Fashion in 2021

As we roll into a new year (being cautiously optimistic), I was curious to understand what sort of shifts were happening in the apparel market from the effect of COVID-19 (ugh, I know I hate to bring it up here, but hey – we gotta stay in the know!)

Fashion entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to hit the market, and understanding what is relevant to the times is key to their success.

That said, I found some interesting tidbits that I thought I’d share. If I spark any million-dollar ideas inside any of your heads, cut me in for at least 40%, yeah?

Anti-viral clothing. Yup. Your clothes have the potential to be cleaner than your hands. Some brands are implementing finishes on their fabrics, partnering with companies such as ViralOff and HeiQ that are essentially make your fabrics self-cleaning. Better yet, why not just fend off the germs completely with this jacket by Vollebak? Our clothes are getting futuristic.

Eco-friendly face masks. We all know how important being green is in the apparel space (or any space, really) these days, and masks are, and will continue to be, in our lives for the foreseeable future. There are loads of different brands coming out with innovative masks, much like Beta(MSK).

Loungewear that goes above and beyond. You don’t have to heavily research buying trends to know that loungewear is having a HUGE moment since virtually everyone is working from home. Being that the ethos of the times is heavily focused in wellness and self-care, brands are doing the most by putting their lounge collections on steroids. Dagsmejan uses a technology that blends microlycell fibers from Eucalyptus with energizing minerals, which absorbs and converts body heat, transforming it into far infrared energy, helping to increase blood flow and accelerate muscle recovery. Other companies are using Eucalyptus as well to keep the body cool and well-ventilated. There are loads of other fibers being used in clothing, dubbing these fabrics as “skin-care” fabrics. I have a few good hookups if you’re interested.

Virtual Closets are also becoming a big thing. There are apps being made that will allow for virtual try-ons, ultimately helping with returns and all-around customer happiness. Along this same line is virtual styling.

Times are changing, and I personally don’t see us going back to “normal” (what is normal these days anyway?) anytime soon. But every change has a window of opportunity and IDK about you but my creative juices are flowing and it’s only the 1st week of January.

Here’s to optimism, stellar ideas, and the kick in the ass we need to make things happen in 2021.

Happy New Year,


Fashion 101

Forecasting Trends

Forecasting trends today is completely different than it was 10-20+ years ago. It used to be that there were top players in the forecasting game who worked for companies like WGSN, Doneger, Trendswest, etc. They’d travel the world, going to fashion shows, immersing themselves in the street culture and snapping pics of the most forward-thinking dressers in whatever beautiful city they found themselves covering. They’d sit through the glamorous fashion shows and take note of necklines, skirt lengths, sleeves, color. They’d then take the rolls and rolls of film they used, get the pictures made, and start creating mood boards and stories around the information they’d collected.

Today, the same is true of trend-spotting, but the difference is that the forecasters behind the lense of the (iPhone camera) are you and I. Social media and the internet has completely changed the way trend information is shared and created. There is no longer a formula; no more rules. This makes a designers job both easier and harder.

One the one hand, it is easier because there is so much free information available at our fingertips. All we need to do is swipe through Instagram and follow top bloggers. There are also loads of publications and magazines you can subscribe to on a monthly basis that is still cheaper than paying $10-20k a year for trend forecasting services. As a designer, you can build a pretty solid collection using this free information.

On the other hand, because there is so much information and things are constantly changing and moving, it is hard to keep up. A skirt length that seems to be trending today and for the next month may be old news in the 9-12 months before you are able to develop and launch the idea.

How can I effectively design a collection without spending a years’ salary on a forecasting service?

If you are on a calendar where you need to be designing 2 years out, unless you can see into the future I highly recommend using a forecasting service. A couple I recommend:

Fashion Snoops is a very budget-friendly choice for freelancers and small business alike.

WGSN is the top choice, but is very expensive and not necessary unless you are a bigger company.

If you’re not looking to spend money, here are a few great places to find good information on trends (that is not Instagram):

  • WWD
  • Any women’s fashion magazine like: Elle, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Marie-Claire, W Magazine, InStyle
  • Apparel News
  • The Business of Fashion
  • Top Fashion bloggers with large followings
  • Tradeshows