Jamie Gill Podcast Transcript

Jamie Gill Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Jamie Gill: [00:00:00] Fashion came for me and just thinking I was a complete failure for having a go at this venture and what have I kind of done, didn't happen, fell into a bit of a slump as we all do, you know, like state of depression, you could call it at that age. And then yeah, I was on the board of Roxanda and then Roxanda asked me to take over as her CEO.

Jamie Gill: So then did that many ethnic minorities and particularly South Asian communities have ever considered it as any creative sector as a viable career avenue.

Amardeep Parmar: We're live. Today we have with us,  Jamie Gill, who's the luxury and fashion executive and the founder of the Outsiders Perspective. If you're joining us for the first time, we're the BAE HQ and we're all about helping British Asians succeed. So Jamie, you've now had a storied career and many highlights along the way, but you all started from somewhere, right?

Amardeep Parmar: So when you were a kid, What was the dream? What was the ambition?

Jamie Gill: Oh gosh, the dream. I always wanted to do something creative. I think, uh, deep down I would love to have been a fashion designer. I think [00:01:00] that's what I really would have loved to do, but didn't think that was viable as a, as a kid. I knew quite early I was gay.

Jamie Gill: Like I knew from eight years old as I knew, I knew I was gay and I just, I clocked on quite early that if I, if I say I want to be a fashion designer, my parents are going to clock on and this is, this is going to come out and I was concealing it. And then I found architecture to be an architect would be a way of being a professional, but also feeding my creative flair.

Amardeep Parmar: You said  you knew that from such a young age, but obviously, I guess, the social pressures, you're worried about your family going to think that you didn't mention it for a long time. And when you went into architecture. Were you happy at that point? Or you're still thinking, I really wish went into fashion.

Amardeep Parmar: I'm just doing this as a trade off. What were your thoughts then? 

Jamie Gill: I think, I think I tricked myself like, yeah, concealing that your sexual identity for such a long time, uh, knowing from an early age and I didn't come out until I was like 22, 23. And I, yeah, I thought architecture was a great way of, uh, being chartered professional and I get to be creative, but yeah.

Jamie Gill: And, and, and I think [00:02:00] Con myself, trick myself through my teenage years that I will, I want to do this and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the education. I think studying architecture is just one of the best degrees you can possibly do. You're thinking about, uh, you know, art, history, physics. But also socio economics, what's the impact of a building and how does it touch, you know, society's heart, you know, is really profound.

Jamie Gill: But I think, yeah, deep down, fashion was really where the calling was, where I wanted to be. 

Amardeep Parmar: So after university, you worked in architecture for a bit, right? But then you moved around, you didn't go straight into fashion, where did you go next? 

Jamie Gill: Yeah, so I graduated in the thick of the recession, really, and it was just really, really hard to get a job.

Jamie Gill: I was paid nothing, working at a number of different architecture practices, hopping around, believing that I would find the joy that I was looking for and fulfilment in that career at a different firm, at a different firm, at a different firm, didn't happen, and was fell into a bit of a slump as we all do, you know, like, State of depression.

Jamie Gill: [00:03:00] You could call it at that age. And then, um, I was, um, living in a, in a house share in, in London. I'd moved to London. And, um, my friend there was working at Deloitte and he was like, you're not enjoying this. What about Deloitte? And, uh, you know, here's a, here's an amazing career avenue here. You can get your, uh, you can work Become a chartered accountant, do your ACA.

Jamie Gill: And so many of the FTSE 100 CEOs are ACA trained. I think half of them are ACA trained. It's like, it will propel you elsewhere. So yeah, took, took his advice and had to get my head from being a creative into the world of accounting and then, and then yeah, moved into Deloitte. Did five years there in various different kind of service lines and sectors.

Jamie Gill: Um, and then again, uh, fashion came for me in a way I was just seeing again, how the economy at that time as it is now was super struggling and how well true luxury always does in, in, in, in turbulent times, you know, back then and now Chanel. Over your mates, brands were increasing their prices significantly beyond inflation [00:04:00] with still, you know, being able to manage demand because demand still there.

Jamie Gill: And you're like, people are really struggling financially, but your Chanel bag is now, you know, 9000 when it was once, you know, 2500 in six years, it's kind of kind of accelerated such a way that I was just fascinated on the business of what was happening in fashion and luxury. And I was like, this feels where my calling is coming.

