The Genteel
February 28, 2021


Illustration by Shingo Shimizu.


As 2012 comes to an end, we pick our favourite Business articles of the year.


Luxury Fashion Courts Africa. The fashion industry is buzzing about the potential in Africa's growing middle class, particularly in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. But is the continent, which still faces issues of crushing famine and poverty, ready for luxury goods? Alina Kulesh explores the progression of luxury throughout the continent.


The Trade-offs of Trading Up Online. Luxury boutiques are cropping up in malls in cities big and small; high-end labels are offering low-end creations at retailers like Zara, H&M and Topshop; and, little by little, premium boutiques are morphing into sales-churning online shops. The democratisation of high-end fashion, especially via e-commerce, is changing the luxury landscape as we know it.


The United Kingdom of Menswear. This June will mark the first ever London Collections: Men during which over 60 menswear designers will show off what they do best in showrooms across London. Find out who's involved and what the event might mean for the future of menswear. Can independent designers sustain the same audience as major labels?


Struggle on the High Street. Despite maintaining an indomitable presence on the British high street for the past 128 years, Marks & Spencer has traversed troubled waters over the last decade. Whilst the tough economic climate and global recession have undoubtedly had a certain level of influence on falling profits, can Marks & Spencer be accused of being the architect of its own downfall?


All the World's a Runway. 2012 marked a changing of the guard for some of fashion's biggest brands. As Dior, Saint Laurent Paris and Balenciaga enter a new phase of creative direction, Olivia Wilbury considers the role and expectations of the contemporary creative director.

Fashioning of a Social Enterprise. Indego Africa is changing the way business is done with artisan cooperatives. The design-driven social enterprise has teamed up with the likes of Anthropologie, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren and Nicole Miller to facilitate market access, increase visibility and diversify sales channels for the company's female artisan partners in Rwanda.


Digital Newsstands with Virtual Shopping Racks. E-commerce shopping websites, along with bigger retailers, are exploring new ways of connecting with their customers, ways that seem to transcend traditional editorial models. Paul Aguirre-Livingston explores the next incarnations of the mail-order catalogue. 


Caveats of Conflict Diamonds. As Zimbabwe is accused of collusion and human rights abuses over diamond production in its Marange diamond field, the effectiveness of the Kimberely Process, the globally recognised body that aims to prevent the circulation of so-called "blood diamonds," is being called into question. As the Canadian diamond industry moves towards greater vertical integration, it struggles to find its place in the larger context. Justine Iaboni reports.




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