THE UP-TRENDING OF MODEST FASHION

For those of us who are dedicated followers of fashion, the announcement of London Modest Fashion Week as  a new addition to the London fashion calendar is not a surprise. The first event of its kind in the British capital, the shows are scheduled for the 17th and 18th of February. The successful in the ever-changing fashion industry are those brands that act instead of react to trends; innovate instead of replicate.

                                                                                                                                     

Burberry 2016 .                    Burberry 2018 .                Burberry 2018 RTW Runway

Burberry came out with their first Ramadan collection in 2016. The structured black high necked crepe dress with topstich detailing, introduced in 2016 is still available for sale on their current website. The enchanting gold metallic lamé silk dress, also by Burberry, is not specifically identified as modest fashion. Yet with a high neckline, long sleeves and a below-the knee hemline, many women, regardless of their religious beliefs could consider this a modest garment. The pretty ruffle details and fitted silhouette make this a flattering style as well as modest.  Yesterday, February 17th, (as of this writing), Burberry showed their Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection in London. Irreverent, wild, bursting with color, energy and nostalgia, this was Christopher Bailey’s final show for the brand. Did he have modest fashion in mind when he created this joyful collection? We will never know the answer to that question, but we did spot a number of ensembles which were covered up, yet immensely beautiful. So many top designers have chosen to offer garments which could venture into this category. And for good reason.

“Muslim consumer spending on clothing was estimated at $243 billion in 2015, or 11 percent of the global total on apparel, according to the 2016 State of the Global Islamic Economy,  from Thomson Reuters,” as reported by cbsnews.com.

DKNY first introduced a Ramadan collection in 2014. Simplified and sleek, devotees of all cultures could have applauded the minimalist designs. Remove the hijab head scarf and this modern ensemble could move from the office to a dinner engagement. Add the hijab and women who cover their head for religious reasons could be comfortable as well as stylish. Donna Karan continues to offer modest dresses in 2018.

                                                                                        

DKNY 2014                                                                                 DKNY 2018

Dolce & Gabbana introduced their first collection of hijabs and abayas targeted to Muslim customers in the Middle East in 2016. The offerings were lovely, feminine and iconic D&G. The most recent Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2018 collection also offered long feminine dresses and jumpsuits, flowing florals, long sleeves and high, demure collars. Were they specifically focusing on the Muslim customer? The D&G business plan we don’t know. What we do know is that more and more important designer brands are offering an alternative to being exposed.

Dolce & Gabbana 2016

Dolce & Gabbana 2018

 There is one thing we can all agree on…it’s nice to have a choice.

#FASHION SHOW

Fashion has always been an art form that breaks boundaries. The most successful designers are continually pushing the limits of their art form, asking “Why?” and then swiftly creating clothes before anyone can even answer. It makes sense, then, as we are thick in New York’s heralded Fashion Week, we’re seeing a reexamination of not only trends, but also the format in which those trends are presented. More and more, designers are abandoning the traditional fashion show and ushering in innovative ways to send their collections into the world.

This year, American sportswear designer Derek Lam gracefully bowed out of the traditional tent setting, opting instead for an intimate, invite-only luncheon at The Pool Room of the Four Seasons. While his equestrian-inspired pieces were still the main course, the niche fashion insiders in attendance were treated to a luxurious yet relaxed experience, meant to mimic Lam’s brand and clothes themselves.

Another notable example is fashion powerhouse Diane Von Furstenberg’s recent departure from the traditional girls-all-in-a-row setup. Instead, she opts to open the doors of her meatpacking district headquarters for an immersive fashion show experience, where models mingle as guests come and go as they please. Stacey Bendet, the designer behind Alice and Olivia, has long considered theatrical vignettes a more impactful way of presenting her collections. This year’s intimate, collegiate-inspired installation leaned heavily on the idea of educating the public on equal rights while simultaneously impressing everyone with her designs.

Perhaps the most innovative fashion shows this year happened somewhere completely unexpected – in the hands of everyone with a smartphone. A complete departure from the norm, designers turned the popular app Instagram into their own personal runway. Designer Lela Rose hand selected a group of fashion influencers to “debut” her collection on their personal Instagram pages. Kanye West took a similar approach with his notorious brand Yeezy, revealing his Season 6 Collection via hashtag in a series of posts from starlets, models, and socialites, all clad in his clothing.

