Decoding The Major FW20 Runway Trends
As Paris Fashion Week wraps up, we bid adieu to the Fall/Winter 2020 runway season. To say that it was memorable would be putting it lightly. The coronavirus outbreak and its rapid spread were pivotal in shaping this season’s proceedings. Anxiety surrounding the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of several shows including major Italian powerhouse Giorgio Armani.
On a more positive note, we were treated to unique spectacles that pushed the boundaries of runway shows as we know them. French fashion house Balenciaga flooded the runway to highlight a major effect of climate change: rising sea levels. Elsewhere, Stella McCartney’s show had models dressed in animal costumes prance down the runway to call out animal welfare in fashion.
This season presented us with a myriad of trends – some completely new and some familiar. Here at Omnilytics, we analysed the key trends that dominated the runways and validated them with data so you know exactly which trends to pick up.
Here are the winners of Fall/Winter 2020.
Femininity remains a focal theme this season, as it was for Spring. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, has long advocated for the feminist movement through her career – sparking conversations on gender inequality in her designs, marketing campaigns and runway shows. Her dedication to the issue hasn’t faltered. In Paris, models walked the Dior runway alongside neon signs that read thought-provoking messages like ‘Consent’ and ‘When women strike, the world stops’.
Other designers showcased femininity through design. Voluminous silhouettes were all the rage – puff sleeves, tiered skirts and billowing dresses. These elements made their way to jackets and coats, creating a fresh take on a trend that has prevailed for a few seasons now.
Omnilytics found that puff sleeve jackets and coats have been trending upwards in the US and UK market. Luxury retailers, in particular, were quick to work puff sleeves into their outerwear assortments – Farfetch and Nordstrom lead the pack in terms of highest SKU count. For Farfetch, puff sleeve outerwear is a fairly recent addition – it only started stocking them last year. The investment paid off handsomely for the platform as the style achieved a 90% sell-out rate.
Victorian influences were aplenty in New York and Milan. References from this iconic era included frill collars, ribbon neckties and ruffles. This modern take on Victorian accents was seen across multiple categories from dresses to bags. Motifs from this era further amplified the theme of femininity that reigned this season.
Frill collars are gaining traction in the US and UK markets in the tops and dresses categories. New-ins for the collar style shot up by 159% in the tops category alone. Fast fashion brand H&M had one of the highest SKU counts for products featuring this trend. H&M’s tactic was spot on as its frill-collared SKUs achieved an 86% sell-out rate last year.
Fielding for Fringe
In Milan, fringe was abundant in the collections of major Italian brands including Bottega Veneta, Prada and Jil Sander. It kept its momentum through to Paris. The detailing was not exclusive to accessories – it showed up on dresses, skirts, trousers and outerwear. While fringe is the main component of Western-inspired suede jackets and flapper dresses reminiscent of the 1920s, this season saw designers use fringe more as accents that refine, rather than define.
In the US and UK markets, new-ins for fringe increased by 73% YoY. Accessories and outerwear made up the top categories in both 2018 and 2019. Omnilytics detected that fashion brands have been increasingly adding fringe detailing to dresses – the new-in count more than doubled last year. Asos stood out with the highest SKU count in the fast fashion segment. Taking a page out of the runways’ book, Asos’ dresses utilised fringe as a subtle accent to enhance the garment instead of becoming the centrepiece.
Layers of Leather
Widely used in creating accessories and outerwear, leather was elevated beyond the traditional scope this season. In Milan and Paris, head-to-toe leather looks became a familiar sight. Designers innovated further to produce leather pieces that featured unique silhouettes like puff sleeves and cinched waists.
In the mass market, retailers and brands followed suit as the new-in count for leather skirts, dresses, pants and tops were elevated substantially over the course of 2019 – as depicted in the chart below.
To stand out in an increasingly saturated market, unique silhouettes inspired by runway pieces can help retailers gain an upper hand against their competitors. This is also the perfect time to capitalise on the rise of ‘vegan’ leather as a smart way to reference this trend.
50 Shades of Grey
Last year’s Fall runway trends featured beige in abundance. The standout colour for this season is grey – the neutral shade dominated at nearly every city on the fashion calendar. A repeated sighting on the runways were head-to-toe tonal ensembles made up of layered pieces in different hues of grey.
The chart below depicts the colour grey’s trend movement in the last six months. Grey has been consistently outperforming other colours in the US and UK markets, not dipping below the average trend line once.
Animal print has been dominating Fall/Winter runways in recent years but 2020 tells a different story. Checks emerged as the key print of this season – cropping up in numerous collections throughout fashion month. The pattern appeared in autumnal shades and a variety of sizes. Clashing checks – two different check patterns on the same garment – were heavily featured too.
There were 83,000 SKUs that featured check print in 2019, an 18% increase from the previous year. However, the print’s performance varied by category. In 2018, dresses were the most stocked category for check print. This changed the following year as check print dresses’ trend performance shot down progressively. The outerwear category is currently outperforming other categories with a trend score of 4.5. This finding confirms runway trends – check print outerwear was prevalent during fashion month.
Fashion trends are cyclical in nature, cropping up in reinvented versions of their predecessors nearly every season. When choosing to incorporate runway trends into your assortment, it’s crucial to consider unique silhouettes and accents to provide a fresh perspective to consumers, but not without checking the retail data before you go to market.
Now that we’ve narrowed down the top trends of FW20 for you, what’s your next move?
You might also like
Post-Pandemic Retail: Shifting The Fashion Calendar
In the past few months, the fashion industry has been forced to reconcile with deep-rooted, systemic issues that have troubled the industry for decades. While stores are slowly beginning to reopen and some of us return to work, for many a clear vision of the post-pandemic retail landscape is hard to picture during current uncertainty. […]
Taking a Leaf Out of Asia’s E-Commerce Model with Natalie Lee and Giulio Xiloyannis
The Asian e-commerce landscape is rapidly recovering from the effects of Covid-19, an outlier which generated interest from global businesses. Brands and retailers are keen on penetrating the online space in the region, but doing so requires a different approach than in the West. In our recent webinar hosted by Simon Collins, the co-founder of […]
Digital Revolution: Key Lessons from the Crisis and How Fashion Can Navigate the Next Normal
The fashion industry is no longer what it once was. Covid-19 has reshaped the entire retail landscape, as consumer priorities quickly shifted. It has transformed every step of the value chain, from where the products are sold to how they are marketed and delivered to customers. This leaves fashion companies with no choice but to […]
What Bridal Retail Looks Like in the Aftermath of Covid-19
This year’s wedding season is a washout. With bans on large gatherings in place to contain Covid-19, the summer wedding season has been pushed to later in the year and possibly even into next spring. Fashion is a major stakeholder of the wedding industry – bridal retail is worth an estimated $300 billion globally. Uncertainty […]
What Are Consumers Buying Online Amid Lockdowns?
In spite of the massive economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers are continuing to shop online. Major e-tailers such as Amazon and Alibaba are among the few companies to actually profit from the pandemic as sequestered consumers depend on online shopping to cover their essential and non-essential needs. As expected, the fashion segment […]
How Digital Engagement is Reshaping the Fashion Industry
Crisis breeds innovation – as evidenced by the flurry of inventive working procedures industry players have launched in the few short months since the pandemic swept the globe. The digital space is currently the intersection between businesses and consumers and is the driving force behind fashion’s restructuring. Technology and the internet have been pivotal in […]