The contemporary professional fashion identity involves many roles. In fact, having a single title is now an obsolete concept—today, a fashion designer is also a product developer, charity entrepreneur, editor and consultant, while a hairstylist moonlights as a TV commentator, author and even art enthusiast. To better understand the trend and the motivation behind these multi-titled professionals, we interviewed a network of multi-taskers to weigh in on their seemingly insatiable professional appetites. Next in our series is Imran Amed, the founder and editor of The Business of Fashion.
JC Report: Tell us about all the projects you’re currently working on and the titles you attach to them.
Imran Amed: As a business advisor and entrepreneur I advise private investors and fashion companies and collaborate with entrepreneurs on their business, investment and marketing strategies. Much of my work is focused on cutting edge fashion business issues including sustainability, social media and emerging talent. Being a talent Scout and ambassador, I seek out and build relationships with top creative talent and champion their work and creative potential with my clients. I am also an editor and writer; writing is an outlet for making sense of the ideas bouncing around in my head. I am editor of The Business of Fashion and Luxury Society and contribute regularly to other publications such as The Financial Times. As an associate lecturer and mentor, I teach a course in business and marketing to undergraduate fashion design students at Central St Martins College of Art & Design in London and mentor young designers in London’s highly-successful Fashion East initiative, spearheaded by Lulu Kennedy.
JCR: Is each role independent of the other or do they overlap at points?
IA: The real beauty of my work is that it all fits together in one interconnected, virtuous cycle. My work with fashion brands often inspire ideas for my writing. My writing often helps me to share my ideas with potential clients and connects me with emerging talent. All of this work enriches the lessons I can share with my students. And, new ideas are born everywhere. Doing multiple things makes me more effective in all facets of my work and enables me to draw insights from across different elements of the fashion business.
JCR: Do you think modern day culture promotes seeking success in multiple fields?
IA: Not necessarily, but things are changing. There are certainly more and more of us like this and the internet has enabled people to do multiple things, which was almost impossible before. I have a short attention span so I like the idea of moving from one flower to the next, pollinating and sharing ideas. I have found that people value the experience and learning that I bring from other facets of my career.
JCR: What’s the role of collaboration in your current work profile?
IA: I feel fortunate to do the work I do and it feels very natural, but I don’t do it alone. In all of my work, I collaborate with talented people whose expertise and support make my multitasking possible and understand my desire to do many things. I couldn’t do it without them.
JCR: In the future, do you envision experimenting with even more roles?
IA: There is certainly no shortage of ideas and I would never rule out trying more things, but I also believe that to have a real impact you need to have some focus. There are only so many things that one person can do well, at the same time. The reason it works for me is that everything, while different, is connected to the business of fashion, which is the complementary thread that links my work together.
JCR: Define your professional bliss?
IA: I’m lucky to be living it now!