The BoF 2018 report marks a historical turning point in the fashion world

In brief
The BoF "State of Fashion 2018" nominates Asia as the market of reference in the sector. To date, the continent accounts for more than half of global online sales and about two-thirds of digital commerce startups at over $1 billion.

The publication of the annual Business of Fashion report – more simply the BoF – is considered an unmissable event for creatives, managers and fashion brands all over the world. As soon as it was published and not unexpectedly, the BoF “State of Fashion 2018” made it definitive, both within the sector and in the public domain, that Asia will now be the industry’s main market of reference. To date, the continent accounts for more than half of global online sales and about two-thirds of digital commerce startups at over $1 billion. The development of the sector will be around 4%. The significant figure is that 50% of international business (approximately $2.5 trillion) will be produced outside Europe and North America, with Asia, Latin America and Africa as the regions driving consumption. India, Vietnam and China are among the key players in this turning point are. According to the BoF 2018 report, these emerging markets will see their business grow between 6.5 and 7.5%, while the figures for the new European players (Romania, Russia and Turkey) are between 5.5 and 6.5%. It is another story for the more mature North American and European markets, which will not go beyond a growth rate of between 1 and 3%. New consumer trends, in particular those that can be attributed to the primary target of the Millennials, are based on the personalisation of the relationship with the brand: on online platforms, through advanced purchasing experiences at points of sale, and on mobile services. Thanks to the diffusion of smartphones (according to research by Ericsson in the period 2017-2023 the number of devices will go from 4.4 to 7.3 billion) and the explosion of online payments, the value of mobile transactions will grow for BoF between eight and twentyfold on 2015, with Latin America (+19%) out in front. Mobile is not the only strategic technology in the development of world fashion. Artificial intelligence systems (in the BoF Report 2018 McKinsey has two pages on this) will play an important role. From 2013-16, investments in AI technologies have grown at a compound annual rate of almost 40 percent. But these investments are very geographically concentrated and see Europe lagging behind the United States and China. Last but not least, there is sustainability. For BoF the affirmation or the decline of the brands in the sector will also be proportional to their ability show credibility on the issues of transparency and respect for ethical development requirements.