The reason behind this departure from the time-worn fashion show is quite simple: the Internet has cut out the middle man between creator and consumer. In an age where anyone with a phone is a model and attention spans are shockingly short, standing out in the world of fashion is more difficult and more necessary than ever before. Whether that’s done through creating a profoundly intimate viewing experience or one that’s as accessible as tapping a hashtag, stale traditions have no place in our viral universe, meaning fashion presentations now have to be as fresh as the fashion itself.

FASHION INDUSTRY 2018 TRENDS

FASHION INDUSTRY 2018 TRENDS

Trends in the fashion industry are constantly changing. It’s important to stay abreast of these developments and drifts in order to secure a piece of the ever-expanding market share. When big shifts take place, such as the ones that are occurring right now, staying ahead of the curve can mean the difference between growth and stagnation, or even critical loss. Considering how readily available the Internet has made information about sales figures and trends, it’s easier now than ever to prepare your business for the future of fashion.

Important highlights in the industry right now include the fact that expanding markets are on pace to outsell the West. A crucial tipping point appears in the form of footwear and apparel sales, more than half of which are set to take place in locations other than North America and Europe in the coming years. The gravity of this shift is already apparent but will become more so with time as it affects designs and sales. A lack of predictability has become the new norm, thanks to political and economic turmoil, so pay attention to the factors that can be controlled and accounted for.

On the topic of the Internet, online shopping is in its heyday. Every time experts think it’s reached its peak, entire new mountains of data appear. Consumers today are obsessed with their smart phones. The cruciality of having a working, digital interface for your customers to interact with can’t be overemphasized. Paying attention to what costumers want, and, more importantly, giving it to them, will differentiate winners from losers in an increasingly winner take all market. The digital obsession is here to stay. Make it work for your brand.

Tying into the above as well is the unstoppable power of globalization, which has not been curtailed by a rise in nationalism. Ideas are still changing hands across borders, and that’s not going to change. Advances in technology are also crucial, from the rise of AI, to innovations in sustainability. Customers respond to ethical practices, and going green is both a good way to demonstrate credibility and to save on production costs. Finally, personalization is on pace to rise in popularity. The customer who wants it all responds to personalization.

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.

hollywood influences fashion

HOW HOLLYWOOD INFLUENCES FASHION

Some people think modern society is obsessed with celebrities, and that this is a relatively new phenomenon driven by the prevalence of smartphones and Internet culture. In reality, this is a trend that began in the 1920s and 30s, with the rise of Hollywood, cinema, and movie stars. As much as costume designers attempted to recreate the fashion people were wearing at the time, consumers were also influenced by what glamorous Silver Screen stars were wearing both on and off screen. It’s necessary to keep an eye on what Hollywood is wearing in order to anticipate your customers’ needs.

hollywood fashion 30s

Recently, Louis Vuitton debuted a graphic T-shirt from the popular science fiction show Stranger Things. It was sent down a runway while they showcased their new collection, and it was a prime example of Hollywood influences. The design on the shirt was a movie poster for the show that had been modeled after a famous 80s movie, Stand By Me. In this way, movies influenced pop culture and in turn influenced fashion. It’s also apropos to the trend of 80s fashion making a comeback right now. We can expect these designs to become increasingly in demand, especially as 80s fever takes over TV screens everywhere.

louis vuitton stranger things

Movies and their stars will continue to influence fashion in the future, and so it is important to keep an eye on trends, what films are big in the box office, and what celebrities are considered trendsetters both on and off screen. This can affect both growth in sales and decline. Clark Gable, a popular leading man in the 1930s, was seen without an undershirt in It Happened One Night, and ironically enough, almost overnight the sale of undershirts plummeted. Paying attention to what isn’t hot in Hollywood can be as important as noticing what is, and it can save you from ending up with stock that won’t move.

it-happened-one-night

                                                                       It Happened One Night

The prevalence of the Internet makes is so that information travels faster than ever. It can also make it easier to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to watching Hollywood trends. Following celebrity news isn’t just good entertainment anymore: it’s good business sense.