With the start of 2021, we were looking forward to a post-pandemic release. Instead o this, the first months brought us another lockdown, which greatly affected the fashion industry and influenced later decisions. Brands knowing the situation from the previous year approached their actions much more responsibly, as did the customers to their purchases. Vintage fashion flourished and the trend for authenticity developed. Brands were not afraid to join forces with others, thanks to which we witnessed truly unique collaborations. We are also increasingly opening up to new activities and entering the world of the Metaverse to reach as many young people as possible. In a world where we are constantly overstimulated and our attention is distracted, this is one of the best ways to reach out. Adapting to the prevailing social media trends and those in the online world has proven to be one of the key success factors. Check out what else happened in the past year that is worth keeping in mind.
BEING RESPONSIBLE IS IN FASHION
Last year was the year of responsible fashion. Brands began to pay more attention to the direction of their actions and their impact on the environment. Those that were debuting on the market introduced prudent actions from the very beginning, the rest are slowly implementing them in their everyday functioning. It’s been a long time since we have seen such conscious business management. On the one hand, last year brought massive losses in the unsold amount of clothes. On the other hand, increasingly higher customer demands and at the same time greater awareness made many brands think twice.
Oriflame it is a Swedish brand and one of Aliganza’s clients for several years now is very focused on the sustainable use of resources. They care that their products not only take care of us but also the environment. The new cardboard packaging was launched without a printed flyer inside. All the information that used to be on the label is now on the back and the sides. That has significantly reduced the waste of paper.
Another Swedish brand, Monki, has also taken a similar direction. The brand has launched the first machine that can completely separate and recycle a mixture of cotton and polyester, the most common fabric in the industry. Its goal is to become a closed-loop fashion brand. That’s why, in 2021, it launched a collection made from recycled materials. Monki also pays a lot of attention to material waste. Any rips or holes are not surrendered to waste, but stitched with embroidery. This is a big step towards a better face of fashion.
THE POWER OF COLLABORATION
The 2021 year was full of interesting collaborations that got us excited about fashion again. Both on our domestic market and in the sphere of luxury goods some collaborations cannot be forgotten. Big design houses joined forces to attract new, young customers, for example “Fendace” (Fendi x Versace) or Gucci and Balenciaga, which made people line up in long lines all over the world.
Both huge brands and smaller ones enter into various cooperations. The jewelry brand UMIAR co-created a collection with stylist Alicja Werniewicz, Reserved asked Monika Brodka for help, and the lingerie brand Le Petit Trou appeared in the famous Swedish chain store &Other Stories.
There was no shortage of high-profile collaborations among Aliganza’s clients either. American brand Skechers returned to its roots in 2021 to unveil a collection in collaboration with Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto. This international collab was years in the making and was one of the last to be personally influenced by Kansai. Along with it, he allowed fans around the worl the opportunity to experience his unique heritage.
Time for another example, Swarovski x Nike. A one-of-a-kind pair of shoes “Nike Women’s Air Force 1 LXX” with Swarovski crystals were created. The two brands have been working together for several years now, bringing fresh blood to their designs.
The metaverse is opening up endless possibilities for designers, fashion brands and consumers. With the rising popularity of the Metaverse the fashion industry turns into a global empire, involving both luxury brands and retail consumers. Balenciaga decided to show its collection in a rather unusual way. The guests were invited to the cinema auditorium where a special episode of “The Simpsons” with Balenciaga’s clothes in the lead role was projected.
As the fashion area becomes more rooted in the metaverse, plenty famous brands have been investing in this area for some time, but it was 2021 that changed the concept into action. Balmain, Dolce&Gabbana, and Gucci have decided to sell their designs to NFT, while Balenciaga has partnered with Fortnite. For now, it’s still a huge niche reaching a select few people, but with prospects in the future.
Over the next few years we may see a huge development in this direction, and big fashion houses as well as smaller brands will be looking for newer and more interesting solutions to attract the attention of younger audiences. After all, generation Z is currently the most desirable group to reach.
The time of the pandemic has also verified influencer marketing activities. Companies are paying more attention to selecting the right people for their campaigns. They look for those who share their values. When it comes to collaborations, it is no longer the mere publication that counts. The story is much more thoughtful, accompanied by a specific background that will interest the media and the audience. In 2021, it is not reach that counts, but value behind it.
Cooperation with smaller influencers is becoming more and more frequent. The popularity of influencers is not that important anymore. Brands care more about engagement and authenticity. Communication has to be thoughtful and in line with the given creator.
There is no denying that Instagram is drawing from other social media outlets, introducing more and more features. And so inspired by Tik-Tok in 2021, Instagram-Reels appeared. This tool helps to express influencers, exchange opinions, connect and learn from each other. That’s the fact that Tik Tok and also Instagram Reels have given creators entirely new ways to share their stories, and for brands to connect and resonate with their audiences.
Some examples 😊 Oliwia Bugała for theBonprix campaign decided to use a short video with proposals of 3 different styles and the girls from the Swarovski Christmas campaign showed a close-up of the jewelry, with a focus on details and different applications of the products, which was important to the brand which redesigned its products last years.
TikTok’s and Instagram’s effect on shopping trends is a powerful and we know about it.
THE TREND TOWARDS AUTHENTICITY
Staying in the world of Instagram, it is worth mentioning last year’s big trend for being authentic online. Heavily edited photos were replaced by those without a filter and arranged grids became more on point reflecting the real state.
This trend was also decided to use the Swedish brand Monki, which in its creative activities involving influencer marketing decided to promote the collection without any filters. All people involved in the advertising activities were not allowed to use them in publications on Stories or their profiles. In this way, they wanted to emphasize the real beauty of women and encourage others to do the same.
The year 2021 was a positive rebound for the fashion industry. After an unpredictable, pandemic in 2020, excitement and fun returned, concerning such values as responsibility, credibility, and authenticity. Vintage fashion has truly flourished, and the real world is slowly merging with the virtual one. What will the next year bring us? What can we expect? Certainly, brands will continue to focus on fast, dynamic actions that engage their audience. Undoubtedly, new collaborations and unconventional solutions will play an important role. We simply cannot wait.