While its air of rarefied mystery has long added to the fashion industry’s indescribable allure, there are times when we all want to take a peek behind the scenes. Up until recently, glossy fashion documentaries have been the go-to medium for an inside look at the industry, but now a whole host of fashion podcasts have launched, offering words of wisdom from the most influential designers, thinkers and business leaders. Whether you’re looking to shake-up your personal style or want to find out more about how your favourite creative’s mind works, these are the best fashion podcasts to satisfy your sartorial needs right now.
Bande à Part
Hosted by two leading academics – Rebecca Arnold, a highly respected fashion history lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Beatrice Behlen, the Museum of London’s fashion and decorative arts curator – you could be forgiven for thinking that this podcast would veer towards being overly scholarly. But you would be mistaken – taking the form of a weekly 30-minute phone call between the duo, it feels more like eavesdropping on a relaxed conversation between girlfriends. The topics they cover are delightfully diverse and wide-ranging, whether they’re delving into the fashion history archives, expounding on London’s most talked about new exhibitions or simply musing on the latest red carpet looks.
In Conversation with Matches
The latest podcast series from fashion powerhouse Matches brings together a top fashion designer in conversation with an artist whose practice particularly inspires them. For the inaugural episode, Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst and renowned American artist Laurie Simmons discuss women they admire and the notion of timelessness, while later episodes feature Roksanda Ilincic and Turner Prize-winning artist Tai Shani on why fashion and art should be more intertwined, and Erdem Moralioglu and former Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson sharing their thoughts on the transformative power of stage costume. It always makes for thought-provoking, enlightening listening.
Following the success of their 2017 four-part fashion podcast Métier Class: 3.55, which included the last ever interview with Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel Connects is the latest offering from the French Maison. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s forward-thinking mentality, the cultural podcast brings together prominent names from across film, art, music and fashion to talk about how the creative industries can best navigate the future. The episodes, which feature an eclectic line-up of guests including Keira Knightley, Tilda Swinton and Pharrell Williams, each tackle a different industry question and offer exciting and optimistic ideas of how cultural institutions can adapt in a post-Covid world.
Exploring the iconic house’s stance on art, culture and society, Dior’s fashion podcast makes perfect listening for aesthetes. Each episode features a discussion with a renowned name from the art world who has been key in helping Maria Grazia Chiuri – Dior’s Creative Director – execute her vision for the Maison. The podcast has a particular emphasis on the role of women in the creative sphere, both in its first season, The Female Gaze, and in its more recent politically-focused season. Friends of the house including actor Felicity Jones, activist Robin Morgan and dancer Eleonora Abbagnato come together with host Justine Picardie to address issues of self-affirmation, image, identity and representation.
The BOF Podcast
Well known as the definitive resource for anyone interested in the commercial side of style, the Business of Fashion is the fashion podcast to listen to if you want to get to grips with the economic aspects of the industry. Hosted by founder and CEO Imran Amed, the episodes see designers, creatives and investors discussing everything from how to start a fashion business to the future of the red carpet. With new episodes dropping bi-weekly tackling everything from the rise of vegan leathers to how to balance your personal identity with a public brand, it’s the best place to go for up-to-date fashion news and industry goings-on.
With Suzy Menkes
Reading like a roll call for the most influential names in fashion today, the guest list for legendary critic and Vogue International editor Suzy Menkes’s podcast makes for some seriously inspirational listening. Each episode is an exclusive and entertaining peek into Suzy’s world, where she has unparalleled access to some of the world’s most influential designers, thinkers and executives. Expect in-depth interviews with names such as Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Manolo Blahnik.
It’s an inconvenient truth that while fashion has many benefits – from boosting the economy to boosting our moods – it’s one of the most polluting industries in the world, with apparel and footwear contributing to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In this podcast, Australian Vogue’s Sustainability Editor Clare Press interviews guests in order to decode the fashion industry and explore its impact on both people and planet. With a focus on ethics, sustainability, activism and identity, get ready for hard-hitting episodes addressing issues such as the consequences of virgin materials and the best way to practise conscientious consumerism.
Fashion No Filter
Fashion influencer Camille Charrière and journalist Monica Ainley give you an insider look at how the fashion industry operates in their hugely popular podcast, Fashion No Filter. Covering all things stylish, from runway reports to unpicking what makes a modern muse, the duo offer behind-the-scenes glimpses whilst still being an accessible listen. Insightful and intimate café-style chats abound – including one with the “Fellini of Fashion”, Alexandre de Betak, on the future of fashion shows.
