A Feel For Fashion: Imran Amed

Interviews, Inspirations

If, by chance, people are unfamiliar with Imran Amed MBE, they certainly know The Business of Fashion, the massive disruptor and respected source of trade and consumer news alike. As founder and CEO, he has expanded what began a savvy fashion blog in 2007 into a leading source for breaking news, detailed designer profiles, cogent collection reviews, and clever business analyses — with a team numbering more than 100 and upwards of 100,000 members. Beyond providing useful career tools and online learning on the site, BoF also hosts live and virtual events throughout the year that allow people to engage with and go deeper into various aspects of the industry. Amed’s BoF 500 list has become the ultimate global index of fashion’s most influential figures, and the 2023 edition was just revealed this week. For this 10th anniversary, new names to the total 1,291 total entries include Pharrell Williams, Style Not Com’s Beka Gvishiani, designers Nicolas Di Felice, Bianca Saunders, Gaurav Gupta, and Thebe Magugu, and Vogue Ukraine Editor-in-Chief, Vena Brykalin. With a new weekly letter on Saturdays, Amed provides his personal take on topical issues — whether going public or self-care. Tonight, however, will be all about celebrating as this charismatic Canadian who has called London home for decades hosts one of the biggest soirées of Paris Fashion Week to toast the BoF 500 as a collective of unrivalled talents.

What creates an emotional response for you in fashion today? 

For me, an emotional response comes from those rare fashion moments when everything clicks. It might be a show where everything on the runway works together in a way that is hard to explain. It's like magic. I remember some Haider Ackermann shows that had this kind of feeling. Let's just say, you know it when you feel it. You see it in the collection itself, of course, but also the music, the casting, the venue — sometimes even the scent in the room and the way the chairs feel as you sit in them. This is what I love about fashion, those emotional moments! 



What are you most curious to know about how designers work, how a collection comes together?

A lot of people wonder about a designer's inspiration. I am more interested in the designer's process. Every designer has a different way of channeling their creativity into a process so other people can understand their vision. It might start with a sketch or draping on a mannequin or creating a moodboard. I love to know how a designer starts, and then talk to them about how they explain this vision to other people. It's this critical element of taking an idea and communicating it in a way that others can get excited about it — and understand it — that is critical to a designer's success. What's the value of having a grand vision if you are not able to realise it?



In what ways are you seeing progress in fashion mirroring progress in the wider world? 


I don't think we are making enough progress. Sure, there are changes at the margins when we think about important issues like sustainability and belonging. But we are still an industry that produces too many things, wastes too much, stages too many events and makes people feel excluded. The changes we want to see will take time — I just hope they happen quickly enough. 



If you could change one aspect of how we experience fashion today, what would it be?


A lot of the magic is being lost these days with the over-emphasis on celebrities at fashion shows. Somehow, it sucks out the energy and focus from the designer's vision. Everyone, myself included, ends up gawking at people, and not enough time soaking up the ideas and creativity.  


What stands out as the most potentially disruptive influence on fashion in the near future? 


Without a doubt, it's artificial intelligence and how it will impact every aspect of the fashion industry in some way. I find it very exciting, but we are only at the beginning. We should start seeing some of that change very soon.


This interview has been lightly edited.