Dear BoF Community,
Today, The Business of Fashion is excited to reveal The BoF 500 Class of 2023, our latest additions to the definitive index of the people shaping the global fashion industry of today and tomorrow.
Over the last few months, we have conducted extensive research — sifting through hundreds of nominations from existing BoF 500 members, our editorial team and other key sources around the world — in order to select 100 new additions to this influential global community based on key factors including leadership, creativity, innovation and impact.
The BoF 500 first began as an index of the 500 most influential people in the global fashion industry in September 2013. Since then, we have regularly added new names to this inspiring, ever-growing group which now includes 1,291 entries representing more than 70 nationalities.
It’s always an inspiring, educational — and humbling — process to benefit from the collective knowledge, expertise and taste of our community as we learn more about people doing incredible work to push the fashion industry forward. This year’s class includes people from 44 nationalities working across 8 categories: Designers, Executives, Media, Retailers, Entrepreneurs, Creative Class, Models & Muses and Catalysts. Bold-faced names and emerging talents alike, each of them is advancing the industry in important ways.
Take the make-up artist, Valentina Li, who was nominated by photographer Zhong Lin. Born in Guangxi, a small village in southwestern China, Valentina is now based in France and was recently named a member of Chanel’s newly established Cometes Collective, a community of emerging makeup artists. But this achievement comes after years of doggedly pursuing a creative path from a very young age. Valentina initially studied journalism, but found no joy in it. She convinced her parents to let her study in Paris in pursuit of her fashion dreams, and by staying true to her love of sci-fi and otherworldly aesthetics has delivered unique work that’s earned her a global reputation.
Sometimes new BoF 500 members are high-potential talents whose fashion careers we have been following from the start. This was the case of twin sisters Neeka and Leila Mashouf whom we first met when they spoke at our BoF Professional Summit in New York in March 2022. The San Francisco-based entrepreneurs, educated at UC Berkeley, and Harvard and Stanford, respectively, discussed how they were building a company that would turn carbon emissions into textiles. It sounded like something from the future, but it’s happening now. Together, they have raised $13.5 million in funding from sustainability leaders including Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures and BoF 500 member and Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup, and have signed up H&M, Reformation and Walmart to work with them on developing and scaling their technology. We are excited about where they will take this.
On occasion we get so many nominations for a single candidate we know we have to pay close attention. This was the case with the self-taught photographer Gabriel Moses who was nominated by the casting agent Anita Bitton, the hair stylist Ali Pirzadeh, editor of US Harper’s Bazaar Samira Nasr and BoF’s own senior editorial associate Daniel Yaw-Miller. Born in South London, Gabriel was raised with a strong connection to his Nigerian heritage. When he picked up a camera in his late teens, he began to appreciate the beauty in the fashion imagery he had seen in his sister’s fashion study materials. Now he is hired to create imagery for Adidas, Dior and Burberry as well as Dazed and Harper’s Bazaar.
These are just three of the stories behind this year’s selection process. There are so many others — of the dogged persistence and dedication to work that is shaping the fashion industry of today and tomorrow. It’s really worth exploring them all!
The BoF 500 remains a vital and free-to-access global resource for anyone who is interested in learning about the industry and the people who make it tick. There are many more inspiring journeys contained in our latest BoF 500 index which is available to explore here.
Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Google Shopping is the Official Partner of The #BoF500 Class of 2023, with additional support from Shangri-La Paris and OBO.