The five big fashion themes of 2020

Fashion is colorful and changeable – but at the end of the year there are always a few red threads to discover. What topics ran through 2020? FashionUnited summarizes the fashion of an eventful year in five central themes.

Digitization: from online shopping to virtual fashion week

The most notable trend in fashion was undoubtedly the exponentially increasing digitization. Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the past decade. As early as 2019, the Belgian marketing agency Nightingale presented a completely virtual catwalk presentation and developed the digital fashion house The Fabricant and the Dutch designer Iris van Wees virtual garments.

With the arrival of the coronavirus in spring, these developments picked up speed. Many consumers were more or less forced to become digitally active. For many consumers, online shopping has become the only way to get new products, with the result that fashion companies are focusing on theirs digital channels focused. On top of that, at a time when there was less physical contact, attention was drawn to online presentation – on social media or in games like Animal Crossingin which fashion began to play an increasingly important role. Some brands, including Balenciaga, even used games to showcase their new collection. Other digital or phygital clothing brands, such as Copiist by Dutch designer Garry Dijkema, also came onto the market.

The five big fashion themes of 2020
Image: Copiist via Garry Dijkema

Physical fashion shows could hardly take place anywhere in the world and so the concept of the digital fashion show 2020 developed without restriction. International couture brands shot elaborate fashion films, Gucci waited with one twelve-hour live stream up and Dior built one glittering 3D cosmos for his online show. Perhaps the most advanced example was Helsinki Fashion Week, which not only chose a digital medium to broadcast a physical show, but also used virtual backdrops, clothing, and avatar models. The teams behind the closing shows of the Dutch and Belgian fashion academies created spectacular 3D landscapes in which the work of the students could be shown. Also Showrooms and fashion fairs, like Kingpins, Premium and Pitti Uomo, have been digitized.

These developments are expected to take the form of fully digitized supply chains and a far-reaching one in 2021 In-store digitization continue. It remains to be seen whether the physical fashion show will finally give way to the digital one. Nuria de Miguel, director of Gran Canaria Swim Week, argues that “the power, energy and emotions that go with a physical fashion show” cannot “be equally present” in digital shows.

The five big fashion themes of 2020
Image: The Frankie Shop, Nap Loungewear

Love for loungewear

The biggest style trend in fashion in 2020 was undisputedly loungewear. As early as spring, it was predicted that loungewear would be the absolute winner in 2020, and this forecast has come true over the course of the Corona year. Comfortable, soft loungewear is not only suitable for evenings on the couch, but also for long hours of work from home or baking sandwiches for children who cannot go to school or childcare.

The desire for loungewear already existed before the beginning of the Corona crisis. Trend analyzes from autumn 2019 and early winter 2020 have already shown an increasing focus on more comfortable clothing for at home and at work. “Nobody buys tailored suits anymore,” said Trend researcher David Shah in October 2019. “We live in a very informal society. Athleisure is the new lifestyle. “

With the beginning of the lockdowns in several European countries demand exploded for loungewear. Not least because of this, Nike, top seller of sneakers and sweaters, high in the lyst index, the list of the most sought-after brands. Stylight released one in late April analysiswhich showed the growing relevance of loungewear. Several brands already developed “Housewear” edits in the spring; with the falling temperatures in autumn new loungewear companies sprang up like mushrooms, including the Belgian brand LordsxLilies. Existing fashion brands such as Ganni, Karl Lagerfeld, Zara and Theory introduced their own loungewear lines.

As it stands, the loungewear trend will be with us as long as the pandemic continues. This is also reflected in the shoe trends for Ladies and Men’s for spring 2021: sneakers and padded sandals set the tone. Other prophesy that 2021 will be the year of ‘Revenge Dressings’ will be: a counter-movement, characterized by tailoring, high heels and luxurious workmanship.

The five big fashion themes of 2020
Image: Puma SE

Build up defenses with activewear

With the goal of keeping themselves as healthy as possible – physically and mentally – in 2020, people around the world rolled out yoga and exercise mats in their living rooms and started hiking, running, and fitness in forests and parks. The result: an increasing demand for activewear, an industry that continued even during the pandemic well developed. That was indicative of the popularity of activewear significant growth from Nike in a year in which most companies lost sales.

A wide variety of brands have harnessed the potential of the market in 2020 and introduced new activewear lines, including Cos and Wolford. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty has one too in program.

The topic of sustainability became important in sportswear. Puma posed Clothing made from recycled plastic and Sports clothing collections painted with bacteria in front. The biggest trends within sportswear this year were versatile, loungewear-like yoga clothing, tie-dye prints and the color tangerine, so Stylight.

Sportswear influences also found their way into that Everyday wardrobe, in the form of coordinated or uncoordinated sets made of jersey, structured knit and sporty, graphic prints such as wide stripes.

Activewear – in the gym and on the street – should even become the subject of a major exhibition in the fashion museum in the Dutch city of Hasselt in 2020. But the exhibition had to be postponed and will open in June 2021.

The five big fashion themes of 2020
Image: Pexels

Sustainable and unique: second-hand clothing

2019 was already the year of independent second-hand stores, platforms like Rebel and Unitedwardrobe, then clothing rental continued to advance in 2020and it was the year in which conventional companies have included the sale of second-hand clothing in their business model.

Zalando took part in October started buying and selling second-hand clothing by customers. In the same month, Tommy Hilfiger started the initiative Tommy for Life: a circular project where used or damaged Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans clothing can be repaired or converted into new, limited edition clothing. In November, the German online retailer About You launched a section ‘Second Love’ for second-hand women’s clothing and accessories, selling items from luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren and Saint Laurent. Even the luxury company LVMH thought about ways to sell second-hand products in early December.

Where did the sudden boom in second-hand clothing come from? The image of second-hand clothing has changed drastically in recent years. In the past there was still a stigma that weighed on her: the clothes were ‘dirty’ or ‘old-fashioned’. However, gradually it is becoming more and more accepted to buy second-hand clothes. The re-use of worn clothing is in line with the growing concern for sustainability in the fashion industry. The second-hand clothing market also offers consumers the advantage of being able to find one-off items in a market that mainly sells mass-produced clothing. Second-hand clothing is thus becoming a significant growth market that is set to grow even larger in the coming years.

The five big fashion themes of 2020
Image: Stay Safe Amsterdam

Simply everywhere: mouthguards

Perhaps the most popular fashion item in 2020 was the mouth and nose mask. By summer at the latest they could be seen everywhere at home and abroad. In many countries it has become compulsory to wear a mask indoors or even in public places. As a result, the demand for the masks grew suddenly and explosively. Some used simple disposable masks, others turned them into a craft project or bought design masks, with or without a colorful print.

For designers and brands whose sales declined during the lockdown period, the masks were an important one Source of income. Fashion brands that make their own mouth and nose masks include Sjaak Hullekes, Goat Apparel, G-Star, Wolford and JBC and even Burberry
.

A real mouth and nose mask fashion week was even held in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Across the city, a route of 21 billboards was created with photos of men, women and children – including the Mayor of Vilnius – in creative mouthpieces. Some made some themselves, others painted existing masks. Each billboard was provided with the words: “Creativity cannot be covered up”. As beautiful as the mouth and nose masks can be, the hope is that they will no longer be needed in the course of 2021.

This translated post previously appeared on FashionUnited.nl.

Homepage image: The Fabricant x Puma, via The Fabricant

Janelle B. Smith

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