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The Business of Fashion Podcast

Podcast The Business of Fashion Podcast
Podcast The Business of Fashion Podcast

The Business of Fashion Podcast


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  • Jordan Brand’s Larry Miller on the Power of Second Chances
    At BoF VOICES 2022, the seasoned Nike executive discussed the power of second chances and the secret he kept while building Michael Jordan’s brand.   Background: Starting in 1999, Larry Miller worked alongside Michael Jordan to build the Jordan brand, which does more than $5 billion in revenue. But his journey to the C-suite was a unique one. Growing up in West Philadelphia, Miller joined a gang, which led him to serve multiple prison sentences for a series of crimes, including the second-degree murder.Through a rehabilitation programme, he was able to begin his college education while in prison, and upon release, he was able to start his career with an accounting job at the Campbell Soup Company. In 1997, Miller started working for Nike under founder Phil Knight, and became the first Black vice president in apparel at the company before going on to become president of the Jordan brand in 1999. But it wasn’t until years later that he went public about his backstory with the publication of his book, “Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom.” At BoF VOICES 2022, Miller sat down with UTA executive Darnell Strom to share his story, talk about the power of second chances and explain how he found redemption. “I've come to the realisation that a lot of times we are afraid to talk about the obstacles that we overcome. But in reality there's no shame in overcoming obstacles,” said Miller. Key Insights:“When I was 16, I shot a kid and he died and I was charged as an adult at 16 years old… pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was sentenced to four and a half to 20 years,” Miller revealed at BoF VOICES 2022.Once he had revealed his story, Miller says Michael Jordan and Phil Knight were supportive and encouraged him to share his story. “It's been amazing to me the response that I've gotten from people who I've known and worked with and who have just encouraged me and embraced the fact that I've got this past.”Following the release of his book, Miller apologised to the family of Edward David White, the man he killed. In White’s honour Miller created a foundation for his descendants to attend university or trade school. “I think I'm a perfect example of the fact that a person can change if given the right opportunities… the right chance. But it starts inside of you. You have to believe that you can change,” said Miller.Additional Resources:A Nike Executive Seeks a Family’s Forgiveness for a 1965 Murder: The New York Times the story of the impact of Larry Miller, chairman of the Jordan Brand Advisory Board, and his actions as a 16-year-old. Jerry Lorenzo and Jordan Brand’s Larry Miller Will Speak at BoF VOICES 2022: BoF hosts its annual VOICES conference, and invites Jordan chairman Larry Miller to speak.Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom: “Jump” written by Larry Miller and his daughter, Laila Lacy, shares the story of Miller’s life from the streets of West Philadelphia to the Nike boardroom. Want more from BoF? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Restarts and Resets in the Fashion Month Gone By
    Tim Blanks and Imran Amed discuss the highlights of the Autumn/Winter 2023 collections, including Daniel Lee’s debut at Burberry, a transitional show at Gucci and Balenciaga’s first brand statement in the wake of the advertising scandal.Background:This season was a “restart” for the global fashion industry, says Imran Amed, BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief. The Autumn/Winter 2023 collections felt like the first return to normal after the pandemic — especially as Chinese fashion professionals were finally able to return to runway shows following extended Covid-related lockdowns that limited their international travel. A number of fashion’s biggest brands used their shows as a way to start a new path. Burberry rolled out its first collection under its new creative director Daniel Lee, while Gucci unveiled its first collection since the departure of Alessandro Michele. At Balenciaga, Demna returned to a more subdued approach after the brand fell under intense criticism at the end of last year after it was accused of sexualising children in an ad campaign.But overall, fashion was still fixated on navigating all the uncertainty that prevails in the world, economic and otherwise. “If there’s one thing we learned over the last few years — it's that anything can happen,” says Amed. “Everyone was preparing for the unknown, the uncertain.”  