Featured Dec 31, 2019 5 min read

Retail 2020 trends to know

The EDITED Retail Analysts break down the most important runway and lifestyle stories set to impact retail 2020.

retail 2020

The EDITED Retail Analysts break down the most important runway and lifestyle stories set to impact retail in the new year. Read on to learn trends you need to consider for the upcoming year.

In our previous article, we wrapped up the defining trends shaping the retail landscape in 2020. Now, familiarize yourself with the major themes that will influence women’s, men’s, teens’ and beauty products alongside key commercial data. 

Reach out to an EDITED retail expert to understand how to back up every decision you make in 2020 with the world’s largest retail data source. 

Womenswear: the Y2K bug 

Why take note of this trend?

The 2020s marks the turn of a new decade. As a result, we can expect nostalgia to shift towards 00s influences. This presents a strong update that also builds on 90s trends – one of the most popular throwbacks of recent seasons. The release of a host of 00s reboots including Legally Blonde 3, Lizzie McGuire and Gossip Girl will play an essential role in propelling the decade. Versace’s viral revival of JLo’s 2000 Grammy Awards Dress for Spring 2020 is also a strong indicator of the direction fashion will take next year. 

What’s next?

Cardigans and corsets are already proving popular comeback items, as well as nostalgic footwear and accessory trends such as square toes, Mary Janes, hair slides and micro bags. Tonal dressing has been a notable runway trend and is filtering down into the mass market – see Max Mara for best practice. Pastel shades of lilac, pink and blue will rise to the fore as a key color trend as lilac arrivals have already risen 25% YoY for FW19. Download our Y2K The Trends To Invest In & Avoid apparel reports for everything you need to know.

With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics coming up, Japanese art and fashion will be in the spotlight. Expect manga licensing and kawaii culture to grow this year. Log in to EDITED to read the full Womenswear: Trends To Watch For 2020 report.

Menswear: casual workwear

Why take note of this trend?

With Goldman Sachs relaxing its dress code and Marks & Spencer cutting back on its tailoring assortment, do retailers need to make men’s workwear casual? 

For 2020, the answer is yes. More retailers are promoting a smart casual dress code over the traditional suit in workwear communications. The Spring 2020 runway was inundated with unstructured and loose fit tailoring, where Fendi and Dior championed the new workwear look.

2019 saw the rise of performance workwear as a reaction to changing demands. More travel, longer commutes as well as fashion brands claiming a stake in the activewear market. Zara’s Traveler range saw high SKU activity and promoted fabrics featuring stretch, moisture-wicking and waterproof qualities.

What’s next?

Alongside investing in more performance fabrics, workwear edits in-store and online need to introduce more separates for 2020. Bombers, overshirts and coach jackets all make for excellent replacements to the blazer. The smart jogger came through as one of 2019’s strongest trends and should continue into the new year. Lighter linen blends are ideal fabrications for Summer months, transitioning into warmer wools for Fall. The addition of a drawstring waist or cuffed bottoms are all that’s needed to dress down suit trousers.

Polo shirts and jersey basics offer a replacement to the shirt – a favorite pairing to the casual blazer on the runway. Take inspiration from streetwear designers for sneakers in leather or paneled to add color for footwear. Then across accessories, soft leather briefcases and smaller cross body bags are ideal for the commuter.

After the Met Gala, the likes of Harry Styles and Timothée Chalmalet paved the way for a new interpretation of romanticism in men’s fashion. Read more about this aesthetic and others in our Menswear: Trends To Watch For 2020.

Teens: eco-conscious 

Why Take Note of This Trend?

2019 saw the rise of sub-cultures like the VSCO Girl and VSCO Boy, a Gen-Z phenomenon that traded the ‘Basic Bitch’ of 2009 for a more sustainably-minded individual. Functional and outdoor labels like Patagonia, Birkenstock and Fjällräven are a key element of the VSCO aesthetic, as was an awareness for more eco-sensitive practices like beach clean-ups. Young activists like Greta Thunberg are repositioning sustainable issues for Gen-Z, and her recent induction as Time’s Person of The Year will further influence this movement.

What’s Next?

Themes of planet Earth will persevere into 2020 bolstered by literal interpretations of the trend at the Spring 2020 men’s and women’s shows. These materialized in the form of floral/tropical prints, natural fabrications and sustainable collaborations like Heron Preston x Sami Miro. For teens, light-hearted references like small Earth graphics and references to ‘mother nature’ offer a subtle way for retailers to engage in the conversation, while retailers like Monki demonstrate a more vocal approach, boycotting Black Friday and introducing an Inner Outer Nature collection.

Thunberg joins K-Pop band BTS and 15-year-old tennis star Coco Gauff as the new wave of influencers impacting Gen-Z this year. Read what else will be on teens’ radars in our Trends To Watch For 2020 report.

Beauty: HBO’s Euphoria 

Why take note of this trend?

The beauty industry was captivated by HBO’s high school drama Euphoria, which aired in Summer 2019 with unconventional makeup central to the show. There was a particular focus on eye design play and stylized glitter, which became synonymous with the show. This trend emerged on the runway throughout the Spring shows, giving further weight to drag culture going mainstream.

What’s Next?

As the show is set to return to screens in 2020, expect it to heavily influence makeup for festival season. In place of glitter pots that create organic shapes, there’ll be an appetite for sparkles in more of a template or transfer to create sharper and cleaner shapes. Advancements in eco-credentials around glitters mean that these products are being looked at more favorably. Keep it eco and keep it neat.

The high demand for cult beauty brands and skincare will continue in the new year, as well as makeup trends nodding to the 00s. Read our Beauty: Trends To Watch For 2020 report rounding up the standout themes in this category.

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Contributions by Aoife Byrne, Katherine Bailey, Krista Corrigan, Tara Drury and Rebecca Milne.