The Witch Renaissance: Our rising appetite for the occult
By Carlene Thomas Bailey

From the gothic glamour of recent fashion advertisements to the rising brands offering events with tarot cards and crystals, witchy magic is on the rise.

Nov 29, 2016
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3 min
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Earlier this summer to launch their summer retail pop-up NY fashion brand Baja East ditched the traditional party format (canapés and wine) to host a Tarot Takeover complete with VIP Tarot card readings. Then later this summer, Marc Jacobs released his fall 2016 campaign, a dark, gothic affair created by director Hype Williams to celebrate the beautiful and strange elements of us all. Then there was the lookbook from womenswear brand Wildfox, which was an ode to all things mystical. The reason for all this: Fashion and retail brands are having a witch renaissance.

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All things witchy, from crystals to tarot to astrology are being celebrated in the world of fashion and retail at the moment. We’re seeing traditional fashion sites like Vogue interview new influencers like Bri Luna, editor of The Hoodwitch (a site dedicated to tarot, astrology and well being). While Refinery29 just ran a feature offering gift ideas for the witch in your life (not your traditional editorial gift guide). Then there’s Gabriela Herstik’s new column in Nylon Magazine called Ask a Witch

The Hoodwitch website offers up "Everyday magic for the modern mystic"

The Hoodwitch website offers up “Everyday magic for the modern mystic”

This is all a response to our growing consumer appetite for all things: other. No longer satiated by the same boring things, gifts, toys, tech and clothes (how many black sweaters do you really need?) consumers are seeking things that make them feel something, an experience that bring joy that lasts longer than the quick thrill of a fast fashion purchase. Witchy things fill that gap, they offer solace, from crystals that can improve your mood, to tarot cards that offer some guidance on how to live your life. And now, a new wave on content providers, and clued-up brands are realising this.

For the witchy ones in your life, online destinations like The Numinous (started by former Sunday Times Features Editor Ruby Warrington) and The Hoodwitch, switch out salacious stories about the Kardashians for interviews, features and horoscopes, that encourage you to think, volunteer, communicate better and spread a little more joy in the world. But they also go hand in hand with fashion and retail. The Numinous has already created authentic brand collaborations with retailers such as Topshop, and Selfridges (with retail pop-ups that offer tarot readings to personalised tops with your star sign on) to working with the car brand Buick on the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive. 

The catwalks are also feeding our desire for gothic glamour, with silhouettes that celebrate our inner witch, and offer up inspiring ideas of how to style your key looks and blend with your coven.

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As we navigate these uncertain social and political times, consumers continue to seek more truth, reasoning and reassurance; and so this growing trend for all things mystical is set to rise and rise.

For more on the specific brands that are embracing our desire for the mystical, WGSN subscribers should check out our report called Contemporary Covens. Not a subscriber? Join Here.


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