I recently read an interesting article on the web from the Boston Consulting Group and Business of Fashion. It focused on the plight of fashion houses recruiting viable talent to develop current brands. Nearly 70 percent of luxury brands find it difficult to place creative directors, many citing inadequate talent pipelines. One of the biggest challenges facing luxury and fashion companies today is finding, developing, and retaining great creative and business, as stated by Jean-Marc Bellaiche and Sarah Willersdorf, a partner and principal at BCG.
All across the board, in design and product development, technology and general management in fashion are gaping holes needed to be filled by talent. But the greater problem beneath this current one faced by larger retail companies and fashion houses alike isn’t easily visible to the naked eye. Companies are searching for artists that have the ability to become, stepping into a role and growing. The key word in the article is develop. Because of the lightening speed at which we absorb, post, infiltrate the internet today, many of these people lying the talent pool have no desire to be students, i.e., get developed. Because the internet makes everyone a star…plumps up a faux resume, produces incredible geniuses…and at the tip of a finger one can quickly and unanimously become larger than life. We are inundated with rockstar status IG profiles where living a fashionable lifestyle is envied and admired leading to the notion that being famous is more important than developing (being a student). No longer are there eager students, hungry for knowledge, humble in approach, those that understand the process of starting from the bottom to learn the business of fashion as a way of life. No, no. Studying has been replaced by delusions of grandeur, with the aim of cult like celebrity followers as the ultimate goal. These faux “fashionistas” (btw I loathe that word) are armed with Google, a MAC illustrator (because no real sketching required nowadays) and the latest Vogue magazine for fast
imitation inspiration. To each his own. But what happens when the famously internet stars began to outnumber school education or ones who’ve taken the time to develop, i.e. paid their dues? What type of predicament will the business of fashion be left in? A quiet but massive chaotic storm is brewing in the fashion community. The gaping hole between the creative side and business of fashion exists, and not acknowledging it will not make it disappear. And until both sides in the fashion community can put aside egos and learn to work together co-existing, the future of fashion is at risk.
You can read the full article here: The Race for Talent and Luxury in Fashion. Share your thoughts with me!