Amardeep Parmar: And like for people who aren't familiar with that as well, what is the reason behind that? Why can Chanel keep raising their prices? 

Jamie Gill: I think it's that age old scenario when we enter, you know, turbulent times economically and, and whether we're on the, we're on the cusp of recession or enter into recession sooner enough.

Jamie Gill: You know, uh, the world's wealth is still protected at this time, and I think the consideration and where you want to deploy funds or invest in as high net worth or try net worth, or even if you're not, even if you're still on the aspirational trajectory of a brand of a brand life cycle and where you buy into it.

Jamie Gill: Your, uh, you feel confident to put your money into something that's a heritage brand. And I think that's where, [00:05:00] that's where it works. That's where Chanel and your Dior and your Hermes and your Louis Vuitton, you feel safe. If you're going to spend 2000 pounds on a bag, uh, 5, 000 pounds now on a bag, you will do it at one of those brands because it's got a resale value.

Jamie Gill: It's got an investment piece there. This is what we're seeing with fine jewelry and watches and a Rolex right now, you'll feel confident to put your money in there versus something that's more fashion and something that's more seasonal or trend led. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you know when you made the transition to  fashion, right? So by then you'd come out, right?

Amardeep Parmar: And how much of that played into your desire, like of now knowing, okay, so now that that doesn't factor into it, I can now go into fashion or how is that like final switch made that now's the time? 

Jamie Gill: So  funny enough, like being in architecture and being, you know, there's loads of people. You know, uh, individuals from the LGBT community working in architecture for sure, it's just not an industry that embra, I don't think it even does now in two thousand, uh, twenty three embraces the conversation really around representation and diversity.

Jamie Gill: Everyone is, they're there, you're siloed and just getting on with work and you're working every hour under the sun as an [00:06:00] architect, bless them. But when I joined Deloitte, and this was like two thousand ten, I say this story all the time, I'm such an advocate for the firm, had the best time of my life there, made some of my best friends there, I just saw LGBTQ partners.

Jamie Gill: Leading divisions, leading international divisions at the firm. And I was like, he's gay, he's married, he's got kids. Oh, the firm's embracing this conversation around diversity. They understand that their client portfolio is completely diverse. And what are they selling versus the other professional services firm?

Jamie Gill: Just that people, their culture, they need to reflect that they need to understand that, you know, why am I so scared? And Deloitte made me come out like I was like, felt confident that here I can be who I am. So I think that was that bit coming over. And I think then, yeah, after Deloitte had this crazy idea that I set my own business, set my own brand, even set up my own brand and wanted to launch a, um, An Indian bridal luxury brand and moved to India with a friend and lived in Mumbai for a year and thinking that I was going to be, yeah, literally create the next Sabyasachi at that time.

Jamie Gill: 

Amardeep Parmar: How planned out was that? Like,  were you thinking about the [00:07:00] Indian fashion brand for like a long time or was that like, that was like, this is it, I'm going to go for this?

Jamie Gill: It was me. It was me reaching that. Corporate peak of being five years at Deloitte. I was only a manager grade at that time, but I was just like, I was, uh, you know, living that corporate life, flying business class.

Jamie Gill: You were staying in five star hotels and you were enjoying all that life, but was so unfulfilled. I was like, I don't care about these clients’ assets that if they just want an international firm to give them their stamp of approval on this valuation report or whatever, that yeah, this is, this is great.

Jamie Gill: And I'm like, there's no ad value here. They're going to do really well with the caliber of clients that international professional services firms work. What's the ad value here? And so I feel so unfulfilled at that point, and I was like, I want to do something creative, but I found that my contribution that I want to give to the creative space is the business side.

Jamie Gill: It was like, I don't want to be now anymore as I've grown and evolved and didn't did my ACA and was working with a number of leading clients at Deloitte that I was like, I don't, I'm not gonna be a designer anymore. But I got, there's a big opportunity to contribute to the [00:08:00] evolution and development of creative business and particularly, uh, fashion.

Jamie Gill: So yeah, that was doing that real life MBA. I look back on it as, as, as like where I learned a hell of a lot trying to set something up on my own. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what was it you decided to go to rather than trying to set up here. 

