As we enter the new year, we look back at 2022, an eventful year that saw the fashion industry evolve like never before. With sustainability remaining central to conversations, we saw a growing interest in circular fashion, conscious fabric choices and manufacturing processes as brands are now legally bound to prioritise their environmental responsibilities.
The metaverse majorly ramped up as brands shifted from trialling to implementing. 2022 saw huge investment in this sector, bringing endless opportunities for the future of this technology.
Inclusivity took centre stage and brought a breath of fresh air to marketing strategies as Gen-Z continued to lead the way in demanding brands to address social inequalities. Meanwhile, pop-ups grew more immersive and Instagrammable in the physical retail space, providing consumers with unmatched experiences.
Join us as we revisit some of the key news stories and brand strategies from the last year:
The past year saw the resale and rental markets continue to surge, while mindful consumerism also spurred on increased services implementing circular strategies, including brands taking ownership of their product lifecycles.
Uniqlo Clothing Repairs and Remaking
Uniqlo opened a dedicated area for repairing and remaking used clothing in its London Regent Street store. The initiative, titled Re:Uniqlo Studio, aimed to keep Uniqlo items in circulation for a longer lifespan, with alterations and tailoring services available alongside further customisation options, such as resizing, mending and hemming.
eBay Store That Accepts Pre-Owned Luxury as Currency
eBay opened a new store called the Luxury Exchange that accepts pre-owned luxury items as a currency to use in-store. When customers enter the store, their luxury items are assigned a value with which they will then be able to shop the store’s catalogue. Items such as jewellery, handbags and watches from top brands such as Gucci, Rolex, Balenciaga, can be exchanged and shopped.
Flannels Luxury Rental Offering
Flannels launched its own luxury rental offering for women, powered by Hurr. The service features an expansive range of women’s ready-to-wear and accessories from the likes of Area, Coperni and 16Arlington. With an initial focus on occasion-wear, the Flannels edit was initially centred around party season and promises to offer a refresh each season.
PLANET FIRST APPROACH
Throughout 2022, consumers continued to demand more transparency from brands, with two topics in particular becoming the centre of attention; textile recycling and greenwashing. 2022 has shown that the industry can no longer get away with half-hearted efforts and is now also legally liable. Big names dominated the headlines with new innovations and gestures that aim to protect the planet.
Nike's Fabric Innovation
Nike developed a new fabric, Nike Forward, in an all-new material that offers a sustainably minded approach to the future of product. The latest fabric innovation isn’t a material, knit, or weave nor does it use yarn. Instead, the manufacturing process creates fibres from recycled plastic flakes and attaches them together using needle-punching machines mostly found in the automotive and medical industry.
Patagonia Boss Gave Company to Charitable Trust
The billionaire founder of the outdoor fashion retailer Patagonia gave away his company to a charitable trust. Yvon Chouinard said that under a new ownership structure, any profit not reinvested in running the business would go to fighting climate change. Patagonia sells hiking and other outdoor clothing in over 10 countries, with profits amounting to around £87m a year.
Stella McCartney's Mushroom Bag
Stella McCartney unveiled the brand’s first mushroom leather bag made from Mylo by Bolt Threads. The luxury bag was released in 2022 with a limited run of 100, with plans for Mylo to integrate into the brand’s main range of bags from 2023. More companies are experimenting with mycelium, from Lululemon to Hermès, as biomaterials pave the way for a more sustainable fashion industry.
Luxury and fashion brands started to implement metaverse solutions and drive real revenue through direct-to-avatar sales, as they gain the ability to target new audiences. 2022 was a year to remember in the metaverse world, with multi-million dollar raises and investments. The concept is being explored by more and more brands, bringing in endless possibilities for the future of this technology.
Zara Metaverse Collection
Zara launched a new 10-piece phygital collection called "Y2K Creatures", which mixes "cutting-edge fashion and fantasy". The collection features a vest, three sweaters, a heart shaped top, a strapless dress, a turquoise flare pant with feathers and two skirts, alongside a selection of accessories including a bag, choker, a pair of earrings, and a pair of boots.
Photogenics, Real Models Into Digital Avatars
Photogenics is a modelling agency and media company based in Los Angeles, and in 2022, launched an avatar division, creating hyper-realistic avatars of existing models.
The avatars can be booked to “work” in the metaverse when real-world clients purchase the rights of avatars for photoshoots or virtual runway shows. The hope is that it human-like avatars of models in the metaverse will change how companies advertise, and how consumers shop.
Metaverse Fashion Week
Metaverse platform, Decentraland, hosted the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) that featured a line-up of luxury brands including Etro, Tommy Hilfiger and Elie Saab. The four-day event centred digital fashion, hosted in immersive spaces, with pieces available to buy from a virtual store created by Republique. The event pushed experimental design and fantastical looks that are not meant to be designed physically.
