What Fashion Marketing Professionals Need to Know Today

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. Why Banal Is Big in Fashion’s Latest Campaigns

A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner starred in Bottega Veneta's latest campaign.

For its Pre-Spring 2024 campaign, Bottega Veneta embraced the everyday. Called “Readymade” and unveiled Dec. 5, the campaign catalogues mundane, even boring moments in the lives of the very famous A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner, who carry groceries, pump gas, drink lattes and jog in head-to-toe Bottega Veneta. The images look more like the work of a paparazzi than a fashion photographer — because they are.

While surrealist marketing stunts like Jacquemus’ life-size CGI floating handbags and Tod’s’ driver shoe-shaped car dominated the first half of the year, lately, brands have been embracing more subtle campaigns, featuring casual images in somewhat generic settings. […] It’s a shift that reflects what’s happening in the luxury sector at large, where, after a boom period in the wake of the pandemic, demand is softening as economic uncertainty, high interest rates and inflation persist.

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Content Creation & Social Media Coordinator, Naked Wolfe — London, United Kingdom

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2. The Year Ahead: Why Brand Marketing in 2024 May Reclaim Its Glory Days

A Jacquemus pop-up.

A convergence of factors, including pressures on discretionary spend, is sharpening consumer appetite for entertaining brand storytelling that captures their aspirations and interests, well beyond the products on offer. Spurring this change are the increasing costs of performance marketing alongside new data privacy regulations restricting customer targeting, forcing marketers to find different ways to engage with shoppers.

[…] As consumers crave greater connection and authenticity from brands, marketing efforts will home in on brand storytelling and emotional affinity through multiple avenues. Succeeding as a brand in 2024 may require a shift in priorities — selectively using brand-building tools to develop compelling brand stories, supported by a long-term strategy and underpinned by the right talent and channel investments.

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Events Intern, Maison Margiela – Paris, France

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3. Gstaad Guy: Inside the Niche Social Media World of the 1%

Gstaad Guy's online parodies of the ultra-wealthy have blossomed into a full-time business.

Gstaad Guy […] began making a name for himself only a few years ago in niche social media circles by parodying the lives and tastes of the ultra-rich through sharp, satirical social commentary delivered through fictional personas. […] Equally, luxury fashion brands also get where Gstaad Guy is coming from — to the extent that several have entered into partnerships with the social media star. Loro Piana launched 600 limited editions of its Open Knitted Walk shoes exclusively for Gstaad Guy followers; the collaboration sold out within hours and became the fastest-selling product the brand had ever made, according to Forbes.

“I am in a very unique position, where I have, through fiction, created very authentic characters. People have a deep connection with the characters, likely because of how authentic to their values they are […]” He told BoF. “And because of the rather niche jokes I’m making. I have the highest concentration today of high-net-worth people of any social media page globally, who are being communicated things that are delivered lightly through tongue-in-cheek storytelling that’s very digestible.”

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Integrated Global Digital Marketing Manager, Tory Burch — New York, United States

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4. Case Study | Fashion’s New Rules For Sports Marketing

BoF's new case study, Fashion's New Rules For Sports Marketing.

When the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games kick off in July 2024, the millions of global fans watching will see far more than just athletes. LVMH brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Berluti will provide uniforms for select teams, while the medals will be the work of its high jewellery label, Chaumet. For the first time ever, the games will feature LVMH-sponsored athletes, including world-champion swimmer Léon Marchand, European champion in artistic gymnastics Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos and Olympic gold-medalist fencer Ezno Lefort.

The “premium” partnership between LVMH and the Olympics marks the biggest indication to date of sport’s newfound importance to fashion. “Sport is now the only by-appointment thing to watch on TV or tune into live at that point in time — everything else is on demand,” said Clive Reeves, PwC’s UK sports leader. “To be in the conversation, you need to watch sport at that point in time, which makes it the only thing left in society that really drives a huge volume of people at specific moments, which for brands is very special and valuable.”

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5. The Evolution of the CMO

Top marketers are increasingly seeing a path to the CEO's office.

Once primarily responsible for overseeing the creation and placement of ads, chief marketing officers are now tasked with everything from maintaining their brand’s digital presence to stage managing live events. They’re often the first to get credit for growing sales – and the first to take the blame (the average CMO tenure at the top 100 advertisers is just 3.3 years, shorter than other C-suite roles, according to executive search firm Spencer Stuart).

“It’s no longer enough to just be good at the craft of marketing,” said Chris Ross, VP analyst at research and consulting firm Gartner. “At the CMO level, you have to understand all of it: the product, your channel strategies, even supply chain. You have to have a much deeper holistic knowledge of the business, because things are so closely integrated.”

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Senior Marketing Director, Ugg — London, United Kingdom

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6. KCD Names Rachna Shah New Chief, Opens Next Chapter

Rachna Shah, the new CEO of KCD

The powerhouse fashion public relations firm, which works with a who’s who of major fashion brands, from sector giant Louis Vuitton to white-hot Miu Miu, has promoted KCD veteran Rachna Shah to global chief executive, as Julie Mannion, who has led the agency since 1994, relinquishes her current role to become chairman of the board.

She’s taking on the top job amid a fashion PR landscape being reshaped as boutique upstarts trade on a more social media-savvy approach and bigger players such as Karla Otto owner The Independents and The Lede Company bulk up their offerings through acquisitions, putting pressure on those caught in the middle. M&A isn’t a top priority at KCD, though Shah said “never say never.” The focus at present is KCD itself — “we’re investing in us,” she continued.

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7. Have We Hit Peak Fast Fashion?

Zara-owner Inditex received a rare "sell" rating from a Deutsche Bank analyst.

This month, Deutsche Bank called an end to the fast-fashion boom, recommending investors sell shares of Zara-owned Inditex and H&M Group, and labeling the owner of Primark as one of its “least preferred” retail stocks. Fast fashion has been on a tear the last few years (or last few decades, depending on how you look at it). One analyst’s judgment is hardly a sign the end is nigh – Inditex shares are still up 50 percent this year, […] according to Bloomberg. But it’s a sign there are some clouds on the horizon.

A slowdown, or even just slower growth, will require increased spending on marketing, one of the triggers for Deutsche’s dour forecast. Another factor is the escalating war with Shein. Zara, H&M and other fast-fashion chains are tricking out flagship stores with beauty salons, tailors and other features that online-only rivals would be hard pressed to match. It’s a smart strategy, but an expensive one, especially given that these chains were laser-focused on reducing physical retail costs by closing underperforming stores.

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8. Why Primark Went All-In on Rita Ora

Rita Ora's first collection for Primark debuted in September.

When Rita Ora walked the red carpet at the Fashion Awards in London this month, the singer donned a black floor-length maxi dress with an ultra low back and elevated square-neck. At a quick glance, the gown wasn’t so different from many of the looks Ora has stepped out in over the years (the prosthetic spine she wore on her back is another matter entirely) — except for its price tag: £50 ($64). The item is one of 260 pieces featured in Ora’s Primark collections — the first of which launched in September as part of a multi-year partnership between the performer and the fast fashion retailer.

Whether the collection delivers will hinge on Ora’s star power, how much consumers’ buy into the authenticity of her connection with the retailer, and the extent to which Primark can build on the partnership, most importantly via brick-and-mortar expansion, experts say. (Primark’s first US store opened in Boston in 2015 it now has 24 locations, mostly in the Northeast; H&M has over 500.)

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