By Melina Gotera

KEY CONCEPTS

As eCommerce grows, private label brands and designers are challenged with offering memorable, exciting styles that resonate across a wide, varied market. Our advice? Leverage your online assortment with transfunctional pieces in mellow colorways. Balance comfort, sustainability and luxury offer sleek updates to historically strong categories. Utilize our trend report to guide an exceptional range of colors, styles and textures for Spring/Summer 2021.

Girlfriend Collective, Zara, Lunya, Zimmerman

Provide Transparency

Back your brand values up with block chain technology and brand-rating services. Sustainability, inclusivity and ethical production are high priority, with storytelling being a powerful marketing tool.

Prioritize Quality

The new maxim is “buy less, wear more.” Offer a limited range of craftsman-quality hero pieces that translate with ease across categories.

Deliver Comfort

Consumers are seeking comfort and security amidst global anxiety. Meet this need with soft knits, plush textures, oversized garments and protective technical features.

Don’t Sacrifice Style

Classics with longevity and comfort don’t have to be boring! Update these basics with unique details and trims that will age well. Merchandise artfully to illustrate the garment’s versatility with a variety of trends.

KEY COLORS

Provide stability and ease with a calming, classic palette. Pure black, white and grey make powerful statements that can be reimagined over time. Introduce other neutrals like camel, taupe, navy and khaki. For trend colors with longevity, draw inspiration from nature like turmeric yellow, terracotta, sage green and pale sky blue.

SUSTAINABLE WELLNESS

Pangaia, Organic Basics, Girlfriend Collective, Sage Larock, Nube

Expect to see sustainability in wellbeing, fitness and everyday apparel. Consumers are reconnecting with nature through exercise and thinking critically about how products may affect their bodies and the environment.  Invest in organic fibers and sustainable cellulosics such as Forest Fiber Tencel. Plant-based and botanical dyes create a natural, washed-out look that reduces water impact. Achieve biomimicry with sophisticated matte finishes, subtle texture and organic style lines.

Technical features will trend up with UV protection and infusion of vitamin, oils and minerals to promote a healthy lifestyle. Antimicrobial properties means a garment can be washed less, increasing its life and reducing water waste. Look for inherent sustainability in materials rather than applying finishes that will wear off over time.

Last, close the loop with buyback and recycling initiatives that promote brand loyalty. Offer lifestyle add-ons like micro-waste filtering washing bags and washing machine filter attachments to reduce water waste and pollution.

SLIMLINE KNITS

Proenza Schouler, Moon Choi, Micheal Kors, Andrew Coimbra, LRS, Nanushka

Comfort and longevity doesn’t have to sacrifice style. Designers are polishing comfort with second-skin jersey knits and thin-gauge rib knits for Spring. Expect to see lightweight fabrications in body con dresses, longer sheaths, mini skirts, matching sets and even bicycle shorts and loungewear. Neutral colors allow these versatile separates to transcend season, with pops of ochre and mulberry. Luxurious organic fibers like cashmere make for sleek lines that can be worn comfortably all day. Rising trends include futuristic cut-outs, long-sleeves, leg slits, deep-v cardigans, puffed shoulders, cowl necks and mock necks.

MATCHING SETS

Nanushka, Thakoon, Theory, Self-Portrait, Zero + Maria Conejo

Same-fabric sets and co-ords will maintain their already-strong presence and even see growth this Spring. With lounge and sleepwear seeing major growth, elevated pajama sets will be key for stay-at-home style. These can be worn luxuriously at home or dressed up for a quick trip to the post office or dog walk.This trend spans from athleisure to loungewear, lifewear and even workwear. Structured bra tops will be paired with high-waisted skirts, trousers and shorts. Designers like Michael Kors and Theory have been exploring the long-over-long trend, with airy tunics and asymmetrical sweaters layered over long, coordinating bottoms. Popular fabrications include washable silk, linen, and lightweight wool knits.

RELAXED SUITING

Zimmerman, Anna Quan, Alberta Ferretti, Vivienne Westwood, Self-Portrait, Micheal Kors

The indefinite transition into remote work has ushered in a lounge update for tailoring. Classic shirting and suiting is evolving in fabrication and design for comfort. Appeal to this trend with oversized blazers, boxy shorts, relaxed trousers and even a resurgence in knit soft suiting. Projected textiles include wool, duchess satin, cellulosics, lightweight cotton, slubby linens and even dead stock or surplus. Color-wise, rich tones like black and navy will be broken up with luxurious creams and whites. This trend marries fluidity with form and function.

SUMMARY

In order to optimize your brands offerings, focus in on some key hero items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Invest in slow fashion and craftsmanship to provide the consumer with quality before quantity. Spring 2021 requires a careful balance between luxury and comfort with innovative pairings of fabrication and design. Add value with versatility and overall, appeal to the well-researched eCommerce shopper with end-to-end transparency and strong visual presentation.

Let us know, what do you plan to implement in 2021?

Sources: WWD, WGSN, New York Times, interviews with industry experts