Jamie Gill: I still think it’s an opportunity. Like I still think with that Indian bridal market is insane, especially at high net worth, ultra high net worth.

Jamie Gill: You can argue they're few and far between, but how that trickles down, you know, when it's coming to that spend still. And yes, that's evolved. I think British Asians and British South Asians as well, that we're not putting that level of investment into the, into weddings as they once did. But there's still a number of, you know, a significant audience with India being what the largest population in the world right now, over China, that you, um, that it was always the,

Jamie Gill: the wedding was the second biggest investment for the family after the family home. So in that, you know, you were seeing the bridal party, how many outfits the bride would need for each event. So would her mom, so would her sisters, so would the cousins, so would the aunties. [00:09:00] You know, and then the gifting.

Jamie Gill: It was quite, yeah, it was quite significant. 

Amardeep Parmar: And like, once you got  out there, right, how was the actual process of setting up the business? 

Jamie Gill: So my friend was the designer, um, he, he was the creative on this and we would, yeah, we, but, but for me, it was really interesting to go meet the factories. So we sketched and designed and then source and sample and produce and then have a collection that we would start lobbying around, you know, with potential clients and speaking to the media out there and sponsors, et cetera, and figuring it going, we, you know, we raised some funds, but needed a hell of a lot more money actually to get it going back then, which then brought me back to London.

Jamie Gill: And then I joined a, uh, family office venture capital fund, which was my bridge into VC that was looking to invest particularly in fashion and luxury. So I was kind of had this career that was building. Being trained as a creative, but then having a business head and then having experience of actually going through that life cycle as what's needed, particularly for a luxury fashion and luxury startup brand, and then bringing that to family office to now actually go and originate and deploy funds with a view to scale and sell on to people.

Amardeep Parmar: So when you were younger, you had the  pressures of family about your career [00:10:00] decisions, right? And how did it feel when you went to India and maybe it didn't quite work how you wanted it to? Did you feel a lot of pressure from maybe not just your family, even your friends and people around you about you making this big step from the corporate world, Deloitte, that everybody knows, professional services, to go building your own company in India and not quite working out?

Amardeep Parmar: How was that like conversation in your own head?

Jamie Gill: Oh my gosh, um, that was probably one of the worst times of my life. Yeah, typically, yeah, when you think about it like that, you tell the story, but you look back where your head was at coming back 2000, end of 2015 it was, so I'd been done a year in there, had all this hopes and dreams, like really naivety more than anything that this was going to blow up and I was going to be an overnight success and this brand would be, you know, insane, so naive at the time, but coming back with no money.

Jamie Gill: You know, in debt, physically not in a great state. I'd lost so much of my hair. It was insane and, and just thinking I was a complete failure for having a go at this venture and what have I kind of done? And yeah, no, it was a really, really low point. I'd actually fell in love for the first [00:11:00] time ever. As well, you know, as soon as I moved to India for, I fell in love with a guy, um, uh, for that year and we, we had a great time together and then that was over because I was like, how's this, this isn't going to work anymore.

Jamie Gill: So then back, back at my parents with debt and nothing and yeah, in not a great state. So yeah, no, I'm not going to lie. There's a year of rebuilding myself, I think after that. And then, um, yeah. Going into the family office and it's not my family office, a family off and then getting into, you know, originating in London, looking at deals.

Jamie Gill: It really propelled me into the epicenter of British fashion, really, and was working back then as just a kind of, you know, loose advisor, giving mentorship to the British Fashion Council to the designers earlier on. But it was starting to really start understanding and looking at so many businesses as they were coming for funding to us.

Jamie Gill: You know where the holes were and building an expertise in it. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And like with that transition as well. So you said you had to, how do you building stuff back up again? Do you feel like the work you're doing with fashion and helping like those startup fashion [00:12:00] companies to excel? Was that part of what got you back?

Amardeep Parmar: Or how did you get yourself back on your feet too? Start believing in yourself again. Yeah, 

Jamie Gill: it's a really good question, actually. I think it was, um, belief. I mean, I had an amazing life coach, still have an amazing life coach, you know, who's a great therapist, who really just, I just really needed to understand that I am detached from what I'm, you know, that my, my failures, however you want to call them, aren't me, you know, as much as my successes aren't me as well.

