We’re talking clothes that move beyond athleisure, incorporating technical properties into daily dress. Consumers today travel further afield and more frequently, live in increasingly busy cities and have more varied and flexible work lives.
At the same time, our apparel has greatly enhanced technical properties and we’re more informed on health and wellness than ever before. It follows naturally that consumers will demand more from their apparel.
In 2018 we’ll see more brands tackle the pressures of modern lives, incorporating fit and performance properties into apparel beyond activewear. That will result in clothing that responds better to the weather, that travels well and is hyper-versatile. This could also impact convenience services for post-purchase care of apparel.
Sustainability on the up, and an outright ban on fur
Consumers are demanding an ethical outlook from brands and retailers. Having a truly authentic position on environment will differentiate the brands that connect with millennial and Gen Z consumers from those that won’t.
When Gucci – as one of the most influential brands in the world right now – announced in October 2017 that it will be banning fur from Spring 2018, the industry sat up and listened. In a climate where social media campaigns can go viral, brands will be thinking incredibly carefully about the environmental and social impact of the products they create.
Breast is best
The ‘dare-to-bare’ areas of flesh are a trend of their own in fashion. In recent seasons we’ve seen cropped shapes place emphasis on abs and then cold-shoulder styles shift focus to exposed shoulders. Next to take the spotlight: the bust.
Fall 2017 saw not only the return of the corset, but also slogan t-shirts which placed motifs like watermelons on the breast area.The focus on this area of the female form will increase as we head into 2018, and Spring 2018’s runways weren’t short of options.
Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Fendi all integrated bras into tops and dresses, focusing on structures outside of the garment. Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana showed bralettes worn over tees and dresses or paired with high-waisted skirts.
External seams, corset details and sheers will add to the buzz around the breast! This will be done in an inclusive way – gone are the years of everyone seeking a plumped-up shape, as declines in push-up bras show.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 2018 wedding will ramp up conversation on summer occasionwear both sides of the pond. You can expect retailers and the magazine industry to go all-in on content in the lead-up to the event, with much scrutiny on the bride’s and attendees’ outfits after the event.
Big trends from Summer 2018 runways for occasion dresses include asymmetric one-shoulder, high necklines, puffball hems and strapless. Ruffles move from being chaotic and haphazard, to columned tiers. As an alternative to the dress, eveningwear all-in-ones and tailored jumpsuits get VIP treatment.
Bubblegum pink, lavender, sunshine yellow and any shade of metal will be the key colors for wedding season. Bold statement earrings will complete the look. Those looking to mimic a touch of Meghan’s red carpet style will opt for clean lines, with plunging necklines and jewel tones.
Move over millennial pink, because 2018’s color will be a lighter tone of neon yellow. Consumers want clothes to be brighter and more cheerful and retailers need strong color stories for merchandising.
This trend is directly influenced by the impact of street and workwear. Hot brands like Off-White and Gosha Rubchinskiy have used iconography of street signage in their prints and apparel and Kanye West’s Yeezy line and Nike have picked up on the references.
We’ll see a wider range of women’s and men’s apparel picking up the lead on yellow in 2018, as well as shade being referenced in branding and campaigns, just as we saw with millennial pink.
If product isn’t your jam (or even if it is!), you should check out our industry trends for 2018. Five big shifts that will changing the business of retail this year.