Fashion retail business models
As we head into another fast-paced year in the apparel industry, we give you a head start with our top 10 insights for the 12 months ahead. Here are the ten things shaping the fashion landscape in 2014, bound for commercial success and soon to be taking up column inches.
1. 2014′s colour palette speaks pastels
We were surprised when the Pantone Colour Institute announced their colour of the year to be ‘Radiant Orchid’. It wasn’t something we’d seen on the catwalks and it’s a shade that sees widespread discounting. Instead, pitched for real, measurable commercial success are the colours we’ve seen in force on the SS14 runways, from globally influential designers: the pastels at Christopher Kane, Burberry and Miu Miu. Be it spearmint from DKNY and Zac Posen, powder pinks at Dior and Antonio Marras, lemon sherbet at Balmain and Jil Sander or soft lavender at Burberry and Chanel: the software that powers our colourwheels agrees that pastels are hits for 2014.
2. Competitive sales
An increasing e-commerce landscape means the drive to get consumers in front of sales stock is more competitive than ever before. Flash sales, once reserved for high end stock or electrical goods, are this year on the verge of sweeping the breadth of the apparel industry. While there are retailers who make timed sales the core of their business model (Gilt Groupe, Groupon), mainstream retailers are getting in on the act. Neiman Marcus lead the pack in timed sales, with their “Midday Dash” promotions every one or two days. Nasty Gal, Missguided and Topshop are all now using the tactic to create an element of panic – a valuable tool in a crowded market.
3. Destination: Paris
Not only is Paris Lonely Planet’s city of 2014, it also ranks as QS’s top student city of the year. With more eyeballs on Paris over the next 12 months, The Peninsula Paris have timed their well. Doing luxury fashion better than any other city, the world will be watching when Nicolas Ghesquière makes his Louis Vuitton debut in February and J W Anderson makes a start at Loewe. We might expect North American brands will be added to those eyeing up a flagship on the city of love’s streets.
4. Power of prints
Retailers are no longer simply using online to market their existing products, they’re designing with online in mind. Prints are a critical merchandising tool in e-tail – visually engaging and can be used to add interest to tried and tested products which the retailer knows fit. We expect to see retailers take greater confidence in their prints during 2014, with snakeskin coming to the fore for SS14. It was backed by Michael Kors and Prada on the SS14 runway, sold well in the build up to Christmas 2013 and has continued to arrive into store at full price since the holidays.
5. World Cup
The World Cup will be an unavoidable influence on the apparel industry in 2014. Hosted by Brazil, the event kicks off in June, meaning not only a good summer of sales for the sports industry, but adding yet more momentum to the sports luxe theme which is now a staple. Sweatshirts and slogan tees will retain their popularity through the year, becoming increasingly decorative in a bid to stand out. The South American influence of the event will drive a bright sportswear palette and a carnival theme. Menswear will take a looser and longer line sports fit – noticed by our analysts in new arrivals of shorts.