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The Runway Trends To Back For A Stellar Fall 2022

Discover the retail data behind next season's defining trends - a must-read for buyers and merchandisers for a fail-safe fall assortment.

From Matthieu Blazy’s inaugural Bottega Veneta collection to Dolce and Gabbana embracing the metaverse and Julia Fox of “Uncah Jaaams” fame opening LaQuan Smith in the ultimate revenge dress, the Fall 2022 fashion circuit was brimming with viral moments.

Although the runways are usually associated with excitement, serving as a form of escapism, this season included poignant undertones with Off-White’s tribute to the late Virgil Abloh. From a global perspective, the catwalks ran parallel with the Russia-Ukraine war, causing attendees and designers alike to show their support, cementing fashion’s position as a platform for political and social causes.

Georgian designer Demna’s Balenciaga collection was the first to address the crisis explicitly. It was his most personal show to date and explored the resilience of the refugee experience. The designer recited a poem over the loudspeakers in support of Ukraine and sent models down the runway against a raging snowstorm (initially a message for climate change), closing the show in head-to-toe yellow and blue. Subtler displays of solidarity were noted at the Georgio Armani, which was staged in total silence. Nanushka closed its presentation to the Ukrainian national anthem, with models wearing yellow and blue eye makeup.  

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Balenciaga Fall 2022 & PFW Fall 2022 Attendee Street Style – Images via IMAXtree

From an aesthetics standpoint, the way trends are consumed has drastically changed. However, the runway still serves as a compass to point retailers where they need to invest next. Retail professionals need a more agile approach to their range planning that serves the ever-evolving landscape. Gone are the days of spending hours dissecting collections to pinpoint the most successful trends or manually comparing prices. 

To give you the tools you need, our talented team of in-house Analysts have done the hard work for you, reviewing every look from the runway and applying their expert knowledge of what’s working commercially for shapes, colors, patterns, fabrics and details across core categories – so you know where your budget is best spent every time for maximum ROI.

Keep reading for the recommended trends to range for Fall 2022 and get in touch for a free demo to see our data in action.

fall 2022 trends

Next Gen Sexy Dressing

Serving as an antidote to the pandemic wardrobe, unapologetic sex appeal has been the ubiquitous catwalk trend over the last few seasons. Its reappearance for Fall 2022 confirms its status for continued commercial success, greenlighting it as a core investment for retailers’ upcoming buys. As previously noted, cut-outs remain the key detail to emulate this look, with tops currently the most invested category YoY. However, dresses and bottoms are gaining a greater market share, growing by 15% and 1.5%, respectively, with major designers throwing their weight behind these styles. Roberto Cavalli and LaQuan Smith applied the peek-a-boo effect to cleavage and rib cut-out dresses, while in London, exposed hips and thighs featured in dresses and catsuits for Nensi Dojaka and POSTER GIRL. Another sexy dressing stalwart, underwear as outerwear, was championed at Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and GCDS (not to mention a spotlight-stealing Rhianna sitting FROW at Dior), making fall optimal to work boudoir styles like fishnets and bustiers into ranges. Analyzing new tops and dresses including sheer and mesh in product descriptions arriving since the start of the year reveals a 70% increase YoY. 

From there, the trend takes a darker approach than we’ve usually seen, infusing elements of kink and fetish, as noted with Richard Quinn and Roberto Cavalli showcasing leather and harness details. Supporting the trend’s uptake commercially, Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian have embraced the zeitgeist, rebranding their images to a complimentary “hot goth girlfriend” narrative. At the same time, former dominatrix Julia Fox served as a muse to several designers this season opting for latex effects and PVC, including Versace. With this aesthetic poised to drive demand for leather, retailers will need to consider their ethical and environmental impact, aligning with consumers shifting to plant-based lifestyles. Over the past three months, vegan leather has seen increased interest, growing 25% compared to the previous year at online retailers. Shoes and coats are the main areas experiencing an animal-friendly overhaul, with new arrivals in vegan footwear up 48% YoY and outerwear by 70%. 

