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Fashion Industry Trends Spotlighted at CENTRESTAGE

Future Consumer Preferences and Retail Platforms Revealed

9 September 2016 – Leading trend forecasting companies Fashion Snoops and WGSN hosted seminars discussing the upcoming trends for the Asia-Pacific fashion market at the inaugural CENTRESTAGE fashion event in Hong Kong this week. Fashion Snoops led “The Key Summary of Retail Trends for 2017” seminar on 7 September and WGSN led the “Retail Destinations of the Future” seminar on 8 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The seminars were part of the CENTRESTAGE fashion event (7-10 September), which is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Michael Leow, Asia/Pacific Sales & Marketing Head for Fashion Snoops, presented his analysis of the key trends impacting fashion retail for the upcoming year. He explained that his company works 18 months ahead of each season with the mission to be “in service of the modern creative” by mapping and analysing cultural shifts and new ideas that will impact consumer demands and fashion decisions. Erica Ng, Senior Editor Retail Intelligence specialising in the Asia Pacific region for WGSN, explored the changing consumer expectations and behaviour of the millennial generation that is fuelling the creation of new retail destinations.

Mapping macro-trends
According to Mr Leow, there are 10 macro-trend stories that are going to impact fashion over the next year and he presented five of these key macro-trend stories. The first trend was “Nowstalgia”, which is defined as the trend story of “looking at the past through the lens of today”. He said that consumers are showing a tendency to “seek out brands that embrace their glory days with the convenience of today’s technology.” He said this trend will also showcase the “blurring of digital and analogue elements” citing the example of classical jewellery designs incorporating emoji imagery.

Next, he introduced “Beaux Arts”, which he explained is the “rise of the artist as an intellectual in response to the several seasons of athletic wear.” He said that “people are looking for a more intellectual and bookish feel.” This trend story will be particularly impactful during the Autumn/Winter 2017-2018 season and feature an eclectic mix of 70’s inspired colours, such as burnt orange, patterns such as the classic chevron, and textiles including denim.

He defined the next trend journey as the “awakening of the global spirit as people are seeking out new and meaningful travel experiences.” For Spring/Summer 2017, this trend story will feature the micro-trend of “Raw Coast” which is a surf aesthetic that features “minimalistic but rustic” designs. For Autumn/Winter 2017-18, this trend story will feature the micro-trend of “Indo” exemplified by Vietnamese nature and culture. Mr Leow said this trend will feature “colours inspired by the Vietnamese jungle” incorporated into local cultural and military designs.

The fourth macro-trend he presented was “New Luxury”, representing the modern desire for “genuine quality and natural materials”, which he said was a luxury aspiration accessible to all. For Fall/Winter 2017-18, he detailed the micro-trend of “Iliad”, an ancient Greek inspired trend story. In terms of colour, this micro-trend will feature “a sumptuous range of neoclassical hues such as garnets and milky marbles”. As well, designs will be inspired by classic architecture and stonework to create “statuesque silhouettes” and “dramatic movements” from materials such as satin and silk.

The final macro-trend he shared was “Action”, representing “the cultural shift of the masses rebelling against the upper echelons of society” while the impacted design work will be the “crystalizing of discontent”. For Autumn/Winter 2017-18, this trend story will be seen in the micro-trend of “Re:Volution” which features “military aspects in an urban setting”. He explained that designs will have “hip-hop attitudes mixed with brash, punk sensibilities” and feature materials such as scorched denim, rugged canvas and mesh.

Understanding millennial consumers
Shifting gears from the upcoming trends impacting fashion designs, Erica Ng examined how the evolution of consumers is fuelling the upcoming trends that will impact retail destinations of the future. Focusing on the millennial consumer generation, Ms Ng explained that this generation is “maturing and reaching their peak purchasing years” and should be a key target market for retailers.

She explained how millennials have an “increasingly ambiguous relationship with ownership” and prefer “experiences over simply purchasing and owning things.” With “68 per cent of consumers now willing to rent their personal belongings for profit”, she defined millennials as “generation rent”. In terms of fashion retail, she said that this generation “treat clothes as assets rather than personal goods with sentimental value” and that retailers need to cater to this lifestyle in new ways. With this in mind, she suggested that trend-forward retailers can capture market share by offering subscription-style services and curated selections to cater to this group that is often inundated with “too many options and too little time”.

Retail synergies hold the key
With regards to this new style of consumer, Ms Ng discussed how the millennial lifestyle will disrupt traditional retail and shared her insights on upcoming retail destination trends. She explained that successful retailers will need to find synergies between mobile apps, online shopping, physical retail and social media to effectively capture and maintain market share with this generation. Focusing on digital retail innovations, she identified third party retail platforms and conversational commerce as key retail destinations of the future. She explained that third party retailing “removes the brand away from centre of the retail experience but has the potential to create value for both retailers and consumers.” Third party retailing platforms can draw customers by offering the convenience of curating and selling multiple brands on a single platform. She said these new platforms are also particularly effective when combined with conversational commerce to leverage endorsements from social influencers such as celebrities. She added that established brands can partner with these new types of platforms “to expose themselves to new customers”, even if it means they have to “relinquish control” of the retail experience.

The inaugural CENTRESTAGE fashion event, which ends Saturday, features some 200 fashion brands from 20 countries and regions, as well as more than 50 spectacular events, including around 30 fashion shows and a citywide promotion.

Fair Website:
www.centrestage.com.hk
Photo Download: https://hktdc.sharepoint.com/sites/public/CPA/_layouts/15/guestaccess.aspx?guestaccesstoken=a2SuY9HTv%2bN5xbYgqiXlZ6hYqrflPE2099XF92aBm1Y%3d&docid=0c12b52c2f7ac45dc971b157683898940&rev=1

Michael Leow, Asia/Pacific Sales & Marketing Head for Fashion Snoops, leads “The Key Summary of Retail Trends for 2017” seminar
Ms Erica Ng, Senior Editor Retail Intelligence specialising in the Asia Pacific region for WGSN, leads the “Retail Destinations of the Future” seminar
Both seminars prove popular with CENTRESTAGE attendees, attracting full house audiences

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