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Seven trends buyers will be looking for on Fall 2018 runways

We're calling it now - data shows these seven commercial trends will be big on the Fall 2018 runways. From white boots to hanky hems, view the stats behind the looks.
Seven trends buyers will be looking for on Fall 2018 runways | EDITED

The Fall 2018 womenswear shows start now.

Over five weeks the industry will be thrown in front of thousands of runway  looks, big announcements and attempts to spot the hottest new trend.

But really the signs are already out there as to what the industry needs from fashion weeks. After all, retailers don’t pluck trends from the ether – it’s a careful balance of what’s worked previously weighed up against how much newness their consumer can handle.  

So looking to data shows the hot spots where new trends will sit, whether that’s looking at movement on the latest arrivals, understanding how a category has shifted in importance or analysing how color performs historically.

What will be hot in Fall 2018 womenswear? Retail is crying out for the following items.  

1. Kilts

Burberry, Christopher Kane and McQ did the style for Spring/Summer 2018 – an influential pack of designers watched globally. Next up, mass market trend-leaders Topshop and ASOS have recently introduced styles into their offering, but the market still has exceptionally low penetration.

Take note – they sell out fast – on average in 25 days. Bearing a tartan print, they’re well suited to the fall season, and the cross over style riffs on the nostalgic sportswear (netball team anyone?) that’s so prevalent right now.

2. Fur-less furry textures

Doing real fur right now is a risky business – the ethics around the industry have fallen out of favour with consumers. Since Gucci’s fur free announcement, there has been a 124% increase in “faux fur” and “vegan” new arrivals compared to the same period the year before.

That means this season we’re expecting to see even more designers ditching furs and getting innovative with manmade furry textures.  Which is great news for buyers, because playful textures have performed brilliantly in Fall 2017.

So well in fact that some retailers are still introducing new furry outerwear styles as late as February. DvF, H&M and Boohoo have all introduced new pink faux fur pieces into stores in the last few days and Selfridges has introduced three new styles of luxury faux fur brand Shrimps. They’re the brand to watch – with their outerwear pieces priced on average $619 taking just 47 days to sell out.  

3. Utility

Look at recent new arrivals in luxury bottoms and there’s a utilitarian vibe coming through. We’re talking square cuts, deep pockets, heavyweight cottons and cargo pants. Most notable is Marques’ Almeida’s buckled, patched and pocketed khakis. Let’s not forget it was these guys who kicked off the frayed denim trend…

The mass market is latching onto the trend, with buckle and belt fastenings in skirts and pants at Topshop and cargo pants at Boohoo. We’ll see an uptick in utility referencing for Fall 2018 as it’s so well suited to outerwear – think heavy duty trench coats, wide and straight pants and work jackets.  

4. Bust focus

We called it at the start of the year  – 2018 is focused on the bust. Which is a relief for the abs and shoulders. On the Fall 2018 runways we expect to see contrast stitching delineating the bust, as well as seam work and floating bras. Retail needs this trend because bared shoulders have saturated the market for two years.

Saint Laurent, Alexander Wang and Alexa Chung are introducing bust-focused dresses and tops for Spring, with plunging necklines or mock forestry corsetry.

5. Hanky hems

Fashion has been transfixed with asymmetry and deconstruction in the past few seasons. In pre-Fall we spotted that coming through in handkerchief hemlines.  

Stella McCartney, Peter Pilotto, Chloé and Isabel Marant are doing hanky hem skirts for Spring 2018 that are arriving into stores now. Carrying this style over to Fall 2018 will update the winter peasant dress from Fall 2017.

With an average price point of $246 why does luxury love this style so much? It uses a lot of fabric and requires skilled pattern cutting, making it less easy to emulate at lower price points.  

6. White boots

White boots were a big footwear trend for Fall 2017 where new arrivals grew 100% compared to Fall 2016. Even more interesting is the 178% increase in new arrivals in the last month – which shows continued demand this year. Of course, summer isn’t too boot friendly, so this trend will certainly carry through to Fall 2018.  

7. Bags worn short and high

We’re anticipating an increase in small (but not micro) bags worn around waists, slug across shoulders or thrown around the neck. Basically however you wear your bag when your arms are full and you’re fighting to get onto the subway. It’s got that functional look, which is very now.  

They’re also selling well. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs have all introduced waist bags/fanny packs in the last three months and only 15% of styles remain in stock. Weekday, ASOS and Forever 21 are leading the mass market.  

For Fall 2018, we’re looking out for the camera bag shape, with super wide strap, worn short.  

Meet the seven trends buyers are hoping for on the Fall 2018 runways.