Jamie Gill: That's not how we define ourselves. And we don't, and we're putting too much value on even, you know, even if it is putting value on material. Possessions or putting a value on status or whatever those things are putting your self value on others was the detriment, good or bad of where that's happening.

Jamie Gill: And it was just learning, you know, to understand the basics of like what everyone talks about, about loving yourself and about, you know, um, and, and, and understanding you have value and you have self worth that isn't attributed to, you know, uh, external decisions that you've made that haven't worked out the way you wanted to and your [00:13:00] expectations as well.

Jamie Gill: And so it's just a lot of that narrative and then learning to live and love and enjoy life again. And then, yeah, then things start happening again and getting back in that positive mindset, you know, accelerated with the fund, became investment director, invested in, uh, we'd invested in Roxanda, which some people in fashion would know who, who, um, Roxanda is, is one of our prized assets for British fashion after, after Burberry and McQueen and Stella McCartney, you know, the next tier down of, um, internationally emerged designer is Roxanda, Herdem, Simone Rocher, that

Jamie Gill: Folio of brands and then yeah, was on the board of Roxanda and then Roxanda asked me to take over as her CEO. So then did that for five years, which was the next journey, and it was good. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did that experience of picking company to invest in helping those portfolio companies then help you become the CEO of Roxanda?

Amardeep Parmar: Like what skills did you learn from that VC space, that VC family office time. 

Jamie Gill: I think that what was interesting for that is having, having the past experience that I've had of, you know, being creatively trained, as I said, and then having this business head and, um, and then having a go at a startup myself, then being in [00:14:00] VC, particularly with origination and due diligence, you're looking at so many brands that are looking for fundraising, some Big brands were coming to family office, you know, for a significant check and you're in, you know, once you've got access to the data room of a brand, you can see everything, you know, what is this, what's happened with this business, you're interviewing management, you're doing your own due diligence, your sense, checking that in industry, you have a calling card to go and speak to editors and, and, uh, in industry figureheads to understand what the perception of the brands.

Jamie Gill: And you just start learning. I think over that time, I really just started to learn what's ROI in investment decisions in brand. So what was working for marketing? What work, what worked then for digital market? It's all evolved. Now, obviously there was a period where you could spend X amount on social and you would be getting four times return or whatever.

Jamie Gill: That was a proven, you know, ROI in, in digital marketing. And you were just learning how this worked. Like, how do you build strong brand equity? What stands the test of time? How do you start a merchandiser? Realized I had a quite strong merchandising skill set.

Jamie Gill: Being [00:15:00] interested in fashion, having, you know, an interest in the space and learning what was, um, you know, what's what are people wearing and marrying that with data and what's performing what's selling through and understanding who the consumer is and what she wants to wear and how she wants to wear it and what her lifestyle is.

Jamie Gill: That's what merchandising is. It's like, okay, we're putting this crazy, you know, balloon dress in every fabric and every color on the runway is 10, 000 pounds. But how do we create the commercial dilution of that that's actually going to perform that we're going to put units behind?were 

Amardeep Parmar:  And when you  at rock standard as well as a CEO, how did you create that brand value?

Amardeep Parmar: How did you create the perception of the luxury to make sure that you were getting the customers in and getting people to believe in your brand? 

Jamie Gill: Yeah, I think, I think what was interesting with Roxanda was, um, she's a very good friend of mine. One of my close friends now still as well. And I think we've, we've developed that real strong, uh, relationship that was harmonious, that I really understood, you know, it's her, she founded this.

Jamie Gill: It was really understanding her creative direction and what she wanted for her brand, you know, and me being able to be the commercial facilitator of that, that would give it [00:16:00] value and would make it work. Profitable, you know, and all of those things, a lot of SME fashion brands aren't profitable. And that's it.

Jamie Gill: We've got negative PR and that as an industry that it doesn't work. It can work. You know, it can work. There's just lack of specialized expertise in scalability and infrastructure needed. But it is there. And I think We, we showcase that with Roxanda, you know, it's a profitable business. We grew, its gross profits mar margin, significantly grew its distribution, did a number of key collaborations, you know, with the likes of Lululemon and Fila and Barbara and Max Mara and, and, and, and expanding into a world's, uh, you know, clo, close to the brand.

