It’s an exciting time to be a fashion aficionado. There are lots of changes that are shaking up the industry, and we’re slowly veering away from a one-size-fits-all aesthetic that once only favored a select few.
As customers demand that the fashion industry represents their voices, brands are taking these concerns seriously and overhauling traditional ways of running a fashion brand. From sustainable practices to new size charts, here are five trends that are changing the face of fashion.
Gender-inclusivity as the new normal
It’s a wonder why we’re still so strict about enforcing gender norms when it comes to our clothing. After all, fashion is all about celebrating creativity and gaining confidence from whatever you feel suits you best. This year’s Met Gala, with its “Camp” theme, hints at how we might see the eventual breakdown of gender labels when it comes to clothing. Its warm reception from the general public is further proof that it's only about time. Of course, this acceptance isn't just happening on grand scales. We covered the opening of Atlanta's first gender-neutral children's clothing store and it’s a good sign that even the younger generations are already in on the change.
Out with the old sizing
Gone are the days where plus-sized men and women were left out of the fashion conversation. Now, brands are stepping it up and proving that all sizes deserve to feel stylish. The variety of trendy shorts on Woman Within are a testament to this improvement, proving that "plus-size" doesn’t mean you have to wear frumpy and unflattering clothes. On the other hand, Macy’s Big and Tall men’s line caters to plus-sized men, who are also often left out. In line with this, however, we might see a shift in sizing labels within the next few years. Figures like Ashley Graham and Clementine Desseaux are labelling themselves as models, without the “plus-sized” qualifier. So it might only be a matter of time before fashion brands follow suit.
Sustainable in every sense of the word
Sustainability encompasses more than just using eco-friendly fabrics. A truly sustainable company takes care of everything from supply chain management to their workers’ conditions, ensuring that everyone involved gets treated fairly. One such brand is Outerknown, who produces basic henleys and tees that are made to last, while making a commitment to compensate its factory workers fairly. Another example is lingerie brand Kala, whose garments are crafted from fully biodegradable materials, thus helping to set a new standard for fabrics.
Slow fashion and limited runs
Fast fashion entices people to keep buying by churning out new collections every week, but this speed results in a lot of dead stock that either gets burned or placed in landfills. To promote mindful shopping, some brands release limited editions. This allows the brand to better gauge customer demand. Furthermore, fewer restocks draws attention to the meticulous processes required in designing each product. By focusing on craftsmanship through limited runs, customers are asked to reflect on the true value of each piece they buy.
The new guard
Fashion writer Robin Givhan emphasizes that the fashion industry is becoming more inclusive from the inside out. Edward Enninful is currently spearheading British Vogue, while Harlem’s Fashion Row features a diverse range of designers. These strides are important, because the fashion industry won’t continue to change if the same kinds of people still hold all the control. Additionally, these changes prove that the very face of fashion is changing with the times, and we’re all the better for it.