Adidas Originals NFT Wearables Collection
Adidas Originals unveiled a collection of blockchain-based virtual wearables. The ‘Virtual Gear’ product category is a 16-piece limited collection of virtual wearables that will be released NFTs on adidas.com/metaverse. The collection was developed by Three Stripes Studio and bought together past and future, virtual and physical, communities and creators as well as culture and identity.
Collaborations are no longer bound to streetwear and sneaker brands, with brands across sectors considering collabs aa part of their marketing strategy. Many of these partnerships come with extreme hype and limited quantities, tapping into the Gen-Z mindset of wanting fashion that is truly unique and less accessible.
Burberry x Minecraft
Burberry unveiled a collaboration with the world’s most popular video game Minecraft that will allow consumers to physically and digitally immerse themselves in the Burberry x Minecraft universe. It features a physical partnered capsule collection, including hoodies and scarves that fuse Burberry icons with Minecraft motifs.
Jacquemus x Nike
Nike unveiled its collaboration with Jacquemus, which was met with excitement across the internet. The sports collection is comprised of minimal ready-to-wear styles as well as shoes and accessories. The partnership sees Jacquemus reinterpreting Nike’s performance pieces with it signature refined style.
Palace x Gucci
Luxury label Gucci teamed up with Palace Skateboards for a collection launching exclusively on Gucci Vault. Vault is a place of careful curation of rare Gucci pieces alongside exclusive capsule collections, limited edition styles and other brands, all dear to Creative Director Alessandro Michele.
As Gen-Z customers continue to shop more with brands that commit to addressing social inequities, loyalties start to lie with those that commit to addressing these in their actions. 2022 saw many launches and collaborations pass the mic to marginalised groups.
Zalando Launched Adaptive Fashion Collection
Online fashion and lifestyle platform, Zalando launches its first adaptive collection featuring more than 140 styles as part of their ongoing commitment to inclusive fashion. The brand embraces the disabled community with an adaptive fashion collection, it offers clothing, footwear and accessories intentionally designed to be accessible for people living with permanent or temporary impairments.
Tiffany & Co Launch a Gender-Neutral Line
For the first time in their history, Tiffany & Co launched the Tiffany Lock, a gender-neutral bracelet with the ethos “No rules. All welcome”. With the launch of this new bracelet, Tiffany hoped speak to a wider audience and bridge the gap between men's and women’s jewellery. Although this is tiffany’s first all-gender collection, its pieces have been worn by both men and women through the ages.
Selfridges Quiet Hour
Selfridges introduced a quiet shopping hour in support of Neurodiversity Week. The hour promotes a more inclusive shopping experience, turning off in-store music and screens to create a calmer environment for autistic shoppers. The Quiet Hour is launched in-store every Wednesday from 10-11 am as the brand takes a step towards a more inclusive community.
Pop-ups made a splash in in 2022, with retailers aiming to drive consumers back to physical locations. Lots of brands invested in immersive experiences andInstagrammable locations, sparking hype and excitement amongst their customer base. Every industry from fashion to hospitality are starting to create fresh and unmatched experiences.
The Argos & Pinterest Hotel
High street retailer Argos and social media platform Pinterest partnered to create The Argos Mood Hotel. Spurred by the pandemic, the hotel captures the cultural shift of evolving and transforming your home to suit your mood. The space broughtt to life popular Pinterest home trends with everything from the hotel available to buy from Argos.
Jacquemus Le Bleu at Selfridges Corner Shop
Jacquemus partnered with Selfridges Corner Shop in their special project ‘Le Blue’. The space showcased a surrealist re-imagination of founder Simon Jacquemus’ own bathroom, exhibiting colour ways of the brand’s iconic Chiquito and Bambino bags. The hyperphysical experience allowed visitors a sense of discovery and excitement for the all blue ‘Le Splash’ collection, featuring product edits and immersive experiences throughout May.
Louis Vuitton's Pop-Up Restaurant
Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest venture into the hospitality industry with its new restaurant pop-up at its Seoul flagship. The restaurant, located on the fourth-floor cultural space of the flagship, is overseen by French chef Pierre Sang Boyer, known for fusing Korean and French cuisines. The launch followed Vuitton’s LV café opening in Tokyo, emphasising the blend of retail and hospitality.
YEAR OF HOMEWARE
Homeware made a big impact in 2022. Customers continued to spend more time indoors, and brands switched on to this demand. Consumers, more than ever are choosing to invest in their home interiors, as people opt for home entertainment and at-home dinner parties to save on money.
Paul Smith Introduced Homeware
British fashion designer Paul Smith launched his first-ever homeware collection in AW22. The collection featured cushions, blankets and towels, all showcasing the designer's love of colour and stripes. The fashion house expects to expand its homeware collection further into 2023, reworking its signature use of colours and stripes to create a unique and identifiable design for interiors.
YOOX Expanded its Marketplace with Home and Decor
YOOX launched their Marketplace in almost 30 countries across Europe, featuring 300,000 new items and 2,000 brands including clothing, accessories, jewellery and footwear. It offers customers instant access to an even wider selection of products and brands. In 2022 they expanded the marketplace with the introduction of the Home and Decor category.