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Gucci, Richard Quinn & Aniye By Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Roberto Cavalli, Blumarine & Kim Shui Fall 2022 – – Images via IMAXtree

Outdoor Adventures

After several seasons of hiking-inspired Gorpcore, outdoor apparel on the runway evolved to be anchored by an alpine aesthetic. Puffer jackets were a standout, with blown-out silhouettes shown by Roksanda in collaboration with FILA and padded outerwear at Khaite and MM6 by Maison Margiela. These styles have impacted the mass market with retailers capitalizing on the previously-delayed ski season. New puffer jackets outpaced 2021’s deliveries by 67% and gilets by 78%, while outerwear described as “waterproof” rose 134% YoY. Though previously noted as a more niche trend, cozy balaclavas had a more starring role on the runway this time around. The number of styles in stock has doubled since last year and their presence at Simone Rocha and Max Mara indicates they will reach their peak for mass retailers in Fall 2022. 

Instead of hiking boots, chunky combat styles will infiltrate winter ranges. Functional footwear was showcased at Dior while treaded biker boots appeared at Dion Lee. More directional retailers will look to moon boots, as per Simon Miller and Florentina Leitner speaking to the Winter Bimbocore subculture taking off on TikTok.

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Simone Rocha, Roksanda & MM6 by Maison Margiela Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Dhruv Kapoor, Florentina Leitner & Giambattista Valli Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

Tactile Textures

Further complimenting the ski bunny narrative detailed above, OTT fluffy fabrics in bright and natural colorways were prevalent across Fall 2022 shows. An additional sign of phasing out animal hides in production, countless designers have pivoted away from using real fur (Saint Laurent showcased its first collection with faux fur), appealing to the modern consumer who no longer views it as a status symbol. This has resulted in products waning online – the number of styles containing real fur in stock has fallen 44% YoY. Meanwhile, designer brands have embraced fur alternatives to mimic the plush texture while appealing to ethical concerns. Faux fur stocked in the luxury market has risen 72% YoY.  

Snuggly textiles were also applied through long shaggy coats and teddy fleeces as seen at Gucci, Helmut Lang and Claudia Lim, with the latter material growing 5% YoY in the mass market. For less commercial interpretations of “touch me” textures to put smaller units behind, retailers can look to Off-White and Prabal Gurung, which featured feathers, Molly Goddard and Roksanda which opted for tinsel and rave-ready spiked knitwear, as seen at Fashion East. 

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Marco Rambaldi, Fashion East & Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Off-White, Saint Laurent & Prabal Gurung Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

Millennium Bug

While some designers gave us a peek into the future, referencing the metaverse and space-age dressing, several were still looking to the past, reliving the Y2K era’s glory days. Polly Pocket pink and baby blue underpinned designs at Blumarine and 16Arlington, while Coperni was among those channeling Euphoria with crop tops, low-waists and cut-outs. Despite the trend already being adopted by retailers across every market sector, the noughties revival is showing no signs of slowing down. The controversial low-slung silhouette has seen a 108% increase in the styles stocked today compared to 2021. Additionally, low-rise jeans were showcased at Diesel and Connor Ives, hinting at the trend’s continued takeover in future ranges, to the potential dismay of millennials. 

Other 00’s staples made their presence felt citywide, such as fur-trimmed outerwear at Kim Shui. Micro mini skirts were a hero piece at Versace and Christian Cowan while Dolce & Gabbana included rhinestone embellishment and branding. According to EDITED data, these styles are already seeing traction in the market, positioning them as essential buys for Fall 2022 ranges. New tops and outerwear arriving since the start of 2022 with fuzzy lining increased 128% YoY, while mini skirts are up 49%. Rhinestones are most invested in accessories and footwear. However, their presence in Fall 2022 shows will see retailers include them as a key design detail within apparel. Bedazzled tops have already increased 313% YoY with backing from SHEIN and Zara, while embellished dresses at Lulu’s attributed to the style’s 364% overall growth.

