The spring 10 collections mark the first season to have been designed and developed with all corners of the globe in the grip of our latest recession.
While this downturn shares many of the macro-economic signals of its predecessors - think higher production costs, rising retail prices, and dented consumer spending – the catalysts for our current debacle are quite unique.
Economic recessions have, historically, been triggered by periods of excessive consumerism. Think back to the late 1980s when the nation’s vulgar Wall Street-meets-Loadsamoney consumerism were rewarded with economic meltdown. Shoppers back then reacted by rejecting the brash luxury looks which exemplified their ostentatious lifestyles, paving the way for a period of back-to-basics living and quietly considered minimalist fashion.
This time is quite different. Consumer spending did not drive the markets to ruin, and shoppers know it. Consequently, there is still an appetite for fashion. Boutique-led sales may have nosedived in October but in many sectors, most notably contemporary womenswear and young fashion, they have recovered.
The majority of the 18-25 market remains in employment. They’re still in many cases lodging with the folks, and are largely living for the weekend, which means ensuring if they are young women that they are backing the right high street trends, while for men it means buying into the right brands. Fashion for this segment is all about feeling part of a crowd and hopefully attracting some romantic interest.
The contemporary womenswear market is just as enthusiastic about their fashion and this 25-plus market’s appetite for colour, print and embellishment will continue unabated despite the downturn. Sure, there is a slow return to separates, and arguably the popularity of the dress has peaked with fashion forward shoppers turning more towards tailoring, but everyone remains on the hunt for garments that make them feel like a million bucks in the face of all the front-page political and financial uncertainty.
It’s your job as buyers to remain committed to delivering fashion that in some small or dramatic way makes your customers walk out of your emporiums with a bag or two and a great big smile.
To see the full season’s preview including expert colour predictions, trends forecasts and labels to watch accross womenswear, menswear and streetwear subscribe now