You know that saying, a picture is worth a thousand words?
Fashion is a master of that unspoken language: you cannot separate Alessandro Michele’s Gucci from its warm-toned, surreal campaign images shot by Glen Luchford, for example. Neither can you think of Alexander McQueen’s designs without picturing the spectacular runway shows where he unveiled them. And any dress, bag or shoe you desire has likely found its way into your heart through a photo of one celebrity or another wearing it.
Besides the clothes themselves, images are the most powerful medium for fashion brands to tell a story. Lately, however, some brands have decided that a thousand words are not enough. They want more, something to fill up the space of 20 minutes or even an hour. Enter podcasts, fashion’s latest dip into modern tech trends.
Podcasts have boomed in the last couple of years thanks to our increasingly plugged-in, multitasking lifestyles. The beauty of podcasts is that they are audio-only, so you can be entertained while staying productive. For fashion fans, they offer a rare peek behind the curtain at the world of their favourite designers.
It’s fashion, unfiltered: creative directors get personal, sharing their creative process, inspirations and ideas. Their celebrity muses and creative collaborators also talk about their craft, linking fashion to art, music and film. And it’s not just brands that are hopping on the podcast bandwagon. From journalists to stylists, fashion insiders have also launched their own series, sharing hot takes and insights on the industry.
Ready to dive into the world of fashion podcasts and be inspired (or schooled)? Here is our selection of the best ones to start listening to.
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Hosted by Monocle’s editor-in-chief, Tyler Brûlé, Chanel’s podcast series features intimate conversations with muses of the French brand. It’s a star-studded line-up that includes Marion Cotillard, Sofia Coppola, Pharrell Williams and Keira Knightley, all of whom talk about their relationship with Chanel, coupled with anecdotes about the late Karl Lagerfeld.
Alessandro Michele’s influences are as diverse as the people he collaborates with at Gucci. The Gucci Podcast brings them all together, pairing them up for candid conversations revolving around their creative pursuits. Some highlights include Florence Welch discussing her poetry, Dapper Dan recounting his career as a designer in Harlem, and three Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura talking about the birth of Gucci Osteria.
Check out: this episode where Alessandro Michele and Sir Elton John talk about their creative collaboration and why they consider each other soulmates.
Under the helm of Maria Grazia Chiuri, every Dior collection has revolved around feminism. The same can be said of the Maison’s new podcast series, too. Hosted by art historians and curators, each episode of Dior Talks dives into the minds of the brand’s artist collaborators, including Judy Chicago, Tomaso Binga and Mickalene Thomas. It’s a great way to learn about art and to dig deeper into the feminist slogans that have graced Dior T-shirts.
Ever wondered where John Galliano gets his ideas for his Maison Margiela collections? Hear from the designer himself in this series as he delves into the inspirations and techniques behind his designs. Each episode is only a little over 10 minutes, but we wouldn’t mind listening to Galliano’s drawled musings about fashion for longer than that.
This podcast series by Coach is less of a fashion masterclass and more of a pep talk. Except that this pep talk comes from celebrities like Selena Gomez, Michael B. Jordan and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams — all faces of the New York fashion brand. Be inspired by their stories on empowerment and finding the confidence to follow their dreams.
Check out: the episode featuring Selena Gomez, where she shares her thoughts on social media, self-acceptance and her collaboration with Cardi B.
Consider Net-a-Porter’s new weekly podcast series as an extension of its in-house magazine, Porter. Like Porter, Pieces of Me spotlights distinguished women like actress Tracee Ellis Ross or writer Sinéad Burke and explores their relationship with style. For the podcast, each guest recalls defining moments in their lives and what they wore during those moments.
Check out: the first episode, in which Tracee Ellis Ross describes the dress she wore for her big win at the 2017 Golden Globes, 44 years after her mother Diana Ross had done the same.
The Business of Fashion Podcast is essential listening for anyone remotely interested in fashion. Like the publication of the same name, it covers almost every aspect of the industry imaginable. Hour-long episodes are dedicated to examining future trends and fashion movements such as sustainability, or the legacy of iconic designers such as Christian Louboutin and Karl Lagerfeld. The podcast is also a goldmine of exclusive interviews; big names like Kim Jones and Kim Kardashian are featured just as often as newer ones like Craig Green and Alyx founder Matthew Williams throughout the series.
Check out: the episode on the Fall/Winter 2020 fashion month, where Business of Fashion founder Imran Amed and renowned fashion critic Tim Blanks discuss the changes within the fashion world in the midst of our uncertain times.
As vintage fashion becomes more popular, it would be wise to brush up on your fashion knowledge. Dressed: The History of Fashion helps with exactly that. Led by fashion historians April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary, the podcast leads us through the rich stories behind our favourite clothes and brands. Uncover the origins of the peter pan collar or cat-eye sunglasses, learn how couturiers like Hubert de Givenchy and Elsa Schiaparelli shaped fashion and find out why the Met Gala is such a big deal in the first place through the insightful series.