“The next generation of retail apparel leaders will not be experts in fashion. They will focus more on data and supply chains.” Read that again! While you certainly need to know fashion, and how it creates a visual story that will appeal to your target consumer, if you want to work in the industry, you need to start focusing on the numbers behind the scenes. Product design and lifecycle, marketing, manufacturing — all aspects of the industry are undergoing rapid change. Some of the hallmarks of the apparel cycle are becoming less relevant, including fashion shows and print media releases. If you want to work in fashion, stay on top of the news and be thinking about how to connect with customers who no longer want to haunt the mall stores! Learn to use data in decision-making, and start digging into the analytics on your own social media sites.