As the new year kicks in and consumers refresh their wardrobes, the apparel industry faces familiar ground and unconventional competition.
NPD Group said 2017 fashion will favor familiar concepts, but ultimately shoppers will have the ball in their courts as individualistic demands rise. Today, fashion doesn’t define the consumer. The consumer defines fashion and the apparel industry may have to consider this concept to thrive in 2017.
“This year will be one full of change for fashion at retail – some is overdue, some is driven, but all of it is necessary,” NPD Group chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen said. “Consumers are now creating their own looks, seeking apparel, footwear and accessories that fit into their lifestyle, not the other way around.”
Active and comfort will be the main drivers for fashion in 2017. Activewear apparel companies will target consumers’ lifestyles, while lifestyle brands will emphasize wellness in their merchandise. Pajamas will also become more mainstream this year, turning what was once deemed only for college students into an acceptable staple for weekend leisure.
Along with consumers’ desires for functionality and comfort, fashion will also gain an environmentally-friendly edge. Today, many shopper demographics, including millennials, demand information about garment sourcing and apparel supply chains. Consumers are expected to buy more clothing made from organic fibers and not synthetic materials. Furthermore, some organic fibers shield garments from odor, stains and water—which is highly favored by shoppers if they are going to be frequently wearing athleisure garments.
Cohen also spoke about how apparel will compete for consumers’ budgets as younger shoppers allocate more of their funds to other expenses.
“The apparel industry will struggle to remain a priority spend, competing for their share of wallet,” Cohen said. “But it’s not just technology, apparel will go up against intangible purchases too, as younger consumers seek and spend on services and experiences more than ever.”
Despite this shift in shopper spending, apparel retailers may want to hone in on valuable style pieces. In 2017, consumers aren’t looking for middle-ground purchases. Rather, they want to find that one apparel item that can elevate their date night or dress down their 9-to-5 outfit.
Although retail remains rocky, fashion will continue to cast its spell on the apparel industry and remain a catalyst for consumer activity in 2017.
A look at how companies that failed to react and adapt to changing times have allowed new brands that are better tapped into the zeitgeist to steal share.Read more
Print PDFPrint PDFWhen times are tough, companies are more willing to test new ideas and Target, Warby Parker and Amazon are pushing the boundaries of traditional retail. Target gets in bed with Casper After failed attempts at an acquisition, Target has instead invested in Casper...Read more
J.Crew has been shifting in its seat trying to adjust to a new normal of shrinking sales and growing debt, but nothing has quite yet paid off, so the company is cutting its prices.Read more
It’s official. Coach, Inc. is snapping up shares of handbag brand Kate Spade.Read more
This week, consumers called for better children's apparel, retailers turned internally to remedy their financial woes and apparel incubators improved China's manufacturing sector.Read more
Whether and how much consumers care about sustainability may be an ongoing question the industry wants an answer for, but one thing that’s clear is that though some consumers do care, sustainability isn’t the first thing they think of.Read more
Gymboree tapped former Tilly's executive Daniel Griesemer as its new CEO, JC Penney appointed Marci Grebstein as its new EVP and Wolford creative director Grit Seymour is leaving the company.Read more