December 31, 2018
From Meghan Markle’s wedding dress to the animal prints that became an overnight sensation, 2018 has been an eventful year in fashion. By now, you’ve probably seen the top fashion trends of 2018 from Google, Pinterest, and Lyst, but the real question is: which are the ones that actually made an impact on the retail scene?
In today’s increasingly fast-paced industry, it can tough to stifle through every single trend. That is unless you can validate with analytics.
By gauging trends’ sellouts, replenishments, and stock levels, you can easily separate them from fads.
So, what were the top fashion trends of 2018?
#1 Athleisure x Streetwear
No matter on your screens or on the streets, you couldn’t possibly have missed this trend. The streetwear trend was everywhere – and was widely associated with the athleisure styles.
When the athleisure trend became popular in 2014, it was bigger than having the freedom to wear gym clothes in public – it was a cultural shift. The high functionality of sportswear, paired with a growing health-conscious population, birthed the trend.
It quickly rose to prominence, and consumers started purchasing activewear for leisure. “We take clothes designed for activity, and we adapt them for inactivity,” Thompson from The Atlantic writer wrote.
Streetwear came in with the same concept: breaking down barriers of structured fashion.
Historically, streetwear came from surfers and skateboarders, with Shawn Stussy being the first man to capitalise on the laid-back style. It was soon adapted into the hip-hop culture, gaining wider traction. Soon, sportswear brands Nike and Adidas decided to tap into the trend and quickly made its way to high fashion.
Bestsellers: New Era NBA Chicago Bulls Long Sleeve T-Shirt With Sleeve Print In Black (ASOS UK), Neighbourhood Sweatshirt (Adidas SG), LeBron 16 (Nike UK)
This year, Nike and Adidas in the United States saw a spike in Q1 and Q3 of 2018 for activewear sets, a popular two-piece outfit that was also seen on the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Zara jumped on the trend with casual jackets – one of their top 3 categories in the United Kingdom – and saw a 25% increase in SKUs too.
25% increase for casual jackets in Zara UK
The SKUs of casual jackets rose from Q4 of 2017 before they plunged in Q2 – most likely due to the summer season. After, the outerwear started rising again.
Credit: Rojak Daily – FashionValet Promotional Image
The trend has also reached the Southeast Asian region, ranking #2 in Google search terms amongst Singaporeans. Over in Malaysia, homegrown retailer FashionValet also did a collaboration with local rapper Joe Flizzow, combining street-style with local heritage.
#2 Nostalgic Fashion
A literal blast from the past. Trends from the past decades were ‘in’ this year. Popular search trends on Google were:
- 1980s fashion
- 1990s fashion
- 2000s fashion
- Grunge fashion
This covers quite a wide range. From the 1980s’ bold colours to the 1990s’ nitty-gritty fashion, consumers were after anything that invokes a sense of nostalgia. This included stripe sequins (disco fashion), utility jumpsuits (heavy-duty 90s’) and chunky shoes (90s’ dad shoes).
Black Acid Wash Utility Jumpsuit (Missguided UK), Beige Contrasting Sneakers (Charles and Keith SG), ASOS DESIGN Stripe Sequin Mini Cami Dress (ASOS UK)
The ‘dad shoes’ were highly popular. Both Zara and Charles and Keith (pictured in the middle above) from Singapore took part in the trend, along with sportswear giants Nike, Adidas and Fila.
Missguided, an online retailer that’s known to test-and-repeat Instagram trends, jumped in on the trend as well. The assortment included drape pants, utility jumpsuits, and cut-out playsuits.
Drape pants saw a 51% increase towards the end of Q3
Drape pants, for example, saw a 51% increase towards the end of the year – mirroring the once popular wide-leg jeans from the 80s’.
Grunge fashion, on the other spectrum, received a lot of buzzes as well. Utility jumpsuits were once worn for heavy-duty work in the 90s’, and are now popularised for everyday wear.
Marc Jacobs, the pioneer of grunge fashion, even decided to reissue his 1993 Perry Ellis collection this year.
#3 Animal Prints
While animal prints trend has been known to trend every Fall/Winter, this year saw a huge spike across all categories. Boots, dresses, tops and even eyewear adopted some form of animal print.
Animal Print High Heel Ankle Boot (Zara SG), Boohoo Satin Slip Midi Dress in Leopard (Boohoo UK), ASOS DESIGN Wrap Front Midi Dress in Snake Print (ASOS UK)
The leopard print was the most popular, though snakeskin and tiger stripes were on the top list too. Most major fast fashion retailers saw a spike in Q3 of 2018.
Leopard prints’ rise across the main categories in ASOS
ASOS, for example, saw a rise in leopard prints for maternity wear, tops, and skirts. Maternity wear and tops grew 13%, while skirts were at 11%. In fact, the trends performance showed a gradual increase after Q3, which indicates that the print may last beyond 2018.
Its popularity could be due to the AW18 Fashion Show in New York, where designer Tom Ford and Victoria Beckham incorporated animal prints into their collections. The trend’s rise could also be due to the movie Black Panther, a worldwide phenomenon that inspired a huge fashion movement.
The trend has also reached Asian counterparts, with Zara Malaysia seeing an uptrend in snakeskin for tops and shoes.
Notable mentions – Weddings
Weddings may not be an everyday occasion, but that’s the beauty of its lasting impact, especially if you’re a celebrity – or better, from royalty.
- Chiara Ferragni, a famous influencer-cum-entrepreneur, married rapper Fedez this year. She wore two couture Dior gowns, which garnered 5.2 million USD in media impact value for the luxury brand.
- Meghan Markle married Prince Harry this year, and her wedding dresses led to a huge brand search increase. Both Givenchy and Stella Mccartney saw a significant brand search increase the following week of the Royal Wedding.
That’s Not All…
The trends here are just the surface of what really went down in 2018.
For all key trends, as well as the regional breakdown across United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, stay tuned for our eBook of 2018’s complete fashion breakdown!