AT IFF 2016, Meet the 7 Mega Agents of Change for the Business of Fashion

Intuitive Technology // Intelligent Sourcing // Seamless Experience // Brand Alive // Human Connect // Open Thought // Alpha Brandsters


The exponential growth of computing power will create highly unpredictable and exciting changes for the entire fashion retail value chain. Already, digital capabilities of today’s biggest fashion brands are being dwarfed by the startup brands of 2015. The truly successful fashion brands of tomorrow will be those that can not only recognize and cope with the pace of change, but embrace it. They must be aware of both the megatrends and microtrends in our industry — and be adaptable enough to act on them.


Any retail industry operates on two important factors, material and manpower. This is particularly important to the fashion industry because the end product is more personal to the consumer than say a car or a laptop. Therefore “Sourcing” and “Resource” Management will be key factors in the coming year. Sustainability initiatives, such as use of recycled materials, lower consumption and reduction of carbon footprint will be a key agenda point.


Non-stop customer experience is the most important branding tenet today among retailers. No matter what platform, channel or media the brand is seen on, the message it sends and the experience it provides must remain constant. Focus on customer experience – or lose out. While retailers might see online and in-store as separate, from the customer’s viewpoint they’re two aspects of the same brand, and should be clearly connected.


Fashion is no longer just about clothes. It is also about the perceived brand ethos and retail addresses. Branding has become an exercise in socio cultural engagement with consumers. Physical locations that reflect demographics’ aspirations and lifestyle choices are as important as the brand ideology. As ethnic groups grow, brands and retailers will integrate a sense of culture and culture-specific brand experience with all forms of outreach.


Retailers now need to connect with their consumers as much as possible and in as many ways as possible because the attention span of the consumers is very short and the number of alternative options available to consumers has increased many fold even in the past 5 years. It is becoming increasingly important to address new themes and trends at very short notice, turn them into product concepts, and get them onto the sales floor.


The innovations taking place at the intersection of fashion and technology are profoundly amazing and transformative. Being open is not limited to new technology and ideas but also to new ways of doing business and creating business. More and more brands are coming together to make a synergistic collaboration making the best use of individual strengths and resources. This has resulted in very exciting new categories, products and systems in physical retail spaces as well as backend management.


Fashion is about experience and some brands get it just right! Why? Because they have a clear understanding of their product and their customer and a clear direction for their brand. Meet our alpha brandsters who will share their experiences in creating this sustainable brand magic. These are the fashion retailers who have embraced social, cultural and technological changes and adapted them to their benefit.