The cross-industry trend intelligence agency, Stylus, broke down trends
in consumer shifts across 20+ industries at their annual NYC flagship
event, the Decoded Summit, an event designed to promote education,
networking and inspiration. FashionUnited compiled the important takeaways
for brand builders everywhere.
Right to rebel
If 2019 was the year of the human, 2020 will be the year of action, as
change making consumers realize this is not a drill and take matters into
their own hands. From Brexit and Hong Kong protests to Extinction
Rebellion, brands take note that young consumers are venting their anger
and looking to brands which stand up with them, but no posers welcome.
Tokyo-based designer, Takahiro Mayashita, known as The Soloist, has reached
cult status after a Converse collaboration, but gains wider relevance for
his transformable, packable pieces styled in dark layers, with hoods and
balaclavas. New style tribes, reflected in the rise of brands like Black
Weirdos, also from Ja[an, present modern interpretations of goth, grunge,
emo, and punk in reaction to the unattainable perfection presented by the
likes of the Kardashians.
Craftivism promotes the opportunity to change the world one stitch at a
time. Stella McCartney’s alignment with Extinction Rebellion, the activist
organization which has proposed canceling London Fashion Week and buying no
new clothes for one year, is a provocative example of the new conversations
that are happening.
Post Truth Economy
Consumers don’t know who to believe and have lost faith in government,
politicians, religious leaders, and traditional policy makers empowering
brands with built in purpose to stand out as leaders. The rise of tech
companies such as Everledger and Canopy gives consumer back control at a
time when data protection and detoxifying the internet are of primary
Consumers are also ready to take it upon themselves to minimize their
climate impact, and brands which facilitate these efforts will lead. Retail
app CoGo, short for connecting good, connects consumers with businesses
that align with their ethical views. Adam Goswell’s tech innovations at
Lush puts him at the forefront of eliminating product packaging and
waste-free retailing. Teemill allows consumers to build their own T-shirt
brand remanufacturing old T-shirts with new designs, and fashion tech start
up, Save Your Wardrobe, uses Artificial Intelligence to digitize your
wardrobe to aid consumers in streamlined sustainable living.
Rise of the Imperfectionists
Escaping the myth of perfect, consumers celebrate the grotesque and the
radically imperfect in a new “ugly” trend which Gucci pioneered in its
beauty advertising featuring Dani Miller. The darker dystopian mash-up has
elevated Chernobyl to popular vacation destination and encompasses human
waste as a manufacturing resource as seen in Shahar Livne’s bio-leather
sneakers made with human blood or Cubitts sunglasses made from human
The desire to feel clutter-free and in touch with life in all its
intimate, non digital glory is a trend led by Adidas whose recent Coachella
event required attendees to leave devices at the door, You had to be there,
is the modern message.
Brands catering to a series of diverse niches are finding success now
that the term mass-market is falling out of favor. Tapping into
specialized communities or consumers’ milestone life-moments, such as
travel geared towards the newly-divorced or the menopausal is set to
pollinate across all industries.
Modernizing nostalgic or artisanal practices and a focus on essential
living is growing. Brands making efforts to counter past trends for planned
obsolescence will lead, such as Panasonic’s promotion of electronics to
cherish for life or Ikea’s Överallt which brings artisanal African made
small batch furniture into contemporary living spaces. Last month
Johannesburg-based womenswear designer Thebe Magugu became the first
African ever to win the prestigious LVMH Prize.
As digital experiences will feel more real than ever, enhanced with 5G’s
global 2020 launch, Amber Jae Slooten’s digital block chain dress which
auctioned for 9500 dollars is an example of the future of tech and fashion.
Outfits comprised of a foundational layer which you wear every day answers
clothing’s need to provide warmth but when“worn” with a changing hologram
on top provides the personal self-expression we associate with fashion
while also questioning the need to make physical trend-driven garments
which will contribute to landfill and the global climate crisis.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk
for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion