A Trend is a Set of Data Points

Whether we realise it or not, at some level we are buying into a version of a fashion trend each season. Some of us more than others.

If you’re reading this right now wearing your favourite sweatshirt you’re more on-trend than you realise. Throw in some sequins and you’ve got one of the key looks for spring/summer covered. Our fashion-specific data allows us to predict just how much of a trend a customer is likely to buy into and when they do we are able to personalise their very own edit of that trend.

A trend is a set of garment features. Each feature works on its own (eg. prints: florals) or collectively in a group to capture and reflect a mood of the new season (eg. the New Ladylike). It might be a single item of clothing or the way an entire look is styled. This is one of the reasons why our fashion-specific data on garments matters. Retailers can identify what % of trend garment features are driving what % of revenue and whether or not it is a single feature or a collection of features, as well as what the customer is likely to buy into.

Trends are emotive and ever-changing. Whilst floral for spring may indeed not sound very groundbreaking, it’s how we wear our florals each season that changes. (Case in hand prairie-style dresses and smock dresses.) When it comes to fashion, just like the latest iPhone release, we ascribe to the sense of newness, change, freshness, inspiration. Once a trend has made it to the designer catwalks it starts creeping into the collective consciousness via social media, fashion sites, blogs, magazines and into the mainstream high street stores. It’s fundamentally a set of garment features that each brand interprets their way to reflect the brand’s DNA.

Here’s how it works for Spring/Summer21:

1) Trend: Big Sleeves

These really aren’t going anywhere, are they? But it would be remiss to simply tag every voluminous sleeve style as one ‘big sleeve’ trend. That’s just the start…entry-level data. There are big sleeves and then there are even bigger sleeves from a full volume puff to a gentler balloon. Volume is not just about the sleeve style either, like the edgier 80s padded shoulder details. Each is a way to reflect a brand’s signature style and to cater to a customer’s preference. Personalisation takes the data to a next level. By looking at the combination of features: we will know that customer X is likely to buy a puff sleeve on a dress, rather than a dress with a balloon sleeve; OR customer Y only buys into the big sleeve trend via Tops. Which Isabel Marant big sleeve style are you?

A trend is also a way to style a look. Partial to a bit of sequins? The new ‘stay at home work from home party from home’ mood gave rise to designers taking our favourite shiny evening embellishment and making it casual-friendly. At Celine a midi-length sequin dress had a make-under with baseball cap, tote and pair of white trainers; at Chanel and Louis Vuitton top-to-toe sequins were dressed down with t-shirts. Because we also capture data such as embellishment location: all over OR embellishment location: shoulder we can personalise the trend to suit the customer’s preferences. A confident shopper may well subscribe to the top-to-toe sequin look with a dress down t-shirt and trainer. A not so confident customer may use a hint of sequin embellishment on a t-shirt styled with jeans to dabble in the trend.

The new take on ladylike dressing means our stay-at-home sweatshirts and hoodies can be upscaled by styling them with pleated skirts or a sharper cut pencil skirt. Want to know what to recommend next to the customer who’s just bought a hoody? Perhaps that voluminous softly pleated calf-length skirt.

Conclusion

It’s a fun and interesting part of the year each season when we start to think about trends at Dressipi. I take in the fashion collections, follow what’s happening on social media (think last season’s lockdown love for the house dress), adapt what we have to the almost in real life new Netflix release inspired trends, as well as take the time to understand what trends are important to each retail partner. Personally I’m here for the top-to-toe sequins and a baseball cap or two. You?

Images from isabelmarant.com; chanel.com; miumiu.com

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