Jamie Gill: Just expanding. Its, its, um, reach, but also just being this liner, I feel for London Fashion, where we would put the most beautiful artistic show at the new pavilion that would be built at the Serpentine Gallery. And, you know, Anna Wintour would be there, you know, every September watching the Roxanda show, uh, you know, with, with Edward Enfield from British Folk and, and everybody who was influential in fashion and just really understanding and reacting to what the, our brand partners, our [00:17:00] wholesale brand partners from Harrods and Selfridges and everyone needed really.

Jamie Gill: And yeah, I think I really, I think really had to get in there with, uh, marketing and finance and everyone really understand what. Each pillar of the business needed and be able to deliver that with the team. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned earlier when you were at Deloitte, you had this feeling of being unfulfilled, right?

Amardeep Parmar: When you were running Roxanda, how did you feel then? What was it? 

Jamie Gill: I reached  it. I was like, I re, I, I, I, yeah, I was like, it had finally, I think that early Deloitte stages were leading to leaving. I, uh, knew that I was like, oh, fashion business of fashion is where I want to be. CEO is where I want to be. I think, I think

Jamie Gill: that's where I want to be. That's where I've got. And I think you never know what you really want to do until you're going to do it anyway. Like you can, you can think you want to do something and your, your development, personal development evolves, your experiences evolve, your network evolves and your expectations change and you evolve.

Jamie Gill: So that's what I always thought I wanted to do. And for a long time, I was really, really content and fulfilled with Roxanda. I think it was just this itch and yearning still of it wasn't my not. I don't [00:18:00] want to say it's my name. It's not so much fussed about my name. The outsider's perspective isn't my name, but it was about being having control about having to implement what you believe is best and not being prohibited.

Jamie Gill: I think, you know, by a brand framework or, you know, just corporate governance, which everyone has when you're in a kind of a leadership role. So I just think just this urge to be free, really fundamentally at the same time, Roxanda worked for me and you know, I'm still, you know, have shares in the business and sit on the board, but it's art and it had a point of view of society and it's about empowerment, empowerment of women.

Jamie Gill: And it's about architecture and it's art and it's color. And if you don't need to be, uh, you know, sexy to be empowered. And there's so many things that resonated with what it did, but what I think I was lacking still was bigger impact was actual. So, you know, not just, I don't want to call it social impact.

Jamie Gill: I mean, impact and I think impact and profitability, I think it's purpose and profitability. I don't think it's like they need to be mutually exclusive. I think I wanted both. I was like, I want to, you know, I want, um, purpose [00:19:00] impact, but I want to be, that's what I want to be paid for doing as well. I've still got a mortgage.

Jamie Gill: I've still got to live. So, you know, and I think that's what I was missing there. 

Amardeep Parmar: You're at the same time, you're on the British fashion council. We'll laugh when I say it, I'll leave the scene because, like, I can't seem to say it properly. British Fashion Council. 

Jamie Gill: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you're doing that all the time alongside, right?

Jamie Gill: No, so I was, I was just kind of mentoring with some of the designers then, but on the, ultimately on the back of Black Lives Matter, June 2020, I was asked to join the board of the British Fashion Council. Um, yeah, uh, to ultimately, to be transparent, diversify, you know, their board with, um, perspective, um, uh, being LGBTQ and, and being a person of colour.

Jamie Gill: It was needed. And yeah, yeah. And my area at that time. Wasn't representation. I think even through my career, you know, it's not like it's always the brown guy or the black, the black person that's going to pick up DNI. And I think, and it does happen because, you know, we are, um, you know, we have that lived experience and, and it's not, it's not yet a profession.

Jamie Gill: There isn't yet. clear policy on it, you know, so, but I think, and my area of focus at the [00:20:00] BFC wasn't representation. Only last year, June 2022, I've now taken over with DNI and representation being my focus as well. 

Amardeep Parmar: Have you enjoyed  that role? Because obviously, Yeah. The British French British Fashion Council is like very senior, like it's well known across the world.

Amardeep Parmar: Everyone is had so much impact. How did it feel, I guess, once you also mentioned with the forehead, because we asked to join that board and to have that kind of an impact. How did that kind of feel as your own career progression? 

Jamie Gill:Yeah, no,  it was great. It was great. Cause I just, I was always, you know, working at Deloitte.