Key Insights: Over the course of the season, designers, editors and enthusiasts were talking about how the purpose of fashion has evolved. “It wasn't just brands, it was individual designers who were processing what they're doing and what they need to do, because obviously the future looms very dark and very uncertain,” says Blanks.Gucci is in a transitional moment, with new creative director Sabato De Sarno’s vision for the brand still to be unveiled. The brand’s first post-Alessandro Michele show was all over the place, according to BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks. “It was chaos, but enjoyable chaos,” says Blanks. Daniel Lee put a strong emphasis on Britishness for his Burberry debut. Meanwhile, Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta show was a cohesive parade of clothes that doubled down on craft and storytelling, says Blanks. Diesel’s Glenn Martins is solidifying himself as a designer to watch with his work in today’s vernacular of denim and celebratory sexuality. “It's a mark of genius, what he manages to do with things that are really familiar — that alchemy of fashion,” says Blanks. Martins put a mountain of 200,000 condoms at the middle of his runway. In his first collection since the brand came under fire for its controversial advertisements, Demna — known for his ironic stunts — focused on the clothes, a nod to the label’s founder Cristóbal Balenciaga. Additional Resources:Top 10 Shows of the Season: BoF’s editors pick the top ten shows of the Autumn/Winter 2023 season.At Paris Fashion Week, Less Was More: In an age of clickbait fashion, it was acts of reduction that, paradoxically, stood out most, reports Angelo Flaccavento.Want more from BoF? Subscribe to our daily newsletter here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Sue Y. Nabi on How Being Different Is a Superpower
    On the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, Coty CEO Sue Y. Nabi shares how embracing identity in the workplace can lead to better business outcomes.Background:As one of the industry’s most visible transgender leaders, Sue Y. Nabi, chief executive of beauty conglomerate Coty, is well-versed in the transformative power of identity. In 2020, she was named the company’s fifth CEO in five years and was tasked with leading its turnaround. Then, the Kylie Cosmetics and Covergirl owner was plagued with debt and inefficiencies. Since Nabi took the reins, however, sales have started to climb back up steadily: full-year revenue was up 14 percent year-over-year in 2022. Nabi laid the groundwork for growth by doubling down on prestige and expansion in China — focusing especially on excavating the strengths and purposes of each brand in the conglomerate’s portfolio.“When you look at others, you forget where you are and you make all the mistakes… The world is full of copycats. Difference is not only a chance, but in business, it's an asset,” said Nabi. This week on The BoF Podcast, Nabi joins Mory Fontanez, founder of consultancy 822 Group, to share how embracing identity in the workplace and aligning personal and professional values can strengthen a business. Key Insights:Nabi’s father, a painter, helped inform her understanding of beauty. “There is the conventional, classical beauty, and there is the different one — the one that also speaks to us a lot,” said Nabi. Being unique in business is a tangible asset that can create new opportunities, according to Nabi. As well, staying in touch with your intuition — not just data points — can help leaders make intelligent decisions. In both personal and professional spheres, Nabi’s definition of transformation centres on addition, rather than subtraction or erasure. In a fast-paced world, people can feel pressure to make decisions quickly, but having patience and conversations is the way to finding enduring solutions to problems of all kinds.  Additional Resources:BoF VOICES 2022: Live Your Best Life: In the final session of BoF’s annual gathering, speakers from model Dennis Okwera and Coty chief Sue Y. Nabi to Nike’s Larry Miller and activist Malala Yousafzai reflected on their personal histories and inner powers.How to Create an Inclusive Workplace: Employees who feel comfortable and engaged make for a more productive and innovative workforce. Here’s how to make meaningful change in your company.Discover more careers advice and content from leading fashion professionals on BoF Careers, and explore the 2,700+ global jobs available in fashion and beauty today. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • How Generative AI Could Reshape Fashion
