Discover the most recent and relevant industry news and insights for fashion professionals working in marketing, to help you excel in your job interviews, promotion conversations or simply to perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.
BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events, as well as the exclusive interviews and conversations we have with experts and market leaders every day — to deliver key takeaways and learnings in your job function.
Key articles and need-to-know insights for marketing professionals today:
1. How TikTok’s ‘Mob Wives’ Are Fuelling the Resurgence in Fur
Characterised by animal prints, heavy gold jewellery, glossy leather trousers, perfectly coiffed hair and, of course, a massive fur coat, the “mob wife” trend has already racked up over 127 million views on TikTok, according to Trendalytics. On TikTok, trends can rise — and then fall — in a matter of weeks, if not days, and “mob wife” is no exception. While weekly searches have grown by 21.3 percent year-over-year, Trendalytics anticipates this fad to be short-lived, with an arc of roughly six months.
Anticipating and preparing for these viral moments can be challenging for brands that don’t already have corresponding products in their assortment — because fickle consumers are itching to hop on the bandwagon, selling products on a preorder model won’t work, said Mandy Lee, a trend analyst and forecaster.
Content Coordinator, Métier — London, United Kingdom
Communications Associate, Ralph Lauren — Milan, Italy
Digital Content Senior Specialist, Tiffany & Co. — Singapore, Singapore
2. Why Calvin Klein Ads Still Get People Talking
Just a few days into 2024, Jeremy Allen White’s bare, muscled body — clad in Calvin Klein briefs — became the year’s first viral sensation. The ad was classic Calvin Klein, which has been synonymous with sexy, conversation-starting campaigns since the 1970s. In just 48 hours, the White ads generated $12.7 million in media impact value, data insights company Launchmetrics’ proprietary measure of engagement.
Calvin Klein has a long history of leaning on provocation to sell its mass market staples. Its ads have featured a topless Kate Moss, an underage Brooke Shields uttering innuendos and Mark Wahlberg grabbing himself. A 2008 perfume ad starring Eva Mendes was banned in the US. Over the past decade, Calvin Klein’s ads have mostly failed to attract the same level of attention, primarily putting out lacklustre group campaigns that were lost in the churn of social media. But as Calvin Klein’s recent brush with virality shows, the right sort of provocation can pay dividends for a brand’s image.
Social Engagement Coordinator, On — Zurich, Switzerland
Influencer Marketing Senior Manager, Hugo Boss — Paris, France
Marketing Coordinator, Swim USA — Irvine, United States
3. Why 2024 Will Be the Year of the Brand
To survive — let alone thrive — in today’s market, nothing is more important than marketing that shapes a brand’s long-term reputation. Look at brands like Abercrombie: In the 2010s, its reputation had tanked due to a series of public controversies, but it has since mounted a turnaround by ditching its exclusionary image, refreshing its product lineup and courting older consumers that already had an affinity for the brand. Or Chanel, which has succeeded for decades by embracing the brand’s original codes, such as tweed and camellia flowers, while updating the designs for the modern consumer.
A brand or product may be omnipresent on Instagram or TikTok feeds, but without a deeper meaning behind it, that visibility will only take a company so far. Performance marketing (marketing methods where brands only pay based on results received, as is common in social media advertising) is still an important part of any company’s marketing mix. In 2024, it should be used to amplify an extensive brand marketing strategy, rather than serve as its foundation.
Social Media Manager, Billionaire Boys Club — London, United Kingdom
Global Marketing & Campaigns Manager, Strathberry — Edinburgh, Scotland
Marketing & Communications Director, Alexander McQueen — Shanghai, China
4. Inside the Nylon’s Bag Unlikely Rise to ‘It’ Status
Getting your hands on an ‘It’ bag has never been easier. The unofficial title is typically reserved for pricey carryalls like the Hermès Birkin, the Chanel classic flap and Fendi baguette that are coveted by many, but affordable (or even available) to relatively few. The nylon bag has changed all of that. Made from tough, artificial fabric and designed to be thrown on to run errands or stuffed into a suitcase, the likes of Lululemon’s Belt Bag and Baggu’s Nylon Crescent Bag are in many respects the anti-Birkin.
That goes for price too: the Cos Quilted Bag, currently No. 3 on Lyst’s index of the most-searched fashion items, tops out at $135; the (also quilted) Chanel 2.55 will set you back over $10,000. The exploding popularity of cheap, utilitarian bags comes at a time when ‘It’ bags on the other end of the spectrum have become much harder for ordinary consumers to buy. Chanel has more than doubled prices on some items since 2019, according to handbag website Purse Blog, while Louis Vuitton has increased some bags’ prices by 40 percent.
