Discover the most relevant industry news and insights for fashion creatives, updated each month to enable you to excel in job interviews, promotion conversations or impress 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 creatives in fashion today:
1. How Nike Ran Off Course
In December, Nike slashed the outlook for its fiscal year ending in May, predicting sales would grow 1 percent. That would mark the company’s worst performance since the late 1990s, other than the pandemic year of 2020 and the 2009 recession. Sales have disappointed quarter after quarter in the US and China, Nike’s two most important markets.
It’s hard to pin Nike’s problems on any one cause. But sneaker industry insiders trace many of the brand’s shortcomings to decisions made early in the tenure of John Donahoe, who was named chief executive in January 2020. His arrival came amid an exodus of veteran designers, marketing gurus and executives. Decisions once left to the heads of categories such as basketball or running were centralised.
Graphic Designer, Broken Planet — London, United Kingdom
Visual Merchandiser, On — Zurich, Switzerland
Digital Product Designer, Prada Group — Milan, Italy
2. Why WAGs Are Making a Fashion Comeback
WAGs — an acronym for wives and girlfriends, usually referring to the partners of professional athletes — have long been a cultural force, but in the past, their public image has mostly been out of their hands, the product of photographs in the stands and tabloid chatter. But today, many double as influencers, capitalising on interest in pulling back the curtain on what it really means to be a WAG.
The worlds of sport and fashion have become increasingly linked — look at Hugo Boss’s NFL partnership and LVMH’s Olympics coming sponsorship. And this generation of WAGs, with a public profile and accomplishments that go far beyond their romantic relationships, have emerged as a connective tissue between the two industries. […] And with that, they’re attracting major brand partnerships, from the likes of Prada, Ralph Lauren and Uniqlo.
International Markets Director, The Bicester Collection — London, United Kingdom
Senior Art Director, Bloomingdale’s — New York, United States
Director of Fashion Innovation, Chalhoub Group — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
3. How TikTok’s ‘Mob Wives’ Are Fuelling the Resurgence in Fur
Characterised by animal prints, heavy gold jewellery, glossy leather trousers, perfectly coiffed hair and, of course, a massive fur coat, the “mob wife” trend has already racked up over 127 million views on TikTok, according to Trendalytics. On TikTok, trends can rise — and then fall — in a matter of weeks, if not days, and “mob wife” is no exception. While weekly searches have grown by 21.3 percent year-over-year, Trendalytics anticipates this fad to be short-lived, with an arc of roughly six months.
Anticipating and preparing for these viral moments can be challenging for brands that don’t already have corresponding products in their assortment — because fickle consumers are itching to hop on the bandwagon, selling products on a preorder model won’t work, said Mandy Lee, a trend analyst and forecaster.
Senior Art Director, Nanushka — London, United Kingdom
Senior Graphic Designer, Holzweiler — Oslo, Norway
Senior Photo & Video Producer, Ralph Lauren — New York, United States
4. Gap Inc. Names Zac Posen Creative Director
Gap Inc. has put its creative destiny in the hands of Zac Posen, who has been named executive vice president, creative director of the American retail chain that also owns Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic. Posen, 43, will join the American retailer’s executive leadership team and serve as the “cultural curator and creative partner” to CEO Richard Dickson, the company said Monday. He will also serve as chief creative officer of Old Navy, where he will lead design, merchandising and marketing.
“Zac’s combination of technical design, creativity, as well as an awareness of pop culture will really lend well to the future endeavours of Gap Inc.,” Dickson told BoF in an exclusive interview ahead of the announcement. […] To observers in the fashion industry, however, Posen could be a puzzling choice. Much like Gap itself, it has been years since the former wunderkind inhabited the cultural zeitgeist.
Art Director, House of CB — London, United Kingdom
Digital Graphic Designer, La Double J — Milan, Italy
Senior Art Director, Coach — New York, United States
5. Why Calvin Klein Ads Still Get People Talking
Just a few days into 2024, Jeremy Allen White’s bare, muscled body — clad in Calvin Klein briefs — became the year’s first viral sensation. The ad was classic Calvin Klein, which has been synonymous with sexy, conversation-starting campaigns since the 1970s. In just 48 hours, the White ads generated $12.7 million in media impact value, data insights company Launchmetrics’ proprietary measure of engagement.
