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#BizTrends2018: The rise of authentic fashion
Futurism – Design influences such as Sci-Fi–inspired metallic, insignia and fabrics, holographic beauty trends and a boom in films such as Wonder Woman signals a strong shift towards conceptual design and escapism.
Authenticity – Seeking of honest and spontaneous content, real experiences and the rise of craft and handmade products.
Conscious Consumption – Fashion is the second most polluting industry on the planet and sustainability has become a millennial focus with awareness rising and consumers taking action to support a circular fashion economy.
Wearable Clothing – A discernible consumer quest for clothes with longevity and focus on design rather than transitory items, delivering on the perfection of fit and the pleasure of wearing.
Social Shopping or the rise of the “soc-shopper – Integrating social media into online shopping and creating a shopping experience built on discovery, comparison and interaction. The reverse sub-culture is now emerging, choosing an off-line experience and tracking rare finds in a word-of-mouth network.
Soft Power – A renewed solidarity amongst women evident in the embrace of broader definitions of physical beauty is reshaping the fashion and beauty industries, calling for inclusivity across size, race and age: Real Women, Real Clothes, Real Life.
I am excited by a school of designers embracing slow and sustainable fashion such as Jota Kena and Jane Sews; designers opting for innovative craft and recycling initiatives like Leandii Mulder Designs; Tilonè for his fashion commentary, illustrative t-shirt designs and Thebe Magugu for his take on modern women.
I love the return of the easy-to-wear staples in perfect quality and impeccable design – some of my favourites are the men’s suiting, the trench coat and of course, a dash of shimmer and shine.
This is a powerful movement and goes hand-in-hand with sustainable fashion initiatives and conscious consumption.
Seasonal fashion calendars promote overconsumption and waste, whereas the slow fashion aesthetic underwrites seasonless and long-lasting consumption, tapping into local resources, responsible production and reviving craft and upcycled design principles.
H&M and Salon 58 recently joined forces to launch the Conscious Exclusive Collection. This line only utilises recycled and sustainably created materials and aims to educate customers on their fashion footprint.
Ruth Cooper 9 May 2017
The outcome yields unique and customised designs with a cultural and emotional connection. It requires a far more sensitive business ecosystem, and I am not sure if this can be met by the bigger local corporate brands in the foreseeable future. We are also lacking consumer buy-in and awareness creating a further challenge to cultivate this very important shift in durable design.
The trend of inclusivity will continue as well as the movement towards trans-generation models showcasing models of all ages, ethnicities and sizes. In addition, we will witness new and more progressive authentic “influencers” using social media and specifically Instastories to convey fashion content in a more personable manner and more approachable than models on a runway or on the pages of magazines.
The future belongs to designers who design and produce responsibly, embracing slower production schedules, fair wages and a lower carbon footprint. “Closing the loop” has never been more important, as is the power in the hands of the conscious consumer.
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As interviewed by Ruth Cooper