Fashion CFO / FD Recruitment
One of the most in-demand jobs in the fashion industry isn’t that of editor or designer. It’s CFO and FD. Fashion brands of every size have been turning to senior financial executives to step up and take on a greater operation and strategic role within their organisations. This demand reflects the evolution of the roles of CFO and FD as they move from being bean counters to business leaders.
The role of CFO has traditionally focused on financial reporting and compliance within the fashion industry. Today’s fashion CFOs are setting the strategic direction of companies in one of the most competitive industries, navigating supply chains, changing consumer expectations, and spearheading digital transformations.
The fashion industry is becoming increasingly complex – handling larger distribution channels with brands expanding at a rapid pace. All this is happening with the backdrop of growing calls for greater transparency and more sustainable practices. CFOs are uniquely positioned to drive growth while developing the company long-term.
At FD Capital, we connect fashion companies of all sizes with senior financial executives, including CFOs and FDs. Start the process of recruiting a fashion CFO or FD today by contacting our team at email@example.com.
The Growth of Fashion CFOs and FDs
CFOs have been amongst some of the most significant appointments in the fashion industry in the last 18 months. Over 50 international companies, including LVMH and Skims, have named new CFOs within this time frame. The rise of venture capital within the industry and the economic impact of slowing growth, the pandemic, and high inflation have led to companies prioritising CFO and FD recruitment.
Fashion companies are seeking senior financial executives with experience working in consumer industries. The role of fashion CFO has seen a drastic shift in the last two years, turbo-charged by the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank that impacted large sections of the industry.
The fast-evolving fashion landscape and economic upheaval have put CFOs into the spotlight. Brands like ASOS have chosen to bring in interim CFOs to steady the ship and develop a forward-thinking strategy.
CFOs are playing a vital role in the digital transition of fashion brands as they shift from traditional retail spaces to online stores. Fashion CFOs have been navigating unfamiliar territory, moving beyond financial decision-making to taking a larger decision-making role by providing data and real-time insights.
FDs and CFOs are uniquely positioned to help fashion brands of every size overcome the economic, financial, and practical challenges they face. The financial planning and analysis carried out by senior financial executives impact every aspect of the company, leading them to have a more collaborative role with other departments.
Challenges Facing CFOs and FDs in the Fashion Industry
Senior financial executives in the fashion industry face a series of challenges on every front. Most brands are navigating drastic real estate downsizing with a reduced number of physical stores in favour of a larger online presence. Fashion brands with a positive growth sheet are increasingly exploring merger and acquisition opportunities.
CFOs are financial architects for fashion brands, identifying opportunities for long-term investments, including digital growth and product development. Industry knowledge is crucial for fashion CFOs who will work closely with the Sales Director to understand consumer behaviour and cater for changing consumer expectations. For example, CFOs and FDs have had to find a way to meet consumer expectations for free shipping on online orders without negatively impacting revenue.
Direct-to-consumer fashion brands, such as ASOS, have found themselves in financial turmoil in recent years, having a revolving door of CFOs.
It’s no surprise that fashion brands are turning to CFOs and FDs with experience navigating other financial crises and industry upheaval. Fashion brands face a challenge when recruiting CFOs. They need a candidate with prior experience and relevant knowledge of the industry or a similar sector to understand customer relations.
A fashion brand needs the right CFO who can guide the organisation through macroeconomic challenges, digital transformation, evolving consumer expectations, and growing calls for more sustainable practices.
Companies have to balance the need for an experienced set of hands with wanting a candidate who is flexible and able to navigate the changing consumer landscape. CFOs and FDs will be navigating issues as varied as physical stores, supply chain logistics, automation, and technology.
The Next Generation of Fashion CFOs
CFOs from the fashion industry are transforming from financial guardians to business leaders, becoming key public figures and engaging with board members. Companies need to look out for candidates who can offer cultural leadership and are strong communicators who can interact with stakeholders throughout the company.
Candidates who have strategic vision, communication skills, and financial knowledge are prime to become the next generation of fashion CFOs. Their public profile is likely to expand, especially amongst fashion brands seeking IPO or private equity to expand.
CFOs and FDs from other industries are increasingly looking to explore opportunities in the fashion industry as the sector becomes more complex. Brands of every size, from independent start-ups to luxury conglomerates, must navigate production lines, distribution channels, and rising costs. Most fashion companies typically aspire to launch diffusion brands and sister labels, creating more situations for CFOs and FDs to navigate.
Today’s CFOs and FDs are increasingly digital natives who are leveraging technology and real-time insights to produce better decision-making. They’re utilising e-commerce and social media to realise the company’s short and long-term goals.
Fashion companies are facing increasingly louder calls for more sustainability with the possibility of environmental regulation being implemented in the next few years. Consumers are increasingly expecting companies to be more transparent about their sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint.
Recruit a Fashion CFO or Financial Director Today
FD Capital is the UK’s leading financial recruitment agency, connecting start-ups and SMEs with CFOs and FDs who have experience working within the fashion industry and beyond. Our talent pool includes senior financial executives available to work on a part-time, full-time, and interim basis, both in-house and remotely.
Start the process of recruiting a fashion CFO or FD today by contacting our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3287 9501.