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Published: 10 Jul 2018

Asos Launches Wheelchair-Friendly Jumpsuit

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ASOS's inclusive jumpsuit
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Online fashion and beauty retailer Asos is extending its diversity agenda once more with a fashion-forward jumpsuit that’s suitable for wheelchair users, created in collaboration with British Paralympic athlete Chloe Ball-Hopkins. 

The waterproof outfit costs £50 and has an adjustable hood, a zip around the waist to make it easier to get in and out of, cuffs that allow the sleeve length to be changed, and a pocket for medical supplies. It’s currently only available in one style – pink tie-dye – but Ball-Hopkins hinted that similar garments could soon be on the way. She also clarified that the jumpsuit can be worn by anyone, not just those with disabilities, highlighting the universality of the design.

The accessible suit is far from the retailer’s first encounter with progressiveness – Asos regularly houses exclusive plus-size collections, carries gender-neutral products, and promotes body positivity through inclusive brand marketing. With consumers increasingly demanding diversity across age, size, race and ability, the project is a good reminder that brands should aim for ultimate inclusivity; those that don’t will be left behind.

For more on this topic, see Nordstrom’s Size-Inclusive Initiatives, Rihanna’s Inclusive Lingerie Line and Progressive Fashion.

Published: 5 Jul 2018

Fashion’s Future Fabrics: Brands Tap Sustainability & Tech

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L-R: Loomia, Circular Systems, COS

Consumer demand for sustainable goods and advanced technology is on the rise. Smart brands and retailers are finding innovative ways to satisfy these environmentally conscious yet stylistically discerning millennials. Here, we take a look at three future-facing fashion projects and innovations for July.

  • H&M-owned brand Cos has launched its savvy new Repurposed Cotton Project – a collection of sweatshirts made entirely of cotton scraps from a year of production. The low-cost process entails shredding, compacting, spinning, weaving and dying the discarded cotton, with the results identical in look and feel to similar non-sustainable alternatives. 
  • Brooklyn-based start-up Loomia has developed a nylon-like material that works like a circuit board and can be draped, creased and stretched. Not only can the textile emit light and heat, allowing the user to illuminate their path at night or warm their clothes in the winter, but it can also gather valuable data for fashion companies. The user can seamlessly sell this data – which includes their surrounding climate and activity levels – to fashion brands and retailers, who can use the data as feedback to improve their products and design processes.
  • LA-based materials start-up Circular Systems uses banana by-products, pineapple leaves, flax and hemp stalk, and waste created from crushing sugar cane to create a natural fibre that can be woven into material fabrications for garments. The company will work with brands like H&M and Levi’s to integrate its fibres into their fabric-manufacturing operations.

For more on sustainable solutions, see A Sustainable Journey, Fashion’s Sustainability Surge and Sustainability Turns Smart: Manufacturing a Clean Future

Published: 22 Jun 2018

Fashion’s Sustainability Surge: Top Picks From June

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Sustainable sweatshirt by US brand Reformation

As considerate consumption moves from consumer choice to consumer necessity, brands are shaping up. Game-changing sustainability initiatives seem to be launching almost every week, with big brands surprisingly leading from the front. Here, we take a look at June’s sustainability wins.

  • Proving that mainstreaming sustainability is achievable is e-tail behemoth Asos, which has announced plans to ban mohair, cashmere, silk, down and feathers across its entire platform by January 2019. The British company, which sells more than 850 labels, joins high-street heavyweights such as Topshop, H&M and Marks & Spencer in its decision to ban mohair.
  • Another household name demonstrating the demise of niche sustainability is department store chain John Lewis, which has launched a buy-back scheme with social enterprise Stuffstr. The UK-based retailer will buy back worn and unwanted clothing from its customers – including underwear and old socks – before either reselling, mending, or recycling them to make new products.
  • Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M will permanently install a clothing repair service at its newly renovated flagship in Paris, France. The station will allow customers to mend all types of items, and also offer customisation, embroidery, patches, sewing kits and laundry bags that help keep plastic residues out of the water system.