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Collina Strada, Diesel & Versace Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Blumarine, Prade & 16Arlington Fall 2022

Head-to-Toe Color

Dopamine Dressing was ever-present, conveyed on the runway through mood-boosting hues and color-blocking with bright Barbie pinks making a splash at Valentino, Prada, and Versace. Analyzing the color of new women’s apparel arriving since the start of 2022 vs. a year prior shows black is still the dominant shade. However, it has dropped from 23% of the total range to 22%. Retailers are moving away from whites and neutral hues, both of which make up a smaller proportion of new arrivals vs. 2021. 

Green is the top fashion color, equalling 11% of current investment, blue at 10% and pink at 7%. The runways prove that Fall 2022 will be unseasonably bright and retailers can look to color up their best-performing coats, dresses, suit sets and sweaters in hot magenta, red, royal purple, tangerine, zesty green and azure. Footwear and accessories can help bring the story to fruition in your assortment and ease more cautious customers into the trend. 

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Act n°1, Max Mara & Rejina Pyo Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Bottega Veneta, Rami Al Ali, Valentino Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

Make note of the hottest hues and check out how the Fall 2022 color palettes boiled down:

fall 2022 trends

Our image recognition software detects the color of every product online so retailers have full visibility of the seasonal hues to invest in. Reach out to see our color wheel in action.

Work It Out

Fall 2022 will signal workwear’s long-awaited comeback, with designers juxtaposing sleek minimalism with feminine skirts and suits in their collections. Though the runway spoke to more traditional, pre-pandemic office attire than the elevated workleisure we are used to seeing, comfort elements need to remain incorporated to suit hybrid lifestyles. This theme is an opportunity to push high-waist styles as a palate cleanser to the low-rise silhouette. Despite Y2K’s grip on fashion, higher rises are still more commercial, with retailers landing 150% more high-waist wide-leg trousers vs. 2021. 

Oversized blazers have also increased 34% YoY and the incorporation of slouchier shapes at Michael Kors and Raf Simons infers a relaxed approach to suiting will remain relevant for Fall 2022. However, fitted blazers have also seen a resurgence, up 101% YoY and woolen tailored suits were noted at Erdem and Ann Demeulemeester. At the same time, prim skirt sets were showcased by Fendi and Moschino, pointing towards workwear shifting towards more formal styling in future seasons.

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Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta & Fendi Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Ann Demeulemeester, Michael Kors & Louis Vuitton Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

Party Time! Excellent!

From micro mini dresses to billowing gowns, the fall catwalk established partywear’s future presence at a retail level. An offshoot of Y2K themes, mini dresses have seen a 37% increase YoY and will continue to define styles for going “out out,” with this item featuring prominently at Versace and Emilia Wickstead. Ruched details, which have registered a 163% increase YoY in 2022, were a favored detail across mini, midi and maxi styles for Halpern and Marni. 

At the same time, more showy sequins saw a 162% rise at mass retailers, with backing from Alberta Ferretti and Nensi Dojaka confirming this detail as a must-have for occasionwear buys. The aforementioned Dopamine Dressing trend was conveyed through attention-grabbing hues at Carolina Herrera, while the likes of Christian Cowan paved the way for pastel and metallic dresses. Riffing on tactile textures, frothy tulles added volume to evening gowns and cocktail dresses at Moschino and Jason Wu. Crushed and smooth velvet was a standout fabric at Cristian Siriano and Batsheva, set to aid the growth for this material in partywear. At mass retailers, velvet dresses have increased 63% YoY since the start of 2022. 

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Christian Siriano, Versace & Alberta Ferretti Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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Images via Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera & Christian Dior Fall 2022 – Images via IMAXtree

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