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What can fashion designers teach small businesses? A hint: be global.


What can modern small businesses learn from fashion designers. In the latest interview for Economist magazine Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and creative director of Conde Nast, talked about globalisation and young American designers, among other topics.

Wintour said that there is no other way for a designer to achieve great success than to think global. The current globalist pessimism lies primarily in talks about tariffs and fair capital distribution. But that doesn’t necessarily change the formula. Anna Wintour:

Anna Wintour. Image by BoF

“To be a strong voice in fashion today you have to be global. And I think to think otherwise is ridiculous. It gives you a bigger platform. It gives you a wider audience. It gives you an ability to connect with more people every single day, and for them to wear your clothes. So why wouldn’t a designer working today want to be thought of as a global designer?”


The same idea is spread by Tom Ford, who has currently replaced Diane von Furstenberg as president of CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The very first point Ford raised was that: “American fashion has to be thought of as global”. Wintour adds: “And if you look at the history of great designers who have reached the great success, they haven’t reached that success by thinking: “Oh, I have to be French", or “Oh, I have to be Australian”, or whatever that may be. They have achieved that great success by reaching out to the world.”

This exact attitude has to be natural for small businesses all over the world. They can have global reach with very accessible instruments like Instagram, Squarespace webshops, Paypal payments, Mailchimp newsletters, and many marketing actions we cover on the pages of this journal.