CRM Associate, Tapestry — London, United Kingdom
Marketing Manager, Carhartt WIP — Berlin, Germany
Digital Marketing Intern (CRM), Chalhoub Group — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
5. How Fashion Brands Can Survive the 2024 US Election Minefield
“Make America Ferrera Again.” In 2016, when Rebecca Minkoff debuted a T-shirt emblazoned with that phrase — a play on America Ferrera’s name and Donald Trump’s slogan — it “didn’t feel like a risk,” the designer said. The actress and designer posed in the tees at Minkoff’s Manhattan boutique; Allure dubbed the collaboration “amazing” in an October 2016 headline. Needless to say, Minkoff isn’t planning any Trump-themed novelty T-shirts this year.
As the presidential primaries ramp up — or more likely, wind down after Trump’s thumping of his opponents in the Iowa caucuses in January — Minkoff isn’t the only one inside the fashion industry who plans to tread gingerly around politics this time around. Politically outspoken designers like Minkoff and corporate behemoths like Nike have for years used progressive stances on hot-button issues to connect with consumers. But a conservative backlash and signs of audience fatigue around such messaging has raised the risk for engaging with topics like inclusivity, climate change and LGBTQ rights.
Social Media Executive, House of Sunny — London, United Kingdom
Social Media Strategist, Toteme — Stockholm, Sweden
Director of Social Media, Gap — San Francisco, United States
6. Op-Ed | Have We Reached Peak Influencer?
Chiara Ferragni […] has harvested 30 million followers on Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram and made herself a multimillionaire by entirely eschewing privacy. Predictably, the hubris has come back to bite. In the past month, Ferragni has been fined €1 million ($1.1 million) for having falsely claimed on her social media accounts that proceeds of the sale of a pandoro Christmas cake branded with her name would help a Turin hospital for sick children. It didn’t. A donation had been made upfront prior to the promotion, but the sales had no impact on the size of the gift.
Though Ferragni’s fall can be seen as an isolated blow to the estimated $250 billion influencer industry, it could also be a broader warning of shifting winds. Italy also has a reputation for having been at the vanguard of telegraphing a change in the zeitgeist for tech and fashion. The Italian regulator AGCM, which fined Ferragni, issued a record fine against Apple Inc. and Amazon in 2021 for alleged competition violations. The fine has since been rolled back by a higher court, but it still coincided with the beginnings of a turn in public and regulatory opinion against the tech giants’ dominance.
PR & Influencer Manager, De Mellier — London, United Kingdom
Global Influencer & Creative Marketing Director, Coach — New York, United States
VIP & Casting Director, Alexander Wang — New York, United States
7. The Independents Acquires Atelier Athem
Fashion PR giant The Independents Group has acquired Atelier Athem, a Paris-based firm that focusses on set design for brands’ experiences and stores, including lighting, projections, scenery, interactive elements and sound. It has worked with brands including Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Sephora on brick-and-mortar installations and events. The Independents was founded in 2017 after a merger between PR firm Karla Otto and Asia-based experiential marketing and events agency K2.
In July 2023, The Independents announced that it had raised $400 million with ambitions to double in size by 2025. In particular, it has focussed on building up its muscle in the events and experiential space, acquiring Bureau Betak, the global events production agency, in September 2021, Prodject, the New York-based agency behind the Met Gala in March 2023 and production agencies Atelier Lum and INCA Productions in December 2023. “Atelier Athem […] opens a whole new value proposition for our clients, one we intend to develop globally,” Isabelle Chouvet, president of The Independents, said in a statement.
Creative Strategist, Broken Planet — London, United Kingdom
Marketing & Special Events Leader, Bloomingdale’s — New York, United States
Fashion Account Manager, Purple — Hong Kong
8. Kim Kardashian Returns as Balenciaga Ambassador
Balenciaga has once again signed Kim Kardashian as a brand ambassador, the brand confirmed in a statement in January. The reality-TV star turned fashion mogul and the Kering-owned luxury house have enjoyed a close working relationship over the years. But Kardashian’s ties with Demna and Balenciaga were called into question in November 2022 when the Skims founder said she was “re-evaluating” her previous sponsorship deal with the brand, after an advertising campaign featuring children modelling BDSM-inspired products sparked a major public relations crisis.
Balenciaga has worked to win back the support of celebrities in recent months through activations including a star-studded Los Angeles runway show. Since late 2022, the brand has struggled to navigate the simultaneous challenges of its PR crisis, changing tastes and slowing luxury demand, particularly in the US. Parent company Kering will provide an update on Balenciaga’s recovery efforts when it reports full-year results in February.
Head of Marketing & PR, House of Hackney — London, United Kingdom
Creative Marketing Vice President, Banana Republic — San Francisco, United States
PR Assistant, Burberry — Chuo-Ku, Japan