This year, we streamed 'DONDA', learned what an NFT was and wanted to be a Coconut Girl. High street stores shuttered, supply chains were challenged and fur was farewelled. 2021 has been nothing short of eventful in retail!
All year long, the EDITED Analyst team has been closely monitoring essential runway, lifestyle and pop culture stories (for us, binge-watching Bridgerton was research!) to understand fashion's direction in 2022. Read on as they share their exclusive learnings for the trends you need to invest in this upcoming year.
In our previous articles, we wrapped up the defining trends shaping sustainability and the retail landscape in 2022. Now, familiarize yourself with the major themes that will influence women's, men's, teen’s children's, home and beauty products, alongside industry insight and key commercial data.
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Aoife Byrne, Womenswear
Top pick: The new nostalgia
. Images via Stella McCartney, Minga London Email UK - Apr 7, 2021, Instagram - Dua Lipa
The conveyor belt of nostalgia continues. This year, highlights included the Friends reunion, Gossip Girl reboot and Sex and The City follow up. Still, to come, we have the Harry Potter 20th anniversary special on January 1st. On the Spring and Fall 2021 runways, a host of decades were spotlighted. While the first half of 2021 carried a torch for all things 90s, we saw the 00s move into the limelight as the year progressed. Y2K will remain hugely influential in 2022, cemented by releases like Disney's Cheaper By The Dozen reboot in March and Legally Blonde 3 in May. In addition to all things noughties, the 60s is set to overtake the 70s. This became apparent on the SS22 runway, where the era proved a major source of inspiration for the likes of Dior and Courrèges.
Although controversial, low rise jeans are primed for a comeback next year, with key denim players like Urban Outfitters and Weekday backing this trend for fall, following strong support on the SS22 runway. The style has experienced a 21% increase YoY, with retailers attaching low waistbands to slouchy, relaxed fits to make the trend more palatable. Butterfly motifs are also gaining traction, recently championed by major influencer Dua Lipa. The primary trend for 60s stories will be mini hemlines, applicable across dresses and skirts. Usurping the place of the much-loved midi, more conservative styles are already being replaced with shorter hems thanks to the post-pandemic sexy dressing movement. Mini styles are currently 46% of skirts stocked online at fast fashion retailers. Gogo boots and rounded sunglasses will be essential add-on accessories. Notably, Stella McCartney has just launched a psychedelic collaboration to celebrate Peter Jackson's 60s-drenched documentary, The Beatles: Get Back.
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Krista Corrigan, Menswear
Top pick: Preppy 2.0
Images via Dior Homme Spring 2022, Instagram - Pull & Bear, Todd Snyder Email UK - Oct 12, 2021
Americana prep, typically associated with country club sports like tennis and golf, noted an enormous boom this year that is poised to continue into next year. Several designers on the Spring 2022 runway were influenced by the trend including Louis Vuitton, Dior and Dunhill. Preppy looks have also received the stamp of approval from the streetwear scene, including inspired collections from Kith to Supreme. Polo shirts, varsity jackets and sweater vests counter the standard silhouettes seen from these brands. Mass retailers are taking note too. The number of recent arrivals described with "varsity" in the name has skyrocketed from just 28 in 2019 to 334 this year, driven by heavy investment at boohooMAN.
Cardigans and polo shirts offer up trends that hold longevity throughout the year and are easy to reposition depending on the season. Varsity jackets should be aimed at a younger consumer and provide an opportunity to add branding callouts and playful motifs. If designing for a mid and mature customer, keep graphics to a minimum and instead opt for solid shades and classic sporty striping at the hem. Update your classic polo shirt to a knit iteration to push during transitional months. Next year will be all about the accessory. Invest in add-on items like round lens eyewear and sporty caps to complete the look.
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Aleisha Hammond, Teen Market
Top pick: Playing the game
. Images via boohooMAN, Gucci, Bershka
This tech-savvy generation has widely adopted the rise of the virtual world. Twitch, the video-streaming site, saw its number of users jump from 33mn to 41mn globally in 2020, with its growth powered further by the pandemic. Gaming collaborations have also been rising, with fashion houses offering exclusive add-on packs and skins. Led by the luxury market, Balenciaga teamed up with Afterworld to preview its FW21 collection, while Marc Jacobs created six of its favorite looks for the Animal Crossing universe. Mass market retailers are also on board and seeing success with collaborations with the hybrid world. Uniqlo teamed up with Riot Games for its League of Legends range, seeing quick SKU movement and another drop coming soon.
As collaborations continue, look to trending games and characters like Anime for future licensing opportunities. Repurpose loungewear edits remaining from the pandemic into the perfect gaming attire promoting their unisex appeal. The use of in-store app functionalities should harness a blend of both the physical and digital world. Treasure hunts and store navigations can help engagement and interaction with the younger consumer. The growth of digital assets and ecosystems noted this year is set to continue into 2022 and is a high priority for Gen Z. Keep an eye on cryptocurrencies, now accepted as a payment method at PacSun, and the launch of virtual goods powered by NFTs.
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Katherine Bailey, Childrenswear
Top pick: Mini streetwear
Images via Instagram - Kith, Nike & Instagram - Zara Kids
2021 saw the childrenswear market swell with new investment, most notably from cult and fast-fashion names including Fear Of God, SSENSE, PacSun, Fashion Nova and Missguided. This, coupled with a penchant among kidfluencers for mini-me takes on streetwear trends like matching loungewear, fluro hues and bucket hats, will continue to propel contemporary narratives to the fore. The applicability of this largely unisex streetwear story also fits well with a young customer increasingly defying gender narratives and experimenting with personal style.
