Unpredictability continued to shape the workplace and talent landscape in 2022, even as fashion leaders began to set more parameters around vaguely defined areas such as remote work, sustainability and diversity, equality and inclusion.
Lingering effects of “The Great Resignation” created a shortage of talent in critical functions such as supply chain, technology, environmental, social and governance, finance and human resources. Persistent labor shortages were felt most in stores and among early-career professionals and, all told, fashion executives and human resources leaders succumbed to salary demands and expectations around flexibility not seen before in the industry. were seen.
The uproar even reached the C-suite: Sonia Syngal of Gap Inc., Paolo De Cesare of MatchesFashion and Chris Morton of Lyst all left their posts in the same week in July. They joined a long and fast-growing list, including The RealReal and Under Armour, whose CEOs left in June, and Glossier, whose founder left in May. Before that, board changes took place at Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Versace.
Attempts to diversify have run into major hurdles as it became increasingly apparent that fashion companies were rushing to create new DEI-focused roles following the 2020 social justice protests. In terms of recruiting, the excitement around NFTs and the metaverse has subsided alongside cryptocurrency prices, though companies will continue to invest in features related to product innovation and technology that improves the customer experience in stores and online.
With a possible recession on the horizon, it remains to be seen whether fashion leaders will resist the temptation to cut back on talent investments and instead stay on track by prioritizing features that strengthen their businesses for the future.
Advice from fashion CEOs on leadership in a recession: The aftermath of the pandemic, a lingering labor shortage and an impending recession have created a challenging equation for leaders who must strike a delicate balance to move forward.
How to know when layoffs are coming – and what to do about it: Fashion workers worried about their jobs during an economic downturn should watch for warning signs and look for ways to hand over their roles if the worst happens.
High-demand jobs in fashion: Recruiters say interest in the metaverse is cooling, while brands are looking for candidates with the real expertise to navigate uncertain times.
What does it take to make Gen-Z happy at work?: Due to a shift in workplace power dynamics, companies are struggling to balance the expectations of their youngest employees with the needs of their company.
Quiet stops, work hoarding and other workplace trends, explained: The proliferation of catchy phrases to describe how people behave at work is the latest indication of the challenging climate for fashion companies and their employees.
Why do Fashion’s Chief Diversity Officers keep quitting?: Dozens of companies have hired diversity leaders in the past two years, but executives who take on these roles are often overworked and under-resourced.
The CEO Shakeup After the PandemicFrom Gap to MatchesFashion, fashion companies are shaking up the top job as the industry moves past some of the Covid-era troubles and prepares for a new set of challenges, including an economic downturn.
Where are the black CEOs of Fashion?: Disappearingly few big, established brands have appointed black CEOs, even after two years of theoretically addressing racial injustice.