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Apparel, Fashion & Luxury

Our pioneering expertise and global network enable our Apparel, Fashion & Luxury clients to drive change and flourish in a fast-moving and unpredictable industry.

The combination of today’s volatility, changing growth areas, and new technologies disrupting the global economy have given way to a more connected and discernible global fashion consumer than
ever before. As the pace of industry change accelerates, having innovative and sustainable business models is increasingly important.

Who we are

Our global team of experts includes former product, merchandising, sales, and supply-chain managers from renowned apparel, fashion, and luxury companies.

Over the last 5 years, we have brought our expertise and industry insights to more than 1000 apparel, fashion, and luxury projects. Our clients range from medium-size companies to industry leaders—spanning across producers and brands, vertical fashion retailers, apparel multibrand retailers, department stores, and luxury-goods companies.

What we do

We advise across all functions along the value chain—consumer insights, value proposition, company strategy, product creation, supply chain, channels, and stores. Some specific examples include the following:

Digital strategy

We cocreate digital strategies with clients through workshops—tapping into our proprietary solutions and tools—that help to identify where the value is, design pilots, and build a digital road map for implementation.

International growth

We assess international growth potential through initial market screening, creation and selection of a value proposition, development of a detailed market-entry plan, and design of the regional country organization. Our global network of experts works with proprietary solutions and tools, such as McKinsey FashionScope—a city-level growth forecasting tool for the fashion industry—and Periscope Insight Solutions that generates in-depth consumer insights from both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Pricing and promotions

Our pricing approach is grounded in both our extensive apparel experience along with our application of repeatable analytics. One example of how we do this is our proprietary solution, Periscope Price Advisor, that is used to guide apparel companies through the pricing, forecasting, promotion, and markdown decisions they need to make throughout a product's life cycle to maximize margin.

Speed

We help accelerate end-to-end product creation and increase in-season response by redesigning the product-creation calendars. This helps streamline processes and clarify roles and responsibilities within an organization. Through digitizing processes and consumer-data analysis, we apply insights to merchandising and right-sizing of assortments to ensure consumer centricity is top of mind.

Omnichannel supply chain

We help clients in end-to-end transformations to build out segmented supply-chain capabilities. This includes omnichannel readiness, inventory visibility, redesigning of the physical flow of goods from suppliers to consumers, demand forecasting, and order management. Our partnerships with leading IT companies help to optimize and accelerate clients’ processes from planning through distribution to better manage costs and inventory along the way.

Sourcing

We use a multiphased approach—from diagnosis to implementation—to help clients make their sourcing decisions, increase end-to-end productivity of value chains, build strategic supplier partnerships, and integrate sustainability into their practices. To do this, we tap into our network of global sourcing centers, international Design-to-Value labs, and our Digital Capability Center in Aachen that focuses on textile manufacturing.

Restructuring

We begin by setting the right strategy in place, targeting sources of commercial and operational value as well as nonfinancial drivers that serve as indicators of future performance. We then identify and capture value through our proprietary tools, such as our Periscope Assortment Advisor software that models demand transferability and Wave, our web-based program-management tool that tracks initiatives and quantifies impact from the transformation.

Postmerger management

Postmerger, we help clients identify and tap into the right synergies, build capabilities, shape new corporate cultures, and streamline integrations. With value creation always our primary goal, we tailor the integration approach and pace to each client’s unique needs, assessing and aligning organizational compatibility to minimize any potential pain points along the way.

Partnership

Business of Fashion (BoF)

Since 2017, we have partnered with the media company Business of Fashion to provide a comprehensive view of the forces shaping the fashion industry. Together, we publish the annual State of Fashion report that offers an in-depth look at the leading global trends for the coming year, provides an update on industry sentiment based on the BoF–McKinsey Global Fashion Survey, and contains the McKinsey Global Fashion Index—a metric that estimates industry sales and tracks operating profit and economic-value creation. Additionally, the McKinsey Apparel, Fashion & Luxury team is a knowledge partner for the BoF VOICES conference, one of the leading industry events.

Featured Insight

Report

The State of Fashion 2021: In search of promise in perilous times

– In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate industry trends, with shopping shifting to digital channels and consumers continuing to champion fairness and social justice.

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Five charts that set the tone as New York Fashion Week 2021 kicks off

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‘Consumers are reconsidering what’s in their closets’: The state of fashion in 2021

– In this interview, Tiger of Sweden CEO Linda Dauriz shares her views on design inspiration and digital innovation—and why... consumers are embracing conscious consumerism.
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Less is the new more: The state of fashion in 2021

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Sporting goods 2021: The next normal for an industry in flux

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Is luxury resale the future of fashion?

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For H&M, the future of fashion is both ‘circular’ and digital

– Companies that “embrace circularity and digitization at the same time” will dominate the fashion industry, says Vanessa... Rothschild, H&M Group’s global sustainability steering and development manager.
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The future of sustainable fashion

– Consumers will increasingly expect—and demand—an emphasis on sustainability from fashion brands. Circular business... models won’t be optional.
Webinar

Sustainable fashion: How the fashion industry can urgently act to reduce its greenhouse gas emission

– By accelerating changes all along the value chain, the industry will be able to substantially reduce, and ultimately minimize,... its contribution to global warming.
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Fashion on climate

– How the fashion industry can urgently act to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions
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Biodiversity: The next frontier in sustainable fashion

– It’s time for the apparel industry to radically reduce the industry’s contribution to biodiversity loss. Here are... four interventions that can make the biggest impact.
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