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#BizTrends2017: Fashion disruption
Pichulik, Chulaap by Chu Suwannapha, Mille Collines, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Adriaan Kuiters & Jodi Paulsen. They have a strong visual narrative grounded in our culture conveying a powerful local aesthetic.
I touched on the mood of change that emerged strongly in 2016, shaking up the status quo across all areas and resulting in a new way of presenting ideas and concepts. We see shows presenting in-season products which can be purchased straight off the runway; shows have become shorter to accommodate a shrinking attention span; and the most forward concept is the consumer or public facing shows, which engage the greater community and practice a trend of inclusivity rather than exclusivity.
Apart from androgynous looking and trans-models, the newest and exciting development is the rise of the “nodel” – a movement of “non-models” challenging atypical and conventional castings and selections.
In the past year it has definitely gained momentum with more designers embracing gender fluidity in their collections, mimicking the shift in fashion which calls for an acceptance of style without boundaries, codes or structures. This is strong reflection of how the youth is dressing now and part of the millennials challenge to rigid classification and pre-packaged looks. We are experiencing the leading edge of a disruptive fashion dynamic, which could easily be displaced by a counter trend or movement soon.
It speaks of a new fluidity and a no rule, offbeat approach to dressing at large. The zeitgeist calls for an upending attitude to convention, resulting in innovation and fresh creative ideas which have definite universal appeal.
The industry at large is usually inspired by the Pantone palette. Apart from the Kale tonal green family, we see bolder shades such as yellow, cobalt blue and fuchsia to subtler hues such as nudes and fleshy pinks.
I absolutely love shirts and fashion’s current affair with shirts being reinvented in so many guises makes me very happy. Looking at 2017, we will be treated to deconstructed shirt shapes including oversized, one-shouldered and unevenly cut styles.
It affords the consumer ease of shopping, instant accessibility and mobility and delivers on the all important value equation, especially with price comparison websites on the increase, leading to less brand loyalty. In addition, digital-centric retailing offers the shopper online versions of the stores complete with expert style advice. My concern is desensitised, mass consumption devoid of emotional and sensory interaction needed to cultivate considered and sustainable consumption.
We have a greater democracy of choice and will continue to “shop around”. The key differentiator will be the ease of shopping, the brand experience and the credentials of the offering – i.e. uniqueness, customised and personalised brands and increasingly the presence of a sustainable philosophy.
The rhythm of the fashion industry is in flux with luxury designer brands relooking the timing of their collections as well as their business models, which impacts on fast fashion that usually follows on the heels of the catwalk collections. In order for both to survive, differentiation or co-creation is needed. H&M is a perfect example of a brand taking the lead in such differentiation, offering the fashion loving customer informed choices ranging from fast fashion to co-creation with leading designers, as well as driving an annual Conscious Collection.
It has become a major marketing tool for brands to target instant responses and create immediacy. With our celebrity obsessive shopping culture, it is an instant vehicle to canvas sales and to creating desire. The most notable driver has been influencer-marketing: a powerful social media strategy allowing brands to reach new audiences based on a credibility association exchange.
Images sourced from Pinterest