The fashion industry is ever-changing, with the luxury sector going through a new wave of trends every few weeks. In addition, as politics of diversity and inclusiveness seep into the luxury fashion world, the industry becomes more dynamic and multifaceted by the day.
Now, the luxury fashion isn't just about the most expensive dress; it's about making a statement and incorporating technology. As the industry rockets toward a market value of $382 billion by 2025, the top luxury fashion brands are restless to stay on top of this rapidly evolving space.
Keep reading for an overview of the current state of the luxury fashion world.
Back to Business Casual
Luxury fashion brands like Dior Homme, Jil Sander, and Valentino have shown an inclination toward workwear on their fall 2022 runways. While everyone was hoping that the corporate chic of the 2010s was finally fizzling out, Versace, Miu Miu, and the likes of Kendall Jenner were exploring a new twist on the business casual trend.
Now that the pandemic is over and everyone's back in the office, what's the dress code? These numbers answer the question of the return of traditional workwear.
- From an analysis of UK and US workwear arrivals at luxury retailers, shirt arrivals rose by 16%, blazers by 22%, and court heels by 13%.
- While workwear cuts point to traditional, luxury fashion trends gave the trend a modern twist with brighter colors. Compared to last year's workwear colors, the use of pink rose to 14%, green to 7%, yellow to 4%, and purple to 4%.
- While professional fits are on the rise again, consumers prioritize comfort more than ever. Recent Google Search data showed a decline in searches for heels, bodycon dresses, and slim-fit clothing and an increase in searches for loafers, hoodie blazers, wrap dresses, and oversized clothing.
Inclusive Sizing Options
Luxury fashion brands have famously been criticized for failing to add inclusive sizing options, but that's about to change. Previously, the biggest size offered by most luxury fashion brands were XL for women and 2XL for men. Now, luxury retailers are serving their consumers' demands by providing high-end fashion size inclusivity for more diverse body types.
Paloma Elsesser, Études, Prabal Gurung, Coach, and Kidsuper are a few that are offering options in larger sizes. Here's how luxury fashion sizing charts are undergoing a revolution:
- The plus-sized women's apparel market is growing faster than the total women's clothing market, with sales expected to grow 7,6% this year.
- Top luxury brands compete with celebrities like Rihanna's Savage X Fenty, and Lizzo's Yitty for size-inclusive options.
- Aside from size inclusivity, brands are also steering towards racial inclusivity. The Fashion Post's Diversity Report declared SS22 the "most racially diverse season ever," with 48% of the 4.471 model appearances being people of color.
- Despite recent efforts, more than half of the new arrivals in extended-size luxury clothing are t-shirts, indicating a disappointing lack of product diversity and representation of diverse bodies.
- Size inclusivity has also made its way onto the runway but in scarcity. Fifty-one plus-size models were cast in NYFW (New York Fashion Week) 2022, which only equates to 5.09% of total castings. Meanwhile, only seven Fall 2022 runways included size-inclusive male models.
As the statistics indicate, the transition from non-inclusive to inclusive is oncoming, although slower than what the ads want to show.
Fashion Luxury Top Brands in the Metaverse
Of course, it wouldn't be luxury fashion if it wasn't merged with the latest technology: the metaverse. The virtual reality landscape is the perfect new real estate for designer brands to explore and push new boundaries. There's no question about fashion's involvement in the metaverse as digital wearables and tokens become the next symbol of status.
Here's what statistics have to say about fashion in the metaverse:
- 42% of brands that mentioned the metaverse and NFTs within the past year within emails and landing pages have been top luxury brands.
- The metaverse in fashion market share is expected to reach $6,61 billion by 2026. The market has also recorded a 30.5% YoY growth this year.
- Luxury brands use the metaverse to provide an interactive experience with the help of online concept stores. Gucci bought a plot of virtual land on The Sandbox and partnered with 10KTF for one of its metaverse projects.
- Luxury brands, including Moschino, J.W. Anderson, Khaite, and Prada, opted for the "life imitates art" approach by embodying video game silhouettes, referencing the metaverse, and casting virtual models for their runways.
- Louis Vuitton launched Louis the Game for the brand's founder's 200th birth anniversary, including 30 NFTs and an art collage of roughly $69,3 million. Meanwhile, Nike launched several digital sneakers as part of the virtual tokens released when Nike acquired RTKFT.
Inclination Toward Eco-Friendly Materials
As the world is opening up to a more diverse and eco-friendly lifestyle, luxury designers are making an effort to become climate-conscious. The new wave of sustainable fashion isn't just about being sensitive to the environment; it's also about going animal-free.
The disassociation from fur and skins began in 2016 and still remains prevalent today, with designers like Moncler and Dolce & Gabbana announcing their switch. While wool remains in common use this year, it has seen a significant YoY drop, mainly due to increased questions from activists.
Here are some indications that eco-friendly fashion is now the new chic.
- Luxury brands are steering from genuine leather and opting for vegan options, like mushroom and grape leather from Stella McCartney and fungus leather from Hermes, showcasing a 20% rise in use since last year.
- The market for global ethical fashion is expected to reach $10,1 billion by 2025 and $15,5 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 9.0%.
- The top opportunities for the ethical fashion market will arise in the eco-friendly segment, gaining $1,5 billion in global annual sales by 2025.
- Coach and Chloe presented traceable and upcycled leather as an alternative for animal hide on their Fall 2022 runway.
- Consumers are gravitating towards renting and thrifting, with re-commerce companies like The RealReal, Poshmark, and thredUP expected to account for about 20% of the clothing industry by 2031.
The luxury fashion industry is ever-evolving. While their efforts for inclusivity and eco-friendliness aren't as satisfactory as small businesses and celebrity brands, it's still a significant change from previous years.