"With many markets witnessing slower growth and low consumer confidence, the fashion industry is going through a seismic transformation. As the recently released ‘The State of Fashion 2020’ report by The Business of Fashion reveals, under pressure brands are embracing digital operations, boosting earnings while tackling sustainability issues."
With many markets witnessing slower growth and low consumer confidence, the fashion industry is going through a seismic transformation. As the recently released ‘The State of Fashion 2020’ report by The Business of Fashion reveals, under pressure brands are embracing digital operations, boosting earnings while tackling sustainability issues.
The report identifies the top 10 fashion industry themes for year 2020. New channels, markets and research are creating opportunities for companies that find the right formula, says the report. A new breed of super winners is emerging who are attracting the best talents in the industry.
However, the outlook for 2020 appears to be subdued as according to 55 percent respondents conditions will worsen in the year. Fashion companies may become more resilient in 2020 and assign additional resources to understanding risks and putting forward solutions. Also, Chinese brands may direct some of their attention towards other growth markets like India, South Asia, Russia and Middle East.
Focus on social media trends and content creation
As social media platforms will focus on high-quality or user-generated content, storytelling will become more important in the months ahead. These platforms will be used to tap into the “drop culture” associated with streetwear labels. By 2023, these platforms could account for a fifth of all online sales in China, a staggering $166 billion amid a pervasive culture of innovation. Brands will spend time evaluating these emerging social media trends and focus on content creation that strikes a chord across channels.
Fashion retailers will set up stores focusing on service, convenience, personalization, and customer experience. Smaller in size than existing outlets, each of these stores will have their own look and feel depending on location. They will use cutting-edge design, highly focused assortments, and experiential elements to strike a chord with local communities. Some may be pop-ups, while others will be found in new corners of established neighborhoods.
Acceleration of sustainability initiatives
This year will also see the fashion industry grow its sustainability engagement as brands will develop new fabrics, cut destruction of unsold goods and ensure products can be repaired or recycled. Some brands have committed to radical transparency in the supply chain, and have seen positive results, while several e-commerce platforms have enabled searches for sustainable brands.
Some of fashion’s biggest names will join the ‘materials revolution,’ in 2020 as they will opt for synthetic and reengineered fibers, including biofabricated leather and e-textiles. This will not only enhance their design palette but also offer them greater functionality, and range of commercial opportunities.
Rise in inclusive culture
Chief diversity and inclusion officers will rule as customers and stakeholders will keep a close eye on developments. Brands will launch ranges catering to underserved demographics, from brands for people with disabilities, such as IZ Adaptive, to Good American, which offers jeans in a wide range of tailored sizes, and trans-friendly lingerie brand Carmen Liu Lingerie.
Larger share for Asian manufacturers
Asian manufacturers will get a larger share of global mass market, as they will continue to move up the value chain and leverage in-house design capabilities and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. A significant driver of this growth will be the rising consumer demand for these brands. To stay ahead of the game, international brands need to strengthen their value propositions in the months ahead.
Digital companies to reevaluate operations
Brands are obsessed with making their digital operations a success by offering compelling customer experiences and streamlined operations. However, some of the world’s largest companies are divesting themselves of e-commerce businesses. These companies will need to reevaluate their business models in 2020 and seek levers to boost their revenues.