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The Business of Fashion Podcast

The Business of Fashion Podcast

Podcast The Business of Fashion Podcast
Podcast The Business of Fashion Podcast

The Business of Fashion Podcast


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  • The Best of VOICES
    Tim Blanks sits down with Ziad Ahmed, chief executive of JUV Consulting and Stephanie Simon, the former head of community at Clubhouse to reflect on VOICES. BackgroundThe first three sessions at BoF VOICES 2022 tackled issues inside the fashion industry and far beyond. Speakers explored the climate crisis and accusations of corporate greenwashing; the potential of artificial intelligence and the associated ethical implications; the war in Ukraine and growing economic uncertainty and inequality across the globe and Gen-Z’s rising anger over these issues and how to start to fix them.“At this event, fashion is often quite marginal,” said BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks during the live recording of “The Best of VOICES With Tim Blanks.” “It’s in our minds, but what we’re talking about are the world’s big, definitive issues.Blanks was joined by VOICES speaker Ziad Ahmed, chief executive of JUV Consulting and Stephanie Simon, the former head of community at Clubhouse, to reflect on the highlights from the first two days of talks and panel discussions.Key InsightsThe climate crisis is the cloud that hangs over everything, from technology to the economy. But rather than waiting on private companies to create change, widespread regulations are essential, said Simon. “It seems much more straightforward to mandate the targets that we’re going to need in order to ensure progress from a climate change perspective.”The potential of artificial intelligence is limitless, but humans can help control how the world of AI unfolds. “We teach AI by example,” said Blanks. “By being ethical, kind human beings, AI learns to be ethical and kind.” While the younger generation is interested in new technologies, there’s also a trepidation about the companies and people creating these innovations and a desire to upend past practices. “There’s often an assumption that Gen-Z is leading the charge towards innovation,” said Ahmed. “Broadly speaking, that’s not really the case. A lot of young people are really sceptical and critical about our own relationships to technology.”To see change, today’s stakeholders need to bring the next generation into the decision-making process — and begin to relinquish control. “The solutions to the problems that we are facing exist,” said Ahmed. “The question is if the people who currently have the reins will give them up.” Additional ResourcesBoF VOICES 2022: Finding Optimism in an Unsteady World: From the Ukraine War to the climate crisis to the legacy of the pandemic, speakers including CNN’s Clarissa Ward, Mercy Corps’ Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Goldman Sachs’ Tim Ingrassia and Google X’s former chief business officer Mo Gawdat discussed the uncertainty gripping the world — and why there’s cause for hope. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • How the Power of Storytelling Is Igniting the Iranian Protests
    Moj Mahdara and Dina Nasser-Khadivi speak with BoF’s Imran Amed about how creative communities from the Iranian diaspora are participating in the largest civil rights movement in Iran since the revolution in 1979.Background:Protests erupted across Iran in September following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested in Tehran for “improperly” wearing her hijab and then killed at the hands of the so-called morality police. Those protests have now evolved into the largest civil rights movement in Iran since the revolution in 1979 uniting Iranians at home with those in the wider diaspora and igniting outcry around the world and across social media.  Looking for a way to bring storytelling to fuel the movement, creative leaders Moj Mahdara and Dina Nasser-Khadivi utilised their network to establish The Iranian Diaspora Collective and @from____iran, an artist-led media collective that amplifies unheard Iranian voices, respectively. From Instagram to physical billboards, the collective has centred Iranian people and maintained the ongoing attention of the West by focusing on human rights. “The only way to move culture is through storytelling,” Mahdara said.  This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed speaks with Mahdara and Nasser-Khadivi to learn about the work they are doing to help people understand the intersectional solidarity of this movement and activate creative communities to share their stories. Key Insights:Social media has helped spread the word globally of the protests in Iran, helping to unite the Iranian diaspora with Iranians at home, while educating people around the world about what is happening on the ground. “The social media aspect of this movement, the reason why it was so important for me, it was not just about raising awareness, it ended up helping us identify who our allies were,” Nasser-Khadivi said. “And that is what then created an even stronger network.”In order for this movement to be supported internationally, Mahdara believes that recognition is critical. “[The international community] can recognise this,” says Mahdara. “This revolution.”The movement has collectively transformed the once-conversative perception of Iran to include tolerance as motivating progression towards a secular community. “This whole movement preaches tolerance,” says Nasser-Khadivi. “There are covered girls next to girls who are uncovered hugging each other. That’s the message. It’s tolerance.”Additional Resources: Music credits: Baraye by Shervin Hajipour Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Nick Knight on Why Creativity in the Metaverse is Fashion’s Next Frontier
