Industry

Is The Maximalist Trend Doing Well Commercially?

By Vicky

June 29, 2018

The maximalist trend is synonymous with major fashion houses such as Gucci, Versace, Moschino, etc. And for years, minimalism ruled the fashion industry and mass media with it’s soft and muted aesthetic. Then, when Alessandro Michele became Gucci’s Creative Director in January 2015, the rebirth of Gucci began. Within a few months, Gucci exploded in the market with its fur loafers and logo belts. Their impressive ability to capture the youth culture’s attention and influence inspired a following of other fashion houses to market themselves similarly to Gucci.

Evidently, Gucci became the exemplary brand; the trendsetter even. In 2017, Gucci was voted as the hottest brand of the year. So when they churned out dramatic and maximalist collections over the years, other brands followed. But that’s not surprising since many luxury fashion houses have been rooted from a maximalist aesthetic to begin with. So the better question is; are fast fashion retailers adopting this trend as well? In a previous article, it was concluded that fast fashion retailers do follow some trends featured on major runways. But maximalism is not exactly known to be fitted for the commercialised market.

So let’s begin by comparing the top maximalist runway trends with bestsellers from ASOS of the same trend category. Known to be ultra popular with some of the most fashion-conscious consumers, ASOS remains to be a good case in point to analyse this topic. Due to the nature of seasonal fashion collections, we will segment the assortments based on timelines: Q4 2017, Q1 2018 and Q2 2018.  

A quick glance at ASOS’ website showed their apparel displayed with a relatively maximalist aesthetic, featuring major floral patterns and colourful sequins. But does that translate into their assortments? Let’s find out.

Omnilytics Retail Data ASOS

Image Source: ASOS

Fringe

The fringe trend was an ode to the 80s when this boho-inspired design reigned all over suede jackets. It is also often associated with the Roaring Twenties and Western themes. Today, designers have taken a different approach to fringe; creating ultra-glam and dramatic looks on the runway.

Omnilytics Retail Data Fringe Trend

From Left: Céline, Calvin Klein, Dior, Nina Ricci

According to the assortments below, it suggests that ASOS consumers preferred the fringe design on dresses. Out of all the items, the best-selling product was the Orange Fringe & Lace Plunge Bodycon dress from Q1 2018 that went out-of-stock four times and replenished eight times for one or two sizes, then later another restock for multiple sizes. Many of the best-selling items shown below were full-on dramatic fringe designs, indicating that ASOS consumers accepted and demanded this trend. Items from Q4 2017 were predominantly in darker tones, while in Q1 2018 and continuously through Q2 2018, the best-selling assortments took a dramatic turn in colours. ASOS consumers were still buying dramatic fringe designs, but their taste in colours evolved. This could be due to the change in seasons with Q4 being October to December, where darker colours and tones prevailed, then Q1 and Q2 being Spring/ Summer meant brighter and lighter colours were demanded.

ASOS: Q4 2017 Bestsellers

Omnilytics retail Data Fringe Trend

From Left: Mini T-Shirt Dress With Fringe Detail, ULTIMATE Fringe Layered Mini Dress, Authentic Straight Leg Jeans in James Wash with Fringe Hem, Fringe Mesh Strappy Midi Bodycon Dress

ASOS: Q1 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Fringe Trend

From Left: Fringe Faux Leather Mini Dress, Oversized Shirt With Fringing, Fringe & Lace Plunge Bodycon Mini Dress, Fringe & Lace Plunge Bodycon

ASOS: Q2 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Fringe Trend

From Left: Strappy Back Fringe Maxi Dress, Curve T-shirt with Wrap Fringe Back in Black, Petite Embroidered Square Neck Fringe Hem Midi Dress, Petite Embellished Cami Mini Dress

Colourful Animal Prints

Animals prints have always been a key product for Fall/ Winter, so it’s no surprise to see them on the runway every year. As mentioned above, the Fall/ Winter collection usually features darker colours and tones due to the climate affecting the way we dress. However, this season was different from the rest; showcasing the boldest, most colourful animal prints.

