The Business of Fashion Podcast
Aniyia Williams on Why Self-Examination Is Critical to Dismantling Racism in Fashion

Aniyia Williams on Why Self-Examination Is Critical to Dismantling Racism in Fashion

July 1, 2020
LONDON, United Kingdom — Aniyia Williams is ready for difficult conversations. The opera singer-turned-fashion tech entrepreneur has navigated systemic racism within corporate culture for years. And as companies slowly begin the process of dismantling policies and norms that harm Black people within them, Williams has a few ideas on where they go from here.

“The biggest thing that gets in the way is self-interest,” Williams told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in the latest edition of the BoF Podcast. “Discomfort is the key ingredient to getting to the other side.”

  • Self-examination is critical. “It starts with the blind spots,” Williams said. “You are going to find things you don’t like about yourself.” Companies should look to their own practises and corporate culture to understand who they benefit and what needs to change.
  • You’re not going to hire your way to diversity, inclusion and equity. “What’s more important,” said Williams, is the environment that exists to support those people once they’re hired. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can only go so far, and it starts with senior leadership recognising the need to change both policies and company culture. “If the leadership isn’t buying into those ideals... I don't know how you can expect anyone else to,” Williams added.
  • Act to make it true. Aside from social media posts and one-time donations, fashion companies need to push for a larger, longer-term change. Diversity and inclusion at its core is about creating shared realities that understand what each employee is facing. “What is our relationship to each other going to be and is it going to be as fair and equitable as it can be?” asked Williams.
 
 

Watch and listen to more #BoFLIVE conversations here. To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions, or speaker ideas please e-mail podcast@businessoffashion.com.

 

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Scott Galloway on Breaking Up Big Luxury | Inside Fashion

Scott Galloway on Breaking Up Big Luxury | Inside Fashion

May 29, 2020

The bestselling author and business professor offers his insight into the challenging market and M&A landscape that industry players of all sizes have to navigate.

Scott Galloway is no stranger to expressing views as provocative as they are incisive. The author, business school professor and serial entrepreneur has a lot to say about the state of the market in the era of Covid-19, but his observations and predictions are also, crucially, grounded in wider social, political and economic arguments — whether that’s the now-untenable position of American exceptionalism, the burden of student debt or the failings of intergenerational wealth distribution. Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, Galloway shares his thoughts on the state of the luxury sector, importance of e-commerce and the indomitable power of Amazon, a company he describes as “firing on all 12,000 cylinders” yet still can’t crack the fashion market. Here are some of the key takeaways:
 
  • “The class of IPOs that will come to the markets in the next 3-6 months will boom,” said Galloway. “I think the markets are going to accelerate but people conflate the markets with the economic health of america. The markets are nothing more than an indication of how the top decile of Europe and America are doing.” 
  • Amazon’s tricky relationship with fashion and luxury is hard to reconcile. “Amazon partners with an industry the way a virus partners with a host,” he said, which explains why luxury brands have traditionally kept the e-commerce giant at arm’s length. Even with the remarkable acceleration of e-commerce in the past eight weeks, however, Amazon’s algorithmically driven retail model does not allow for the forward-looking trend cycle on which the fashion industry operates.
  • Luxury is a relatively well-positioned industry. “The majority of sectors in the world would pray for luxury’s problems right now,” he said, but much like big tech companies, conglomerates in the luxury space create “an unhealthy environment where too few players are allowed to [accrue] too much power... if you wanted to oxygenate the economy around luxury you would go ahead and break them up.”
 
 
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Special Edition: Luca Solca on ‘The Worst Year in the History of Modern Luxury’

Special Edition: Luca Solca on ‘The Worst Year in the History of Modern Luxury’

March 19, 2020

BoF’s Imran Amed and the Bernstein analyst discuss what the sector should expect as coronavirus threatens sales and supply chains.

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The Rise of The Resale Economy | BoF VOICES

The Rise of The Resale Economy | BoF VOICES

February 14, 2020

Vestiaire Collective’s Max Bittner and Depop’s Maria Raga discussed the opportunities and growing pains of the burgeoning resale market at VOICES 2019.

To watch this talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Mickey Drexler on How to Make Things People Will Buy | Inside Fashion

Mickey Drexler on How to Make Things People Will Buy | Inside Fashion

January 24, 2020

The New York-based ‘merchant prince’ speaks with BoF’s Lauren Sherman about discount culture and how tapping into the zeitgeist helped turn around brands like Gap and J.Crew.

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Carole Cadwalladr Asks, Is This the End of Democracy? | BoF VOICES

Carole Cadwalladr Asks, Is This the End of Democracy? | BoF VOICES

December 7, 2019

In the face of major data breaches, investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr brings to light the failure of Western governments to punish Facebook.

To watch Carole's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

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Inside The State of Fashion 2020 | Inside Fashion

Inside The State of Fashion 2020 | Inside Fashion

November 29, 2019

Listen to BoF's Imran Amed and McKinsey’s Achim Berg discuss the key themes that will define the global fashion industry in the next year.

 

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Ganni’s Nicolaj Reffstrup on Measuring Ecological Impact Effectively | Drive Season 2

Ganni’s Nicolaj Reffstrup on Measuring Ecological Impact Effectively | Drive Season 2

November 8, 2019

Having turned the Danish womenswear brand from a virtual unknown to a global trendsetter, Ganni's founder discusses how his tech background fuelled his approach.

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Welcome to Season 2 of Drive | Drive

Welcome to Season 2 of Drive | Drive

September 27, 2019

In a new season of our entrepreneurship podcast series, we hear from six of fashion’s most dynamic sustainable entrepreneurs — Allbirds’ Tim Brown, Eileen Fisher, Everlane’s Michael Preysman, Reformation's Yael Aflalo, Ganni’s founder and Noah's founder — to hear what it takes to make successful businesses sustainable.

The first episode with Allbirds’ Tim Brown launches on October 12, 2019.

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Dana Thomas’ ‘Book of Hope’ | Inside Fashion

Dana Thomas’ ‘Book of Hope’ | Inside Fashion

September 13, 2019

The acclaimed fashion journalist discusses "Fashionopolis," a seething indictment of the industry's hugely damaging environmental and social impact that concludes with a glimmer of optimism.

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