Leaving sustainability as an afterthought isn’t good enough. With an increasingly informed and compassionate consumer population, it’s imperative for niche and household brands alike to embrace the change.

To explore how industries from fashion to food are tackling sustainability, see A Sustainable Journey, Sustainability through Community and Sustainability Turns Smart.

Published: 5 Jun 2018

Porter Magazine X Parley: Ocean Plastic Campaign

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Porter Magazine x Parley for the Oceans

In a new multi-channel campaign, Porter Magazine is collaborating with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

The magazine, which is published by luxury fashion e-tailer Net-A-Porter, is dedicating its summer issue to the oceans. It will contain a 63-page “Ocean Portfolio” shot in the Maldives, featuring model and Parley ambassador Anja Rubik. Editorials and interviews will explore the critical issues around ocean plastic and explain how readers can take matters into their own hands.

The two-month campaign will see related content published on Porter.com and on social media under the hashtag #PlasticNotFantastic. Meanwhile, visitors to Net-A-Porter.com will be able to purchase items made from Parley’s own Ocean Plastic material, including an exclusive new eyewear range.

Crucially, the magazine is showing long-term commitment to the cause by pledging to become plastic-free by 2019. It’s already taking steps towards this by dispatching its issues in recyclable paper envelopes, as well as making in-house changes like a ban on disposable plastic in the office and on its photo shoots.

Porter is just one of a number of fashion industry players to collaborate with Parley, with Adidas, Stella McCartney and G-Star Raw all having previously partnered with the eco-warriors. For more, see Upcycling: Adidas x Parley.

For more on the fashion brands embracing sustainability, see Sustainable 360 from our New Fashion Landscape 2017 Update, and look out for A Sustainable Journey, publishing on June 13. To read about more sustainability-focused engagement strategies, see Retail: Reframing Sustainability and Creating Shared Value: Sustainability Marketing.

Published: 31 May 2018

Resort 19 Influencer Show: Gucci

Alessandro Michele’s Resort 19 showing was a full-blown spectacular with over 100 exits, posing the question: Have pre-season shows become just another RTW opportunity rather than between-season collections?

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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19

Alessandro Michele’s idiosyncratic approach to design has true seasonless appeal. Among the many looks were padded puffer jackets, animal print leggings, silky kimonos, floral coats, capes and his signature take on the Chanel-style suit. All worked in iconic print mash-ups and a palette dominated by shades of pink and green teamed with the grounding force of black.

Expect the influence of those pattern mash-ups to hit the high street with full-blown rose motifs, scarf prints, suiting checks and all-over foulards. They worked alongside glittering sequins, plush velvet and crystal trims for anything-goes evening-meets-daywear looks.

Silhouettes veered towards ruffled and tiered maxi and midi lengths, although there were some thigh-high disco-ready mini dresses and one-shouldered goddess looks. Outerwear had an easy vintage appeal with soft, unstructured shapes along with casual puffer and parka styling.

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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19

The devil is always in the detail with Michele, who accessorised every look with a battery of overscaled jewelled crosses, crystal-trimmed toques, lace gloves, classic GG-patterned totes and embellished boxy bags.

Footwear came as elevated foot-stomping Goth shoes, double-strapped Velcro sandals, ladylike Mary Janes and buttoned Edwardiana boots, all teamed with vividly coloured lace hosiery.

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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19
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Gucci Resort 19

NEED TO KNOW:

  •  A full-on RTW spectacular rather than a low-key Resort show
  •  Pink and green dominated the palette
  •  Full-blown roses, traditional florals, scarf prints and micro foulards, coupled with house branding, worked in diverse print mash-ups
  •  Suiting checks and tweeds
  •  Sequins, silks, velvet and leather
  • *Tiers and ruffles on longer, vintage-inspired silhouette
Published: 30 May 2018

Resort 19 Influencer Show: Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquière upped the ante with his Resort 19 show for Louis Vuitton, full of oddball reference points and eclectic styling.

