Youth

From Gen Z and beyond, explore emerging markets and micro shifts in youth consumer behaviour

Need to Know
28 : 12 : 22

The fashion sector has been consolidating sustainability credentials in 2022 –whether it is through the rise of resale or headway on biotech – without compromising its untethered creativity in the process.

The Trend: Doom Dressing

Spring/summer 2023 by Balenciaga, France Spring/summer 2023 by Balenciaga, France

According to Allianz’s aptly titled United in Pessimism report, Europeans have a bleak view of how the future will look – over 50% are not feeling optimistic about their future prospects. Our Doom Dressing microtrend explores how this increasingly disillusioned and cynical group are translating their mindset into an apparel and aesthetic movement, at odds with Dopamine Dressing’s uplifting and mood-boosting feel.

On TikTok, #avantapocalypse videos have now amassed 3.6bn views, where users share their eerie goth outfits, often deconstructing, repurposing and upcycling second-hand pieces in the process.

To match this mindset, brands are crafting dystopian universes, as featured in Burberry’s autumn 2022 campaign film, Night Creatures, featuring a faceless, many-legged creature. On runways, spring/summer 2023 collections contained a profusion of punk and grunge looks – from AVAVAV’s Moonster XXL boots to Victor Barragán’s premium ‘trash’ outfits.

Beyond design, this doomsday fashion take is reflecting grim realities with raw, unkempt and dystopian brand narratives and universes to convey a multi-layered message, calling out climate inaction, social injustice, political unrest and economic downturn.

For 2023, expect the Doom Dressing trend to head towards more absurd and irreverent accessories and aesthetics.

The Big Idea: Why brands are building archives

The fashion resale market has flourished in 2022, as consumers relish hunting for rare, discontinued or vintage pieces and begin building – and selling – their own archives.

Now, fashion brands are seizing the potential of this nostalgia-powered trend and taking matters into their own hands. Brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Prada are re-issuing iconic bags and products from the past, as the coveted archival timepieces carry more value in consumers’ eyes and keep selling out.

In April 2022, luxury fashion brand Paco Rabanne began selling NFTs of its vintage designs to raise money to purchase items for its physical archive and bringing hard-to-wear items into the virtual world, where it will be easier for avatars to wear them. All proceeds of the sale went towards the brand’s archive, showing how emerging technologies can be used to help fund-raise and build historic collections.

Another noteworthy example of NFTs augmenting archives is the recent clothing sale of the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani. In collaboration with phygital NFT platform SPIN by Lablaco, a selection of 25 garments were sold and augmented with NFT labels that allow customers to track the ownership of each item and serve as proof of authenticity.

Emilio Pucci Heritage Hub, Italy

The Campaign: ThredUp launches fast fashion confessional hotline

Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline by ThredUp and Priah Ferguson, US Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline by ThredUp and Priah Ferguson, US

With fashion consumers seeking to come clean and commit to more sustainable wardrobes, we saw more brands creating interactive campaigns to provide education and resources on how shoppers can make small changes that improve their shopping habits.

Online resale platform ThredUp has partnered with Stranger Things actor Priah Ferguson to launch its Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline. Callers who dial the number can confess their shopping habits and hear Ferguson’s voice sharing her own confessions, encouraging them to abandon their basket and providing information on more sustainable ways to buy.

The launch comes in the wake of a new study from ThredUp which found that a third of Gen Z feel addicted to fast fashion, while almost half of college students say it’s hard to resist the temptation it offers. Despite Gen Z’s environmental leanings, the lure of cheap new on-trend clothes is strong, and ThredUp’s hotline is helping to break the cycle by presenting second-hand as a viable and affordable alternative. ‘I hope this hotline inspires people to change their shopping habits and think about thrifting. Even small changes can make a big difference for our future,’ says Ferguson.

As the second-hand clothing market continues to grow, young consumers are embracing Eco-motional Fashion that takes a more positive and human-centric approach to sustainability.

The Interview: How fashion is tackling invasive species

Inversa Leathers, US Inversa Leathers, US

Aarav Chavda, co-founder and CEO of Inversa Leathers, spoke to LSN:Global about how invasive species can enable fashion to rebalance and heal the planet. While the category remains nascent, Inversa Leathers is positioning its innovation as a high-quality, sustainable alternative to existing faux leathers. Beginning with lionfish, the company is working with invasive species to create small leather goods and sneakers.

In the interview, Aarav explains how despite positive steps being made in the alternative leathers field, many people are still uncomfortable with the plastic content in vegan leathers.

‘From our perspective, we try to differentiate what we’re doing by letting customers know that they’re actively doing good by buying leather made from an invasive species. Essentially, by buying a pair of shoes or a wallet made from this type of leather, you can be the hero that the planet really needs in order to restore balance to our eco-systems.’

In the future, the company plans to apply its leathers to categories spanning from automotive to hospitality.

The Space: Digital fashion brings IRL fun to experiential pop-up store

Zero10 and Crosby Studios physical pop-up store, Manhattan Zero10 and Crosby Studios physical pop-up store, Manhattan

One of the greatest challenges for the future of digital fashion is onboarding the non-gamer, less tech-savvy or crypto-illiterate crowds.

In September, AR fashion platform Zero10 and Crosby Studios brought digital fashion into a physical setting through an experiential retail concept. Reaching a wider audience than a purely digital activation, the pop-up enabled visitors to try on digital-only clothes in real time using their smartphones, with Zero10’s augmented reality technology also allowing them to digitally tailor the garments by uploading a picture.

Designed by Crosby Studios, the collection celebrates its digital nature with fantastical garments that could only exist in virtual reality. Inspired by 1990s video games, pieces include a chequered suit, a light shirt, a pixel leopard hoodie, disappearing pants and video game trousers. The store setting itself is designed to allow visitors to freely interact with the digital fashion without being interrupted by physical objects. ‘We wanted to create a new concept of pop-up spaces responding to retailers’ needs to attract a new generation of consumers but also evolving the format of pop-ups that are not about product display any longer,’ explains George Yashin, CEO of Zero10.

The pop-up showcases how, as the physical and digital worlds continue to merge, retailers can continue to innovate with Hyperphysical Stores that allow both to co-exist and provide a compelling reason to visit in person.

Download the Future Forecast 2023 report

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Now that you know what shaped 2022, discover what’s on the horizon. Download our Future Forecast 2023 report comprising 50 new trends across 10 key consumer sectors, insights from our analysts and interviews with global innovators.

Not a member of LS:N Global?

The Future Forecast 2023 collection, including PDF report and on-demand webinar, is available to purchase from The Future Laboratory shop. Interested in becoming a member? Learn more here

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