Jamie Gill: You know, I've admired the British Fashion Council. You know, anybody who understands, um, or is part of the industry, you know, we know CFDA in America and the British Fashion Council here in, in, in the UK. You know, we are the institution. We have a, um, responsibility to the industry about putting, you know, creative talent on a world stage and, and, and, uh, you know, we do London fashion.

Jamie Gill: We, we are the behind London fashion week and we do the fashion awards, you know, which is the fashion awards for me in London's most glamorous moment that we have. [00:21:00] That's, um, you know, the UK is equivalent to the Oscars, but what it's really doing is nurturing, developing and really, you know, propelling, uh, creative, uh, designers onto the next platform.

Jamie Gill: So I've always, you know, seen everybody who's birthed out of that. And, uh, Roxanda is, you know, through the new gen program that we have and, you know, now internationally established designer. So no, it meant a lot and really enjoy my work there. Love the, you know, love the team there. It's a small team, believe it or not, but it has an incredible impact.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. Could you tell us  a bit more about some of the impacts since you've been there, what some of the positives that have come out of that? 

Jamie Gill: Yeah, so I think, you know, we have only just this recently, we've been working as a board. So there was a number of board members who were brought on when I joined and further now.

Jamie Gill: So we've got a strong executive board there as well. The British Fashion Council strategy, the focus is about empowering, you know, creative talent on the world stage and giving it, you know, the platform and the infrastructure needed to deliver on that. It's a convener. It has, I think it has an expectation in industry that it's the answer.

Jamie Gill: This is a problem we're going to get to the BFC[00:22:00] 

Jamie Gill: and that's you know, it's hard to, you know, we've got a number of hundreds of designers that are part of the network and other organizations and businesses as well who feed into the British Fashion Council ecosystem. But what I'm really proud of is we've been, you know, looking at understanding and listening around representation and DNI over the last year since I've been chair

Jamie Gill: of the committee only just Monday, the 21st of August, we have launched the fashion DEI census. So the fashion DEI census is a census across the British fashion industry for us to really understand in data. What are the demographics that make up our industry? What is it? You know, what's the gender cut?

Jamie Gill: What's the LGBTQ plus cut, you know, and disability and ethnicity and, and, and really understand where we are. So on the back of it, we can produce, you know, um, best practice strategy and policy for businesses and organizations moving forward. To create a truly inclusive workforce. And that's being [00:23:00] done with the outsider's perspective.

Amardeep Parmar: It's actually said as well, because it is important because if you can't measure it, it's very difficult to tell what impact you're making and it's really hard. But you mentioned there as well, the outsider's perspective. Tell us more about that. So where did that idea come from?. What does it do?

Jamie Gill: Yeah. It's, we, we, I feel like we're un we we're unknown outside of industry and to be fair, I would love our visibility to be bigger in industry for sure. So the outsider's perspective, again, birth out of me sitting on the board and being, you know, a kind of strategic advisor now in fashion and luxury.

Jamie Gill: I work with a number of kind of organizations who want to gain access to fashion and luxury and have a macro view of industry and just just saw on the back of Black Lives Matter how many organizations set up a DNI steering committee, sent out a press release and hired a DNI leader. We saw it across all industries as well, and that was their answer to addressing diversity and inclusion.

Jamie Gill: But three years on, what's changed? What's happened? You know, we've seen an evolution somewhat in marketing and visual representation that was always there. You wouldn't see really rarely see any [00:24:00] brand I think for out even outside of fashion, not do an ad campaign that looked inclusive, you know, even 10 years ago.

Jamie Gill: So yeah, that's propelled somewhat more. But workforce statistics, you know, inclusion hasn't moved on executive boards are still, uh, you know, majority white, you know, you still have in luxury, particularly the white middle class, middle age straight CEO still and not evolving this conversation. And I suppose what the outside and simultaneously fashion luxury is unclear.

Jamie Gill: How do you get to a leadership role? What are the career avenues to actually build a career in the business of fashion and luxury. It's not obvious, you know, you know, how to do it in other industries. You go and earn your stripes at a big for a magic circle and you take it into industry and you can kind of, you know, uh, propel your career, but fashion luxury, it's not clear yet as, um, in terms of the creative sector fashions, the biggest employer and the biggest contributor to GDP with bigger than automobile.

