The in the fashion capitals check his to see if they’re aren’t on it and if their
The highlight of London Fashion Week in September was the arrival of Victoria Beckham after showing her collections in New York since 2008. To celebrate this – and the label’s tenth birthday – Victoria joined forces with Vogue to throw a party at Mark’s Club in Mayfair. Vogue editor Edward Enninful greeted guests including Alexa Chung, Lara Stone and Jourdan Dunn. Victoria arrived with husband David and son Brooklyn and ended the evening dancing on a sofa to ‘Spice Up Your Life’.
Among all this, guests might have spotted a diminutive man in a black poloneck busily working the room. His name, Imran Amed, may not be household and anyone outside that room might struggle to recognise him, but it is whispered that he could be the most powerful man in fashion.
His influence comes from his position as founder and boss of London-based website The Business of Fashion, launched as a blog in 2007 and today a global phenomenon reporting on the daily goings- on of the international fashion industry, worth trillions. If it were a country, fashion would be the seventh biggest economy, not far off the worth of the UK.
Imran is now a fixture at fashion shows and glamorous parties around the world. At his own events, fashion’s A-list line up at the velvet rope desperate to get in. A few days before the Beckham do he hosted the glittering Business of Fashion 500 party in New York, with guests including supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as well as designer Tommy Hilfiger.
Since 2013 this power list of the most influential people in the industry – from multimillionaire managing directors to make-up artists and models – has grown into an annual party. The 500 is in no particular order so no one appearing on it can take offence. Many of those included appear year after year but Imran is smart enough to know that there have to be surprises. The big bosses in the fashion capitals check it avidly to see if they are on it and, even more satisfyingly, if their rivals aren’t. And if you aren’t a shoo-in, it may be worthwhile keeping in with Imran to improve your chances. Although based in London, Imran is just as likely to be spotted in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai. He claims to have up to ten meetings every day and to travel 150 days a year. He is most ubiquitous online – the daily Business of Fashion newsletter drops into half a million inboxes and is read by all the power players, from CEOs down. In an interview with Vogue, the British handbag designer Anya Hindmarch said, ‘It’s the first thing I read every day in bed before I even see my children.’
Imran was awarded an MBE last year and today he employs nearly 80 people around the world. However, the most convincing proof that he has become a major player is that he now inspires fear. People refuse to comment on the record, even when they have only positive things to say. The knowledge that their bosses are reading The Business of Fashion and that Imran has their direct lines is enough to keep their lips sealed.
Imran, of Indian descent, was born in Calgary, Canada in 1975. Having studied at university in Montreal he completed an MBA