#MeToo, So What?
As forecasts for America look good with a strong month in January, there is cause to worry for luxury and entertainment brands. A recent political movement, named #MeToo has empowered hundreds of men and women to stand up against their abusers. In cut throat worlds of fashion and film, there is a system of abuse and tolerance towards that abuse. 2017 brought financial uncertainty, but not in the way you might think.
Guess Again, GUESS
One of the world’s most lucrative luxury brands had remained untouched by the political climate that seemed to affect many other industries. For example, political debate surrounding environmental accords boosted companies such as Tesla immensely. The Weinstein scandal severely affected its namesake stock. GUESS shares tumbled by over 14% today as Kate Upton came out against co-founder Marciano. She accused him on Twitter, saying,
“It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” (Reuters).
She couldn’t be reached for further comment, however. On a platform that is just as shaky as a social media site, Marciano responded to the allegations through TMZ. Refuting all allegations did not seem to help the stock regain market trust, however.
Why Should You Care?
All of this seems innocuous if you’re a hardcore financier. However, the markets have always been ruled by social and political thought. Harvey Weinstein was a man who wielded enormous financial influence. The entertainment industry certainly paid a price for his years of misdemeanours. In the same way, if social attitudes towards workplace standards and sexual harassment in the fashion industry continue to change, then traditional investors will find themselves in trouble.
On the flip side, sustainable and equitable fashion labels and new haute couture houses will begin to form, leading to an entirely new industry for investors to enjoy.
Combine the shift in values along with an enormous share of the market moving to online platforms, and labels like GUESS seem to be living on borrowed time.
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