Ahead of the release next week of a "speed to market" survey by McKinsey & Co. Inc. in partnership with WWD, Jennifer Schmidt, senior partner at McKinsey, shared some of the conclusions drawn from the research as well as some actionable steps retailers and fashion brands can take to improve supply chains and reduce long lead times.The report, which will be released during the WWD Apparel & Retail CEO Summit, was based on a survey of industry executives and was conducted as the market adapts to changes in consumer behavior. Researchers at McKinsey assert that retailers and brands need improved lead times as well as to leverage consumer data and insights — and many do, but perhaps not enough."Throughout the product development process, executives report that insights are being used, but most often from traditional sources (e.g., sell-through, web analytics), with fewer (less than 20 percent) playing in more advanced techniques (e.g., predictive analytics, big data analytics) that can help to anticipate what consumers will actually want," Schmidt noted.Schmidt also said two-thirds of respondents report that "improving speed to market and supply chain efficiencies is a top priority, but the majority are still playing by the old rules with seasonal development processes longer than a year — this means they are not even able to use insights from the mirror season when they start the development process."And when it comes to making needed investments in technology, Schmidt said it "appears lower on the priority list, with 35 percent of executives reporting that they have not digitized any of the product development process and only 7 percent marking technology as a top priority."She went on to note that McKinsey sees technology "as one of the key enablers to speed to market and supply chain efficiencies [and] will be important for businesses to marry these two priorities going forward."Regarding actionable steps to improve speed to market, Schmidt said companies need to "start with a proof of concept, prove that it works and has impact with a clear set of KPIs (while also identifying areas to course correct) and use the start to build momentum and excitement in the organization."Schmidt also stressed the need to invest in talent and capabilities that are "needed to navigate this change in both supply chain and consumer insights. She also said not to "underestimate change management needed — not only are skills needed, but new mind-sets.""Make this a fail-fast-and-learn model," she added.For More Business News From WWD, See:Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce RetailersConsumer Preferences Reshaping Retail LandscapeAs IoT Grows, AT&T Sees Broad Deployment of Connected Devices and ProductsHow Malls Can Satiate Consumer Desires for Experiences
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast