What with Brexit, the US Election result and subsequent financial uncertainty across the board, 2016 has been an extremely difficult year for everyone. The fashion industry has had its own struggles on top of all this – just look at the adjustments to the Fashion Month schedule, ‘influencer’ culture, designers constantly playing musical chairs and print media struggling in the face of even further technological advances. It’s been a volatile year. But what can we expect from fashion in 2017? In light of the Business of Fashion’s recently released ‘The State of Fashion 2017’ report, here are some suggestions as to what we can expect from fashion as the new year approaches.
Forget the fashion system as you know it
If fashion in 2016 can be marked by any sort of movement, you have to hand it to the ‘see now, buy now’ business model that’s begun to instate itself in the fashion industry’s collective consciousness. 2017, then, will be the year for more fashion brands to find their footing and get to grips with the changing fashion calendar, egged on by consumers’ need for instant gratification. Fasten your seatbelts…
As shoppers, we’re becoming more demanding
Guilty of being glued to your phone? Well, you’re in good company – most of us are already in committed relationships with our mobile devices, to the point that it’s actually be predicted that, by 2018, we’ll all be using handheld devices 4x more than our desktops. The fashion industry, then, needs to keep up. The BoF report identifies that consumers are “more sophisticated, more technology-driven, and harder to predict” than ever. Expect to see mobile technology incorporated into the shop floor experience, as well as more opportunity for shoppers to engage with brands; think online reviews, personalised product suggestions and even more loyalty programmes. Yay!
Feeling good is the new looking good
The trend for wellness will continue, so fashion brands will be working harder than ever before to correlate these two worlds. Because feeling good is the new looking good, didn’t you know?! The amount of money spent on gym memberships and fitness classes is at an all-time high (and only set to increase). We can only apologise to those who’ve adopted athleisure as a trend and dreamt of the days of being able to return to their stylish-but-slightly-uncomfortable uniform of heels and skinny jeans – we feel your pain, but it won’t be time to pack away the trainers and leggings any time soon.
Style goes local
According to BoF, “2017 has the potential to be the year of organic growth.” In layman’s terms, this means we can expect to see more brands trying to foster local communities, and develop deeper relationships with their existing customers, over the coming year. Expect to see stores repurposed as ‘community hubs’, where you can drink coffee with your mates while you shop, and brands launching pop-up events to bring small communities together. Who said fashion was cold?