The New Shades: Fall/Winter 2018 colours caught many by surprise, as it transitioned away from cyclical trends – showcasing more bold, rich and explosive non-traditional colours that would otherwise be mistaken for the spring/summer season. Red was a clear standout this season as it reached the mass market across major categories from Dresses to Outerwear, further proving its popularity when it garnered a high sell-out for a non-classic colour in fall/winter.
Though the colour palettes introduced this season were more daring, most of the end products were beautifully assembled in clean, simple silhouettes. With the use of satin and velvet materials, certain shades such as Quetzal Green and Red Pear exuded elegance.
Risky Classics: Judging from the new-in SKU colours, the bulk of assortment still comprised of the classic neutral shades of white, brown and blue that accounted for more than 60% of the total assortment. However, these core classic colours had proven to have had a tough season in FW2018 with less than optimal sell-out performance across the top 10 e-tailers observed.
Next Steps for Brands
Balance Trending Colours: While Pantone established itself as the colour trendsetter, brands may wonder if the forecasts will translate to sales. When the neon version of Limelight was introduced in this season’s key colours, it was backed up and made popular by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian in August. Other celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham and Blake Lively jumped on the bandwagon, as they were seen wearing a variation of this colour towards the end of 2018, the neon trend is likely to carry on into 2019.
Although unconventional colour choices are harder to predict and get right, choosing to disregard it altogether would lead fashion brands to missed opportunities. The key is managing a balanced colour portfolio by trialling in smaller quantities.
Pay Attention to Data: Classic colours will always remain popular but how do you determine which trending colours to invest in? Knowing your target consumers, supported by data, will assist in making an informed decision on which unconventional colours should be introduced.
Even for the progressive fast fashion consumers, our data has shown that for unconventional colours, it is safer to keep styles minimalistic and in simple silhouettes.