Fashion is constantly concerned with newness. This applies to not only colors and silhouettes, but also business models and innovation. And if there’s anywhere industry leaders discuss such novelties, it’s FASHINNOVATION’s Worldwide Talks. Our 5th edition, which took place in September, brought the latest change waves rippling through the fashion world with it. Here are 7 hot trends that stood out during the event.
Supply Chain Digitization
One of the most significant changes that COVID-19 spurred is the shift into the digital. Though e-commerce was already on its way to outshining physical stores, the pandemic accelerated the transition. The average person now relies on digital platforms to make certain purchases, if not all. The scope of the change was so large that it seems hardly reversible.
Yet it doesn’t only come down to e-commerce. With flight and transportation restrictions came a progressive and partial digitization of the supply chain. It suddenly became a hot trend. Middlemen were left out of the picture. This opened up quite a bit of margin – so producing certain products became automatically cheaper.
Evidently, a company’s goal is to spend as little money as possible on production. In that, it’s obvious that the digitization of the supply change is here to stay. The consequences of this phenomenon seem particularly positive, especially considering the fashion industry’s current push towards sustainability.
Margin flexibility means that companies have money to spend. So why not spend it on sustainable means of production and materials? One of the reasons why brands do not adopt a sustainable model is the cost that it would entail. Digitizing the supply chain fixes the problem. It’s an incentive for companies to decrease their negative environmental impact.
Hence, sustainability doesn’t have to be the most expensive option. This also applies to the consumer, who will most likely choose the environmentally friendly option if it’s not costlier.
Ankiti Bose, founder of Zilingo, and CNBC reporter Jade Scipioni explained this and more in FASHINNOVATION’s latest Worldwide Talks.
Virgie Tovar, who covers the plus-size market for Forbes, talked about size inclusivity in our recent event. With the help of Patrick Herning, founder of 11 Honore, she brought up the difficulties startups encounter when adopting size-inclusivity.
Indeed, tailoring for all sizes means using up more resources, which might be a challenge for brands that are just taking off. Thus, focusing on startup companies seems unfair. Bigger brands should be setting an example.
At the end of the day, a great portion of the world’s population is plus-size. Henceforth, tailoring to bigger sizes wouldn’t mean loss, but rather opening up to a greater customer demographic. From this would obviously come larger profits.
But the real importance of size inclusivity is not monetary. Everyone needs clothes. Literally. It’s hence extremely unfair that certain people are excluded from meeting such needs, only because of their size. Additionally, not carrying particular sizes sends a message: that those who need them are not worthy. Is that really what companies want to be communicating? Hence the value of size inclusivity is a hot trend.
The Narrative of Women’s Entrepreneurship
Vogue India’s former editor-at-large Bandana Tewari teamed up with Kerry Bannigan, a social entrepreneur, to talk about women entrepreneurs. Women are undeniably at the forefront of fashion. Thus, giving women entrepreneurs the place they deserve could be the perfect way for the industry to give back.
Yet it seems that we are in need of a new language. Discourse surrounding women entrepreneurs is currently based on the patriarchal narratives that have always dominated the mainstream. Instead of regurgitating the same old speech, why not find a new way to frame the stories of women? It might be the next major hot trend.
At the end of the day, the stories of women are not the same as those of men. And we need them! People need to feel represented before feeling inspired. In a world that is full of fluff, the stories of strong women could shape a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Fashion As the Celebration of Cultural Heritage.
Indian designer Anita Dongre has certainly achieved mainstream recognition, with the likes of Kate Middleton sporting her designs regularly. In FASHINNOVATION’s 5th rendition of Worldwide Talks, the creative discussed how she celebrates her cultural heritage.
Her designs are very clearly influenced by traditional Indian garments, silhouettes, and patterns. And with her success came a channel to make Indian fashion visible to the rest of the world.
Yet one cannot celebrate one’s cultural heritage without addressing the issues that exist in the present. As a response, Anita Dongre makes active attempts to improve the situation in her country. Her brand recruits locals, instruct them in the art of dressmaking, then gives them a job.
Personalizing Products and Services
During our event, Camila Coutinho, one of Brazil’s biggest influencers, revealed all of her secrets. She started out with her blog, “Garotas Estúpidas,” which she was eventually able to monetize through advertisements. Subsequently, she successfully rode the rising wave of the influencer and made herself a brand on its own.
Then, like so many influencers, she created her own business. GE beauty brings something new to the haircare market. Indeed, it makes use of a strategy that is becoming increasingly popular: that of the customizable experience.
The company’s website allows clients to indicate what they are looking to improve in their hair. An algorithm then provides them with the perfect set of products to achieve it.
Personalizing products and services makes the consumer feel like the brand cares about their wellbeing. This has proven to be a very successful business model. Entrepreneurs that are looking for safer ways to innovate might want to follow in this influencer’s footsteps.
Entrepreneurship At All Ages
Paul Tasner told his story during our event. He started a business at the age of 64. He had to face ageism when it came to raising money. Yet he found a solution: partnering with already successful companies.
Once started making money, no one brought up his age anymore. It’s interesting to see how the business world is becoming more and more inclusive. In terms of age, the shift was somewhat predictable, and this particular hot trend is not so surprising. The global population is getting increasingly older, and if people want to make profits, they need to take advantage of such a phenomenon.
This talk was particularly inspiring, for it shows that anyone can be an entrepreneur. All one needs is a really good idea. Things might not go very smoothly. But the focus seems to be on trying. It is, after all, the first step to pretty much everything.
Reusing and Reselling
Thrifting has undeniably become one of the major hot trends—if not the hottest—to have sprung up in the last year. Fashionistas have always been known for blending high and low. But, today, everyone seems to see the appeal in second-hand clothes.
Certainly, reusing and reselling is an inherently sustainable concept. Building a business model upon it hence feels pretty smart. FASHINNOVATION’s Worldwide Talks brought one of the sector’s pioneers to the table: Anthony Marino. As the president of Thredup, Marino has seen second-hand customers change with time.
Thrifting now tailors to all. From the luxury client to the average person, everyone wants a piece of it. Entrepreneurs must thus take advantage of the opportunities they might encounter in this new industry.
These 7 hot trends provide great insight into what the future of the fashion industry might look like. If you hurry, you might be able to ride in their waves. Go on and use this list as your guide into what is to come.