This year will be one full of change for fashion at retail. Some are overdue. Some are driven. But all of it is necessary, according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst—retail with The NPD Group.
The days of the consumer following trends have faded. Consumers are now creating their own looks, seeking apparel, footwear, and accessories that fit into their lifestyle, not the other way around, writes Cohen in his outlook, Eight Expectations for Fashion in 2017.
Active will enter its second generation in 2017, with active apparel companies transforming their products to be less focused on performance and more focused on lifestyle. Lifestyle brands will also try to become more active-oriented. The hybrid approach to activewear will carry over to footwear in 2017, as well. The focus for feet will be less about dress and more about innovation and comfort.
The apparel industry will also struggle to remain a priority spend, competing for their share of wallet. But it’s not just technology. Apparel will go up against intangible purchases too, as younger consumers seek and spend on services and experiences more than ever.
Other highlights include:
- Casualization will give pajamas new function as weekend wear.
- Little things will matter as consumers continue to focus less on mid-range purchases and more on big and small spends. The latter will benefit fashion accessories.
- Organic fibers will come to the rescue of activewear, and our noses. Look for increased promotion of organic fibers calling synthetic fibers out on their challenges with odor and durability.
- Denim has been on the rebound over the past year and will struggle to return to its true glory in 2017. But some brands will fill their pockets and find growth.
- Evolution in accessorizing will give technology and innovation an important place in the world of accessories. The emphasis on carrying a cell phone or tablet in style will be more important than ever.
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