As the year comes to an end, LS:N Global looks at the nascent trends and behaviour patterns that will be shaping the luxury and retail sectors over the next 12 months.
As luxury moves away from logos and bling towards more complex expressions of human connection, brands will increasingly take on roles traditionally associated with civic leaders, with education a key touchpoint. Prada is leading the way with its Belligerent Eyes initiative and Yoox-Net-A-Porter has collaborated with Bologna Business School to launch the first master’s programme specifically for digital business.
Instead of bending to every consumer whim, retailers in 2017 will not be afraid to take a stand by curtailing choice. This will prove an antidote to excess in the age of Stuffocation, and is already being demonstrated by brands such as fashion label Per/Se, which launches one product at a time, or bookstore Morioka Shoten, which stocks a single book at any given time.
In 2017, there will be an even greater erosion of traditional luxury signifiers such as ‘bespoke’, ‘heritage’ and ‘authentic’. Our recent Anti-luxurians tribe highlights a new consumer outlook that no longer responds to empty buzzwords, which is driving successful collaborations such as Adidas and Alexander Wang, and brands such as Vetements to play with the notion of designer fakes and bootleg branding.
LS:N Global has talked about Total Retail for a few years now, preferring the term to ‘omni-channel’, which still assumes the difference between channels. Service needs to become similarly platform-agnostic in 2017, following in the footsteps of innovators such as WAH Nails, which integrates e-communications and digital elements into its physical store, and Farfetch’s forthcoming Store of the Future concept, which is scheduled to open in spring 2017.
Wearable technology did not prove very wearable this year, but a refocus on style and design lay important groundwork for innovation in 2017. Brands are developing technology that weaves touch and gesture interactivity into textiles to turn clothes into smart interfaces. A jacket by Avery Dennison, EVRYTHNG and Rochambeau enables the wearer to gain access to exclusive events and services, while Google’s Project Jacquard examines the future applications of interactive textiles
Look out for our Future Forecast 2017, which will reveal our top 60 trends to watch in the next year across the food, drink, design, interiors, technology, retail, luxury, beauty and wellness, travel and hospitality sectors.