Jamie Gill: So it's a significant industry and I don't think, you know, it's taken as, as [00:25:00] seriously as a business as it actually is. So, and then, and then we're struggling with representation and we don't know where to get good talent from. So that's what the outsider's perspective does. It, it marries both. It's equally a representation initiative as well as it is a talent initiative.

Jamie Gill: So we provide a not for profit. And we provide access to all of those talented people of color who really wanted to work in the business of fashion and luxury. And you've got to demonstrate that to us. You've got to say that I really wanted to be in here and I've tried. I've tried to gain access. And what we're looking for is people who are outside of industry, hence the name and minimum five years for five years experience in industry.

Jamie Gill: And we're just about providing access when HR will always not allow you to career pivot because you don't have industry experience. And what we'll say is, We'll train you up and teach you the nuances of what is needed to actually pivot your career into an kin business vertical in the industry and all on the operational, commercial and marketing side.

Amardeep Parmar: So also you mentioned as well, like  there's just not enough South Asians in, especially in Britain in particular, [00:26:00] in the fashion industry. And we'll talk about how we know so many people who love fashion, but they never consider actually working in the area.And like, why is that? What's going on there?

Jamie Gill: I think, I think it's twofold, really. I think it's, um, I don't think many ethnic minorities, and particularly South Asian communities, have ever considered it as any creative sector, as a viable career avenue. You know, how are you going to make money? Being a designer, but what I'm saying, this is not about being a designer.

Jamie Gill: This is actually about being a finance director, but do it at Chanel or do it at a brand that you really want it. You enjoy that you want to contribute to. I think there's an abundance of opportunity in the commercial operational and marketing side of, uh, the business of fashion and luxury abundance of opportunity to kind of, you know, bring your contribution and to still build, you know, a really substantial lucrative career for a better word, you know, for it and really enjoy it.

Jamie Gill: Rather than doing something that seems cumbersome or administrative too much. So I think, and I just don't think it's clear. I don't think it's clear what the opportunities [00:27:00] are. I think there's pressure naturally from most South Asian families that you've got to go and do something safe and secure, you know, parents and fight and grandparents and fight so hard.

Amardeep Parmar: But even if I'm at like LVMH,  all this kind of companies, they're huge. So they're safe. Like, it's not like they're, those companies are going to go, but what? It's not a small company, right? The blue chip, right? 

Jamie Gill: 100%. And look at LVMH. I mean, look who, I don't always fluctuate who's our wealthiest man in the world, but you know, Bernard Arnault was the, two months ago was the wealthiest man in the world over Elon Musk or anybody else from LVMH, from the conglomerate of all of the leading fashion luxury brands.

Jamie Gill: You know, it's, it's significant business and it's doing, you know, it's highly profitable and doing really well. And I know, you know, from the group, there's a number of opportunities, you know, uh, there, and that's what we're trying to do. That's what our metric is, is a not for profit. How can we tangibly diversify the fashion industry and finding that talent and particularly, you know, from a South Asian slant, me being South Asian and having that natural community who kind of come to me, you know, who [00:28:00] apply for the

Jamie Gill: program as well. It's open to all people of color. Um, but you know, it's working. Our model works. We do, we find strong candidates. We find candidates who've got a contribution to give to the industry that we could benefit from. You know, if you've got been working in marketing, digital marketing at Amazon, yeah, great.

Jamie Gill: We could actually probably do with you at Burberry. And, but you know, what's hard is to actually apply directly to the brand because you don't have industry experience. So you're vetoed when you apply directly. But we, if you're an outsider's perspective candidate, you've somewhat got an ace card and we have the relationships with the brand partners and

Jamie Gill: Burberry and Alexander McQueen and Chanel and Lululemon and Victoria Beckham are all our brand partners.

Amardeep Parmar:  So, really enjoyed chatting with you today, we have to move on to quickfire questions now. Okay. First quickfire question. Yeah. Is, who are three British Asians that you think are doing incredibly well, that you'd love to shout out for the audience to.

Jamie Gill: Imran Amed, founder of the Business of Fashion. Imran was such an icky figurehead for me whilst I was at Deloitte. Business of Fashion was growing as this amazing media platform. And I was like, if he's there and he's [00:29:00] doing this, I can be there too. And he was such an inspiration for me. And Business of Fashion is the leading platform now around, you know, uh, media in the business of fashion.

