beyond a few delays: in the US, companies use the bankruptcy process to reduce unmanageable debt loads, wiggle out of orders for unsellable clothes and cancel onerous store leases. Those benefits are difficult to realise when stores are closed and the legal system has slowed to a crawl. 
 
In #fashion, the list of bankrupt brands is growing longer by the day: it includes large #retailers like Neiman Marcus, plus smaller brands including True Religion and John Varvatos. A filing by J.C. Penney is expected soon. Some financial experts argue that filing for bankruptcy makes more sense than ever as retailers can be protected from economic uncertainty for a few months. A backlogged bankruptcy court could mean that a judge would be more deferential toward the company s management decisions, says Susheel Karpalani, partner at law firm Quinn Emanuel. Companies may be able to count on their investors to keep them afloat by exchanging debt for increased ownership stakes, Karpalani adds. The investors would be gambling that their stakes would generate higher returns than the portion of their loans they would be able to collect from a bankrupt retailer. 
 
Nothing is certain in bankruptcy, however, and the stakes are high. Companies must indicate a recovery is possible within six months of filing, or creditors can urge a bankruptcy judge to force a liquidation. Covid-19 has made this process even more unpredictable, as even the most meticulous recovery plans could be derailed if the economic climate turns out to be worse than expected, or new outbreaks force stores to close again. [Link in bio]  : @shutterstock
Retailers are caught in an unusual, if not unprecedented situation: they are starting to go bankrupt because the economy is shut down, but the #bankru
If macroeconomic headwinds weren t already nudging businesses to reassess their position on a whole host of priorities, the coronavirus pandemic is now forcing companies across many sectors to make urgent, existential decisions. The global #fashion industry is no different, with almost all companies battling lacklustre consumer confidence, foregone revenues and stores on lockdown. 
 
Fashion companies   particularly those relying on longer lead times and inflexible supply chains   are uniquely vulnerable due to the category s discretionary nature. Indeed, fashion may face a harder time than discretionary goods overall: more than 70 percent of European and US consumers expect to cut back spending on #apparel compared to a 40 to 50 percent drop in global discretionary spending. A two-to-three-month lockdown will cause financial distress for 80 percent of European and North American fashion businesses, as volatility reduces investor confidence in a stock market facing its hardest hit since the global financial crisis of 2008. 
 
Economic recovery will be slow, forcing fashion players to ramp up resilience planning and adapt their operating models in order to survive. Learn more from BoF and @mckinseyco's The State of Fashion 2020 Coronavirus Update. Download your free copy of the report now. [Link in bio]
If macroeconomic headwinds weren t already nudging businesses to reassess their position on a whole host of priorities, the coronavirus pandemic is no
Just in, Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller is leaving the LVMH-owned label after three years in the role. [Link in bio]  : @givenchyofficial
Just in, Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller is leaving the LVMH-owned label after three years in the role. [Link in bio] : @givenchyoffic
The death of more than 40 labourers in a raging factory fire in #NewDelhi, India has shone a fresh spotlight on the serious safety abuses that continue to plague the fashion industry s complex and opaque supply chain. The blaze broke out early Sunday morning in a residential building that had been illegally converted into a factory manufacturing products including #bags and #clothing. The building, in the northern Delhi neighbourhood of Anaj Mandi, had no fire certification or emergency escape route, according to The New York Times. Windows were blocked with metal grills, flammable objects covered staircases and one of the building s two exits were locked when the fire broke out, Atul Garg, New Delhi s chief fire officer told the media publication.

The fire is one of the worst to affect the garment #manufacturing industry in several years, but it exposes common safety issues that continue to plague fashion s supply chain   a dark and sometimes deadly underbelly to the glamorous ad campaigns big brands present to their well-off consumers. Such disasters are  symptoms of systemic issues which still haven t been fixed,  says Carry Somers, founder and global operations director at Fashion Revolution.  I m fully expecting to see another large disaster happening with significantly more people dying unless the whole system changes,  she adds.