Look to innovative collaborations for an entry into the streetwear market. Zara's collection with i-D magazine's Alastair McKimm used its restricting stock levels to drive demand, describing products as "limited edition", while streetwear stalwart Kith has partnered with OshKosh B'gosh to help infuse the traditional mall retailers' assortment "with a little character." Keeping tabs on established and emerging kidfluencers remains important. In addition, an awareness of the key streetwear trends within men's and women's wear will ensure you can capture mini me opportunities ahead of the curve.
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Katharine Carter, Footwear & Accessories
Top pick: The Great Outdoors
Images via Marks & Spencer, Outdoor Voices Email US - Oct 22, 2021, & New Balance x STAUD at Net-a-Porter
With the outdoors market booming over 2020 and sustaining popularity throughout 2021, its lucrative appeal means that outdoor wear is no longer limited to specialist brands. Gorpcore elements have infiltrated mass ranges. Marks & Spencer dropped a line of water repellent boots, while Urban Outfitters regularly incorporates nature-inspired imagery to push outdoors-related styles in its email campaigns. 58% of consumers are reportedly most interested in travel experiences in 2022 that explore nature, including biking, hiking and kayaking.
Hiking sandals and bucket hats - two stalwart items under this theme - were star performers for SS21 and had continued backing in the SS22 collections at the likes of Chloé and Anteprima. Sustainability should be front of mind for outdoor ranges. In footwear, brands have long concentrated their eco-efforts on sneakers. However, the outdoors market is picking up - EDITED's annual Sustainability EDIT revealed that sustainable outdoor footwear styles, such as hiking boots and trail sneakers, uplifted by 76% vs. 2019. Consider partnering with and supporting conservation initiatives like Madewell has done with Parks Project on a range of merchandise honoring America's beauty spots.
The Cabincore subculture provides promotional opportunities to push cozy outdoor wear into early 2022 and reposition stock. Notable items include blanket scarfs, hiking boots, fluffy slippers and beanies. Ensure technical properties are featured in online product descriptions and imagery to capture spend from consumers who are willing to trade up for enhanced functionality.
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Heather Ibberson, Beauty
Top pick: Express yourself
Images via - Instagram - Morphe, Dior & Instagram - Abby Roberts
The industry has been enjoying a rebound in makeup sales, with prestige beauty growing by 25% in Q3 2021 and makeup growing 24% to $1.7bn. Coty plans to be a major player in prestige makeup, aiming to have the category make three times the percentage of its total net revenue by 2025. In particular, Gen Z enjoys using beauty to experiment with new trends and is open to trialing new products and looks. On TikTok, mega influencers, like Abby Roberts and Mikayla Nogueria, regularly showcase creative looks while encouraging their audience to try viral beauty trends and hacks, pushing Gen Z to be innovative within the space. With many lockdown restrictions lifted, including the re-opening of clubs in some countries, consumers have been enjoying dressing up again for raves, nights out and holidays such as Halloween.
Retailers and brands targeting young consumers should offer a product range that stimulates their creativity. While neutral color palettes are always in demand and perform well, offer bright neons and colors within limited-edition collections and use unique textures and glitter to build excitement. Huda Beauty's Rose Quartz Highlighting Dew recently went viral on TikTok due to its unique look in the pan, which compelled users to try the product. Y2K trends will also stay in line with the resurgence in apparel, with skinny eyebrows, brown lip liner and hair clips making a comeback.
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Robyn Smith, Homeware
Top pick: Sustainable minimalism
Images via Instagram - Sisiliareads, IKEA & Zara Home
Following a period of captivity, consumers have developed a newfound appreciation for the outdoors. This yearning for fresh air and greenery is not subsiding, as consumers strive to bring the outdoors indoors. With lockdown seeing the number of gardeners rise by three million (nearly half of whom are under 45 years old) and gardening spend forecasted to grow this year by 7%, retailers have a new audience of plant parents to cater to.
While some tend to their new urban jungles, others pay respect to nature through sustainability. This back-to-basics attitude not only caters to the environment but a consumer who has spent a wealth of time at home and values a clutter-free, mindful space. Meanwhile, with COP26 casting a light on the global need to act now, the coming year will see brands re-evaluate their sustainability status.
Incorporate more natural, environmentally friendly fabrics - with rattan seeing growth of 167% YoY, wooden aesthetics will continue to soar. Glass will also have its moment in 2022. Posing a conscious alternative to plastics, the material can expect to feature across multiple homeware categories from pendant lighting to tables and chairs. Other fabrics to watch include bamboo, linen, hemp and jute - their natural finish, a distinct ode to nature. Consider dying and painting processes, educating the consumer on 'non-toxic' or 'reduced VOC emissions' as well as natural, plant-based dyes.
Expand pots and planting assortments - look to rattan and terracotta planters, novelty watering cans and recycled glass vessels as a gateway into the trend. Color palettes should also use nature as their muse, sporting earthy tones and shades of green. With most major paint brands hailing it their color of 2022, expect to see various green hues adorning homes, including Sherwin Williams' Evergreen Fog - a soft gray-green emblematic of "rebirth, growth and beginning again.” Black furnishings will also pose an interesting, modern contrast to more neutral decor.
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That’s all from us. From the team at EDITED, we wish you a very safe and happy new year. See you in 2022!
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