Hosiery and the Gucci effect: The retail resurgence of socks

hosiery socks

The rise and rise of socks sales

The Gucci effect is a term that has been used over and over again since the appointment of Alessandro Michele. The Gucci influence and imprint has been felt everywhere from denim to vintage fashion in recent seasons. And now hosiery can be added to the list.

According to our WGSN Instock retail data, we’re seeing novelty socks increase their US retail presence. “With volumes increasing 9.4% MOM, lingerie holds 5.1% of the new-in apparel mix, helped by a 74.7% increase in socks since the beginning of May,” says the WGSN Instock team.

And the reason for this demand for socks over the summer? Inspired by Gucci’s sportswear-meets-extravagance stylings, socks of varying lengths are paired with heels to inject a sense of whimsical fun to formalwear. Embellished and embroidered, designs resonate with the upcoming sock boot trend, with a focus on evening-to-day dressing.

Francesco Scognamiglio sock boots

This catwalk trend has trickled down from the runway to hit the high street. And it’s influencing street style too. Layering looks fresh, with fishnets playing a key role worn under ripped jeans or with contrasting sports socks. Sheer socks and hosiery become graphic, with grid designs and bold text details making impact on the streets.

Driven by retailers such as ASOS and Forever 21, fishnet socks inspired by the youthful 1990s trend held 5.7% of all new-in socks while playful novelty designs account for 13.6%

But it’s not all style without function. Activewear is also driving the trend. The rise of sports shoes encourages an increase in the demand for sports socks, boosting sock volumes. While, athletic styling continues to infiltrate high-end fashion looks, with sports socks remaining important.


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