In-Demand Jobs in Fashion | BoF

Companies that have rushed to ramp up staff in the virtual world may be facing a very real downturn, so they’re less eager to hire those roles.

Job listings with the word “metaverse” in the title fell 81% across all industries from April to June, Bloomberg reported, citing research by workplace consultancy Revelio. Fashion is no exception. Brands are still launching a number of web3 and metaverse projects, but overall enthusiasm seems to be waning, coupled with the price of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

Fashion brands still rely on external partners to build virtual stores and fashion shows. But as companies like Puma, Adidas, Kenzo and Gucci create branded channels on Discord, a popular messaging platform for early web3 adopters, people like community managers and eventually some virtual salespeople Role staffing may be required. , experts say.

But these days, the priority is to adopt roles that help companies navigate the immediate uncertainty. Whether it’s supply chain disruptions, new environmental regulations, or changing demands from socially conscious consumers.

Diversity and inclusion managers and environmental, social and governance consultants, once a rarity in the fashion world, are a growing area, especially among large companies.

Lisa Buttkus, partner and retail leader at Hannold Associates, said, “Companies are asking, ‘What roles and competencies are needed to drive long-term strategies and navigate economic uncertainty? I am starting to think about whether And the practice of luxury goods.

Here, the BoF categorizes the fashion jobs that are currently in high demand.

Environmental, Social and Governance (or ESG) Compliance

For most of the last two decades, ESG has been an increasingly important but ill-defined topic. Each company had its own idea of ​​how to prioritize issues related to environmental impact and human rights.

Governments in North America and Europe are introducing a growing number of laws aimed at curbing abusive practices in fashion supply chains and boosting environmental standards. In the United States, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which took effect in June, bans the importation into the United States of goods produced by forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In the UK, the watchdog Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation in July into sustainability claims by fast-fashion brands Boohoo, Asos and clothing brand George of British supermarket chain Asda.

Fashion brands specialize in areas such as navigating international law and environmental regulations, said Sarah Orr, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Chicago who specializes in environmental, social and governance. We are in a hurry to hire a lawyer for our in-house team.

Whether internal or external, our legal counsel advises on ESG reporting and disclosure requirements, performs litigation risk analysis, assists in addressing shareholder activism, and assesses potential human rights and environmental risks in the supply chain. can be flagged. Companies seeking to increase their ESG expertise may also add personnel, communications, marketing and other areas to respond to the legal team’s recommendations, Orr said. increase.

Authentic Brands Group, the parent company of Nautica and Juicy Couture, is currently hiring an ESG Director (per LinkedIn), PVH Corp. is in need of a Senior Director of ESG Communications (per Career Site), and Saks Fifth Avenue is on track to continue. We are recruiting for the possibilities. A director post (according to LinkedIn) that requires a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies.

Supply chain and logistics

Constant port turmoil, product shortages, economic and geopolitical tensions, and rising consumer expectations for fast delivery have all impacted the supply chain, and the set of logistics, assortments, and operations that support its functioning. It helped me put the role at the top of my priority list. fashion company.

Inna Kuznetsova, CEO of ToolsGroup, a global supply chain planning and optimization company, said:

Nordstrom appointed its first chief supply chain officer early last year, Revlon hired a new CSCO in 2021 amid the turmoil, and luggage brand Away added its first chief operating officer the same year. All three pointed to the need to add the weight of the C suite behind their growing logistics challenges.

“In the past, when stores were the main driver of retail sales, the supply chain was more of a back-office function,” said Kyle Rudy, senior partner at executive recruiting firm Kirk Palmer Associates. increase. “Globalization and technology have changed that.”

According to Kuznetsova, fashion companies are looking for support positions such as operations managers, merchandising assortment planners, delivery and logistics specialists, and pricing and promotion specialists.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of supply chain management professionals (or logistics personnel) is expected to grow by 30% from 2020 to 2030. Kate Spade is currently looking for a Materials Development Coordinator and Materials Manager (via BoF Careers), Under Armor needs a Senior Materials Developer for apparel and accessories (via Careers Site), Luxottica is looking for a supply chain he is looking for analysts (via CareerBuilder). Gucci needs a vice president of supply chain, according to Gucci’s careers site.

According to Janou Pakter, founder of New York-based executive search firm Janou LLC, there are also new job titles, such as materials and product developers, that can help companies boost their sustainability efforts. It’s getting attention.

“I see places where people are winning awards all the time with amazing new sustainable materials,” she said. “[Being able to source] These materials and all these different fabrics — they’re incredibly hot and important.

Talent and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Consumers say their organizations have progressive policies that prioritize areas such as diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, and new employee expectations around flexibility, remote work, and employer-supported mental health. combined with the demands of HR, HR roles and responsibilities are becoming more complex and in demand. – best ever.

The turmoil of the past two years, including the pandemic, economic uncertainty, social justice protests and so-called mass resignations, has made some senior HR leaders “may not be as agile as the world needs right now.” said Rudy.

While this has resulted in higher turnover among senior leaders, it has also created new opportunities for companies to “upgrade” their HR departments and prioritize “agile and diverse” candidates.

Recruiting needs range from senior HR leaders to generalists and coordinators. Gucci is currently hiring a “people operations coordinator” and Balenciaga is looking for an HR generalist, according to her LinkedIn.

When it comes to DEI functions in particular, fashion companies from Kering to PVH Corp. to Nike and Lululemon have added diversity leaders to their executive ranks in the last two to four years. However, the role of Chief Diversity Officer itself is controversial due to high turnover and complaints that these executives are often overworked and underresourced.

Faced with renewed pressure to devote more resources to DEI goals, companies are beginning to increase the staff of the DEI function. With this, the DEI head is providing more resources to recruit and develop junior and mid-level managers and directors to help tackle the complexity of the function, he said. increase. .

Companies such as J.Crew and Tiffany & Co. have recently added diversity managers. Currently, Condé Nast is looking for a diversity and inclusion director, Farfetch is looking for a senior diversity and inclusion manager, and Nike is hiring a diversity and inclusion analyst for its business, according to LinkedIn.

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