Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Consumer preferences are constantly evolving, making it essential for brands to keep up with needs and demands. Consumers are more switched on, more savvy and more demanding than ever before, which is changing how we forecast and the key factors that need to be considered.
“Trend forecasting is changing and there are many factors that have to be considered, nuances that need to be understood, evolutions that need to be nurtured and revolutions that need to be captured.”
Gwyneth Holland, Consumer Insights Specialist & Futurist
With an overwhelming amount of information available to companies, it's vital to dissect what is most relevant and what it means to your brand. In our most recent webinar we unpacked the upcoming trends set to impact the fashion industry for the spring summer 2023 season. This included an overview of consumer preferences and emerging innovations, and a preview of some of the key colour, fabric, print and pattern directions.
Craftmanship and localism have become two major focus areas that have accelerated and grown throughout the pandemic. The consumer aspires to slow down the speed at which they run their lives and nurture interests in more unique and personal products. A sense of personal connection has rekindled the consumer’s love for hobbies and self-sufficiency. The consumer will seek and celebrate items with longevity built in.
The comfort of the wearer comes to the forefront of the design process, re-imagining more formal styles and reaffirming comfort as a key attribute across product areas. As traditional lifestyle sectors evolve and adapt, we see new hybrid styles emerge that speak back to functional wear. This new sense of ease incorporates a desire for convenience, reducing unnecessary effort and excess consumption – a minimalism driven by wellbeing, offering hard-wearing, comfortable, and gender-fluid pieces with trans-seasonal potential.
Nature, in whatever form, has become a much-needed source of respite, self-restoration and escapism from the everyday grind. Fashion’s obsession with the great outdoors has led to a marriage of technology and nature, working in tandem to improve the future wellbeing of humans and the planet. Eco-tech directions balance earthy resilience with busy urban living, as consumers seek to bring natural elements into their daily lives. Harnessing local and low-impact products, natural materials, dyes and biophilic developments will be key drivers in colour and print decision making, combining with an uptrend in the creative use of deadstock and upcycling strategies.
Consumers are expressing their beliefs and identities in new ways. Anti-racist, LGBTQ+ and body-positive political movements are influencing product design and buying behaviours. Gender-fluid product design is developing beyond oversized sportswear to better consider different body types and needs. Moving forward, brands can no longer risk excluding particular body types and should incorporate them into main ranges rather than isolated categories. With consumers becoming increasingly vocal about their beliefs - whether ethical, political or environmental – young people are using their clothing as vehicles of self-expression.
The desire for escape is fuelling new ways of living. Fantastical worlds and nearby resources offer moments of freedom. Escaping means physical adventure as much as emotional freedom, leading many to embrace new sensations of fear, exhilaration, wonder and anger. Outdoor spaces are a large part of the shift, with more value than ever placed on gardens and personal outside spaces – gardens are no longer an extension of the home, but a key element of it. In a contrasting approach, the metaverse, gaming worlds and XR offer an alternate escape route, enabling consumers to push their boundaries and experiment in a world of augmented reality.
In our webinar we unpacked the key themes and how these ideas are set to impact the fashion industry in a more literal way with a preview of colour, fabric and print and pattern direction for the spring summer 2023 season. To request the full recording, click here.