2023 Half Year Review – Fashion & Luxury

Fashion, Luxury, Practice Review

Posted on 3 July 2023

Luxury is once again on the move.

An industry ever-evolving to not only meet demand but also shape it, is in the midst of large-scale change.

From footwear to face masks and t-shirts to trench coats, luxury is everywhere. Over the last few years in particular, fashion has flooded into all levels of consumer. Where previously, luxury pieces we’re exclusive, aspirational, and often unattainable objects, a number of factors has led to fashion entering into all facets of life.

Not simply satisfied with owning a piece of luxury, many consumers have actively sought heavily branded, instantly recognisable, and exclusive items, such as FOG, Off-White, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Air Jordans, to name just a few brands.

In what is now a market heavily saturated with luxury, we’re seeing many fashion brands begin their plans to pull away from the boom in fashion’s merge with activewear/streetwear, and pivot toward what is considered ‘old money’. Brands such as Sporty & Rich, ALD, and Kith have pioneered the movement and many are preparing to follow suit. We’re managing a sharp increase in demand for marketing, sales, product, design, and buying/merchandising professionals with previous experience in ‘old money’ style luxury, with quality of materials, design principles, cohesive collections, sustainability, and modern minimalism all at the forefront.

Talented experiential/retail professionals are still also in high-demand, as many of our clients seek to elevate and differentiate their in-store experiences. Similarly, design/packaging teams are coming under a renewed focus across many of our European clients, with a number of team builds taking place in Q3 of this year, to fulfil the increased consumer desire for an improved experience, whilst also balancing sustainability goals/quotas. Companies such as John Lewis are continuing their ‘multi-sensory’ in-store offerings, an Inditex-owned Zara have reported a 17.5% jump in revenue following their brand repositioning last year.

Companies such as Birkenstock and Prada started the year strong, with the former celebrating the launch of a new headquarters. Birkenstock is set to base their new HQ in Amsterdam, recently dubbed an emerging fashion hub, a suspected strategic move as the business aims to access a wider pool of international candidates, and strategically strengthen their shipping and logistics capabilities. Whereas, Prada are celebrating a reported 21% increase in revenue, now topping €4.2billion. Many clients are also closely watching events unfold in the nearby Sports & Outdoor industry, as brands such as Nike continue to pursue a DTC model, with varying results.

During the first half of the year, we have successfully delivered urgent projects, within short delivery times, on behalf of a number of new clients in both the UK and Europe, including several immediately available, interim management positions in HR and Product Development. Q2 saw the release of numerous data analytics roles as we support a long-standing European partner’s planned growth phase, as well as priority vacancies across Sales and Ecommerce in particular.

During the second half of the year, our practice have a wide range of projects including international market maps, new talent partnerships in Holland and the US, and new roles available daily through our network of clients in the UK and wider Europe.

We are also pleased to announce that during Q2, our dedicated practice grew with the addition of James Westwood, who leads the recruitment of management & executive level finance professionals in both UK & International markets. James holds over a decade of experience as a professional Golfer, followed by roles in Financial Services and is supporting our network of clients through end-to-end vacancy management, team builds, talent mapping, competitor benchmarking, and international relocation.

If you’d like to discuss our support on a current or future role, or are looking for your next career move, get in touch with our dedicated Fashion & Luxury Practice today via hello@macgregorblack.com or by calling +44 (0)191 691 1949