Ready to Share #1: Super Spiders and the Road Ahead for Online Apparel in 2017

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Ready to Share! What is Ready to Share, you ask? Simple – it’s a collection of weekly links worth sharing for apparel industry insiders. You can expect to see plenty of info around our core concerns of solving sizing and reducing returns, along with breaking news and opinion from across the wider online apparel industry.

In this week’s instalment, we’re keeping one eye fixed firmly on the future, checking in on Berlin events, and giving some long overdue link love to our friends the arthropods. Let’s start with a look ahead!

The 2017 Predictions Are In!

With the New Year well and truly up and running, predictions for the next twelve months have been arriving thick and fast as industry analysts peer into the future.

The standout piece of content here is undoubtedly Business of Fashion’s epic report The State of Fashion 2017. We’ll be diving a little more into specific aspects of their findings in future pieces, but it’s an excellent all-round read for anybody working in online apparel. Retail Dive’s take on seven trends to shape apparel retail in 2017 also comes highly recommended.

The State of Fashion 2017 report from Business of Fashion (Ready to share)

The NRF’s pre-BIG Show breakdown of upcoming retail challenges had plenty in it for fashion folks to furrow their brows over – particularly when it comes to Amazon’s increasingly iron grip on retail generally. Fung Global Retail & Tech‘s piece on 2017 retail trends is also well worth a read.

Finally, on the product side of things, the folks over at Edited put together a thought-provoking piece on retail trends for 2017. Their point around shifts in seasonality representing a huge opportunity for brands to strengthen direct-to-consumer channels was a particularly intriguing one. Nice to see Raf Simons’ upcoming Calvin Klein show getting some very positive advance buzz along the way as well.

Our own personal prediction is that online apparel returns are going to become an increasingly hot topic heading into the latter part of this year. Omnichannel and other concerns are occupying C-level attention early doors, but the avalanche of returns that both brands and retailers are dealing with post-Christmas will concentrate minds sooner rather than later. Both the FT’s take on Xmas returns in 2016 and Inbound Logistic’s overview of reverse logistics are solid reads in this regard.

Moon Parkas and Synthetic Spider Silk

This one nearly passed us by in the run-up to Christmas, but it looks like Fit Analytics partner The North Face are on the verge of a major breakthrough with their Moon Parka. Though there’s still no official release date for the next-generation project, the recent arrival of the prototype on American shores looks like a major step forward.

It’s good news for spiders too as (despite their phenomenal natural abilities) they won’t be the ones doing the heavy lifting down the line – The North Face’s partner Spiber has developed a process that enables them to produce synthetic spider silk at scale. Expect future fabrics generally to be making waves throughout 2017.

Berlin Winter Fashion Starts Heating Up

Finally, temperatures may be plummeting for our Berlin team, but the local fashion scene is warming up nicely. This year’s Berlin Fashion Week takes place from the 17th to the 20th of January with the usual lineup of excellent events taking place throughout the city. A special mention there for Fashiontech Berlin whose live event takes place this week, with updates soon to be posted over on their YouTube channel.

We hope this week’s Ready to Share has given you some food for thought. Stay tuned for next week’s instalment where we’ll be covering Trump’s possible impact on online apparel on the eve of his inauguration, and setting the stage for eTail West in February.

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