Jamie Gill: So definitely Imran for sure. And then I would say, who else is, uh, Gurinder Chadha. I'd have to say, like, again, watching her from Bend It Like Beckham being one of my favorite films as a kid and looking at her and it's, you know, as a film director, as an entrepreneur, like what she's contributed to, you know, uh, to film and to British film and her perspective of bringing us into the spotlight on that.

Jamie Gill: Oh, my God. Amazing. And. I'd love to meet her, so I haven't met her, but you know, it's such an inspiration for sure. And then someone who I met recently, who I love as well, who I think deserves the shout out, is Rav Matharu, who set up Cloth Surgeon. And Cloth Surgeon is luxury bespoke streetwear and tailoring that's on Savile Row.

Jamie Gill: Like he's bringing this streetwear edge to luxury tailoring on Savile Row with an edge. And I think it's absolutely incredible. I've never seen anything like it. And I was like, and, and, and [00:30:00] spans and, uh, you know, such a spectrum of audience there. So I think, yeah, that'd be my three.

Amardeep Parmar: So next one is if people listen right now, I want to reach out to you or reach out to find a perspective.

Amardeep Parmar: Where should they go to? 

Jamie Gill: v www. theoutsidersperspective.org. Um, and you can click on a line. Got it. Got an amazing team. We have at The Outsiders Perspective, a growing organization working with a number of brands. And yes, we have just, which are live now. We are looking for, uh. Candidates who want to work in the business of fashion and luxury have always dreamt of it to apply now to our cohort three of applications which are live and are live till the end of September.

Amardeep Parmar: And is it that all this could help you maybe or help with the outsider's perspective? 

Jamie Gill: What can they do for the outsider's perspective? I think you know what would be interesting and I'd love to just leave this with everyone is we've got a real challenge. Industries have all got a challenge around representation.

Jamie Gill: The outsider's perspective is lobbying. The business case for an organization needs to be reflective of its growth in consumer demographics and, uh, growth and consumer fundamentally to understand them by [00:31:00] having, you know, representatives advocates for, for that customer base in house, you know, we're talking about it from a business case and that resonates.

Jamie Gill: It's like, yeah, how do we understand, you know, the Indian market without having Indians in business and that leadership role, you know, it kind of somewhat resonates. It is obviously social purpose. It is impact. There's obviously a conversation for this being fair and what's a quality, but it's working from actually delivering on what that impact is.

Jamie Gill: McKinsey's data shows that those businesses that have, uh, high ethnic diversity at leadership level are 36 percent more financially profitable than those that are not. Um, but I think the ask to the audience is why are you buying from a brand that doesn't represent you? Like, why are you dreaming up and saving and you keep buying from brands that represent you in ad campaigns and, you know, happily take all of your money and understand, you know, as a minority community, uh, that you are a target consumer and happily take your money and 

Jamie Gill: you're not allowed in the business. You're not allowed at Porsche's business. You're not allowed at Mercedes Benz business. [00:32:00] There's none. Where's the representation at executive level, at leadership level in a majority of these organizations. Um, we're changing it from a fashion luxury perspective, but from a mainstream perspective, why are you putting your money into something that doesn't include you, that doesn't allow you, but you could really help lobby that, you know, and, and demand, you know, there could be a social revolution on this.

Jamie Gill: We can see it with Gen Z. Gen Z want authenticity, want transparency from brands and will boycott brands that don't reflect them. And that's not just the underrepresented communities. The minorities are boycotting them. They're boycotting them in, in the collective. You know, you don't represent us. That's not just, you know, everyone who's from minority boycotting us.

Jamie Gill: No, we're not buying from you because you were not allowed in your organization, you know, demand transparency and yeah, move, move to a brand who does represent. 

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you again so much for coming on. Any final words audience?

Jamie Gill: No, no, I think I think we've covered quite a lot, but yeah, that'd be my answer.

Jamie Gill: People just to think about that, just question where you're putting your spending power and and and and a movement [00:33:00] in this could really put pressure, I think, on organizations to actually take this conversation seriously, because that's when it hurts when they start realizing there's a risk there that we're going to lose.

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