Anyone one would think getting fired from Vogue and getting criticised by Karl Lagerfeld for writing a scathing review for one of his Chanel collection would be career suicide in the fashion industry. However, fashion journalist Marion Hume has defied the odds and has established herself as one of the top fashion journalists in the world.
I attended a talk recently where Marion spoke about the last 25 years in fashion and how it had evolved. It was easy to admire Marion. She spoke engagingly about her experiences in fashion and what she thought of fashion in the past and today. You could tell she pulled no punches. She wasn’t afraid to say what she thought, even if it wasn’t popular opinion.
Starting as a shopgirl in Brown when she was a teenager, it seemed Marion was destined for a career in fashion. Before finding work as a journalist.
In the late 1990’s, Marion was hired as Editor for Australian Vogue. She lasted 18 months before she was sacked, rumour has it for putting a black woman (Naomi Campbell) on the cover. She spoke candidly about her sacking from Vogue, even joking that the media had a field day with it as the road out of Sydney happens to be called the Hume Highway.
With social media becoming a must in order to survive in the competitive retail world, Marion pointed out Burberry were the luxury brand leading the fashion world. Recently starting an Instagram account, Burberry have a presence on most social media platforms. Last year they staged a “Tweetwalk” were each runway look was premiered on Twitter moments before they hit the catwalk.
Marion also spoke of the impact of chainstores such as Zara and Topshop joining Australia’s retail landscape. Despite the increase in competition, Marion emphasised that there were brands such as Sportsgirl, Cue and Country Road who were doing great things.
Marion was blunt in her assessment that if they wanted to stay in business, Australian companies had to up their game. Their fashion imagery was good, but at this stage, it wasn’t good enough to compete on a world-scale. She also spoke about brands such as sass & bide and Karen Walker who have collaborated with Myer in order to survive. She emphasised that this environment of teamwork was necessary to stay in business in this industry.
Australian’s have turned online to shopping, with Australians being one of the countries with the biggest uptake in online retailing. However, Hume said that it was still important to support bricks and mortar stores as although the internet could do many things, the internet couldn’t replace good in-store service.
Marion spoke of her work with the ITC promoting ethical fashion. They are currently working with sass & bide accessories director Pip Edwards to raise awareness of sustainable fashion and support struggling communities.
Couturing thank Marion Hume for such in informative talk, Jenny from Infoforum.
Images courtesty of Inforforum