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Social influences reign supreme at the S/S 17 UK Press Previews

 

If you’re wondering what you’re going to see on the shelves in your favourite womenswear stores this summer, I’ve got the insider track for you. I spent the tail end of last year seeing a teaser of what’s set to be big come summer. November and December are key months in the fashion PR and media calendar, where retailers set aside a day to dazzle you with key pieces from their upcoming Spring/Summer collections (yes, breathe that sigh of relief – summer is actually coming). As the Associate Editor for the retail and buying directory at WGSN, I have the pleasure of attending these events. And as we ebb towards the unknown of see-now-buy-now and seasonless collections, it seems our beloved high-street is seeking refuge in the comfort of social media to inspire and promote their upcoming collections.

Of course the catwalks remain a key influence for high-street retail – I mean, power shoulders and balloon-leg trousers are set to make a come back this season, but retailers are increasingly looking to the Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts of key influencers to better understand consumer needs.

And why not? This source of inspiration is ultimately ‘cultivated’ by the end consumer and is intrinsically linked to their ever-changing desires and aspirations.

Firstly, press days are becoming way more interactive than they used to be. We saw this last year with Primark’s haul videos brought to you by vloggers live from the press day.

This season the events were effortlessly instagrammable; from infinity selfie mirrors Urban Outfitters,
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donut walls at Primark to millennial pink mid-century furniture and succulents at Whistles.

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 5.27.46 PM

 

This flower wall instillation though.. 💚🌺🌹🌸🌷🌼🌻💜 #uopressday #uodisplay #urbanoutfitters #uolondon

A photo posted by 🌵Pretty Fly For A Cacti🌵 (@pretty.fly.for.a.cacti) on


Not to mention the DIY-Jacket station at New Look, where attendees were invited along to pick their own all-too-familiar hashtag to be spray painted on the back of a denim jacket – if that’s not streetstyle at your fingertips, I don’t know what is.

New Look denim customisation table

New Look denim customisation table

 

Entire collections are now even being named after your favourite social media applications – take Primark’s Insta Girl trend, which looks to the off-duty Athleisure looks of global influencers Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner for inspiration.

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Retailers are also continuing to succumb to the effect of socially viral luxury-streetwear label Vetements, with reconstructed denim and pieced-back together sportswear a key commercial trend for the upcoming season. These are prime examples of how street-style savvy consumers and disruptive brands are changing the landscape of the traditional design and buying cycle, and retailers are having to learn to strike while the iron is hot.

ASOS S/S17 collections

ASOS S/S17 collections

 

For more insight into the key messages and trends from the UK’s S/S17 Press Previews, subscribers can read the full Womenswear Round-Up report here and look out for the Menswear round-up report coming this week on wgsn.com.

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