In a world where we say to celebrate change, we are actually scared shit and blame that same world for being a paranoid lover in an identity crisis. Funny enough, we create the change ourselves and there is no one to blame for it than ourselves. The world, let’s say Earth, is a sphere, a floating rock, a place that we borrow for the time we are here, but let’s give something back and stop blaming a rock for our own skills to change.

For years the fashion industry has been flourishing and leaders nor designers had to fear sales falling & decreasing profits. Then the wake-up call came, the downfall, and forced everybody (yes everybody) to start thinking about every move made. Maybe simplistic said, and you can say there was way more to it than highlighted in these two sentences, but we intent to make simple things rather complicated.

The Downfall, a fundamental and per analysist a ‘we-could-have-seen-it-coming’ happening that turned the industry upside down. And wow, how some smaller brands and start-ups took this to heart and just jumped in, dreaming the best, became the greatest! How some large corporates embraced the change and broke down walls they before never even dare to touch!

These surprising smaller brands have one thing in common; They just kick ass! Fearless to what is out there, and by a small set-up rather agile, quick in responding to that quick changing market. The real strength exiles when they maintain growth by not becoming overconfident. Some of those rising stars have been overpromising and underdelivering. This can mean instant death or a very long road recovering. Make sure you embrace what you’ve got and create a solid roadmap for the future to come – all will be fine – you got this!

When full teams are on board and change is embraced, top to bottom, globally and cross functional, also Corporate can react agile and deliver innovative strategies to market. When one of these connectors is not aligned, not involved, or just sticking with the old, this machine will simply not move forward.

I’ve seen teams move mountains (extremely inspiring!) but also seen teams climbing mountains without knowing where to go, without the proper gear and leverage. Strategies are worked out on top level and then totally diluted during operational implementation. Clear out room for assumptions and interpretations, make sure all faces are looking into the same direction, get the right people into the driving seat, and get rolling! It’s easier and more economical to de-route a going train to a new direction, than trying to find the right route from the start. You’ll waste fundamental time and most likely would create problems before they even exist. Within fashion, a month delay means a full next season down the drain! Think creative, bring innovative approaches to product and process, and implement that strategy together, on an operational level.

Change is good, change is opening heaps of potential, but only when you’re willing to do the leg work and break down some walls! Get going, stop waiting for others to get their first!

Two kick-ass drivers, that have caught my eye lately who seem to have found their way in handling this new vibrant market space –

Toms – A logic yet daring step forward, Toms is moving into a new product category – Apparel! Extending their portfolio by a partnership with & Other Stories, will not only increase their overall product output but also increase their giving contribution to children in need, educational purposes, etc.! This is just one to write down and follow – it’s all and stays all about giving!

Timberland –  Tapping into a new look with grace and sophistication – Urban Military. A collection that addresses street style in a complete new way, but still staying true to their design heritage and DNA. I’m sure that this will address new buyers and consumers, a great move!

xo Arinda (17/1/2017)