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What Could Be The Fashion Trend In 2017?
[Image: 3066617-poster-p-1-mortar-athleisure-bri...n-2017.jpg]

Change is afoot in the fashion industry.

We've already seen glimpses of how the tectonic plates in the fashion world are moving. In one of our best-read fashion stories of 2016, we explored how some of the premium U.S. fashion brands of the past—Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren—have lost their luster.
They're losing ground to a new generation of direct-to-consumer brands that were born on the internet, including Everlane, Cuyana, M.Gemi, DSTLD, American Giant, and Vrai & Oro. These companies are offering something different from the flashy designers of yesterday: the insight into their supply chain and sometimes even a breakdown of their sales margins, providing the customer with a better understanding of the quality they're getting for their money.
Over the next year, we'll see how these online brands continue to transform the fashion landscape. We'll see big shifts in brick and mortar stores, fashion supply chains, the athleisure trend, and the idea of value.
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Awesome online and in-store experiences give rise to the "super customer."

When online shopping took off a decade ago, pundits predicted that physical shops would disappear. It turns out that brick-and-mortar stores have remarkable staying power, but their purpose has fundamentally changed as fashion brands try to figure out how physical retail outlets fit in to the shopping experience. "Brands are thinking about what the internet cannot give you," says Katia Beauchamp, CEO of beauty subscription service Birchbox, pointing out that digital tools now allow you to come close to seeing, touching, and even trying on products.
In Beauchamp's view, the one thing the internet does not provide is human contact. She predicts that in 2017, customers will increasingly visit stores to get curated experiences from shop representatives. For brands to meet this demand, they need to have well-trained staff who understand products inside and out and can offer personalized advice.
We will also see a rise in experiential retail, according to Michelle Cordiero Grant, the founder of underwear brand Lively. To encourage consumers to spend time in their stores browsing their products, brands will get more creative, adding amenities like bars, coffee shops, and yoga classes. In other words, stores will become more like entertainment spots for people who share similar lifestyles and interests to spend time together. "There will be an emphasis on physical brand experiences that will enable consumers to engage with not just product, but brand ethos and community," she says. "The main objective of this kind of blending will be brand awareness, but the scope and reach will be much more than what’s been traditional. These experiences will be leveraging what is happening with social and taking it offline."
Direct-to-consumer luxury shoe company M.Gemi says that fashion companies that understand how brick-and-mortar intersects with digital will see the rise in the "super customer." M.Gemi launched a pop-up store in New York earlier this year and found that customers who had a good experience in-store would eventually spend more online and return fewer products than digital-only customers. Similarly, digital customers who went to stores would purchase 33% more in-store than new customers. "The website and the store seemed to be mutually reinforcing," says Cheryl Kaplan, M.Gemi's president.
Now M.Gemi is making the most of these insights by opening additional shops and creating a more seamless experience between digital and brick-and-mortar. For instance, a customer will be able to leave a store and find all the shoes that she tried waiting in her online shopping cart. "This is just the first of many ways we're experimenting with bringing these two experiences together," she says. She believes these efforts will generate even more "super customers."
[Image: 3066617-inline-i-1-mortar-athleisure-bri...n-2017.jpg]

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