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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19

This show, held in the South of France, was a collection of individual pieces, determinedly mismatched to create an eccentric thrown-together look with its roots in the street and vintage-inspired dressing. That vintage was the 80s, an era Ghesquière is often keen to plunder and one with inspiration for the fast fashion and junior markets.

Exaggerated shoulderlines and sleeve detailing dominated the silhouette, with  armadillo-style flanges, oversized padding and slashed-open seam details, all oddly teamed with pie-crust ruffles, over-long fluted cuffs, short skater dress proportions and mini wrap and drape skirts.

Contrast trims, peplums, batwing sleeves and wrap and drape tops compounded the 80s theme, along with bum-freezer tuxedos, jacquarded sweaters, cropped bolero jackets and even jodhpurs. For after 6pm there was a change of tack as Ghesquière visited the boudoir with his beaded satin slips and flirty cami-shorts topped with feathered capelets.

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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19

There was a play on pattern, too, with mismatched spots and stripes, patchworked florals and an anything-goes medley of treebark plisse, beaded charmeuse and acid-wash denim, leather and feathers, Prince of Wales suiting, LV Damier checks and masculine stripes, all worked in a palette of warm neutrals or black and white, punctuated with lilac, mint, mango and a splash of red.

And if the styling was eccentrically OTT, then watch for the accessorisation of welder eyewear, webbing and leather tie-belts, swinging chain jewellery and fashion’s ubiquitous over-the-knee stocking boots, here on a chunky trainer-style outsole. Not forgetting the collaboration with styling supremo Grace Coddington with her kitsch cat- and dog-shaped bags.

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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19
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Louis Vuitton Resort 19

NEED TO KNOW:

  • 80s proportion play
  • Shoulder and sleeve emphasis on short fluted silhouettes
  • Oversized shoulders defined tailoring
  • Offbeat pattern mixes
  • Pleats and plisse effects/wrap and drape details
  • Thigh-high silhouettes coupled with over-the-knee sockboots
  • Sneakers on chunky metallic rubber outsoles
Published: 28 May 2018

Nordstrom Embraces Size-Inclusive Initiatives

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© Nordstrom Instagram

US department store Nordstrom is upping its size-inclusive strategies – recognising the $22bn spending power of the plus-size market, as well as the need for inclusivity across the board.

US denim brand Good American (co-founded by Khloé Kardashian) acted as the catalyst for the department store. The size-inclusive brand demanded that the retailer picked up every size from US 00-24 (UK 2-28) in order to sell its collections.

Nordstrom’s initiative will focus on size and shape diversity across all of its media, mannequins, marketing and signage, which brands with a limited size range will be excluded from. It’s also adding a size-equalising function to its website in a bid to eliminate vanity sizing. This means that customers who search for a size will be shown what closely resembles that measurement from other brands – even if that size is labelled as something else.

Recognising the need for a size-inclusive and fashion-forward product offering, Nordstrom has started asking brands to increase their sizing ranges. Topshop, Rag & Bone and Madewell have extended their denim sizes in line with the retailer’s request, while athletic brands like Nike, Beyond Yoga and Adidas have added XXL to their product offerings.

With brick-and-mortar stores being Nordstrom’s key draw, the strategy is a shrewd move. As size-diverse customers are often excluded from the in-store experience, stores would do well to lead from the front – tackling limited-size brands to ensure every customer is catered for.

For more on this, see Rihanna’s Inclusive Lingerie Line, A Fashion A’woke’ning: Mainstreaming Inclusivity and Progressive Fashion.

Published: 24 May 2018

Resort 19 Influencer Show: Valentino

A highly wearable collection of tightly edited silhouettes, a marine-inspired palette and more than a touch of 70s inspiration created a strong commercial template for Pierpaolo Piccioli’s 2019 Resort showing for Valentino.

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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19

The designer tapped into the zeitgeist for all things 70s-themed, with his crisp fit-and-flare silhouettes, giant eyewear and scarf-wrapped heads conjuring up images of Antonio Lopez’s iconic illustrations of the era. Boxy Rockstud shoulder bags and tasselled, block-heeled loafers provided the perfect accoutrements to the gamine girl-about-town looks.

