After a year of nesting on pastel-colored loungewear, shoppers are opting for styles with floral prints, fun slogans and statement jewelery to jazz up work from home wear as optimism resurfaces in spring collections, designers and retailers have told Reuters.
While neutral and comfortable clothing remains more popular than in the normal spring, retailers from Neiman Marcus to Walmart and Macy’s Inc report an increase in sales of bright, upbeat, flowy fabrics or dresses for the first time since the start of the pandemic as shoppers prepare to face a return to normal life. .
“We are seeing a return to event dresses and even bras with cables,” Marie Ivanoff-Smith, fashion director at department store Nordstrom, told Reuters. “As the weather got warmer and more people went outside, we thought people really wanted to show optimism and joy with prints and bright colors.” So far, ditzy floral prints are up 31% in Europe and 16% in the United States from a year ago, according to Heuritech, a data company that analyzes millions of images every day on social media and catwalks.
The colors seen on the catwalks for the spring and summer 2021 collections were bright pinks and bright blues – “an energizing source of inspiration to help carry us through,” the company said in its February report. While bright colors and florals are the hallmarks of spring’s style, the difference this year is that the fashion line also includes nude shirts and what Walmart’s head of fashion editorial Alison Hilzer calls “slouchy cardigans”.
UK online fashion retailer ASOS said in an email that it noticed in recent weeks its customers “love the fun slogans, brighter colors and floral accessories as the weather is getting better and they are starting to get ready for next summer.”
“While neutral colors are still prevalent, we’re excited to inject some much-needed optimism into our wardrobes with bright accents. We love yellows and greens for (spring), “an ASOS spokesman told Reuters by email.
“Bold colors, drapery and light fabrics create the perfect complement for spring with collections from Dior, Loewe and Dries van Noten,” said Lana Todorovich, president and chief merchandising officer at luxury retailer Neiman Marcus.
“It is clear that the trend is coming out of this as well, although there is still a lot about comfortable clothing,” H&M CEO Helena Helmersson told Reuters on Wednesday after the Swedish retailer reported earnings.
The ‘stressful’ planning process
However, planning has never been more difficult than this year, as designers are used to completing designs for months and sometimes years ahead are forced to adjust collections and marketing in line with the fluctuating circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.
In general, the fashion trend forecast is two years away, according to Emily Gordon-Smith, director of consumer products at fashion trend analysis firm Stylus. But amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, the company advises its clients to play it safe in “seasonless” clothes.
“We tend to plan for the next six months, which is stressful if you think about it,” said Nordstrom’s Ivanoff-Smith.
“How do you feel in New York? LA? Seattle? We realized that we needed to fulfill all scenarios, ”said Ivanoff-Smith. The Seattle-based department store “entered spring” by starting with casual clothes and then moving into specialty fashions such as jewelery and colorful dresses.
Still, convincing consumers spoiled by comfortable clothing seven days a week to return to high heels and suits may not be easy, says Gordon-Smith.
“Once consumers get used to comfort-based wardrobes, that’s a very difficult mindset to change,” says Gordon-Smith. “It will be supported by the desire to dress up again, but by our predictions, it won’t happen on a large scale until 2022.”
‘Get out of gym clothes’
But as spring returns and the burgeoning vaccination campaign brings joy, Neiman Marcus, Walmart and Macy’s say they are already starting to see people getting bored with comfortable and comfortable clothing.
“We’re starting to see many of our iconic designers showcase looks and clothes that reflect returning customers to special occasions,” said Todorovich of Neiman Marcus. Brands such as The Row, Brunello Cucinelli and Victoria Beckham have embraced “white optics that symbolize fresh taste, rebirth and natural reset,” he added.
“The customer mentality wants to get out of tracksuits and T-shirt pajamas and put on something that makes them feel beautiful and excited to go out,” said Hilzer of Walmart.
At Macy’s, Durand Guion, vice president of the department store’s fashion office, says she’s even starting to see a return to formal wear and wedding dresses as the country opens up.
“Marriage can be repeated again, friendship can be repeated,” he said. “I think a lot of that momentum will continue as vaccinations take place.”
This story has been published from wire agent bait without modification to the text.