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5 alums who are on trend

See the alums and companies illustrating the trends in the Firm’s State of Fashion report.
A man and a woman in a fashion studio hold a piece of cloth as they design a garment
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It’s the first Fashion Week of a new decade, and as runways around the world are set ablaze with fresh looks from iconic houses, it feels like a perfect moment to take a look at some fashion trends happening off the runway.

Fortunately, the Firm has partnered with The Business of Fashion (BoF), a leading publication for fashion business intelligence founded by alum Imran Amed (LON 01-06), on “The State of Fashion 2020: Navigating uncertainty.” 

Here’s a look at some of the companies that exemplify the report’s top forecasted trends for 2020—and the McKinsey alumni who are helping to drive their success.**

SUSTAINABILITY FIRST 

It has become clear in the past few years that the global fashion industry consumes massive amounts of energy, generates pollutants, and creates waste. This year fashion players have recognized the need to take meaningful action while facing up to consumer demand for transformational change.

Global Fashion Agenda

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Thomas Tochtermann 

“GFA´s role is advancing the sustainability of the fashion industry through thought leadership and convening power,” says Thomas Tochtermann (DUS, STU, MUN, HAM 85-14), vice-chairman. Since 2009, the forum has organized the annual Copenhagen Fashion Summit that convenes the fashion industry, multilateral organizations, industry associations, and political decision-makers to find common solutions to implement social and environmental sustainability.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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Andrew Morlet

Alum Andrew Morlet (SEO, DM Korea, DM Singapore 99-03) is CEO of the ten-year-old charity, which has helped put the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government, and academia. In May 2017, Make Fashion Circular was originally launched as the Circular Fibers Initiative at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit to foster collaboration and innovation in creating a new textiles economy..

NEXT-GEN SOCIAL

As traditional engagement models struggle on established social media platforms, attention-grabbing content deployed on the right platform for each market with a call to action to maximize the return on marketing spend will be key.

Burberry

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Johnattan Leon (BOG, LON 10-13, 15-17), Strategy Director at Burberry

In a desire to entertain and connect with new and younger consumers around the world, British luxury fashion brand has launched several campaigns that stretch beyond traditional channels. Among them are its first online game, B Bounce, on Burberry.com, and its monthly product releases, ‘B series’, sold exclusively on the brand’s Instagram, WeChat, Line and Kakao channels. 

INCLUSIVE CULTURE

Consumers and employees are putting increasing pressure on fashion companies to become proactive advocates of diversity and inclusion. More companies will elevate diversity and inclusion as a higher priority, embed it across the organization and hire dedicated leadership roles.

Chanel

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Pauline de Bertrand Pibrac (PAR 07-12), CFO and Development Officer of Chanel brand ERES 

In 2019, the 110-year-old French luxury house hired Fiona Pargeter as its first-ever global head of diversity and inclusion. Since then, Chanel has taken several measures to signal its willingness to change. Among them are its first openly transgender model, Teddy Quinlivan, to become the face of Chanel Beauty and its championing of women in film.

MATERIAL REVOLUTION

Fashion brands are exploring alternatives to today’s standard materials, with a particular focus on more sustainable substitutes. McKinsey expects R&D will increasingly focus on materials science for new fibers, textiles, finishes and other material innovations to be used at scale.

Patagonia

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Ben Stewart (SEA 08-10), Head of eCommerce, Patagonia Provisions

Guided by its mission to “save our home planet,” the American outdoor clothing and gear company has supported grassroots activists working to find solutions to the environmental crisis for nearly 40 years.

Some of its initiatives include its one percent self-imposed tax that’s donated to the preservation and restoration of natural environments and its Worn Wear refurbished clothing line.

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** We know there are many alums who work in fashion, and many alum companies are following these trends. We look forward to showcasing more alums in the future. If you would like to share a story, please contact us.

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