A strongly defined palette of red, white and navy was used in clean colour-blocked mixes or as graphic archival prints. These add a new dimension to the ongoing trend for luxury branding – here reworked as all-over scrolling Nouveau-esque patterns, sharp ‘V’ motifs, graphic scale-mixed typographical slogans and beaded trims. For a softer, more feminine look, think sprays of springtime mimosa and delicate poppies or mixed herbaceous all-overs and hibiscus florals on pretty tinted grounds of lemon, pistachio, lilac and sky blue.

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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19

Strong linear silhouettes featured crisp pleated skirts and waisted A-line shirt dresses, gold buttoned blazers, classic trench coats and logo-driven V-neck knits, complemented by 70s-style denim flares and micro miniskirts – all accented with topstitching or contrast collar detailing. The house’s signature tiers and ruffles came into play too, with flared floral midi-dresses and chocolate-box broderie maxis, while sequins and floral appliqués added to the more decorative appeal.

It’s not just those colour-blocked tasselled loafers that will have impact on the high street next season. Watch for beaded or sequined western-style shooties hitting the sweet spot, along with printed head wraps and giant hoop earrings.

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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19
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Valentino Resort 19

NEED TO KNOW:

  • 70s gamine influences
  • Chocolate-box frills and tiers on midi and maxi silhouettes
  • Crisply styled A-lines and fit-and-flare silhouettes
  • Luxe silk twills, snakeskin, leather and denim
  • Logo-driven prints
  • Pretty florals
  • A graphic palette contrasted with sweet pastels
  • Tasselled loafers, western-style shooties and logo-patterned sock boots
Published: 9 May 2018

Rihanna Expands Inclusive Offering with New Lingerie Line

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Savage x Fenty

Building on the success of her diversity-championing beauty range, Rihanna is launching a body-inclusive lingerie line dubbed Savage x Fenty. Ahead of the May 11 launch, the pop star has taken to social media to tease fans with campaign images and trailers that hint at the line’s focus on body positivity.

Starring plus-size models Audrey Ritchie, Lulu Bonfils and Stella Duval, the images are accompanied by affirmative captions like “Savages come in all shapes and sizes” and “X stands for all”. One video features Ritchie looking confidently at the camera while her voiceover talks positively about her stretchmarks, rolls and cellulite.

The brand’s site indicates that bra sizes will range from 32A to 44DDD, while underwear will be available in sizes XS to 3X.

Rihanna has already proven herself in the inclusivity space, with her cosmetics venture Fenty Beauty receiving a hugely positive reception when it launched in September 2017. Make-up fans and industry insiders alike praised its delivery of high-quality cosmetics for a wide range of skin tones, including foundation in 40 shades. See our blog post for more.

Taking into account her other non-musical endeavours, including her popular Fenty x Puma clothing line, Rihanna has established herself as a strong player across a number of industries. Her success is likely due in part to the amplifying effect of entering a lucrative space where entertainment, product and celebrity intersect.

For more on the musical influencers hitting that engagement sweet spot, see Invigorating Brand Values from our Active Lives Macro Trend.

Published: 8 May 2018

Resort 19 Influencer Show: Prada

New York was the location for Miuccia Prada’s latest Resort show, with the buzz of the city that never sleeps mirrored in the collection’s cacophony of noisy print and jarring colour – reading like a fast-paced back catalogue of tried-and-trusted house favourites.

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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19

However, those iconic prints and signature off-key colours took on a new youthful vibe when combined with 90s minimalist silhouettes, hip-slung flares and thigh-high minis. Add in sporty zippered polo shirts, colour-blocked tees, giant trapper hats and chunky block-heeled loafers and Prada’s reach suddenly moves out of the luxury sector and into the millennial mainstream.    