    BoF’s technology correspondent Marc Bain joins Imran Amed to discuss Silicon Valley’s latest craze, and its potential for the fashion industry. Background: As chatter around NFTs, virtual reality and the metaverse dies down, conversation about generative AI, a form of artificial intelligence that makes novel content when given specific prompts, is heating up. Artificial intelligence has been around for decades, but recent advances like Microsoft-backed ChatGPT, which generates sophisticated text and DALL-E, which does the same with images, have set the groundwork for significant shifts in how culture and businesses operate. While specific use cases are still being ironed out, the possibilities for fashion could be transformative. “We’ve gone through these hype cycles with things like the metaverse. This is one I think could be different…” said BoF technology correspondent Marc Bain. “This is something where you can see the real-world applications.” Key Insights: There are many potential applications for generative AI in fashion: e-commerce sites could deploy it in chat boxes, fast fashion brands could ask it to produce styles based on customer data, and designers could use it for mood-boarding and colour conception.But there’s a level of expertise AI doesn’t have yet. It can produce images based on past analysis, but doesn’t understand the technicalities behind garments, for example. While there’s skill to crafting prompts for technology like ChatGT, one of its most promising aspects is its ease of use. Anyone can use it without much learning. AI is shaking up search on the internet, too. Bing is using ChatGPT to produce a technology that wouldn’t just give users links to pluck through, but direct answers to queries. We will further address the critical topics discussed on this podcast at The BoF Professional Summit: Artificial Intelligence, Web3 and an Inflection Point in Fashion Tech on March 22, 2023.Join us at The Times Center, New York – or via the global livestream – together with global business leaders, technologists and creative innovators from brands including Gucci, Ambush, StockX and Levi’s to gain actionable insights to inform business strategy, optimise supply chain and retail operations, and leverage new channels to engage with customers.Purchase your ticket before February 28, 2023 to secure your place at the early bird rate or register for the livestream now. Click here to sign up now. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Conflict, Climate and Today’s Global Hunger Crisis
    Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, the CEO of Mercy Corps, shares insights on growing global food insecurity and deepening inequality.At the end of 2022, one in 10 children worldwide were dealing with malnourishment, the result of the worst hunger crisis the world has faced in a generation. It’s an effect of the ricocheting of the triple threat of climate change, geopolitical conflict and Covid-19 through the global economy. Though there’s little chance of resolving these issues imminently, community-sourced efforts can play a large role in combating the devastation they bring to people around the world.On a recent trip to Somalia, Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, the chief executive of humanitarian aid organisation, Mercy Corps, saw the real-life impact of these global concerns up close. On stage at BoF VOICES 2022, she discussed that experience, and how people around the world can contribute to positive change.  “[Global community] should inspire us to really make small actions, to make a difference and figure out ways in our own lives and in our own lines of work where we can contribute,” said D’Oyen McKenna. This week on The BoF Podcast, D’Oyen McKenna discusses details of her visit to Somalia and the effects food insecurity has on society. Key Insights: D’Oyen McKenna believes we all have a responsibility to engage with and respond to crises around the world, even if the causes are out of our hands. “While none of us can fully control the forces that are shaping our world today, we do get to choose how we represent ourselves in that world,” said D’Oyen McKenna. “But also how we engage with the world that we find, how we respond to it and act in it.” Despite the hardships that citizens of Somalia and other impoverished or conflict-ridden countries face, human determination and grit always shine through. “Even amongst this unimaginable hardship and grief… the power of the human spirit really comes alive,” said D’Oyen McKenna. While the world can feel divided with society frequently grouped under different sub-categories, D’Oyen McKenna argues that we should create a new sense of global community. “In a world of pandemics, climate crises and global hunger there is no us and them, only us.”Additional Resources:BoF VOICES 2022: Finding Optimism in an Unsteady World: From the Ukraine War to the climate crisis to the legacy of the pandemic, speakers including CNN’s Clarissa Ward, Mercy Corps’ Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Goldman Sachs’ Tim Ingrassia and Google X’s former chief business officer Mo Gawdat discussed the uncertainty gripping the world — and why there’s cause for hope.To learn more about the BoF Professional Summit: Artificial Intelligence, Web3 and an Inflection Point in Fashion Tech, please click here Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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