5 Market Trends Every Fashion Designer Should Know


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The world is changing fast, and retail is rapidly evolving to catch up. In the fashion industry, everything from manufacturing to marketing to who is setting the trends is being revolutionized. Whether you are a minimal accessories artisan, a sustainable fashion boutique, or a gritty skatewear designer,


The industry trends that are defining the fashion market in 2017:


1. Bring On the Big Data
Fashion editors are still as glamorous as ever, barking out decisions and making trends in New York, but their grip over the industry is starting to loosen little by little. Today, fashion is ruled not by the whims and moods of editorial elites, but by big data. Instead of relying on the premonitions of the top stylists the in the industry, designers and retailers can crunch the numbers and get their own reading on the season’s trends.
Retailers can use targeted promo codes to determine which marketing endeavors are paying off, and which ones are not. Big data is also useful in tracking seasonal sales and in finding the most cost efficient pricing structure. A McKinsey study found that retailers could increase profits by 60% by incorporating data patterns into their business decisions.
2. Cutting Out the Middleman
Direct to consumer retail has been booming in recent years, with companies like Warby Parker and Everlane finding success in a direct to consumer business model. More and more businesses are eliminating the high costs of brick and mortar retail spaces in favor of ecommerce. Specialty lines are targeting customers directly instead of working through big box stores.
Eliminating the middleman lets brands keep prices competitive, which attracts customers, and also allows them to pocket the full profits, without splitting sales with a distributer. Direct to consumer retail also let designers control their image, and market themselves to shoppers directly instead of relying on big box stores.
3. It’s All About the Story
In the past few years, the fashion industry has taken a sharp turn into narrative retail. No longer is it enough to simply market the final garment. Customers want more than a product; they want a story. Today’s consumer wants to know where their clothes come from, and who made it.
Designers can build repoire with their clientele by bringing them into the process early. Customers respond well to behind the scenes content, which can range from photos of early concept sketches, to highly produced video footage of the factory at work. By allowing customers to follow the product’s progression, designers can cultivate a relationship between the shopper and the item, which is more likely to result in purchasing down the line.
4. A Booming Asian Market
Designers are turning their sights abroad to the rapidly expanding Asian market. The growing Asian middle class is set to become a purchasing powerhouse that is going to shake up the global economy. Seoul and Tokyo are both major style hubs in the fashion industry, and the Asian market is set to expand even further. Designers are looking to increase production to match the rapid grown, and retailers are examining ways to best penetrate this lucrative region.
5. The Pop Up Phenomenon
The laws of supply and demand are nothing new, but 2017 is full of new ways designers are tapping into the power of the limited edition.  In this rapidly expanding and ever-competitive fashion retail market, designers are relying on limited edition collaborations and special pop-up events to spark interest and drive sales.
Pop-up sales give online retailers a chance to flaunt their goods in person, without the commitment of a monthly lease. The event like atmosphere of these sales makes shopping feel like a special occasion, which encourages spending. Similarly, designers are using pre-orders and waiting lists to build hype for their products, tapping into the time old principle that limiting supply will drive up demand.

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