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Fashion in the news: nostalgia is the biggest trend of 2018

By Marjorie van Elven


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Every Friday, FashionUnited selects the most interesting reads about the fashion industry published across US and international news outlets. Here’s what you may have missed:

Just like the good old days

As 2018 rolls to a close, many publications are looking back at the most important news and trends of the year. This week, Google has given them a helping hand by unveiling its annual list of most-searched terms. As expected, the world’s leading search engine has confirmed consumers are obsessed with Meghan Markle’s sartorial choices, as well as with Cardi B’s favorite label, Fashion Nova. The company founded in 2013 managed to score the number one spot on the list of most-searched fashion brands, surpassing much older and bigger players such as Louis Vuitton and Versace.

But the biggest fashion trend of 2018, hands down, is nostalgia. “1980s fashion”, “grunge fashion”, “1990s fashion” and “2000s fashion” were the top four search queries in the fashion category, leading Vogue US, Fashionista and Jezebel to comment on our newfound appreciation of the past. Jezebel even went as far as saying that Americans are googling nostalgic fashion because "the present is pain".

Inclusion sells

Back in the day, brands used to associate themselves with ideas of glamour, beauty and wealth. Their relationship with consumers was aspirational: “if you buy this product, you’ll be as beautiful, glamorous, sexy and successful as the model or celebrity on this ad”. But times are changing and this advertising strategy doesn’t work so well anymore. Consumers want to see themselves represented in advertising more and more. A growing number of shoppers are demanding brands why they only cast thin, white, cisgender and able-bodied people for their ads.

As a result, brands whose marketing reflects the diversity we see in society are increasing market share. Others, of course, have quickly gotten the memo, which is why we’ve been seeing some fashion and beauty labels making rather desperate attempts to portray themselves as inclusive -- even when their supply chain and company culture are anything but. Vox delved deeper into this phenomenon this week, in an article that is definitely worth a read.

Interesting interviews

Two prominent figures in the fashion industry were interviewed this week. Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, discussed augmented reality, fake news and plagiarism in a thought-provoking talk with Interview magazine. The other interview FashionUnited recommends this week was published by the South China Morning Post. They talked to Dior CEO Pietro Baccari about e-commerce, menswear and the lessons he’s learned from the Chinese market.

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Picture: Forever 21 collection with Kodak, courtesy of Forever 21

Fashion in the news
Fashion Nova