Big changes in store for the fashion industry in 2017

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you in the fashion business? Then you know how vital it is for you to anticipate fashion trends so that when customers come into your store or onto your website, you have the latest styles they’re looking for. But if you wait to see what’s hot in the latest issue of Vogue, it’ll be too late to get the goods to your customers.

Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst at NPD Group who covers fashion accessories, apparel and footwear, recently shared what he expects is in store for fashion in 2017.

Cohen says 2017 will be a year of change for retail fashions because consumers are no longer following trends, but instead “creating their own looks, seeking [fashion] that fits into their lifestyle.” He also expects “an evolution in accessorizing.” Consumers want to carry their cellphones and tablets “in style” and expect these accessories to be functional and innovative as well.

Active apparel will continue to be popular, but Cohen says the clothing will be focused less on performance and more on lifestyle.

Some quick tips from Cohen include:

  • Footwear will be “less about dress and more about comfort.”
  • While high school and college students have donned pajamas as streetwear for years, Cohen says the “casualization” trend will be embraced by other older demographics as well.
  • Organic fibers are in high demand.

Consumers, says Cohen, are spending on either big purchases or affordable splurges. And, as Americans spend more on services and experiences, fashion retailers will be increasingly competing with other types of business for their share of the consumer dollar. Finally, adds Cohen, all purchases are being considered in the context of “convenience, need, desire and price.”

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