Its no doubt that the industry has changed drastically from this time last year. Following a year in which several large players made big strides on the web, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers didn’t fare as well. With store closures coming from Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s, the major department stores of yore are already having a tough start to 2017.
Knowing this, we enlisted Michael Fisher, the menswear creative director at trend forecasting agency Fashion Snoops, to find out the top five macrotrends that will affect business and retail in the year ahead. Here Fisher breaks down what we need to know about each.
The definition of luxury is changing. Luxury means more than logos and expensive cars. Today luxury is attainable to everyone in the form of clever design, intuitive products, quiet moments and simple clever spaces. Over the past five years we have seen a rise in sleek spaces, a boom in the fitness industry, and an increased demand for quality and sustainable design. Genuine quality is important in all of our goods — from supporting local designers to natural materials, the idea of a lasting product is more important than a good deal. We are in an era where stripping away the excess and focusing on ease and clever design is the luxury.
This represents looking at the past through the lens of today. There’s a whole generation of consumers who appreciate a simpler time and seek out brands that embrace everything about their glory days — all while finding novel ways to move the classics forward. At a moment when we are more innovative than ever, and everyone is constantly obsessed with the future, a grounded connection to the past gives us a feeling of familiarity and safety. Heritage brands remain important as pinnacle market shareholders, however, they need to continue to modernize their expression of their heritage story to stay relevant to younger generations. Nowstalgia has no problems with acknowledging that some things may have actually been better before, and it finds ways to partner with present day icons of cool to connect seemingly different demographics. This is all accomplished with a wink of the eye, a sense of humor and an open adoration of yesterday.
The younger consumers of today are bringing new life into music, sport, fashion, travel and art. Today is about the “makers,” a subculture of influencers, inventors, tech geeks, artists and designers who, when given the right tools and inspiration, have the potential to change the world. As boundaries lose their significance, opportunities open, especially true in travel. The more the world opens up, the more culture, history, and materials we have to make something new. New role models are emerging who are great examples of hyperculture. By mixing high-brow and low-brow culture in their artwork and music, the result is provocative perplexity. At the heart of Energize is the yearning for something new.
The old guard has fallen, and the new guard is ready to do things differently. The face of the workforce is changing. CEOs are in their late twenties and thirties, entrepreneurship continues to rise, and start-ups are attracting many ambitious and bright minds to century-old institutions. Traditional job roles are also changing; there is a new leader in town, the new creative. Individuals with more diverse areas of study or a wide range of work experience across multiple industries are in high demand. Collaboration is at the forefront of business with industry walls falling to reveal unlikely partnerships. Urbanization is a factor of industry change. For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population resides in cities, and that number is expected to double by 2050.
The on-demand economy of today and the businesses within it are empowering a consumer revolution. Our lives are inter-connected and in a constant stream. To be part of these movements, businesses need to seamlessly place themselves in the flow of the consumers’ daily lives — easy access is everything. We are a spoiled society, with all our wants and needs available at the click of a button and it’s impossible to go back. Communication methods are also in overload in this digital age. The average person has at least a dozen apps on their phone that allow them to stay connected with people. We find ourselves in never-ending conversations. At the root of these companies is innovation, from new energy sources to hyper-personal digital experiences, the market is saturated with companies focusing on making our lives more convenient. Inter-Connectivity on all fronts is the future; A.I. continues to advance, technology is increasingly integrated in everyday products, and electronics have become covetable design objects. Brace yourself: the digital age has barely begun.