The death knell for the fashion industry—heralded for years by analysts, pundits, and consumers alike—has finally arrived. Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Centric Brands, and Brooks Brothers are only the beginning. PVH and Gap have both lost over $1 billion this year. LVMH and Kering recently reported revenue drops of 38% and 44%, respectively, last quarter. We are witnessing the final crumbling of a tightly knit industry built on exploiting creative labor, wholesale cronyism, producing vast amounts of undesirable goods and dumping said goods into landfills.
For those familiar with the razor-thin margins and glacial pace of change found in many fashion organizations, the monstrous deficits making headlines are no surprise. For those in prominent industry networks hotly debating a revised fashion calendar, Instagram runway shows, and vaguely more controlled markdowns, you are missing the point.
Nearly every flaw in the fashion system can be traced back to