In an era of openness and diversity, the only constant is change.
Currently, China’s apparel industry is standing at a new crossroads. How to meet the diverse needs of consumers and get closer to consumers under the new trend has become a consideration for apparel companies and brands.
Only by facing the present can we gain insight into the future. Recently, iResearch released the “Seven Major Trends in the Apparel Industry”. The report summarizes the capsule series of new and expanded products through co-branded models, adaptive clothing that targets people with disabilities but can also be worn by able-bodied people, and the transformation from niche trends to mass popularity. Mountain style/outdoor style, biodegradable vegan leather based on plant fiber, virtual clothing that helps brands establish closer connections with consumers, pet clothing that combines functionality and parent-child needs, and national trends based on national trends and as the core Trendy clothing will become the trend of the clothing industry in the future, presenting new ideas for enterprises and brands related to the clothing industry.
Nowadays, the capsule series has gone beyond the original concentrated and classic connotation and extended to richer content. Brands use capsule collections as a marketing method during specific seasons or festivals, and also convey fashion attitudes through independent themes (such as fabrics).
In addition, the brand also cooperates with fashion IP to launch capsule series, frequently testing the waters in terms of population and category expansion. As Xu Yang, general manager of Arc’teryx Greater China, said, Arc’teryx is relatively niche, and the cooperation with Palace and Jil Sander+ is to hope that more consumers will be familiar with this brand.
During the “Double 11” in 2021, the China Disabled Persons Welfare Foundation, an affiliated unit of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, and the China Disabled Persons News and Publicity Promotion Association jointly organized seven major sports brands The “One Shoe Project” was launched to provide single shoe sales services for people with disabilities at half the price of a pair of shoes, allowing more and more people to see the niche needs and emotional needs of this huge group.
Manufacturers, channels, and research institutions also jointly promote the development of adaptive clothing: traditional clothing brands launch product series and sub-lines, and adjust product details; specialized brands of adaptive clothing launch more targeted Specialized wheelchair series, accessories and supplies series in addition to shoes and clothing; the Accessibility Research Center of Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology held the “Very Beautiful” contest and launched a variety of adaptive clothing.
Affected by the epidemic, camping that can not only get close to nature but also ensure safe social distance has become a new way of outdoor activities.
Data show that in 2021, Xiaohongshu’s notes about camping reached more than 310,000, and the number of searches for Xiaohongshu’s camping in the first half of the year increased by 428% year-on-year. The rising popularity of camping has driven the growth of retail sales of related shoes, clothing and outdoor equipment. Clothing and shoes account for more than 50% of the retail sales of outdoor equipment.
Under this trend, luxury brands have successively launched camping clothing or introduced camping elements. The transformation from hiking camping to exquisite camping has obvious “krypton gold” and sharing attributes. Coffee shops and lifestyle collection stores with the theme of exquisite camping have also promoted the popularization of mountain lifestyle.
Tianyancha data shows that there are currently more than 48,000 fur-related companies in my country. From 2017 to 2019, the number of fur-related companies in my country has been canceled for three consecutive years, exceeding 4,000.
As consumers’ awareness of environmental protection increases, consumers are gradually becoming resistant to artificial leather. Leathers based on plant fibers (such as apples, pineapples, cactus, etc.) and cell-cultured leathers such as mycelium leather have emerged.
“Mushroom leather” is regarded as one of the most promising vegan leather materials. It can grow through mycelium into mycelium leather with the form of animal leather without any involvement of animals. Its advantage is that it is environmentally friendly, but its disadvantage is that some of it is still not biodegradable and its output is limited.
In recent years, as 3D and AR technologies have become increasingly mature, the concept of “metaverse” has become a hot topic frequently, and many e-commerce platforms and clothing brands have launched virtual fittings. room functions and virtual clothing.
AR fitting is realized through online App or offline smart mirror. Online try-ons can be shared on social platforms to meet consumers’ sharing needs. Some luxury brands have launched paid try-on functions.
Luxury goods and large fashion groups have launched virtual clothing through cross-border games, as well as more interactive functions (such as emoticons, wallpapers, customized audio, designing their own sneakers, shooting short videos and sharing, etc.).
Carrying out marketing activities in the virtual world is the main way, followed by cooperation with virtual idols or creating virtual people independently. As of January 2022, there are more than 288,000 “virtual people” and “digital people” related companies in my country.
Pets serve as friends, children, family members, etc. of pet owners, and the annual consumption amount of a single pet continues to grow. Data shows that from 2018 to 2020, the number of pet dogs and cats in Chinese cities and towns is on the rise. In the consumption structure, the proportion of food consumption decreased, while the proportion of medical treatment and supplies (including clothing) increased.
Pet clothing is expanding from functionality to diversification. The main design focus of existing pet clothing is that the same style as human pets. Pet raincoats, menstrual pants and other functional clothing occupy the forefront of e-commerce pet clothing sales, of which raincoats account for far more than other clothing categories.
Compared with the market that international big brands have already deployed, domestic brands are exploring opportunities in segmented tracks, starting from the perspectives of Hanfu, human favorites, and protective clothing.
National Fashion Clothing
At present, the “Generation Z” group has risen to become the backbone of the consumer group.To improve their quality, they no longer blindly pursue big international brands. Buying, using and displaying “domestic products” have become the new daily life style of “national fashionable youth”.
Data shows that most consumers will repurchase national fashion products, which is mainly supported by “Chinese style” elements and patriotic sentiments, among which “fashion” is the greater driving factor. It can be seen that product design and product quality are the next steps for national fashion clothing to develop.
It is foreseeable that in the future, with the support of the seven major trends, the innovation speed of clothing companies and brands will continue to advance, bringing consumers a more diversified consumption experience.