Dressed: The History of Fashion
These days, it’s more important than ever to focus on the things that unite us. For this fashion podcast, that common factor is that every day, seven billion people in the world get up and get dressed. Examining the rich and complex social and cultural histories behind the clothes we wear, this series offers a light-hearted way to look at the hidden depths behind the objects in our wardrobe, which we so often take for granted – whether that’s the origins of cat-eye sunglasses or the history of fishnets. But there’s also an exploration of fashion history now – the newsworthy developments in the industry you need to know.
Featuring the voices collaborating with Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of the Florentine fashion house, this podcast from Gucci gives great insight into the personality of the brand. But there are also appearances from the people who represent the way Gucci sees the world today – in particular, those the brand is collaborating with – making for an eclectic narrative. Highlights include Michele and Demna Gvasalia discussing their recent ‘brand hacking’ project, emerging designers Priya Ahluwalia and Jezabelle Cormio on the brand’s new online concept store, Vault, and Vogue Archive editor Laird Borelli-Persson on the influence of the past.
Fashion Revolution Podcast
The social and environmental impact of the clothes we wear is the focus in this podcast hosted by fashion journalist Tamsin Blanchard. Speaking to researchers, garment workers, supply chain experts, politicians and activists, Blanchard interviews and investigates her way to discovering the secret stories behind the items in our wardrobes in terms of sustainability, ethics and transparency. The series focuses on the people that make our clothes and features a year-long research project across workers in Cambodia, Bangladesh and India. The idea is to give you all the facts, as well as practical actions you can take to make positive changes in the future.
Fashion Fix with Charli Howard
In 2015, model Charli Howard was instantly transformed into a body activist when she wrote a revealing social media post about the impossible beauty standards pervading fashion. Now in her podcast, Fashion Fix, Charli is on a mission to go one step further and fix the wider issues across the industry, from a lack of diversity to unethically low pay, as well as how to buy clothes sustainably. Shining a spotlight on the key problems the industry needs to be addressing right now, this is the fashion podcast to listen to if you want to learn exactly what you can be doing to help.
So...What Do You Do Again?
Relaunched by American Vogue’s market editor Naomi Elizée in the midst of the pandemic, So…What Do You Do Again? focuses on highlighting the lives and career journeys of women of colour from across the fashion industry. With guests including influencer and editor Chrissy Rutherford and model Precious Lee, Elizée’s conversations are warm and lively, as if you’re listening in on two friends sharing tales from their time in the fashion trenches. Particularly pertinent for fellow women of colour looking for advice on how to break into the industry (and climb the ranks once they’re through), the podcast’s conversation about the challenges people of colour face in fashion should make it a must-listen for anyone connected to the business.
This Old Thing
As the woman credited with making thrifting a part of high fashion culture with her use of second-hand pieces in magazine shoots, Bay Garnett is undeniably a perfect host for a podcast dedicated to the craft. In each episode, the stylist and former Vogue contributing fashion editor shares her love for pre-loved, passed-down pieces with a different guest, who she invites to reminisce about their earliest and most significant fashion memories. Following her conversation with Chloe Sevigny, Sophie Dahl or Sienna Miller, Garnett also offers listeners her best thrifting tips, from where to shop to how to identify the best finds.
The Cutting Room Floor
Hosted by New York-based designer Recho Omondi, The Cutting Room Floor is a podcast dedicated to unpacking the fashion industry and demystifying it in the process. Less formal than the Business of Fashion podcast, Omondi still offers an insider’s take on the trends, changes and challenges going on in the industry. Each week, an esteemed guest joins her to unpick a different topic, from what happens to old clothes, to the perils of “hype,” to who in the industry is really pushing for racial equity. With input from the likes of writer and editor Lynette Nylander and designer Martine Rose, each episode offers a brutally honest and enlightening take on where the industry stands, and where it can go from here.
The Fashion Slashie
After noticing a growing trend among members of the fashion industry taking on multiple roles, writer and editor Lara Johnson-Wheeler decided to launch The Fashion Slashie, a series of conversations with these multi-hyphenate creatives. Featuring a slate of the up-and-coming generation of British fashion names to know, such as designer/fashion editor/illustrator Mimi Wade and stylist Kate Iorga, The Fashion Slashie interviews offer not only an insight into this trend and its roots, but also advice and seasoned wisdom on how to balance multiple ambitions and responsibilities.