What Fashion PR & Communications Professionals Need to Know Today

Discover the most relevant industry news and insights for fashion PR & communications professionals, updated each month to enable you to excel in job interviews, promotion conversations or 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 — to deliver key takeaways and learnings tailored to your job function, listed alongside a selection of the most exciting live jobs advertised by BoF Careers partners.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for PR & communications professionals today:

1. The Marketing Challenge Behind Schiaparelli’s Fur Faux Pas

(Left to right) Front row at Schiaparelli's Couture show in Paris: Kylie Jenner, Marisa Berenson, Doja Cat, Diane Kruger and Rossy de Palma.

Though fur-free and hand-crafted from materials including foam, resin, wool and silk, [Schiaparelli’s latest couture collection was] widely criticised as tastelessly glamourising big-game hunting, objectionable for its links to wealth inequality and the legacy of colonialism, as well as the killing of endangered animals for sport.

Fashion brands are under increased pressure to reflect shifting consumer values on topics from climate change to animal welfare to social justice. And the outraged response to Schiaparelli’s stunt speaks to the delicate path brands must navigate between shock-and-awe marketing tactics and upholding those values. Nailing that balance is tricky, with social media pushing brands to chase clicky content that keeps them in the conversation, while the bounds of acceptability are reframed by heightened ethical, social and environmental concerns.

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Global Retail Communications, Training and Development Intern, Hugo Boss — Stuttgart, Germany

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2. Op-Ed | Tiffany x Nike: You Can’t Buy ‘Cred’

Tiffany and Nike have collaborated to create a $400 Nike Air Force 1 Low sneaker, which is facing criticism from sneakerheads.

[Christopher Morency, chief brand officer of Vanguards, argues] Tiffany and Nike’s partnership failed on multiple levels. First, there was no authentic synergy between the two brands, no discernable rationale for the collaboration other than two corporate juggernauts wanting to generate marketing buzz. Unlike the best collaborations, the whole wasn’t greater than the sum of its parts.

Then, there was the execution. While the ads were clever, the product itself was a misfire. To say it lacked imagination would be an understatement. What’s more, the choice of colourway seemed to reflect an executive team unaware of the memes surrounding Nike’s black Air Force 1s, which are widely spoofed as linked to untrustworthy types.

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PR Intern, Arddun Agency — London, United Kingdom

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3. Burberry Reveals New Logo, First Campaign By Daniel Lee Ahead of Debut Show

Shygirl and Vanessa Redgrave are among the British talents cast in the new Burberry campaign, the first under the creative direction of Daniel Lee.

Burberry has changed its logo and released its first campaign under the creative direction of British designer Daniel Lee, who succeeded Riccardo Tisci last September.

While the campaign doesn’t yet feature products designed by Lee, the release signals Burberry is getting a complete creative overhaul under the stewardship of Yorkshire-born designer and new CEO Jonathan Akeroyd. The brand wiped its social media accounts over the weekend ahead of the launch. “The next phase is about realising our potential as the modern British luxury brand,” Akeroyd said in September when he revealed his strategy to investors.

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Menswear PR Coordinator, Couverture & The Garbstore — London, United Kingdom

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4. Fashion’s Dreams for ChatGPT

Supercharged chatbots, hyper-personalised marketing copy and new ways for shoppers to discover fashion online are just a few of the dream applications for ChatGPT and similar AI models.

ChatGPT is a type of AI called a large language model. They are trained on huge volumes of data — plus some fine-tuning by human supervisors in ChatGPT’s case — and what makes them noteworthy is their ability to perform an array of different tasks. Right now, the data a model like ChatGPT is trained on tends to be whatever is publicly accessible online, but where they arguably hold the greatest potential for businesses is when companies start merging the tools with their own data, creating much more specific applications.

If conversational AI begins to change how people search online, it could shift the way shoppers discover new products. Instead of searching for, say, “best running sneakers 2023″ and then looking at lists compiled by different sites, a customer might just expect the search engine to digest all the information out there and provide an answer directly.

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Communications Assistant, Emilia Wickstead — London, United Kingdom

North America Communications and Brand Events, Tiffany & Co. — New York, United States

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5. Why Fashion Is Taking Video Games Seriously

A figure covered in a graphic print stands in front of a pool in a digital image.

Today, games aren’t just entertainment. They’re a cultural force in their own right. The kids who grew up with the first home consoles are now older adults with disposable income and fond memories of playing their favourite titles. To younger generations, whose media diets are as much YouTube and Twitch as television, games are on equal footing with music and movies. Recently, [Deloitte] found watching TV and movies at home was still the favourite entertainment activity of older groups, but not for Gen-Z.

This game-loving generation comprises a growing share of fashion sales. In its 2022 luxury market recap, for instance, Bain & Company noted that Millennials and Gen-Z were behind all the growth in the market last year, and that the “spending of Gen-Z and the even younger Generation Alpha is set to grow three times faster than other generations’ through 2030, making up a third of the market,” the authors wrote.

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6. What Happens When Consumers Don’t Trust ‘Clean’

Clean beauty's future remains uncertain.

In November 2022, Sephora was hit with a class-action lawsuit by Lindsey Finster, who claims she was misled by the retailer’s labelling while shopping for mascara. The product in question was Saie Beauty Mascara 101, which gets the “Clean at Sephora” stamp of approval, a designation Sephora defines as products that are “formulated without parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oils, formaldehyde, and more.”

Once a valuable differentiator in the crowded beauty market, clean has become too ubiquitous to help a brand stand out, and in some cases, it has even become a liability. Brands and retailers risk a backlash if they are seen as failing to adequately explain the safety and efficacy of their products. Meanwhile, clean’s power as a marketing tool is being diminished as critics — both online and in court — question the validity of such claims.

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7. What Fashion Can Learn From Gen-Z’s Approach to Gender

Timothée Chalamet at Venice Film Festival

Born between the mid-1990s and the 2010s, [Gen-Z] has been vocal — most often on social media — about their opposition to being pigeonholed into a binary world of male and female. But as brands and retailers are discovering, changing their gender-specific shopping experiences and building a fluid fashion offering that resonates with this generation is far from straightforward.

As such, Gen-Z may not be seeking out gender-neutral fashion explicitly, but choosing to interact with brands in a less restrictive way than generations past. […] Increasingly, they see themselves as co-creators, playing an active part in the ideation of new styles, rather than waiting for brands to show them what the next big trends are. Steve Dool, brand director of social e-commerce company Depop, told BoF Insights: “This generation is more likely to gain inspiration from their peers and who they see online, versus the top-down fashion system that has been the default trend driver for previous generations.”

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8. The Strategy Behind Skims’ Viral White Lotus Campaign

Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò star in Skims' Valentine's Day campaign.

For its Valentine’s Day campaign, which dropped on Jan. 23, [Kim Kardashian’s brand Skims] cast Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò, two Italian actresses who have recently shot to the top of the cultural zeitgeist thanks to their roles as swindling sex workers in HBO’s hit series The White Lotus.

The morning after the finale aired, Kardashian suggested casting the two as the stars of a Valentine’s Day campaign. They felt that the show’s momentum would continue throughout awards season and charged ahead with getting the campaign together. It ended up dropping just over six weeks after the finale — and just a few weeks after it picked up two trophies at the Golden Globes. […] Much of the brand’s marketing strategy is led by the idea of creating moments in culture, much as, [said Jens Grede, the co-founder and CEO of Skims], Kardashian’s own career has been.

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