The Fashion Industry and Us
By Erica and Karen
We have been wondering for some time why the fashion industry isn't making clothes for our Boomer women demographic. We have the money and the time. Why aren't we getting sleeves, longer hems and neck lines that flatter? We just learned one potential reason: the fashion industry itself.
As reported by Vanessa Friedman in the May 20 NYT Style Section, there just aren't enough women calling the shots at the top of the fashion industry. According to a recent study, commissioned by the Council of Fashion Designers, Glamour and McKinsey, 85% of fashion majors are female but only 14% of major brands are run by female executives. Meaning that the few males at the entry level end up taking over the place--apparently for the same old reasons: motherhood, lack of mentorship and confidence, failing to seek promotions, etc. etc.
But for these diversity issues, the equation is simple. Women's clothes make up the majority of sales (something like 40%). A lot of women are Boomers. Boomers have money. Women understand the needs and wants of other women. Diane Von Furstenberg got our needs then and does so still. (Some men may too, but they clearly don't have the same image and dressing room issues we do.) We need women at the top who can see us, recognize our value and address our market's needs. It would be good for everyone.
Let's make our voices heard and let those women at the top who meet our needs know they can count on our support. Some brands led/founded by women: Burberry, Rent the Runway, Cuyana, La Ligne, Kate Spade, Stitch Fix, Moda Operandi. Prada, the RealReal, Dior, Givenchy, Rachel Comey, Maria Cornejo, Rosie Assouline, Altuzarra.
For us and for those recent female fashion graduates who need to be able to make it all the way to the top, let's vote with our pocketbooks and fix this.