Omnilytics Retail Data Amimal Print

From Left: Tom Ford, Ashley Williams, Tom Ford, R13

The best-selling animal print product from ASOS was the Mini Smock Dress with Pep Hem in Animal Print. It went out-of-stock four times and was replenished in one or two sizes for more than 20 times, with another four replenishments for multiple sizes. From this, we can infer that the majority of ASOS consumers were not keeping up with the colourful animal print trend that was dominating the Fall/ Winter 2018 runway shows. Although we noticed a slight difference in colours after Q4 2017, the overall look remained the same with brown/ pink animal prints and the occasional bright colours. ASOS consumers also found this trend to be extremely appealing, as items of all ranges were found with this print. The most popular animal print goes to cheetah and jaguar prints with the occasional demand of cow prints.

ASOS: Q4 2017 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Amimal Print

From Left: Mini Smock Dress with Pep Hem in Animal Print, Animal Print High Neck Blouse, Animal Print Mini Cami Dress, Denim Original High Waisted Skirt in Cow Print

ASOS: Q1 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Amimal Print

From Left: Denim Jacket in Leopard Print, Swing Cami in Animal Floral, Leather Pointed Mules, Bondi Slogan Zip Front Swimsuit

ASOS: Q2 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Amimal Print

From Left: Ultimate Cotton Smock Dress in Leopard Print, Leggings in Animal Print with Side Tape, Crew Neck Jumper in Leopard Print, Sheer Animal Shift Mini Dress

Silk Prints

Many credited Queen Elizabeth for inspiring the sudden outburst of silk prints during Fall/ Winter 2018. The “fall flowers” pattern and theatrical artworks were the most significant prints, bringing about a dramatic and alluring mood that contributed to the maximalist trend.

Omnilytics Retail Data Silk Print

From Left: Phillip Lim, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Versace

The most popular best-selling product was the Cropped Wide Leg Trousers with Flowing Hem in Orange Floral Print from Q1 2017. It was never sold out but had a continuous flow of over 20 replenishments for one or two sizes, then five more restocks in multiple sizes. The silk print trend proved to be extremely versatile. ASOS consumers demanded all sorts of apparel ranging from tops, skirts, pants and dresses. Interestingly, the flower prints caught the interest of consumers more than the artistic varieties. Moreover, ASOS consumers were not afraid to experiment with maximalist designs and bright and contrasting colours suggesting the silk trend to be one that was easily accepted and followed. And just as before, Q4 2017 showed darker-toned assortments as compared to Q1 and Q2 2018.

ASOS: Q4 2017 Bestseller

Omnilytics Retail Data Silk Print

From Left: Obi Band Wrap Dress in Patchwork Floral Print, Havana Extreme Sleeve Pencil Midi Dress, Cami Slip Dress In Oversized Floral, Occasion Palazzo in Blue Floral Print with Piping

ASOS: Q1 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Silk Print

From Left: Floral Ruffle Cold Shoulder Asymmetric Pephem Midi Dress, Mix Print Wrap Maxi Dress With Fluted Sleeve, Crop Top with Lace up Front in Postcard Print Co-Ord, Cropped Wide Leg Trousers with Flowing Hem in Orange Floral Print

ASOS: Q2 2018 Bestsellers

Omnilytics Retail Data Silk Print

From Left: High Neck Top in Scarf Print, Mixed Print Trophy Dress, Ridley High Waist Skinny Jeans in Scarf Print, Chinoiserie Mini Wrap Dress with Tipping

Strategising The Maximalist Trend

Now that we have analysed three major maximalist trends across three different timelines, we know that ASOS consumers followed the fringe and silk print trends more closely than the colourful animal print styles. Though it is important to note that ASOS consumers demanded more product variety for animal prints suggesting that the trend is more commercialised than the other two. Knowing this, business owners and merchandisers can potentially expand their range according to demands. Fringe designs, on the other hand, were a hit for the dresses category while for silk prints, florals instead of artwork should be considered in one’s assortments across various product categories.

For now, we have yet to see the full potential of the maximalist trend. But come September where retail brands will be launching their Fall/ Winter 18 collection, consumers’ tastes and habits may differ slightly. As such, it is important to have the knowledge of how consumers are reacting to those trends now before making any merchandising decisions and strategising next season’s collections; such as colours, assortments, product categories and pricing.

*Do note that findings from this article may not be an accurate representation of the entire mass market as only one major retailer was used.

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The data above was obtained from Omnilytics, real-time market data platform. The numbers and statistics may vary, as the platform is updated every day. The time period of the information taken was between 1st October 2017 to 22nd June 2018.