Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The industry’s future is in safe hands

Jessica Brown

Pentland Brands boss Andy Rubin imparted a chilling forecast this week: that the fashion sector will never know it as good as it did through the credit boom earlier this decade.

While this is a frightening prospect for the branded sector - both suppliers and retailers - it shouldn’t come as a massive surprise to those trading in this part of the market.

This downturn has changed the shape of the industry forever - consumer confidence has been irrevocably knocked. Uncertainty around the general election and future taxation coupled with the fallout and lack of trust following the banking collapse and MP expenses scandals means shoppers, while still spending, are doing so in a much more considered manner.

OK, so cheap as chips retailers such as Primark may not be affected

to the same extent, but for the rest of the market product is working best where there is exclusivity or personalisation. Shoppers want items that work hard in their wardrobes and there looks to be a return to classic, minimal and unfussy dressing, judging by recent catwalks.

At the same time, there are promising developments for retail on the horizon. Mobile phone shopping, multichannel strategies and the return of quality fabrics are exciting prospects - and ones likely to be led by the industry’s next generation of talent.

Drapers was fortunate to hold an exclusive event for some of that talent last week (see pages 25 to 36). Our inaugural Next Generation Academy, which welcomed 100 ambitious delegates at an early stage of their career, was eye-opening both in terms of content - Rubin was one of the keynote speakers - and in terms of the drive to succeed among so many young employees in the sector who, let’s face it, are trying to build their careers in challenging times.

What was clear, though, was that if and when growth does return, there is a real pool of talent ready to lead the future of fashion.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.