Friday, February 1, 2013

You are not seeing the warning signs

Over the short space of the next few years the fashion industry will undergo radical changes that will completely transform every aspect of how it functions. There's a freight train of pain carrying boxcars of change and I get the sense that far, far too many people in fashion who are successful today do not see it coming and are not prepared. Rapid climate change kills that which can't adapt quickly.

The difficulty is that an insular culture has been created between those designers, stores and media that came into power in the 1990s. Insularity is great at keeping centralized power and controlling information. It's also great at creating total blindness and deafness to what's going on outside of it. Such lack of awareness ensures that those currently in power will not realize that their power has been fatally compromised until it's too late to do anything about it. Ask Best Buy if you don't believe me. Now when Amazon began to grow in the early 2000s Best Buy still had plenty of money to hire top talent to make the shift to online. They could have easily been Amazon but they spent all their time talking about why it wouldn't happen and when it became undeniable it was too late.

This is about to repeat itself in the fashion industry. The internet is simply too compelling to the consumer not to succeed. And it's not just for the reasons that you think of when you read that sentence. You will hear a number of explanations from the traditional establishment as to why I'm wrong. They're whistling past the graveyard and I'm not wrong. I'm not going to get into too many specifics as those insights and the tactics and strategies I've devised are my competitive advantage. But I did feel like finally going on record and saying, watch the next two years closely as a lot of stuff that's been percolating is about to come above water in a powerful way. Oh, and if you're a retailer or a brand and don't feel like becoming the 21st century Woolworths or Oleg Cassini feel free to e-mail me...

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