EDITED’s global reach kept our Analyst team on top of the latest trends in fashion and homeware all year long – using the power of AI and data to offer vital information used to drive daily decisions in the marketplace. You’ve been a constant through it all – reading, listening and sharing what we do. So, simply put…Thank you!
Retail had an eventful year. Again. The pandemic that disrupted 2020 so dramatically was showing signs of easing, only to have things change with the recent Omicron variant as we end 2021. EDITED’s dedicated and talented team of analysts, researchers and industry experts used the power of our Retail Intelligence platform to offer the best insights into the challenges and victories both brands and retailers tackled this year.
Here are the most read blogs and listened to podcasts for 2021!
1. The Lingerie Market Explained in 7 Charts
Like all categories experiencing an inclusive and sustainable overhaul, strides have been made, but there is still a long way to go. It’s something brands competing in this space can no longer afford to ignore if they want to remain relevant.
• Comfort is queen: The push-up, bust-boosting silhouette has given way to simpler, more comfortable styles. Sleepwear, activewear and loungewear have emerged as the top sellers as lingerie that straddles these categories have become the MVPs.
• The Victoria’s Secret Angels have been retired and in their place is a world in which lingerie, and the definition of sexy, is open to everyone. Inclusive sizing, genderless styles and sustainability are all now part of this very important category and will remain so into 2022.
2. The Hottest Trends in Streetwear Trends for 2021
Okay, technically this piece appeared in late 2020 but with streetwear still dominating fashion news and trends – and the tragic loss of Virgil Abloh, this category was at the top of most read this year.
• Cozy and the great outdoors were enduring themes throughout 2021. From fleece to sweater vests, the aesthetic was as prevalent on celebrities as it was at skate parks.
• Plaids, prints and preppy ruled the year, but the addition of a sustainable mindset has also proved to be a big idea that will continue into the new year. Recycled materials, avoiding overproduction and finding a platform for social causes were all top of mind.
3. Activewear Market Analysis
Accounting for an eye-popping 40% of all online sales this year, the category proved pandemic-proof for brands and retailers. The lockdowns of 2020 created a new workday outfit and though offices are creeping back to life (pre-Omicron) a waist-up approach for many meetings has kept things sporty as a whole.
• Gyms may have reopened but many fitness enthusiasts who preferred the great outdoors for their exercise routines haven’t gone back. This has led to increased demand for running gear and marketing campaigns targeting outdoor activities.
• The continued rise in athleisure garments is also being fueled by the wellness and self-care movement. As the current state of the world continues to increase stress and anxiety levels, wellness and relaxation and most notably yoga have kept this segment very healthy (pun intended).
4. 5 Post-Covid Fashion Trends to Have on Your Radar
Written before the Omicron variant began making headlines, we were all hoping for a return to normalcy, especially when it came to fashion. With more people being vaccinated and others getting their booster shots heading into 2022, here’s hoping for a better year ahead.
• While loungewear and athleisure dressing are still de rigueur, sexy is back. New products described as “sexy” increased 30% leading into the summer with cut-outs, crop tops and catsuits selling well at mass market retailers.
• Dopamine Dressing is a thing. Endorphin-inducing colors (yellow, orange, green, pink, red and blue), kitsch motifs, summer camp jewelry and psychedelic 70s prints are being injected into retailers’ upbeat assortments, resonating with Gen Z’s affinity with nostalgia and experimentation.
5. Secret Ingredients of the Uniqlo Strategy
The world’s second-largest retailer didn’t get there by accident. Despite setbacks faced by others during the pandemic, Uniqlo not only weathered the storm – but made positive strides that their competition took note of.
• Digital first – dubbed a “digital consumer retail company” Uniqlo is one of the leaders in ecommerce. Last year it allocated 80% more funds to its digital platform than its home-based brick-and-mortar stores.
• It’s made for everyone. With its customer base spanning all ages, demographics and economic backgrounds, Uniqlo nails mass appeal. It achieves this by not pushing any one “look,” all items are simple and cohesive with each other.
EDITED’s Podcast, Inside Retail launched in late 2019, just as the first whispers of the oncoming pandemic were becoming part of what would be a new reality within a few short months.
Through 2021, the show, hosted by EDITED’s Retail Strategy Director, Grace Hill,
proved to be a valuable and welcomed diversion for what was happening in the retail world. With subjects ranging from the effectiveness of influencer marketing to fashion’s continued quest for better sustainability in the industry, these conversations shed light on an ever-changing, always evolving world.
Here are the top five listened to shows of 2021
1. Best practices for assortment planning in the new retail landscape ft. Carla Tuttlebee, Head of Retail Buying & Merchandising at Vero Moda
In the US alone, it is estimated that dead inventory is costing retail $50 billion a year. To avoid this, people working in buying and merchandising need data-driven tools to compete in today’s challenging retail environment. Carla discusses best practices for assortment planning in this new age.
2. How did Sweaty Betty prevail in retail’s toughest year to date? Ft. Jemma Cassidy, CPO at Sweaty Betty
Since the 2000s, activewear has trended in popularity as people prioritized their physical and mental health by seeking wellness and escapism. With the category front of mind for both retailers and consumers, Jemma delves further into this booming market, including how they successfully encouraged their consumers to stay active during COVID lockdowns.
3. The psychology of fashion and how it impacts consumer behavior ft. Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Founder of Fashion is Psychology
Ever wonder why dressing in certain colors boosts your mood? Or why we seem to step into a time warp every year with trends from past decades on the runways? Fashion brands are actually applying psychological theories and principles to encourage consumer spending. Shakaila shares her expertise on the psychology behind our fashion choices and how it can inform future trends.
4. How to optimize your retail AI ft. Michael R, SVP of Retail Sciences
Retailers are learning quickly that their future depends on how they can leverage technology. But for an industry that’s been slower to adopt, they have entered uncharted territories on exactly how to get the most out of retail AI. Based on his co-authored article in the Harvard Business Review called “Why you aren’t getting more from your marketing AI”, Michael addresses how companies need to use AI to see true value.
5. Why digital fashion is the future ft. Cameron-James Wilson, Founder of The Digiitals
More fashion retailers are diving head first into the virtual fashion world with digital experiments from virtual fashion shows to live stream shopping. Cameron is best known for his creation of the World’s First Digital Supermodel, Shudu, who has amassed 217k followers on Instagram and has also worked with high-fashion names including Balmain and Louboutin. With no end in sight for the trend towards more digital interactions, virtual fashion is emerging as a huge opportunity for brands – both as a revenue stream and a channel for product discovery.
Let’s raise a glass to 2021. We hope you’ve enjoyed our content as much as we had creating it this year.
Please sign up for our free Insider Briefing to get analysis delivered straight to your inbox.