In 2012, more than 100 people died in a fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh. That same year, a fire at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan killed more than 250 workers. In 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex became the deadliest #garment industry disaster in modern history. While the Rana Plaza disaster led to the Bangladesh Accord, a legally binding commitment to ensure worker safety, for the most part, these disasters have done little to change the way #fashion operates. Though they ve led to hand ringing and public recriminations for brands found to use unsafe factories, there have been no wholesale attempts to solve issues of lax regulation and enforcement or outright abuse. [Link in bio]  : @gettyimages
The death of more than 40 labourers in a raging factory fire in #NewDelhi, India has shone a fresh spotlight on the serious safety abuses that continu
It s time to hold a mirror up to our industry. As it transforms before our very eyes, consider how much more change is needed and what exciting opportunities that could bring. For session 2, we invited photographers Juergen Teller as well as Alexi Lubomirski to the #BoFVOICES stage to talk about their passion. We also took a look at the fashion industry in Iran and manufacturing fashion in #Africa, as well as women at the forefront of the #sustainablefashion revolution.

Some of the questions the panelists tried to answer included 'should there be a Vogue Africa?' and 'what makes a photograph successful?' Don't miss the takeaways and catch up on the talks on our live blog. [Link in bio]
It s time to hold a mirror up to our industry. As it transforms before our very eyes, consider how much more change is needed and what exciting opport
Before taking to the stage, our speakers, partners and guests have gathered to celebrate the first night of #BoFVOICES.  : @gettyimages
Before taking to the stage, our speakers, partners and guests have gathered to celebrate the first night of #BoFVOICES. : @gettyimages
Ugg was once the hottest boot around, before overexposure tarnished its image. Owner Deckers Brands is determined not to make the same mistake with its new hot shoe, Hoka One One sneakers. The brand was co-founded by Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud, former Salomon employees, who trained as endurance runners in the French Alps. The duo landed on a lightweight design featuring an oversized outsole, which they say is more comfortable for trail #running, especially downhill.

The #sneaker came on the scene at a time when minimalist running shoes were trending and instead offered the complete opposite   a puffy, clown-like sole that promised #athletes the most comfortable  ride  possible. While the fashion world eventually embraced chunky dad sneakers, Hoka s prominent logo and shades made the brand a tough sell to the casual #fashion consumer.

But, the brand s remarkable run isn t a complete surprise. Strong word-of-mouth, the rise of #athleisure and some well-timed collaborations have won Hoka plenty of new fans in recent years. BoF analyses how parent company Deckers has made a science out of turning ugly shoes into #viral sensations. [Link in bio]  : @hokaoneone x @openingceremony
Ugg was once the hottest boot around, before overexposure tarnished its image. Owner Deckers Brands is determined not to make the same mistake with it
The RealReal is taking a stand regarding accusations that it sells #counterfeit products. In an email sent to customers on Wednesday, Chief Executive Julie Wainwright wrote that the second-hand #luxury marketplace  strives for perfection, but may not be perfect every single time.  Wainwright s note, which was sent with the subject line  Our Pledge to You,  told customers to send items back if they had issues with authenticity.

The email comes on the heels of several reports of counterfeit merchandise being sold on the site. Earlier this week, CNBC published an investigation about the #fashion company, revealing that the platform s listings include a fake Prada dress and a mislabeled Loro Piana scarf. On Forbes.com, a shopper recently recounted how he spent $3,600 on a Dior bag that was later proven to be a fake.

The RealReal has typically denied or downplayed allegations that it sells counterfeits. Wainwright told CNBC in 2016 that  there no fakes on our site.  But when The RealReal filed for an initial public offering earlier this year, it acknowledged that identifying a counterfeit item can be a tricky process, open to human error.  Our success depends on our ability to accurately and cost-effectively determine whether an item offered for consignment is an authentic product,  the company wrote in its SEC filing.  While we have invested heavily in our authentication processes and we reject any goods we believe to be counterfeit, we cannot be certain that we will identify every counterfeit item that is consigned to us.  But the company s authentication process has also come under fire. In an investigation conducted by The Capitol Forum in September found that contrary to The RealReal s claims that its merchandise was being authenticated by experts, employees such as copywriters were also inspecting luxury goods. Continue the read the full story on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]  : screenshot taken from @therealreal
The RealReal is taking a stand regarding accusations that it sells #counterfeit products. In an email sent to customers on Wednesday, Chief Executive

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