Who Needs To Follow The Fashion Trends?
Who decides the trends of tomorrow?
Are fashion trends really beneficial to the fashion business?
If this would be the recipe for success, why do we see an evident decline in sales for fashion businesses?
Because the average time of product-development in the fashion industry is 40 weeks. That is way too long to stay ahead of consumers. By the way, it’s only 2 weeks from design to store for Zara.
Especially now that it takes them only a few minutes to spot and buy new fashions from up-and-coming designers, who are resetting the rules of consumer behavior and expectations.
In one fashion report from The Business of Fashion and MacKinsey called The State of Fashion 2017, the analysis is irrevocable. Lack of creativity and plagiarism are amongst the 10 major problems for the future of fashion brands.
And even a well-established fashion business with lots of stores can die today relying on trends.
Did you know Hakei?
It was a Spanish fashion brand with 23 stores in Spain that started in the fashion business in 2003 and was making 20 million euros in revenue in 2010. They faced bankruptcy in December 2016 and closed all their stores in May 2017.
According to fashion experts, they did at least 3 things wrong.
First, they chose to release too many products in clothing, shoes, and bags and did not focus on being successful with one first.
Second, that fashion brand offered products with prices a little above fast fashion and a bit better quality too, but the difference was not visible and big enough to customers to buy from them over low-cost brands.
Third, they did not use social media well enough and did not create an emotional and personal communication with their customers.
Who needs fashion trends?
Fashion designers who are scared and need some comfort in their creative process. Not the other ones. Hopefully not you.
It’s a false comfort. If everyone follows the same trends, it’s less probable that everyone is wrong. And in case it happens, the designers will not be facing the blame alone and will feel less accountable for the failure of the collection or of some products.
Fashion trends are not fostering creativity. They slow it down or even suppress it. Karl Lagerfeld even spoke harshly about trends:
Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”Karl Lagerfeld
Trend books are not an investment in your emerging fashion brand. They are just a waste of money for absolutely no ROI.
So, remove that unnecessary cost from your lean budget.
Just follow your ideas, your style. Leave it to all the established brands to fight over the trends of the moment.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”Oscar Wilde
Differentiate yourself. You will get all the customers not wanting to wear the same clothes as everyone else.
This is quite a significant niche already, that is growing every day, while traditional fashion brands and stores keep losing sales.
McKinsey is advocating for the “read-and-react model for new and untested products” and the “test model for the riskiest products.”
They also recommend “agile development” by doing and refining to make rapid progress.
More and more people are looking for niche brands. No one wants to take a bag and put it on a table when a lot of ladies have the same bag with the same style. They want to find something special. Something you cannot find in your circle.”Richard Liu
In the end, you don’t need to work with fashion trends…
Mainly because they are not existing anymore.
The apparel category – a major driver of sales for department stores- has been hit harder than many. Department stores will account for just 8% of the apparel market by 2022, down from 24% in 2006, according to Morgan Stanley. There aren’t massive apparel trends anymore; they’re micro in nature, which is harder for retail to forecast. There’s hyper-fragmentation, not to mention pricing pressure in the market.”Oliver Chen
What about your style? We would love to hear about it.
P.S. Fashion Talents is an open marketplace where you create your fashion eBusiness in minutes.
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Fanny is the CEO + Co-founder of Fashion Talents, and a passionate and tireless promoter of new fashion eBusiness. She’s on a mission to open fashion business to all talents around the world and drive shoppers, sales, and success to them.