Once a year the British Fashion Council brings together the global fashion industry to London to discuss the future of fashion. From insights gleaned from burgeoning designers to emerging technologies, the BFC Fashion Forum is a unique opportunity to the push the boundaries of the industry.
The invitation-only event hosted by the BFC and The Current, at the stellar Ned hotel, brought together 140 industry leaders from technology, venture capital and luxury houses including LVMH. It was an honour to be invited to showcase how Hero is bridging the gap between online and offline retail for luxury retailers including Harvey Nichols.
A day of seminars, workshops and presentations from the likes of Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton’s Kim Jones unearthed compelling insights, here we list three key takeaways from the event:
Technology is not one size fits all
A recurring theme from the day was that much-hyped technology like AR and VR shouldn’t be seen as a silver bullet for fashion brands. Instead retailers must remain open to safeguard against disruption whilst analysing data choose the technology that is the right fit for them. This is sound council for an industry still trying to truly find its way in a technology-first world and is faced with a deluge of choices.
Customer expectations are higher than ever
Throughout the day, attendees were reminded — through lectures on the Asian market, content creation, customer engagement and omnichannel strategy — that the consumer’s expectation is higher than ever before. They demand the highest level of service, convenience of purchase and greatest quality of product.
More than ever, talent is key
At a time of significant disruption within the industry — from Brexit to the continued rise of Amazon — the point was reinforced that fashion brands and retailers must rely more than ever on the talent they employ and be increasingly discerning about who and how they hire. Positions at every level of the business — from the design studio to the shop floor — are paramount to the success of fashion houses. In a post-Brexit world, Fashion companies must lobby UK government to ensure they can still attract the international talent they need to keep innovating.