Power of Social Media: As dependence on social media grows, consumers now are highly influenced by what they see online – especially when it comes to fashion. Therefore, runways are no longer predominantly the trend-led avenue, with retailers and consumers turning to social media and influencers as the inspiration hub.
As seen in Chart 1, the SS19 Pantone colours that saw aggressive uptake were in line with the styles and colours put forward by the influencers on social media. The neon green colour, which was introduced in 2018 by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively is still going strong in 2019 as influencers continue to popularise the colour. Influencers such as Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, and Billie Eilish are amongst the ones to watch to see how this trending colour progresses.
Limitation of Trend Forecasting: Trend forecasting has been used by retailers for many years to draw inspiration for their collection, including Pantone. While most colours predicted were hits rather than misses, Ultra Violet, which was the 2018 Colour of the Year did not take off as predicted. Though Living Coral performed better with increasing newness during the season, the colour was not invested as aggressively by retailers in 2019 as the YoY comparison showed a decline.
Next Steps for Brands
Increase Brand Involvement: Social media has opened up opportunities for brands to not only monitor the latest contents and happenings through influencers’ posts or even live fashion shows, but also interact directly with their customers.
As social media plays a big role in driving the fashion industry now, brands should pay attention to the platform in gauging the latest trends led by influencers. For a start, brands should monitor which influencers their customers are following online. Increasing involvement with consumers on social media would also help brands understand their consumers better. Creating online polls for them on which look they love the most would help brands determine their consumers’ preferences.
Pay Attention to Data: When it comes to commercial interpretation, relying solely on runway trends would entail risk. Thus, having a data-backed tool could help brands in delivering efficiency with a higher rate of success.
With trend analytics, brands could approach the Living Coral trend by stocking items in this colour in small quantities for a capsule collection, while investing more on the dominant shade of orange and yellow such as Turmeric, Aspen Gold and Mango Mojito. Looking at historical data could also help brands understand how certain trends and colours perform over time.