SPRING CHIC: The fashion crowds are breaking out their white jeans, gingham trousers and polka-dot or ditsy print dresses, while easing up on the load of coronavirus hashtags, according to the latest Instagram study from Heuritech.

The French data analysis firm, which uses artificial intelligence to analyse Instagram posts to turn up trends, has noted a 136 percent increase in interest in white jeans since December. The lockdown period has also given a boost to comfort, and sneakers are proving popular — Converse high-tops for men and dark sneakers for women — a trend expected to peak in May in June, according to the firm. 

In April, camel and camouflage were dominant palettes, reflecting a retreat to minimalism and a utilitarian streak, and the denim dress surged in popularity, up 269 percent from December last year. 

When it comes to brand communication, most consumers want reassuring messages for brands, with references to COVID-19 related to messages of solidarity, the study showed. 

Nike was singled out for steering clear of traditional marketing and instead of advertising a new shoe model, encouraged people to stay home and stay healthy.

Messages related to sustainability and useful products are also proving more popular with consumers, according to the study, with smaller brands often leading the way.

“In many cases, smaller, lesser-known brands have been ahead of the curve in terms of bettering the status quo of customer relations, supply chain management, and sustainable practices,” said Heuritech, citing French brand Réuni, which makes clothing with recycled textiles and produces items once they’re ordered. 

Brands increasingly developed content related to entertainment, including through video formats, the authors of the study observed, citing Bottega Veneta’s “Residency” program, which posts recipes and movies and Burberry’s computer game “B Bounce” that promotes monogrammed puffer coats. 

On the sustainable front, the hashtag #sustainablefashion grew fivefold over the past three years, noted Heuritech.

“The sheer number of content online on the topic right now is astounding,” said Heuritech.

Bringing in its own message of solidarity, the data firm is offering its trend analysis services to help emerging brands navigate the crisis through a new program “New Data for Fashion.”

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