The apparel industry has a big problem. At a time when the economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are rebounding and consumers are eager to buy, Americans are spending less and less on clothing.
The woes of retailers are often blamed on Amazon.com Inc. and its vise grip on e-commerce shoppers. Consumers glued to their phones would rather browse online instead of venturing out to their local malls, and that’s crushed sales and hastened the bankruptcies of brick-and-mortar stalwarts from American Apparel to Wet Seal.
But that’s not the whole story. The apparel industry seems to have no solution to the dwindling dollars Americans devote to their closets. Many upstarts promising to revolutionize the industry drift away with barely a whimper. Who needs fashion these days when you can express yourself through social media? Why buy that pricey new dress when you could fund a weekend getaway instead?
Continue reading The Death of Clothing
The dynamics of the apparel industry are changing dramatically. To succeed amid the shifting tides, companies need to build up competence in four disciplines.
Few industries require companies to stay as nimble and on their toes as the global apparel business. At a baseline level, there is the fast-moving nature of fashion, which requires companies to jump on trends right away, never taking the fast follower approach. That alone gives the apparel business a unique set of challenges.
Continue reading Succeeding in Tomorrow’s Global Fashion Market
Sixty-two-year old Tziporah Salamon is an ordinary woman featured in Lanvin’s fall 2012 ad campaign. As she sat in the makeup chair, dressed in a plush terrycloth robe while two women did her nails and another did her makeup, Tziporah Salamon knew the day she had longed for had finally arrived.
The 62-year-old New Yorker has a long resume of disparate jobs: school teacher, performer, hostess and shop girl, to name a few. But in April, she finally added model for a high-fashion house to the list.
Continue reading When Fashion and Reality Collide