Fashion Retail: The feminist agenda

As part of a new body of research from WGSN Analytics, identifying the new retail events that matter to today’s consumer, we’ve taken a close look at the data to identify the significance of feminism to the retail calendar. As the fight for women’s rights continues to be a global topic, female empowerment is increasingly seeing representation across retail.

Alignment to this generation-defining social event and movement has so far been represented in retail either from a product perspective -the rise of the slogan tee being a prominent reflection – or from a brand perspective. The latter has been – and increasingly will be – evident in female empowerment language and communication that speaks to body positivity and inclusivity.

Community events that represent this cultural shift such as International Women’s Day, Equal Pay Day and ‘Galentine’s Day’, provide natural anchor points for retailers to develop campaigns and communications that acknowledge and resonate. However, it is the innovative online pure players who are monetising this movement beyond marketing, by promoting product without Photoshopped images, advocating stretch marks and embedding regular and plus-size models as standard. Whilst this demonstrates clear progress, retailers must continue to work towards a holistic business approach, being transparent with their Corporate Social Responsibility, from marketing to manufacture.

When looking at social listening around women’s rights and the feminist movement, we can see that early 2017 was when the momentum really began around the movement, triggered around the march against Trump and female empowerment shows and garments seen on the catwalks of Paris from houses such as Dior. The consistent social media mentions around the movement and growth throughout the year is demonstrative of its credence online. With an almost balance of polarising mentions, of both negativity and positivity, there’s a lot more momentum and steam to come around this contentious social issue.

To find out more about the new agenda in fashion retail, download the new white paper from WGSN Analytics now.

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