Calvin Klein has a long history of leaning on provocation to sell its mass market staples. Its ads have featured a topless Kate Moss, an underage Brooke Shields uttering innuendos and Mark Wahlberg grabbing himself. A 2008 perfume ad starring Eva Mendes was banned in the US. Over the past decade, Calvin Klein’s ads have mostly failed to attract the same level of attention, primarily putting out lacklustre group campaigns that were lost in the churn of social media. But as Calvin Klein’s recent brush with virality shows, the right sort of provocation can pay dividends for a brand’s image.
Global Art Buying & Casting Team Leader, Hugo Boss — Germany
Editorial Content Strategist, Matouk — New York, United States
Creative Marketing Vice President, Banana Republic — San Francisco, United States
6. Why 2024 Will Be the Year of the Brand
To survive — let alone thrive — in today’s market, nothing is more important than marketing that shapes a brand’s long-term reputation. Look at brands like Abercrombie: In the 2010s, its reputation had tanked due to a series of public controversies, but it has since mounted a turnaround by ditching its exclusionary image, refreshing its product lineup and courting older consumers that already had an affinity for the brand.
A brand or product may be omnipresent on Instagram or TikTok feeds, but without a deeper meaning behind it, that visibility will only take a company so far. Performance marketing (marketing methods where brands only pay based on results received, as is common in social media advertising) is still an important part of any company’s marketing mix. In 2024, it should be used to amplify an extensive brand marketing strategy, rather than serve as its foundation.
Visual Merchandiser, Moncler — Paris, France
Textile Designer, Zara Home — A Coruña, Spain
Graphic Designer, Buck Mason — Los Angeles, United States
7. Loro Piana Banks on ‘Not Quiet’ Luxury to Continue ‘Magnificent Growth’
Under CEO Damien Bertrand’s leadership, Loro Piana’s strategy has shifted subtly in a bid to make the brand more contemporary, and appeal to a wider clientele. […] A key part of that new strategy has been the launch of leather goods, the brand’s fastest growing category, says Betrand, albeit from a low base. Last year, Loro Piana finally launched a long-awaited handbag range, the Bale, named after the pillow shaped wool bundle that’s the start of the supply chain. It’s a crucial step.
LVMH owner Bernard Arnault acquired Loro Piana a couple of years after failing to seize control of French family-owned ultra luxe maison Hermès. And it’s been clear from the outset that Arnault aims to turn Loro Piana into a credible Hermès rival. Loro Piana is dwarfed in size by Hermès. Analysts estimate annual revenues at the Italian label are around the billion euro mark. […] Still, with last year’s launch of the Bale bag, Loro Piana has decisively entered the segment that drives the majority of Hermès’ growth.
Creative Pattern Cutter, Alexander McQueen — London, United Kingdom
Graphic Designer & Brand Specialist, Turnbull & Asser — London, United Kingdom
Creative Office Communications Intern, Gucci — Milan, Italy
8. Marc Jacobs: Wayward in Wonderland
At Marc Jacobs’ quirky runway show, a week before the official start of New York Fashion Week, it was as if Mary Weiss, the Shangri-Las’ lead singer (she passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 75) had found her way to Tokyo and sat down to share a Marlboro with the notoriously taciturn Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Because alongside the fuzzy sweaters and straight skirts of those long-lost hoodlum princesses, under beehive wigs so nutty they recalled Priscilla Presley’s coiffure, were plenty of winks and nods to the house of Comme.
But not everything was infused with Rei’s spirit. Some models wore strict structured knee-grazing tailleurs decorated with big buttons that would have suited a Capote swan; others emerged in beautiful spangled frocks, worthy of a solo spot for Diana Ross on the Ed Sullivan show. Their newly liberated arms were in many cases alarmingly thin, a development that does not bode well for size inclusivity at the upcoming fashion month.
Fashion Content Curator, Rat & Boa — London, United Kingdom
Content Creator, Vee Collective — Berlin, Germany
Creative Studio Intern, Tapestry — New York, United States