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How to get a front-row seat to the fashion industry

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Two almost-simultaneous trends, the rise of millennials and the rise of Asia, have given new direction to the fashion world. It’s a world in which YouTube and Instagram are rivaling Vogue and Elle for gatekeeper status; where the old guard is trying to adapt to fast-changing shifts in taste; where mobile phones are more important than storefronts; where high fashion has embraced hi-tops.


Welcome to our field guide on luxury and fashion. Check out other parts of our deep dive here.


It’s a lot to keep up with. Fortunately, we’ve distilled that world down to this master list of experts you can consult when wanting to stay on top of the latest developments. From Instagram influencers to Wall Street analysts, our tool kit will make sure you remain current on what’s au courant.

Analysts

Whether piping up on an earnings call or conducting their own research, these are some go-to sources of information about the luxury industry.

  • Marshal Cohen, NPD. Want a no-BS take on the sneaker market that cuts through the hype? Consult Cohen.
  • Luca Solca, Exane BNP Paribas. Solca’s experience as the head of luxury goods research at Exane BNP Paribas makes him a trusted industry source.

Instagram accounts

More than just a place for pretty pictures, these accounts are influencers in their own right.

  • Eva Chen. Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships is among the first to break news of new Instagram features and shines a light on up-and-coming brands.
  • Law Roach. Meet the buzzy stylist responsible for helping celebrities define their image through fashion.
  • Jelani Day. Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day’s son Jelani is helping expand his father’s brand well beyond a Gucci partnership
  • Lindsay Peoples Wagner. The newly appointed Teen Vogue editor has made a name for herself in the editorial world as a smart, no-nonsense voice.
  • James P Scully. A casting director and outspoken proponent for the #MeToo movement, keep an eye on Scully’s stories for the latest in the fight for models’ rights.
  • Elizabeth Holmes. If you care at all about image crafting, check out Holmes’ “So Many Thoughts” Instagram series, outlining how the British royal family communicates through fashion.
  • Fashion Revolution. The independent group promotes all-things ethical in the industry, from sustainable practices to responsible manufacturing.

Twitter accounts

The thing about the luxury sphere is that the editorial world is part of the machine, as writers and magazines offer their take on what’s new and relevant to readers. Twitter’s the platform where many writers share their work and talk shop. Here’s who to follow (including, ahem, this writer, if you’re feeling generous.)

  • Quartz’s own Marc Bain has the latest on industry news.
  • Bryan Boy (aka Bryan Yambao) provides an influencer’s perspective.
  • Tyler McCall is Fashionista’s deputy editor, and balances keen realism with unbridled enthusiasm for fashion.
  • An astoundingly good writer, Lauren Sherman analyzes the business side of the industry, writing about everything from conglomerate earnings to designer exclusives.
  • Essence Magazine’s fashion and beauty director Julee Wilson leads one of the industry’s most important magazines.
  • The Fashion Law, a blog run by Julie Zerbo, often breaks news about the latest luxury litigation.
  • Vanessa Friedman, the New York Times‘ fashion director, has front-row and behind-the-scenes looks into luxury.
  • Kim Bhasin at Bloomberg has a great new video series called “Invitation Only.”
  • FLOTUS has a penchant for wearing designer duds, and Kate Bennett’s usually the among the first to ID them
  • Loose Threads is a useful blog that explores topics like supply chain and retail branding.
  • Mikelle Street is uniquely adept at bridging the worlds of fashion, blackness, and queerness, though that’s hardly the end of it.

Newsletters

Subscribing to one (or all) of these newsletters means getting the juiciest, easy-to-read info straight to your inbox.

Documentaries

Luxury lends itself well to the visual medium—in this case, through a handful of insightful documentaries into the fashion design world and the luxury machine.

  • McQueen. Lee Alexander McQueen died in 2010, but this posthumous documentary reveals the legacy of his haunting, brilliant design career.
  • Dior & I. There are few designers who inspire the kind of excitement for fashion nerds as Raf Simons, who navigates his first season as Dior creative director in this documentary.
  • The First Monday in May. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how The Met Gala, fashion’s biggest event of the year, is organized from Vogue itself.
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor. This documentary examines what happens when the old vanguard of fashion confronts the realities of an ever-changing business.

Online sources for data

Consult any one of these sources for instant data about the luxury market.

  • BOF 500. An annual list of who’s-who in fashion.
  • Vogue Runway. The most comprehensive publicly-available fashion archive on the Internet.
  • Global Blue World Shopping Hub. Globalization is a defining principle of today’s luxury market, and Global Blue’s data illustrates how shopping happens across borders.
  • The Lyst Index. A quarterly list of the hottest products on the luxury market.
  • Edited. Software capable of tracking every product across the market.

Calendar events

Fashion is a moving carnival that crosses the globe annually. Here are the major events that the industry puts on.

  • The CFDA Awards. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, fashion’s governing body in the US, gathers to honor the industry’s successes.
  • Met Gala. Fashion’s biggest event of the year, the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala for celebrities and the ultra-wealthy.
  • New York Fashion Week. A bi-annual event that kicks off Fashion Month, exploring next season’s trends through the eyes of hundreds of designers.
  • CFDA-Vogue Fashion Fund. A competition to determine the year’s most promising emerging designer, as decided by a CFDA and a Vogue-selected panel of industry judges.
  • WWD CEO Summit. An exploration of all-things luxury from an executive-level perspective.
  • Pitti Uomo. A Milan-based exhibition of what’s next for the menswear market, and some major peacocking.
  • Complexcon. A weekend-long conference where Sneakerheads, fashion enthusiasts, and pop culture junkies meet.
  • Art Basel Miami. America’s premier art show where luxury brands hold events and fashion insiders congregate.
  • Beautycon. With beauty’s ever-growing importance to the luxury market, this conference highlights up-and-comers in the industry as well as stalwarts.