When the movie The Devil Wears Prada came out in 2006, the world saw a new type of leadership in fashion – one dominated by a strong female leader (played by Meryl Streep). And, although the story focused on a fashion magazine, and the main character was reportedly based on the real-life editor of Vogue Anna Wintour, it seems like we’ll be seeing more and more women in power in fashion. At least, that’s what Nextail is saying.
More Female CEOs
Nextail is a cloud-based SaaS platform that assists with automation solutions in merchandising. Their latest report says that the modern chief executive officer in fashion is an ecologically aware and digitally savvy woman. In its “Fashion’s Newest CEOs at the top of 2021” report, Nextail shows a growing number of new women CEOs. The company also reports that fashion brands are now looking for a new type of skill set in leadership positions where risk aversion and sustainability are top priorities. Nextail says that it’s these types of shifts that are paving the way for more women in power in the industry.
The Ideal CEO Profile Has Changed
Nextail also reports that fashion companies are looking to hire CEOs who can bring in “increased experience” in three main areas: 1) product (marketing, design, and brand), 2) analytical (finance, strategy, and merchandise planning), and 3) operations (logistics, HR, and supply chain). As a result of this shift, Nextail found a 95% growth in female leadership as compared to their previous year’s report.
Two prime examples of newly-appointed women CEOs in fashion are Sonia Syngal at Gap and Helena Helmersson at H&M. Nextail emphasized the immediate boost in sales and performance that both women brought to the brands and explained it with their unique skill set that matched the new hiring paradigm of recent months.
We’re yet to see whether Nextail’s report is realistic or not, but one thing’s for sure; these are truly exciting times for fashion.