Welcome to 2022, the year things may actually go back to ‘normal’. With the pandemic hopefully becoming a fast-fading memory, 2022 is set to bring some exciting changes. From the continued ascent into the Metaverse and world of NFTs, to a renewed focus on gender fluidity and questions surrounding the future of luxury, we’re running through some of our predictions for the year ahead, asking what the future of fashion will look like next year.
What are some of the projected trends for next year?
Trend cycles are still in full force, and in the dawn of the new year, we’re seeing the sun set on the well-worn Y2K world. In its place, a predicted rise in catsuits is set to take hold, with sustainable brands such as Peachy Den, along with emerging designers like Sinead Gorey spearheading the trend.
What’s more, people are just happy to be here, a sentiment reflected in the continued move away from the minimalist aesthetics of the 2010s and projected to play out in 2022 with bold neons and bright hues.
Elsewhere, an emphasis on reworking what you already have is taking hold. Envisioned by trend forecaster Agus Panzoni (@thealgorythm) on TikTok, sculptural styling will be the next thing to take hold. According to Panzoni, this is achieved through “creative positioning, layering and wrapping” – good news for those of us who can’t sew, then.
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Will the NFT hype go away? And how will it affect the face of fashion?
Well unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your inclination), no. The NFT is here to stay, and has made a distinct expansion from art to other industries within the last few months. Last year, Nike acquired a brand of virtual sneakers in a huge move that indicated their plans for future (digital) endeavours.
NFTs are able to make fashion more accessible. With so much money being pumped into the digital realm, it’s undeniable that this will also impact real-world consumer behaviour. With the price of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers almost doubling in the last decade, why would you not buy a virtual pair for a significantly reduced price?
They’re also likely to propel the death of the highstreet. With money spent online inevitably comes time spent online: people paying for digitally-exclusive drip are going to be spending a lot more time online, to show it off. It remains to be seen as to what impact this will have on physical sales, but with the pandemic already accelerating the death of the high street, we’re not convinced it’ll be good news.
What will collaborations look like in 2022, and do we still care?
There’s no denying that 2021 was a year of collaborations. Good and bad. From the glittering catwalks of Milan Fashion Week giving us Fendace, to a pop-up pub in London’s Soho hosting a Palace x Stella Artois link up, collaborations came in thick and fast last year – but what does this mean for 2022?
Well, one conception is that they’ve been done. And done again. With even the most unlikely collaborations (Supreme x Tiffany) dropping at the end of the last year, it’s not a reach to suggest that they’ve become somewhat of a gimmick by now, and brands will have to work hard to be innovative enough to overcome this growing sentiment in the fashion community.
That’s not to discredit their success, though. Gucci and Balenciaga’s ‘hacker’ project broke the internet, along with the latter’s Simpsons crossover for SS22 fashion week. The most creative will still be rewarded, but have they now become a bit, well, predictable? Watch this space.
Gucci and adidas have hinted at a collaboration coming 2022, which would make sense for the collaborative-driven focus that Gucci has adopted in recent months.
What will the shift towards gender fluidity mean for fashion?
In December, the BFC confirmed that London Men’s Fashion Week 2022 was officially cancelled, although the industry had been working on this assumption for some time. The men’s AW22 shows, who haven’t already jumped ship to other fashion weeks, will join the women’s shows a month later in February. This merge encapsulated an anticipated shift to a gender-inclusive fashion week for London.
Labels are taking note, too, with Marc Jacobs’ genderless sublabel ‘Heaven’ piquing interest in its rehashing of archival design motifs. Pioneers such as Thom Browne led the way in Genderless, which saw an increase in people searching for skirts last year, and celebrities such as A$AP Rocky had searches for pearls at an 86% increase year-on-year according to Lyst. Expect to see further dissolving of any lingering gendered boundaries in fashion.
How will TikTok affect fashion next year?
With the news that TikTok has now become the most visited website in the world, overtaking Google, it’s influence on the fashion industry is not to be underestimated. 2021 already saw some of the app’s biggest names attend luxury fashion shows, The Fashion Awards in London, as well as delve into the industry with a series of quick collections.
Products that go viral on TikTok often sell-out for months, and it has even catapulted trends to the forefront of fashion. What’s more, TikTok even sponsors a space at London Fashion Week, partnering with the British Fashion Council to financially support a whole generation of upcoming, emerging talent. The app has its finger on the pulse of the fashion industry, and its dominance is only set to increase for 2022.
What does the future of luxury look like for 2022?
It could be predicted that 2022 will contribute to the death of luxury. The historic luxury jewellery brand, Tiffany & Co, announced a surprising appointment for their new creative director which has seen the brand undertake campaigns to shed the skin of its previous perception, instead trying to capture the attention of the younger generation. Through projects with Jay-Z & Beyoncé as well as a collaboration with Supreme, the brand has renounced its previous definition of luxury.
Gen-Z are calling for increased financial accessibility, too, questioning the logic of couture when its price tag limits the industry to around 1000 clients per year. However, despite this, 2022 could actually see a reverse. Balenciaga’s continued showings at Haute Couture week alongside Schiaparelli’s comeback last year suggest that people still value and desire luxury. It remains to be seen as to whether 2022 will make or break luxury.