The mood for layering added to the youthful feel, with jazzy printed polo knits blended with ruffled tank tops and self-belted hipster minis – all worked in a discordant palette of jade, emerald, primrose, cobalt, coral, tan and camel. Lean single-breasted coats and ankle-skimming sheer skirts or slip dresses may have had a timeless appeal, but it’s the retro geo-patterned hip-hanging pants, primary bright ruffle-hemmed wrap minis and frilled colour-blocked polo shirts we’ll see on the high street any day soon.

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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19

Fabric choices had a down-to-earth appeal, too, with spongy leathers, sports jersey, granular summer tweeds and opaque sheers all offering a tangible season-neutral stamp. Shimmering metallic brocades or cloques were worked in neat-fit jacket and micro skirt or flared pant combinations.

And those thigh-high gamine miniskirts put renewed emphasis on legs, with paillette-strewn hosiery and printed tights making a statement, offset with logo-stamped loafers or zingy colour-blocked patent sandals. Watch for the influence of those chunky plastic chain necklaces and oversized trapper hats, both replacing bags as the accessories du jour this season.

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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19
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Prada Resort 19

NEED TO KNOW:

  • Mad print and colour mixes
  • Sporty tops and patterned polo-neck knits as key layering pieces
  • Team with hip-slung flares or ruffled wrap miniskirts
  • Ankle-skimming skirts and narrow single-breasted coats for a 90s minimalist-inspired silhouette
  • Fabrics combine sports jersey with luxe silk cloques or brocades
  • Simple leather commuter coats and boxy jacket shapes
  • Block-heeled loafers, plastic chain necklaces and coloured hosiery
  • Exaggerated trapper hats help create a new youthful silhouette
Published: 23 Apr 2018

Abercrombie & Fitch: Archive Collection Targets Teens

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Abercrombie & Fitch

As part of a bid to win back the favour of teen consumers, American brand Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) has created a throwback capsule collection that draws on its archives.

A pair of A&F chinos worn by former US president John F. Kennedy served as the central source of inspiration behind the menswear line, which harnesses other archival design cues such as 1960s references to sailing – one of JFK’s favourite pastimes.

Young consumers are being drawn to vintage clothing and cult brand revivals, with nostalgic labels like Tommy Hilfiger and Champion ranking among US Gen Z and millennials’ 10 most popular brands (Piper Jaffray, 2018). Leveraging its position as a heritage company, A&F is seeking to regain its affinity with teens by tapping into the rich archives it has at its disposal.

The collection is the latest move by the retailer to revive itself following several years of poor sales. Seeking reconciliation with teenage consumers, a demographic it has traditionally been associated with, A&F has also recently placed more emphasis on values held by Gen Z – such as diversity and inclusivity.

Last year, it shifted the focus of its campaigns away from the half-naked models it’s historically been famous for and towards a more ‘real’ and racially diverse cast. Meanwhile, in January 2018, it launched a unisex kidswear collection. The brand recently announced a 5% sales increase in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For more on teens’ approach to fashion, look out for our teen focus reports – publishing in May. To read about teen-centred retail, see Destination Teen: Targeting Youth.

Published: 8 Mar 2018

Gucci & Balenciaga: Brands Make a Stand

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Gucci Pre-Fall 18 – #GucciDansLesRues

As the fashion industry’s month long schedule of womenswear shows draw to a close, Gucci and Balenciaga – named the hottest brands of 2017  – are embracing political initiatives and social movements – building on their lucrative brand hype, while ensuring a lasting impact after the season ends.

Italian mega-brand Gucci has joined the anti-gun movement, donating $500,000 to March For Our Lives – the student-led protest organised by the friends, families and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14. The brand is keen to support the cause using more than just capital, with its politically minded millennial fan-base increasingly demanding authentic showcases of activism and political engagement.

‘‘I am truly moved by the courage of these students,’’ said Gucci creative director Allessandro Michele of his position to join the march. ‘‘My love is with them and it will be next to them on March 24. I am standing with March for Our Lives and the strong young women and men across the United States.’’

Luxury French fashion house Balenciaga has similarly intertwined social change with its brand DNA of late – unveiling a collaboration with the World Food Programme at its A/W 18/19 show. The brand has announced an ongoing collaboration with the charity, including a $250,000 donation and a percentage of sales from the Balenciaga x WFP collection.

