If the designers rushing to finish their spring lines ahead of New York Fashion Week followed the e-commerce trends instead of their muses, the fashion runways would be overflowing with bomber jackets, sheer fabrics, bare shoulders and slipdresses.
That’s according to a study provided first to WWD by Katie Smith, senior fashion and retail market analyst at fashion-focused big data firm Edited, which digitally follows 450 million stockkeeping units from 90,000 brands selling online.
Edited is continually tracking when merchants add looks to their sites, when they cut prices and when styles go out of stock, getting a view of not just what brands are pushing online, but how quickly trends work their way through the global fashion system.
“We know what’s selling well, what’s not working, can detect an uptick in new products arriving and track how price and discounting impact trends,” said Smith.
She looked at e-commerce data from this spring and summer, trends arriving now for fall and at how styles from previous runway seasons crossed over into retail.
While guessing what designers will present is always a dicey game — the Edited analysis shows what direction designers could choose to get online traction for their looks — Smith did predict that certain calendar-driven changes will be seen on the runways.
“With buy-now and close-to-season collections the talk of the season, the biggest shift we’ll see is an increase in fall-appropriate pieces: more leather, suede, lightweight puffer jackets, rainwear, knitwear, boots and scarves,” she said. “Color palette has increased potential to reflect the current season — from many designers we’re expecting a more sultry palette than is normally associated for spring.”
While the e-commerce market is trained on a number of broad themes — including skate-inspired looks, athletic styles and a more grown-up and high-end take on the hippie-infused trend — there are plenty of individual styles designers can key in on if they want their looks to live on in a sale as well as the imagination.
Here, a look at the Edited style guru’s calls for catwalk winners.
Bomber jackets have followed the path of the denim and biker jackets and become a wardrobe essential. Just 22 percent of spring bomber jackets had price reductions online, while 30 percent of the online biker and denim jacket offering had been cut.
And retailers continue to invest in the trend, with almost 20 percent of the bomber jackets for sale online in the U.S. added in the past two weeks.
While tulle and sheer fabrics have been on the runway in recent seasons, they have yet to break through in retail. “We expect spring 2017 to change this, as sheers will offer an ultrafeminine antidote to gender-neutral dressing and the sports aesthetic,” Smith said, pointing to pre-collections from Erdem, Moschino and Gucci. Tulle skirts stood up well against discounting online this spring.
Nearly 9,000 styles sporting bared shoulders hit the U.S. online market this spring and summer. The Bardot style has outperformed the cold shoulder online this summer. Roland Mouret, Chanel and House of Holland all sported bared shoulder looks in pre-collections.
Givenchy, Gucci and Rag & Bone all had wins with slipdresses in spring when 47 percent of the new takes on the look coming online landed in the luxury market. The trend appears to have taken a breather, but Smith expects it will be back, with Christopher Kane and Dior showing them in pre-collections.
White shirts — from the classic button-down to sleeveless styles to shirt dresses — are “dominating” online, Smith said. Fifty-three retailers have featured white shirt styles in their newsletters of the last month.