fashion world economic forum

THE VOICE OF FASHION IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

The fashion industry has just taken a big step toward expanding its presence as a global entity. The Swiss, non-profit organization, the World Economic Forum, has a meeting every year in Davos in which the global economy is discussed. Academics, business owners, politicians, scientists, and other public figures arrive from around the world to attend, and the forum is considered one of the most important stomping grounds for hot button issues ranging from climate change to robots taking over the world. Fashion has landed a prominent spot on the forum’s agenda, and that means big changes are ahead. The industry has never had such strong foothold in this annual event before.

fashion world economic forum

WEF organizers give fashion industry leaders an integrated presence in the overall agenda. Topics that are covered include initiatives to incorporate a circular economy that reduces waste and has less impact on the environment, as well as past talks on inclusion and disability by Irish activist and academic Sinead Burke. Previously, other speakers have included Chen Man, who is credited with revolutionizing Chinese fashion photography, and designer Stella McCartney.

fashion world economic forum

The diversity of the speakers present at the forum is paramount to getting a well-rounded view of the increasingly worldwide fashion economy. Without the ability to share what’s happening right now in the industry, creativity would stagnant, profitability would be minimized, and growth would be capped. In other words: it’d be bad for business.

fashion world economic forum

Truly, the World Economic Forum is a seismic event, and the fact that fashion gets to be a part of it at all—let along such an integral part—is a sign of just how much power the industry has come to hold. To be able to speak about the business and economic aspects of fashion in the same room as the world’s biggest leaders is a humongous step forward, one that can’t be overstated. As the industry continues to expand and develop, the ability to discuss its shortcomings—such as its environmental and social impacts—is essential to its continued growth. It’s also essential to tackling these issues, ensuring continued profitability and expanding market shares. Fashion is now speaking on a global stage, and it has a lot to say.

advantages of imports

ADVANTAGES OF IMPORTS

It’s no secret that the Brazilian fashion industry has been expanding. Hand over foot, it’s been gaining ground, and it’s projected that it will continue to do so in coming years. Like any business, the industry benefits from a process of imports and exports. Taking a closer look at the benefit of importing is integral to staying on the right side of this exponential growth. An increasingly global market not only demands it, but fashion itself is heavily rooted in cultural swaps and exchanging of ideas. In a sense, both products and inspiration have the potential to be imported.

The advantages of importing begin in one of the most important aspects of business: cost. Capital is the lifeblood of any industry, and having enough of it is the first and last decider of the success of a new business venture. Finding ways to reduce cost is always a wise idea, and importing from other countries can do that. Manufacturing textiles, accessories, and more at lower expenses in developing countries can offer many such cuts: in the cost of materials, labor, and production, just to name a few. Lower wages are sometimes paid to overseas workers, depending on the cost of living, so be sure to check that your production partners are engaging in ethical and humane practices.

advantages of imports

The demand for fashion is driven by consumers, and consumers want to follow what’s trending and dress appropriately for every season. Since seasons are opposite between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, summer fashion can be imported ahead of time from countries like Brazil—which is famous for its beachwear—to supply North American demand. Conversely, the same can be said for imports into Brazil. Also, inexpensive versions of high-fashion looks can be produced abroad in order to appeal to multiple spending brackets.

advantages of imports

Several factors are key to the successful use of imports: building a rapport with a reliable overseas partner, using intermediaries to expedite both communication and production—which in turn cuts down on losses from miscommunications—and also sourcing products from places where it is both ethical and economical to do so. This is the stepping stone that leads down the path to global trade.

millennials

HOW TO WIN WITH MILLENNIALS

These days, the Millennial generation no longer fits the stereotype of teenagers spending all their time on smart phones. Millennials have grown up, and contemporarily, they’re a huge driving force behind the consumer market. Learning how to win their business is a crucial aspect of expanding your market share in the coming years. As Baby Boomers die out, and younger generations take over, this becomes increasingly vital. We’ve analyzed what attracts Millennials and gets them to commit to a brand. Here, we’ll break it down for you.

Millennials

Social media still plays a monumental role in winning over Millennial consumers. Word of mouth is a classic marketing tactic that’s difficult to generate organically, but thanks to social media, it has evolved. These days, a brand doesn’t have to be recommended by a trusted friend in order to get someone to purchase it. It can also be recommended by a celebrity, industry professional, or any online social media presence who has clout. Blogging and having an online brand identity is key.

Millennials

Millennials want to feel like they’re being interacted with. This means responding to customers online, creating ads that are engaging, and breaking down the boundaries of professionalism in order to have a more personal, casual rapport with customers. Also, interactive marketing means creating content that customers can share with their friends. Consumers want their friends’ approval and to be able to share their exciting new outfit or accessory with them. In terms of fashion, aesthetic can be more important than practicality. How Instagrammable are your products?

Millennials

Finally, Millennials are all about customization. They love being able to make choices when it comes to their belongings, even if those options are as simple as having a selection of colors to pick from when buying a new blouse. Fashion is, first and foremost, a form of self-expression, so it makes sense that consumers would want it to be as individual as possible.

To summarize: marketing to Millennials needs to be personal, it needs to be social, and it should be as interactive as possible. If your brand is nailing these three aspects, then you can look forward to growth in the coming years and an expanding Millennial following.

fashion predictions

FASHION PREDICTIONS

Fashion has an undeniable tendency to reflect the social climate in which it was produced, but not always in the way you might think. Sometimes, instead of acting as a mirror, it’s more like a fantasy, or a wish fulfillment. In the past year, while the world was being rocked by hurricanes, deadly earthquakes, political turmoil, and social upheaval, fashion decided to lift the mood. It abandoned the bleak minimalism of past trends and instead embraced all things glitzy, glamorous, and whimsical. Now, as new looks come into vogue, we see it take another sharp turn toward a brighter, more optimistic future.

Sequin fashion

While it’s not possible to predict the industry perfectly, it’s clear some trends are here to stay. Sequins started cropping up on runways all over the world, and they’ve only been getting more popular as kirakira fashion takes over. Glitter is certain to be a hot look in the coming months. Time to embrace the glamor.

Sequin fashion

In the same vein, 80s fashion has been sweeping the world, influenced no doubt by the popularity of shows like Stranger Things. This heralds the return of punk, check patterns, and ironic chunky scrunchies.

80´s Max Mara fashion

Denim may be on its way out. In a way, it makes sense. Everything that can be done to a pair of jeans has been done, several times over. While we’re certain this fashion staple isn’t going to disappear entirely, a new contender has emerged: cargo pants. After hearing frequent complaints that women’s jeans don’t have usable pockets, it makes sense that cargo pants would become popular. They were seen strutting down runways in army green, khaki, and camouflage.

roberto cavalli jeans

The floaty pink color—dubbed Millennial pink—that was the symbol of optimism in the past year has been replaced. Now, bold colors are in. Gone are the days when keeping your prints from clashing was of the utmost importance. Plaids are mashing with florals these days, in a range of bright, vibrant colors.

Cushnie et Ochs - Floral fashion

As we cast an eye toward the future of fashion, one thing is clear: customers aren’t just shopping for clothes these days. They’re shopping for hope and optimism. The brighter the clothing, the better. That is the most surefire way to stay up to date in the coming seasons.