    Fashion image-maker Nick Knight speaks to BoF’s Imran Amed about why he believes in digital creativity and innovation in the metaverse.Background:The pandemic pushed the fashion industry to step out of its comfort zone and embrace new media for showcasing design and creativity. But while much of the industry has returned to in-person shoots and events once Covid restrictions were lifted, the respected image-maker believes this is only the beginning of the next great wave of digital innovation in the fashion industry. Virtual worlds, he added, will yet again bring digital innovation to the forefront of society. “So what are the possibilities? Let's talk about this. Let's actually look at this,” says Knight. Knight has recently launched ikon-1 NFTs in collaboration with model and creator Jazzelle. By creating digital renders, which act as collectable works of art, Knight believes fashion creativity can shift to this new medium. Those who look to the past risk falling behind.This week on The BoF Podcast, founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed speaks with Knight about the evolution of image creation and why digital fashion will remain important in the post-pandemic era. Key Insights:Knight believes that collaborative creation in the digital world will allow more autonomy for models authorising their own looks as opposed to being a “blank canvas.” “I wanted to put [models] in the creative middle… so they are authorising, coming up with creating their own looks for me rather than just imposing on them,” says Knight. “It was important to change that relationship.”The metaverse will require new ways of working rather than developing on existing methods of image creation in the physical world. “I think we are re-learning a whole bunch of things which you can’t just take exactly what we do in the real world,” he says. “And that is not necessarily the best thing to do in a space, which is a virtual space [where] so many more things are possible.”Knight believes the idea of destabilisation is inherent to the fashion industry. “There is a natural feeling of destabilisation [with the metaverse], but surely that’s what fashion is about, it's about showing people things that they previously had not seen and previously had not desired, but actually do want,” says Knight.Knight thinks now is the time for creatives to forge a new “civilisation step” and let creativity rule the metaverse. “I want artists to create the metaverse because I think we do have a chance, a utopian chance, to create a better civilisation in the metaverse, which isn’t shaped by power, greed and money.”Additional Resources: The BoF Podcast: Inside The Future of Fashion Image Making with Nick Knight: The transformative photographer discusses the power of technology and the future of the fashion show, the fate of print magazines and fashion’s culture of abuse and bullying.Nick Knight Says Heart and Mind are the Key to Fashion Imagemaking: BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed sat down with Mr. Knight for the third installment of Fashion Pioneeers, a series of intimate live-streamed conversations between Mr. Amed and the industry’s most interesting operators. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Why You Should Join Us for BoF VOICES 2022
    Janaya Future Khan and Halima Aden joined BoF’s editor-at-large Tim Blanks to share their learnings and reflections after a packed day at BoF VOICES 2021. Sign up to join us for this year’s edition, free of charge.Background:From innovations changing fashion to navigating turmoil in the wider world, BoF VOICES, our annual gathering for big thinkers, is a platform to discussing the forces shaping the wider world. ”It was stimulating, it was educational, it was absolutely inspiring,” said BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks, reflecting on the highlights from day one of BoF VOICES 2021, along with Janaya Future Khan and Halima Aden who shared their own learnings and reflections from the days talks.  On this week’s episode of The BoF Podcast, we revisit Khan and Aden’s conversation with Blanks about the evolution of community in the metaverse and representation in the fashion industry.Sign up to join the global livestream BoF VOICES 2022, free of charge here: Resources: VOICES 2021: Navigating Turmoil in the Wider WorldVOICES 2021: The Fashion System’s Push to EvolveVOICES 2021: Innovations Changing Fashion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • The Genesis of the Modern Luxury Fashion Industry
    Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, the creators of a new docuseries speak to BoF’s Tim Blanks about their new series which traces the formation of LVMH and Kering, and how designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen helped them build a ‘Kingdom of Dreams.’ Background: A new fashion docuseries, “Kingdom of Dreams,” explores the luxury fashion industry’s formation in the 1990s to the 2000s, examining some of fashion’s most recognisable designers of that period — John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford — as well as executives like Kering’s François Pinault and LVMH’s Bernard Arnault.  Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui highlight the tension between commerce and creativity, as well as the rivalries between luxury groups and their designers.  “At the end of the day, we never said anything that hasn’t been said or which is not sort of present,” said Bonhôte. “So the truth is very important. And we are… definitely not scandalous.” This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF’s editor-at-large Tim Blanks speaks with Bonhôte and Ettedgui about understanding pressures of consumerism and what makes a fashion house business tick. Key Insights:The creators highlighted the gap between creativity “wizards” and business “emperors” within some of fashion’s largest fashion houses, demonstrating the power of tycoons François Pinault and Bernard Arnault. “What we felt was the most interesting drama is there is this constant fight between commerce and creativity,” said Bonhôte.  The series also highlights the pressures on designers to double the volume of collections and the impact of that growth on the planet. “It is disturbing to see the fallout and not just the fallout psychologically for the designers, but also for the planet as fashion speeds up,” said Ettedgui.While examining the industry the creators wanted the audience to gain a new understanding of fashion rather than the gated community it can be perceived as. “It’s a very difficult industry for people to actually understand because I think the [understanding of] fashion is almost wrong,” said Bonhôte.Additional Resources: How Fashion Went Corporate: Creativity, Commerce and Collateral Damage: Tim Blanks talks to the creators of ‘Kingdom of Dreams,’ a new documentary series on how the corporatisation of luxury fashion made superstars of designers John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, and built gilded empires for bosses Bernard Arnault and François Pinault.To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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