Near Future of Fashion Retail (Part I)
WGSN agency, Business of Fashion edition and McKinsy and Euromonitor International consulting companies have published their forecasts for the development of retail market in this year. How far can they be applied to your fashion business?
The researchers have identified several important trends: blurring of market segments, going away from the seasonality, growing eco trend and unpredictable consumer behavior.
It is no longer possible to divide the audience by socio-demographic characteristic: 30-year old people behave like they are in their 20-s, and the latter ones respond more to the offers that brands proposed for 40-year men and women.
Transgender top models have become the stars of the catwalk. Designers and fashion houses, from Marc Jacobs to Hermès, have ceased to divide men's and women's fashion shows and started to mix collections for the sexes.
The feeling of age has been disappeared. Old age is no longer a time of senility and lack of attention to appearance. Now, it is the period of active, energetic "new maturity". 60+ consumers enjoy traveling, socializing with friends, mental balance and achievements of their grandchildren. This category is growing very fast. In response to the trend, Céline invited 80-year-old writer, Joan Didion, for their promotional campaign.
Frequent travels and change of climate zones lead to the disappearance of seasonality in the wardrobe. The consumer may need both a fur coat and a swimsuit in January. Therefore, the phenomenon of cross-seasonality has become more spread.
The giants of fast fashion continue to influence on the production cycles: their standards started influence on high fashion as well - all buyers want to make immediate purchases today. The concept of "saw - bought" has blown up the world market; the decision of the leading brands to change the timing of new collections causes ripple effect for the entire industry. On Tommy x Gigi show, a few things were bought even before the completion of the show. Some product categories of Burberry fashion show were completely sold out in the London boutique on Regent Street only the day after the show. A peak of sales of Tom Ford brand collection also fell on the day after the show.
Supporters of the trend are Tommy Hilfiger, Paul Smith, Burberry; opponents are Kering, LVMH holdings, the Haute couture, Ready-to-Wear and Couturiers French Federation and the National Chamber of Italian Fashion. Financial results of this trend will be known only at the end of the season. However, the questions have been already arisen are: how to predict the level of the unsold items, what should be the size of the reserves, and how to plan the production load in this case?
Brands have made it clear that they are ready to adapt to the new customers' demands, though. Burberry, for example, plans to tailor and show the collections simultaneously; the company arranges special closed demonstrations for wholesalers and journalists, before which the viewers sign a nondisclosure agreement.