“Changing”, “digital” and “fast” are the key words fashion executives used to describe 2018. So, what will be 2019 be like? When asked what the most important technological advances may be in the year to come, Asos chief executive Nick Beighton says “something that improves size and fit for customers and brands would be an absolute game-changer”. Clearly, the aim of size inclusivity in fashion is becoming of greater importance day by day. If retailers and brands want to thrive and stay relevant they need to ride this wave!
According to the BoF’s state of fashion report², a major consumer shift has been happening where Millennials and generation Z have become more passionate about social causes. They back their beliefs with their shopping habits and favor brands that are aligned with their own values. As stated in SHAPE³, this change is reflected in social campaigns such as #bodypositivity which preaches acceptance and health at any size. The movement helped people of any body type feel entitled to self-love, something that had previously been reserved for the standardized tall, skinny girl.
This widespread and cultural awareness has caused brands such as ThirdLove, Showpo or Good American to respond by integrating body positivity into their products and services, as it can be seen in the representation of diversity and size inclusivity in their ads. Retailers and brands have become more fundamentally purpose driven to attract consumers of all sizes, shapes and skin colors. And it is delivering results! Consumers tend to reward fashion players that take a strong stance on social issues as such.
But why is the opinion of Millennials and generation Z important? Because together they represent around $350 billion of spending power in the US. By 2020, Gen Z alone will account for 40 percent of global consumers. And not only these cohorts matter, two-thirds of consumers worldwide say they would switch or avoid brands based on their stance on controversial issues.
These numbers show us that “a game-changing piece of technology” as Beighton called it, that helps retailers and brands to overcome the diversity and size inclusivity challenge corresponds undoubtedly with the current consumer needs and wants. Having said that, it seems pivotal for any apparel brand or retailer to adapt and follow the movement!