Shrewd brands would do well to outwardly embrace their core values. Against a volatile political climate and the rising spending power of millennials – neutrality may prove a riskier strategy.

For more on how brands can avoid ambivalence in tense political times see Brands Take a Stand.

Published: 6 Mar 2018

FIT Tackles the Fashion Industry’s Diversity Issue

As detailed in The New Fashion Landscape 2017 Update, fashion is altering its approach to sizing, diversity and gender. These topics animated the Fashion Institute of Technology’s symposium in New York on February 23, reflecting issues explored in its current exhibit The Body: Fashion and Physique (see blog). We recount the highlights.

  • Serving Overlooked Cohorts: American fashion designer Christian Siriano, known for casting diverse models in his runway shows, said he offers both regular and larger sizes to boost business. “I don’t want alienate to customers,” he said. “At the end of the day, a fashion designer’s job is to sell clothing.” Featured in the exhibit is the dress Siriano designed for Leslie Jones for the premiere of 2016 film Ghostbusters after she complained that designers refused to clothe someone of her size.

    London College of Fashion professor Reina Lewis cited that Muslim shoppers will spend $368bn on clothing annually by 2021 (Thomson Reuters, 2016), creating an opportunity for designers of modest clothing.

    Similarly, British sociology professor Julia Twigg argued that designers who acknowledge baby boomers’ spending power and changing bodies can harness a powerful, underserved market sector. As an example, Twigg cited British retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which remodelled its dress forms according to the 60-year-old body.

    For more on these cohorts, see Gen M: Millennial Muslim Entrepreneurs, Instagangs: 60-Plus and UK Female Boomers.
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Christian Siriano A/W 18/19
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Christian Siriano
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Christian Siriano A/W 18/19
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London Modest Fashion Week 2017
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London Modest Fashion Week
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Modest fashion blogger Hafsah Mohammed
  • Modelling Inclusivity: Following American designer Tom Ford’s recent comments on the dominance of small sample sizes, panellists condemned his obsolete attitude. “Think about being inclusive with models when starting your design process,” proposed Gary Dakin, co-founder of New York-based agency JAG Models. This approach is particularly relevant following a recent decrease in plus-sized models at New York Fashion Week (The Fashion Spot), as well as protests in London over the lack of curvy models at London Fashion Week. 
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Tom Ford A/W 18/19
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Protests during LFW
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Chromat A/W 18/19
  • Fit for Marginalised Bodies: Grace Jun, executive director of accessible design studio Open Style Lab, emphasised the importance of comprehensive research when creating for consumers with disabilities. “Work with people, see their homes and understand their commutes to make successful pieces,” she said.

    American model and para-athlete Aimee Mullins encouraged designers to approach prosthetics imaginatively: “Why do prosthetics have to represent loss? Why not have them look like a cheetah or make them from glass?”

    For more on inclusive design, see Instagangs: Design for Purpose, Tommy Hilfiger Designs for Disability and Humanising the Hospital: IV-Walk Wearable.

  • Follower Feedback: Iskra Lawrence, British plus-sized model and face of American lingerie company Aerie, reinforced social media’s ability to empower consumers. “My followers learn about [how brands size] through social media,” she said. “I also use Instagram as a bargaining chip for modelling jobs – I can sit in marketing board meetings and give feedback, because I have that connection to consumers.”

    Siriano reiterated the value of consumer interaction: “Selling to customers directly is important [in executing diversity] because you’re getting real feedback.”
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Aimee Mullins
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Iskra Lawrence
  • Social Media Pioneers: According to Kings College London professor Joanne Entwistle, “fashion diversity isn’t happening in fashion. To see it, you have to go outside the industry… to Instagram.” Entwistle highlighted Instagram mums like British influencer @mother_of_daughters as an example of profiles that subvert traditional media representations by posting unflattering body shots and practical fashion tips.

