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Denim's Return to Fashion | WMI

04 Sep 2017 Ann D'Adamo

in Fashion

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After years of wearing stretchy leggings, consumers are re-discovering denim. A combination of consumer demand for new styles and treatments, along with shifting market factors, creates an opportunity for both established and new brands.  We’re beginning to see the effect of the denim renaissance in the marketplace—in the past month, GUESS has re-emerged to beat analyst expectations, Everlane added a sustainable denim collection to its mix, and fast-fashion brands have stepped up their denim assortment. And it’s not just jeans—denim jackets, skirts, and overalls are must-have items for fall.

The Marketplace

In the past, price was the differentiator between premium and mass brands. Today, competition comes from every corner of the market. Heritage brands, like GUESS are experiencing a revival, fast-fashion brands are disrupting with their quick-to-market supply chains, and premium brands are focusing on fit and fashion-forward details. Further disruption comes from growing awareness of environmental sustainability and ethical production practices—consumers are concerned about pollution and the safety of workers. To differentiate their brand, marketers will have to set the stage with a compelling story and create engaging brand experiences across all platforms.

The Consumer

Today, women are much more trend-centric than brand-centric and that’s emerging as a key factor in the way they discover and shop. Style-oriented search queries outpace branded search, leveling the field and creating new opportunities for brand discovery. Researchers found that half of all American women shopped for jeans in the past year—and as new denim trends accelerate, we anticipate there will be more marketplace demand. Creating an omnichannel brand experience that includes advanced search strategies and engaging social and influencer programs will be critical as brands compete for consumers.

Denim Fashion Trends 2017

Boring jeans be gone! Consumers are looking for denim with unique, attention-getting treatments, and search metrics reveal which trends are likely to interest them. Year over year, searches for “embroidered jeans” are up 480% and “embroidered denim jackets” are up 300%. Ripped jeans are up 28% with nearly seventy-five thousand weekly searches. Similarly, “frayed hem” styles saw strong traction on social earlier this year. The detailed hem that was popular this spring continues for fall with searches up 240%. Core silhouettes include skinny styles, higher waists, and cropped flares while emerging trends include patchwork denim and denim jackets with unique cuts (cropped, oversize, and cutouts).

4 Ways Brands Can Win

1. Invest in brand differentiators that add value

2. Listen to social media buzz to discover emerging trends

3. Analyze search metrics to discover emerging trends and relevant keyword search terms

4. Identify social media hashtags related to key trends and influencers who have an authentic connection to your brand or similar aesthetic

Learn how we can help you create a winning marketing strategy. Women’s Marketing has an unparalleled history in helping small brands become household names. Contact us today to learn more about our suite of marketing services.

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Sources: Trendalytics Intelligence Report The Denim Market’s Next Wave 2017,  Mintel Women’s Apparel U.S. 2017, Edited Seven of Fall’s Weirdest Trends Fall 2017, Fung Global Retail & Technology U.S. Back-to-School 2017, Part 5 Apparel & Accessories Trends 2017