This week, the Coresight Research team is attending MAGIC Las Vegas 2018, one of the most comprehensive trade shows covering men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories and footwear. Here are our key takeaways from the second day of the event:
- Alibaba launched “Source Now” on Alibaba.com as a way for individuals to quickly locate product suppliers by simply uploading a photograph.
- The fanny pack, which gained popularity in the 1990s, is back on trend.
- There is a market opportunity for upcycling vintage fashions—where vintage apparel is elevated into customized vintage looks or used as the inspiration for new brand lines.
- Color, sequins and rainbow stripes were trending across women’s apparel exhibitors.
- Dadagonia, or “dadcore” is a trend that is gaining popularity, where consumers are dressing in an unfashionable way intentionally as a rebellion against traditional fashion.
The Coresight Research team is attending MAGIC Las Vegas 2018, one of the most comprehensive trade shows covering men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories and footwear. The event also features education programs where industry experts share insights and information on global industry trends in topic areas including manufacturing, sourcing, branding, technology and sustainability.
Our team attended sessions led by industry experts and met brand owners to discover the newest trends and products. Here are our top takeaways from day two of the show:
- Alibaba launched “Source Now” on Alibaba.com as a way for individuals to quickly locate product suppliers by simply uploading a photograph. Sara Ma, Director of Marketing, Alibaba.com, presented Alibaba’s, “Source Now,” a platform where users can take a photo of any item that they are interested in, and using the Alibaba.com app, are able to immediately see the manufacturers that are available to source the item. Ma demonstrated the ease of use on stage. A member of the audience took a photo of a dress, and Source Now provided a list of available suppliers. The technology is available today, and the search capability can be used with any item. The Alibaba.com app also provides language translation for suppliers and merchants if necessary. The app also features a financing option, offering the ability to “buy now, pay later,” with up to $150,000 in credit financing.
- The fanny pack, which gained popularity in the 1990s, is back on trend. The fanny pack was seen styled at MAGIC and worn through belt loops, across the body and was also available in higher-end textures and lower-end styles.The infamous fanny pack, the fabric zipper pouch secured with a zipper and worn around the hips or waist, was seen everywhere at MAGIC. Contemporary apparel brand, CELLO, was giving away its soft acid-washed fanny pack with a wide nylon belt and oversized click closure. Conference participants were seen sporting and styling CELLO’S fanny pack in various ways—with the belt worn through the belt loops, worn traditionally around the waist, carried as a purse over the shoulder and even worn over the chest (as shown below.) Accessible luxury brand, Ted Baker, showed its high-end fanny pack belt worn atop a silk dress. Sales associates at “On the Twelfth” wore holographic metallic fanny packs in their exhibit booth. The trend was everywhere!
- There is a market opportunity for upcycling vintage fashions—where vintage apparel is elevated into customized vintage looks or used as the inspiration for new brand lines. Bridgette Morphew, Founder, Paradox, and Melissa Motola, Special Projects and Brand Manager, Paradox, co-presented, “The Keys to Reinventing Fashion: Tips and Tricks to Curating and Styling with Vintage.” Morphew said that consumers of all demographics are responding very favorably to vintage styles. “Vintage” is defined as fashions that are more than 25 years old. For example, Morphew said that many celebrities are seeking out vintage fashions to wear to special events. The company is also seeing a tremendous opportunity in the vintage upcycling market; it is using components of vintage collections and designs to create modern collections for customers, both on a customized, personalized level for clients, and also on a mass-market level for brands and retailers. So, for example, if Miley Cyrus loved the skirt of a vintage dress but wanted to alter the bodice, the company would custom design vintage-inspired pieces for her as part of its upcycling custom services. Additionally, brands are using vintage fashions in various ways for their own collections. For example, if a brand liked embroidery or pleating on a vintage skirt, these elements could be incorporated as part of a new bedding or shower curtain design. Or, if a brand was inspired by a dress, elements of that dress can be incorporated into a brand’s new line. The company holds approximately two to four one-on-one customer appointments per day that last between one and two hours, per appointment.
