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Surefront Blog

The Fashion Trend Cycle Favors the Bold

Surefront is a Unified Product Collaboration Platform with PIM, CRM, and PLM solutions. It's a centralized data home where stakeholders can freely share product information and assign access permissions. Most integrations are supported in Surefront, but none are needed. Our articles often focus on one aspect of our unified PIM, PLM, and CRM platform. With Surefront, each solution seamlessly works together to achieve a guaranteed 10x ROI for every customer.

The cycle of fashion trends is ever-changing. We’ve gone from a 20-year trend cycle into a veritable explosion of trends, featuring fashions from every decade and subculture playing out at the same time. But that doesn’t mean that a retailer’s speed to market is no longer relevant. The fashion trend cycle has gone from the 20-year trend cycle to one that pivots every few weeks. Speed to market, in the retail industry, is more important now than ever.  

Understand that this isn’t the Schaff trend cycle from the Forex market. We’re talking about the infamous fashion trend cycle that has retailers and suppliers alike jumping over themselves to expedite their time to market on new trends.

Would you like some background on the cycle of fashion trends? Want to know how the fashion trends cycle became what it is today, or just want tips to keep your apparel sourcing strategy competitive? Let’s delve in. 

How do fashion trends cycle? 

The fashion cycle shortened with the advent of the internet. But, in recent years, the widespread use of social media has thrown customers into a trend turnover frenzy. The idea that it’s detrimental to be photographed in the same outfit twice is beginning to subside, it hasn’t done so yet. 

To understand the new fashion trend cycle in 2023, we first need to understand the players involved in it. There are 3 major players in the fashion trend cycle: designers, brands, and the consumers they serve. (Some may argue that brands and designers work simultaneously, but designers are creativity focused, while brands are looking for ROI.

Consumer expectations of the fashion cycle

And consumers? They aren’t adhering to trends the way they used to. While some consumers are still scouring the internet for the next hot fad, others are reveling in a new wave of anti-style. The new anti-style takes elements from grunge, punk, geek chic, and Dad’s wardrobe to create a new breed of sustainable look that’s simply too cool to care. (Socks with sandals? Yes please. Socks with Crocs? Even better!) 

While some disparage how bifurcated the fashion trend cycle has become, others are celebrating the diversity. There are more options for customers to express themselves and/or shop for items that reflect their values. It’s also more socially acceptable than ever to dress uniquely, which gives consumers the freedom to participate in or completely ignore trends at their leisure. 

The 20 year trend cycle

In the past, fashion trends resurfaced every 20 years. Consumers wore 60s styles in the 80s, 70s styles in the 90s, and so on. But nothing lasts forever. The advent of social media and the exponential growth of online shopping led to the shortening of the 20-year trend cycle into the one we have now, which changes every couple of weeks. Thus, the rise of “micro-trends” and the fast fashion giants that cater to them.

Yet consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the longevity of our planet. In this environment, sustainable, long lasting goods and thrift store finds garner more praise on social media than pictures featuring fast fashion items. In fact, 46% of consumers want brands to take the lead on evolving sustainably. 

The standard fashion trend cycle

The standard fashion trend cycle consists of 5 phases: Introduction, rise in popularity, peak popularity, decline in popularity, and obsolescence. It’s been this way since the advent of fashion itself. The anti style trend has switched this up a bit, however. Suddenly it’s cool to wear ‘dad styles’ that have retreated into obsolescence. In this environment, chasing the next major trend is less important  for brands than understanding the customer prototypes they cater to.  

By focusing on fulfilling customer needs, rather than chasing the next big fad, brands can go beyond the cycle of fashion trends to create lasting relationships with customers. 

The rise of slow fashion

The pandemic also amplified consumer desire for slow fashion. Composed of classic styles that are built to last, slow fashion purchases are made with the opposite intention of fast fashion buys. With slow fashion, the flex isn’t wearing the next hot thing, but rather how the purchase impacts the global ecosystem, as well as the durability and timelessness of the product itself.  

The percentage of customers that favor sustainable fashions will skyrocket from 15% to 50% in the coming years. If the economic environment progresses accordingly, fast fashion retailers will need to build up their sustainability offerings to remain relevant. 

Unified product collaboration expedites speed time to market 

Now that we’ve discussed how fashion trends cycle, it’s time to talk about the competitive advantage of a unified product collaboration platform. In this article we’ve talked about two ways that brands and retailers can keep up: 1) expediting time to market and 2) sustainability reporting.

The 20 year trend cycle is a thing of the past and retailers are more beholden than ever to the customers they serve. The right product collaboration platform can help brands reduce time to market by around 40%. That extra time can help brands and retailers get to market before the cycle of fashion trends turns to maximize full price sell through. 

Master the fashion trend cycle in 2023

Surefront is the only Unified Product Collaboration Platform built by and for the retail industry. Our historical changes log tracks every development throughout the product lifecycle and sales process. So anyone assigned access can check any product detail — product components, factory locations, shipping practices, and anything else required for fast and easy reporting –– in seconds. 

You don’t want your data to be siloed. Your company’s CRM, PIM and PLM solutions shouldn’t operate in a vacuum, either. Surefront is a Unified Product Collaboration Platform to power growth and ROI. Our patented PIM, CRM, and PLM solutions streamline the omni channel sales, merchandising and product development processes. By combining these essential functionalities, Surefront creates a single source of truth throughout your product lifecycle, sales and listing processes. 

The results? Up to 150% more revenue per employee and a 40% shorter product development cycle is just the beginning. Try our 10x ROI calculator to see your company’s potential profits. Or, skip the noise and book a custom demo with one of our unified product collaboration management experts today. The retail industry evolves quickly and has a lot of moving parts. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to. Stay ahead of market fluctuations, trends and new features by subscribing to our Unified Product Collaboration Management Blog.