When I joined Drapers in June 2005, I could not have imagined the challenges and opportunities the next 14 years would bring.
The radical changes throughout that time have been incredible, both at Drapers and within the fashion industry.
One of my proudest moments at Drapers was the publication of our 130th anniversary book in 2017, when we had the opportunity to interview some of retail’s greatest legends and highlight how the industry has evolved over that time.
Of the key developments we covered, digital has had the most momentous impact in recent years. It was not until 2007 that Drapers launched online. Just as retailers have had to adapt to a new multichannel world, it was a challenge we also faced as Drapers became “digital first”: breaking stories and publishing content on drapersonline.com, and later on social media, while also still producing a strong weekly print offer.
As digital became increasingly integral to the industry, in 2009 we launched the Etail Awards, which have since evolved into the mammoth annual Drapers Digital Festival.
More recently, we noticed sustainability rising to the top of the fashion retail agenda, which prompted us to launch Drapers Sustainable Fashion in March. The popularity of the sell-out inaugural conference demonstrates the importance of Drapers’ central role in the industry, bringing its leaders and innovators together to collaborate, educate and inspire. It looks set to double in size for 2020.
It has been so important to me that Drapers sits at the heart of the fashion retail community, talking about the issues that matter most, and representing and supporting the sector. I hope during my tenure as editor that is exactly what we have done.
But I could not have done any of it without the amazing team across the brand that works tirelessly to bring you the latest news, investigate the most pressing issues, and provide analysis and insight into the industry today – whether in print, online or at our numerous events throughout the year.
It could also not have been done without the support of you, the industry. I have been so lucky to meet so many of the creative, passionate and innovative people that are leading the way in this sector, and as I write my last column, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege.