Fashion Industry: The Influence of Technology

Creating a business seems easy: a) create a concept b) create a business plan c) implement your idea and earn millions of dollars.

But looking at recent studies  of how many start-ups in particular fail each year, I wonder: Is there a “perfect” start-up strategy to avoid competition; and have a sustainable competitive advantage? This question I hope to further investigate. However today I have decided to focus on the shift of business models thanks to technology;  within the fashion industry.

Case Study: Fashion Industry 2012 – The Influence of Technology

According to many fashion experts surveyed at IFB the future is in the hands of brands, not retailers.

In the fashion industry, technology has changed the way brands and customers interact. A contributor on The Business of Fashion argues: “Going forward, every brand must figure out how to connect directly with its customers and they must structure their business around the relationships they want to have with their customer rather than let their distribution channels define them. I would argue that Net-a-Porter is as large a threat to Vogue as it is to Bergdorf Goodman, because of the editorial content and contextual placement they provide. In my mind, making a decision to sell on Net-a-Porter is a branding decision, not a revenue decision.”

Shift of Fashion Paradigm

It’s only three years ago, when fashion industry experts noticed this trend. Back in 2009 Booth Moore of La Times hinted, “…the $300-billion fashion business is in the midst of an epic shake-up that is changing the way clothes are designed, marketed and purchased. The Internet — the same force that has splintered the media and music industries — is challenging the taste-making role of the fashion elite, a shift ….retail businesses are becoming less brand-centric and more consumer-centric.” David Wolfe, creative director of the Doneger Group, a New York trend forecasting firm supports this theory, “It’s the first time I can remember this kind of shift in the fashion paradigm.”

Digital Innovators

Lauren Indvik, an Associate Business Editor of Mashable argues, ” …brands who are doing inspiring creative digital work are ”Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Net-a-Porter, Topshop.  From live-tweeting runway shows to offer Facebook exclusives to their fans, these brands are leaders because they not only have successfully launched new digital initiatives across multiple verticals, but because they have done so consistently and within their brand’s voice.”

The recently launched Digital Fashion Week (different to the traditional Paris, Berlin, New York, Milan Fashion Week) is also an indicator that technology is making its mark within the industry;   with established designers such as New York’s Patricia Field participating.

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2 comments

  1. Its interesting that technology is basically changing all the way of how brands can get in touch with their consumers.
    Actually i thought that some industries have simply been existing for such a long time, that the business model cannot really change because every concept and little aspect has been considered.
    But i really quickly changed my mind when I stumbled upon certain ideas. The first one was Zalando. Selling shoes on the internet seemed impossible for me, but as we can see, it works.

    I found it really impressive to see, that creativity has really no boundaries.
    A Malaysian shoe company offered their female customers a date when they would pick certain shoes. Additionally, the men would pay for the women´s shoes in exchange for that date.
    Here is the article:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/shoe-dating-malaysia-shoes-prostitution_n_1368424.html

    An entreprenuer in the U.K. has accomplished a lot, inventing a new business model in the food industry.
    Approved food delivers nearly-expired food within the U.K. and other countries of Europe. People seem to enjoy the fact that they can save lots of money on those deals.
    German TV has reported on Approvedfood.co.uk:

    To me, those examples show, that even when you think, there is no room for creativity anymore, there is still plenty for it.

  2. Yes I definitely agree with you on this point. I really enjoyed your examples and the amount of creative ideas out there are nothing short of inspiring, I really enjoyed the video of ApprovedFood.co.uk. Additionally I found this interesting video on how technology has infact changed alot of brands:

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