Hilde Francq, a trend watcher, identifies the most important trends each six months. The Color Trend Webinar aimed to look ahead to the post-Covid age. We already pointed out that the Autumn/Winter 22/23 season will be digitally-awakened and green.

She says, “Obviously, all eyes are on the future trends in the post-Covid era. Trend watchers are seeing the return of decadence and hedonism of the roaring 20s. This is evident in China, where we already see it with the revival of shopping and revenge dressing. On the other side, talk is raging about the “trembling twenties”, a time of uncertainty, doubt and instability. The pandemic taught us to consider the role of humans in the world.”

Francq believes there will be a mix of both: “First, there will be a celebration, then it’ll be time to reflect.” Sustainability will be a matter of course, and businesses will need to assume responsibility. Think about Hermes, a brand known for high-end leather. It now focuses on mushroom skin. The Stan Smith Mylo sneakers were introduced by Adidas. They feature a mycelium sole.

Francq says that Generation Z was particularly affected by the crisis. She says that this happened at an important time in their development. Mental health is, therefore, a very important topic. The ‘woke movement is also omnipresent.” She mentions prominent American figures like Pharrell Williams with his gender-neutral beauty line and Amanda Gorman with her anti-racist inaugural poetry. These shifts were evident before the crisis but Covid made them more apparent. Francq combines them into four themes: wild life, digital lives, a better planet, and mental health.

green vegetable beside ceramic bowl

Trend for AW22: Back to nature

Francq said, “During the pandemic we have come back to appreciate nature and realized that mental health is dependent on contact with it.” Global warming has also had an impact. There are calls for’rewilding, the release of the natural world. Just think about the Belgian “Don’t Mow May” campaign in Flanders. Gucci’s collaboration with outdoor label The North Face is a sign of fashion. This trend will make alternative materials that are based on mushrooms and algae mainstream.

AW22 Trend: Digital Living

“Our lives were largely digital and we became hybrids of an analog and digital existence. Auctioned was also the first NFT (non-fungible token) of an art work. Now we can claim ownership of a unique digital document. This allows for virtual clothing. As an example, Net-a-Porter and Nintendo collaborated to create a virtual clothing collection for Animal Crossing’s avatars.”

AW22 Trends: A Better World

Francq says that the most important question to ask is “What can you do to save the world today?” The impact of a product must be measured. But, it also needs to make a contribution. The goal of brands is not to produce zero waste, but negative waste. Patchwork is a popular trend in this theme. It can be colorful and feature a variety of motifs. With the goal of appealing to the “woke generation”, brands also consider other issues than the environment.

AW22 Trend: Mental health

Francq says that the last theme is likely to be the most dominant. “Covid made health even more important. We want to be tracked, advised and monitored. Health is a luxury. Mental issues will become commonplace, and the healthy mind will be more prominently highlighted. Death is also getting more attention. Loovt, a comfort brand, wants to break down the taboo surrounding grief and mourning through designs like the cuddly sweater. Architecture is also influenced by this trend. She concludes that retailers will choose interiors that evoke a feeling of security and familiarity.”

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