- Color, sequins and rainbow stripes were trending across women’s apparel exhibitors.
- Tonlé is an ethical fashion brand dedicated to zero waste; the company’s clothing process starts with scrap waste sourced from mass clothing manufacturers, and aims to upcycle every thread back into a usable product—apparel, accessories and paper goods. Tonlé has a production team of Cambodian makers that take excess fabric remnant scraps and turn these scraps into fabric. This process leaves approximately 2%–3% of waste (a typical factory can average 40% waste) and Tonlé takes these scraps and makes its own recycled paper for hangtags. The company has partnered with Greenstory, a sustainable market analysis firm, to quantify the environmental avoidance of Tonlé purchases. For example, producing a 220 gram t-shirt in a conventional manner uses the following avoidable resources: 2,700 liters of water, the average amount a person drinks over three years; 151.2g (1/3 lb) of chemicals and pesticides; and approximately 6 kilograms of carbon for manufacturing alone, almost 30 times the final weight of the t-shirt itself.
- Dadagonia, or “dadcore” is a trend that is gaining popularity, where consumers are intentionally dressing in an unfashionable way as a rebellion against traditional fashion. In the WGSN panel, “Dadagonia” Jeff Scott, Brand Director, Fairplay said that streetwear has become such a game, that dadcore is the counter-response to that. He added that it is a combination of irony and nostalgia—an admittance that your dad may have looked kind of cool with his shirt tucked into his khakis, but one would never admit that at the time. This trend includes a combination of wearing some unfashionable items, some outdoor items and sometimes a mix of something unexpected. Scott’s favorite dad brands include Realtree and Alpha Industries. Keith Abrams, a buyer at Kinfolk, noted that North Face, Arc’teryx, and Carhartt were among his go-to dadcore brands.
- Alibaba held a fashion show to showcase emerging brands on its Aliaba.com platform, where consumers could scan items for immediate purchase. Alibaba.com held four fashion shows a day, each featuring a different emerging fashion brand on the runway. The runway shows were streamed live on CCTV and consumers were able to view the show on Alibaba.com. Audience members were able to scan QR codes of the outfits to buy individual items for immediate purchase.
- Reducing production lead time through digital garment development continued to be a hot topic on day two. Sourcing at MAGIC provided opportunities for brands and retailers to see advances in digital design and development. Sourcing at MAGIC hosted a microfactory on the exhibit floor that demonstrated the capabilities of producing a knit garment, from design to production. Digital Apparel Micro Factories can create apparel on-demand and in a short period of time. The technology on display at MAGIC included machinery from EFI, Optitex, EFI Reggianni, Klieverik, Zund and Eton System.
Tukatech, founded in 1995 by Ram Sareen, offers a suite of apparel technology solutions, including 2D pattern design software, automated marker making software, garment plotters, spreaders and cutters. The company has over 650 digital avatars that are real avatars’ bodies. Brands and retailers were able to stop by their booth and see the company’s avatar and see the digital design process in motion. Additionally, there were emerging companies, such as Polyrendr, at MAGIC. Polyrendr has offices in California and China, and is a virtual showroom connecting buyers and brands. All of the solutions are digital; the company only needs a tech pack to create the virtual showroom. The brand, Frilly, is currently using the brand’s technology.
- MAGIC implemented “Cash & Carry” where conference participants could shop the floor and were able to purchase a single item from the exhibit floor, in addition to writing traditional wholesale purchases. The benefit of this feature, is that it allows show participants to pick up unique styles that they may see, without the wait.
- Warehouse OS created a paperless cart fulfillment solution which helps operators to more efficiently fill multiple orders using a handheld device and iPad. The warehouse operating system (WOS) is cloud-based and is deployed on iPads, and operators are able to accomplish batch picking for multiple orders using the system. As the operator moves through the warehouse, they use a handheld scanner to determine how many of each item are needed for multiple orders, up to 100 orders. This allows for an efficient use of time to fulfill multiple orders in parallel, without doubling back through warehouse.