Focusing on international markets and multichannel retail is key to the success of the next generation of fashion talent, said Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Rubin.
Rubin told delegates that the main overseas markets to concentrate on are Brazil, Russia, India and China, as their average gross domestic product has quadrupled in the past nine years.
Online will continue to be a massive growth area, he said, as five billion people across the world now have access to the internet, while in the developing world more people own a mobile phone than have access to televisions and toilets.
He said the main challenge for his business is to understand the different consumers in the 195 countries where Pentland’s brands, including Boxfresh, Kickers and Speedo, are sold.
He pointed out that China is likely to overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy sometime before 2020, meaning it is vital that the next generation of retailers focus on other countries to grow their business.
“If China is to become the biggest economy in the world, then one of the things we need to be thinking about is what does that mean for all of our businesses?” he said.