    Lauren Chan, fashion features director at Glamour US, discussed how the magazine has integrated diversity into its editorial approach, sourcing models from Instagram rather than from agencies.
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@mother_of_daughters
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Glamour US

For more on social-savvy brands, see our reports A Fashion A'woke’ningFashion Ad Campaigns A/W 17/18: Diversity Gains and Instagangs: Directional Brands.

The Body: Fashion and Physique runs until May 5.

Published: 2 Mar 2018

A/W 18/19 Influencer Show: Dries Van Noten

Unlike some male designers who create clothes that they would like to see women wearing, Dries Van Noten designs clothes women actually want to wear. His A/W 18/19 showing was full of covetable pieces celebrating colour and pattern, coupled with an easy elegance.

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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19

Silhouettes followed a simple template of louche cocooning coats, soft pants and boxy tops, drapey blousons and relaxed sheath dresses – all providing a blank canvas for Art Brut add link-styled doodle prints and playful checks.

There was an almost Oriental Deco feel to the bicoloured scribble prints, sometimes worked in a contradictory, haphazard pattern clash, or as dimensional embroideries and beaded motifs. Other textures came in the form of soft Mongolian lamb collars and stoles, as well as a vivid fringe fanning diagonally across simple skirts and dresses. 

The palette was a masterclass in offbeat colour mixes. Think lilac, mint and chartreuse with pops of red, parrot green, violet, Gitanes blue and orange, all grounded with black, white and ochre. 

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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19

Van Noten doesn’t usually amplify the season’s trends, but he reflected looks seen elsewhere this season in patterned outerwear, the draped 80s pouf of a blouse sleeve, and colourful plaids sympathetically rendered in double jersey. Metallic cloques and brocades also tapped into A/W 18/19’s emerging fabric directions.

These were effortlessly timeless clothes. Casual parkas and sporty jacquard or marled knits were thrown into the decorative mix, along with oversized fur hobo bags and covetable snakeskin boots, adding a luxurious everyday vibe.

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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19
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Dries Van Noten A/W 18/19

Need to Know:

  • A luxurious, decorative, sporty mix
  • Offbeat palette of playful mid-tones with graphic black and white
  • Art Brut-inspired print and pattern
  • Slouchy silhouettes
  • A timeless yet vintage appeal
  • Plaids, Morrocan crepe, cloques and silk fabrics
  • Graphic jacquard knits
  • Long-haired Mongolian trims and accessories
Published: 27 Feb 2018

Progressive Fashion: February Round-Up

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Missguided Mannequins

From adopting a more charitable outlook to promoting the beauty of body ‘imperfections’, the fashion industry has finally started to wake up to informed consumers’ expectations.

Here’s a round-up of our favourite progressive initiatives from the past month, which other brands would do well to learn from.

  • London-based brand Ninety Percent is rewriting the rules of business by prioritising people over profit. The responsibly made womenswear label – founded by Bangladesh clothing factory owner Shafiq Hassan – shares 90% of its profits with charitable causes and the people who make the clothing. Customers also have the option of voting for the causes they wish to support. 
  • Macy’s has become the latest major US retailer to launch a clothing line aimed at Muslim women. The Verona Collection – made in collaboration with Muslim influencer Lisa Vogl – consists of modest essentials including hand-dyed hijabs.
  • H&M continues to further its sustainable fashion credentials with its 2018 Conscious Exclusive collection, which is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement in Sweden. The range consists of premium garments created from recycled polyester, organic linen, sustainable fabrics Tencel and Econyl, and recycled silver.
  • UK-based fashion retailer Missguided’s #MakeYourMark campaign, which encourages women to celebrate their physical differences, has been taken one step further with the launch of realistic in-store mannequins. The new and diverse range of mannequins will now represent an array of ethnic backgrounds and feature natural physical ‘imperfections’ including stretch marks, freckles and vitiligo.

For more on the lucrative opportunities inclusivity presents to brands, read our report A Fashion A’Woke’ning. For more on diversity, sustainability and the challenging fashion environment, see our Industry Trend The New Fashion Landscape 2017.

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