No More Athleisure, Brick & Mortar, Made in China? Fashion is Changing
JANUARY 17, 2017
The tectonic plates of the fashion world are moving. Here are four shifts to expect next year.
Change is afoot in the fashion industry.
We've already seen glimpses of how the tectonic plates in the fashion world are moving. In one of our best-read fashion stories of 2016, we explored how some of the premium U.S. fashion brands of the past—Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren—have lost their luster.
They're losing ground to a new generation of direct-to-consumer brands that were born on the internet, including Everlane, Cuyana, M.Gemi, DSTLD, American Giant, and Vrai & Oro. These companies are offering something different from the flashy designers of yesterday: the insight into their supply chain and sometimes even a breakdown of their sales margins, providing the customer with a better understanding of the quality they're getting for their money.
Over the next year, we'll see how these online brands continue to transform the fashion landscape. We'll see big shifts in brick and mortar stores, fashion supply chains, the athleisure trend, and the idea of value.
1. BRICK AND MORTAR MAKES A COMEBACK
Awesome online and in-store experiences give rise to the "super customer."
When online shopping took off a decade ago, pundits predicted that physical shops would disappear. It turns out that brick-and-mortar stores have remarkable staying power, but their purpose has fundamentally changed as fashion brands try to figure out how physical retail outlets fit in to the shopping experience. "Brands are thinking about what the internet cannot give you," says Katia Beauchamp, CEO of beauty subscription service Birchbox, pointing out that digital tools now allow you to come close to seeing, touching, and even trying on products.
In Beauchamp's view, the one thing the internet does not provide is human contact. She predicts that in 2017, customers will increasingly visit stores to get curated experiences from shop representatives. For brands to meet this demand, they need to have well-trained staff who understand products inside and out and can offer personalized advice.
We will also see a rise in experiential retail, according to Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the founder of underwear brand Lively. To encourage consumers to spend time in their stores browsing their products, brands will get…[read the full article at www.fastcompany.com]