How resilient is your brand to the changes that are happening in the fashion market today?

I had the opportunity to explore that question with a live audience of creative business owners at #FASHIONTECH, part of the Premium International trade show, Berlin.


The digital revolution has completely disrupted the fashion business. The traditional methods of growing brand awareness no longer work and competition is set to only get more intense. The question that needs to be answered is this “how can I stand out?”

Many fashion business owners are aware that they have issues in their business that they need to address; their sales have stalled, cash flow and production is a constant issue and they are aware they need to address the digital market. They feel the change, yet don’t have a strategy to address them.

We launched the Resilience Workshop at #FASHIONTECH as it was a great opportunity for many of the owners of international fashion brands to get an independent, objective audit of their brands’ strengths and weaknesses. I began by giving a short introduction to my ALIGN principle, a five-step method that captures the big concepts of the fashion business and frames it in a unique check and balance system. We use this as a framework to help businesses align their creative and strategic vision.

Then we began the masterclass questionnaire. Forty-four very carefully constructed questions, all to be answered in quick succession with an honest answer of Yes or No (Green for Yes, and Red for No) This fun and quick-fire session, helps ambitious brand owners understand the market opportunities, stress-test their business resilience and to understand the key elements that need to be aligned in order to stand out in today’s digital market.

Whilst it’s a fun exercise the results are very revealing, effectively providing you with a heat map of your business. More importantly, it highlights the urgent issues that need to be addressed today.

It’s clear from the results that many brands are looking for strategic clarity and attendees found the masterclass incredibly thought-provoking. That’s the key to moving forward. It’s about looking up, seeing the bigger picture and just how the business has changed. Recognising that a change of mindset needs to happen before you can see the huge opportunities ahead.

I caught up with Thomas, the Director Business Development Premium Group. I asked him his thoughts about the future trend of the market. He agreed for the forward-thinking focused brands there is plenty of opportunities.

“As the organisers of major international trade shows, we are always researching what is affecting the business. Fashion has been very disrupted by digital, but the reports we’ve been presented by KPMG show that despite the market volatility, the fashion market will still be in growth.

Reports predict that it will grow steadily till 2025, much of that growth coming from consumers spending more on e-Commerce, but also the multi-brand boutiques who get the customer experience right, taking the lead when it comes to wholesale.

Those most at risk are small to medium owner led businesses who are not thinking digital and are unable to differentiate themselves with a uniquely curated portfolio, clearly defined target groups and in-store experiences.”

Thomas Johann Lorenz
Director Business Development Premium Group,
Founder Premium Group Digital

Are you one of the fashion businesses today struggling to cope with the huge magnitude and scale of the changes happening? Would you like to heat map your business today?

Request your free copy of our valuable and thought-provoking tool that reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your fashion business. CLICK HERE.

Joanne Yulan Jong is a fashion designer, creative director, author, and founder of Yulan Creative. Her global client list includes Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Daks Simpson, The Austin Reed Group, The White Company, Liberty, ME+EM and Petit Tribe.

Her fashion consultancy specializes in helping established and entrepreneur-led brands to ALIGN their creative vision with their business strategy, and grow.

Her book “The Fashion Switch” will be published this year by Rethink Press.

Joanne has guest lectured at universities such as Edinburgh College of Art, Kingston University, London College of Contemporary Arts, University of East London, Winchester School of Art and the V&A Museum. * Follow Yulan Creative on Twitter

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