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A look back at fashion in 2019: Rental, second-hand, gaming and inclusivity

By FashionUnited


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December is the time to reflect on the past year and look towards the upcoming one. In this article FashionUnited looks at four trends that have taken over fashion in 2019: clothing rental, second-hand fashion, gaming and inclusivity.

Clothing rental

From a basic T-shirt, to a luxury cocktail dress, many brands are cashing in on rental fashion. According to research firm GlobalData, the market for clothing rental and/or subscription services is growing: the research firm predicts that it will grow from 1 billion dollars in 2018 to 2.5 billion dollars in 2023.

A new player to join the rental game in Europe is Spinning Closet, which specialises in the lending of luxury labels such as Stella McCartney, Zimmermann, Roland Mouret, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. For an average price of 100 euros, Spinning Closet rents out fashion items for four to eight days to customers. The company has a showroom in Amsterdam and in December will open various Spinning Closet pop-ups.

In Belgium, Closet in the Cloud launched in September ‘With a webshop and pop-up shop in Ghent. Closet in the Cloud offers designer clothing from A.F. Vandevorst, Julia June, Ba&sh and Nathalie Vleeschouwer for special occasions. The first in Flanders,' said founder Yasmine Mili to FashionUnited. The temporary shop is open until 13 January. "After that we are back with a physical location, because we notice that most women like to fit," says the founder.

Not only new start-ups, but also fashion brands like Gray Label and chains like H&M, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters started renting out this year. In H&M's new flagship store in Stockholm, for example, customers can rent items from the Conscious Exclusive collection.

Photo: Closet in the Cloud

Second-hand fashion

In addition to rental, second-hand is also growing rapidly. More than ever Americans are inclined to buy and sell second-hand fashion, the reseller ThredUp reported in March. The second-hand fashion market has grown 21 times faster than retail in the past 3 years. ThredUp expects this segment to grow further from 24 billion to 51 billion dollars (approximately 45 billion euros) in the next five years. The company predicts that by 2028 the second-hand market will be 1.5 times bigger than fast fashion, and will account for 13 percent of the clothing in our closet.

In August, ThredUp raised 175 million dollars (equivalent to 157 million euros), while Vestiaire Collective received a capital injection of 40 million euros. Earlier this year, The RealReal, a platform for second-hand luxury, earned 300 million dollars with its IPO. Traditional retailers are also following the trend: Zalando opened a pop-up store for worn fashion items earlier this year, and H&M announced an e-commerce trial of the sale of second-hand & Other Stories items.

A new player in the UK is online platform Vinted. Founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, by Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas, Vinted has been live in the US since 2010, and entered the UK earlier this year. In November, the company raised another 128 million euros to invest in 'rapid growth in Europe'.

"Everyone rents clothes and offers them second hand," said David Shah at an Appletizer trend seminar in October. "Keep up the good work, because that's definitely the future."

Photo: Vinted

Gaming’s influence on fashion

According to GlobalData, the gaming and e-sports industry is expected to grow from 131 billion dollars (118 billion euros) in 2018 to 305 billion dollars (274 billion euros) in 2025. The fashion industry has gotten wind of this. A large number of fashion brands have taken steps in the digital environment in recent months. In October, Adidas was the first retailer to offer customers the opportunity to buy items using a Snapchat game. In addition, the German sports fashion giant '8-BIT' sold baseball shoes for 130 dollars (117 euros) via its own retro game at Snapchat.

Luxury brands are also entering the gaming world. In doing so, they hope to attract the attention of younger consumers, who are more than ever looking for experimental ways to interact with fashion. Fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Gucci released their own retro games last July. In October, Burberry launched its very first online video game, called 'B Bounce'.

"The latest changes don't take place through fashion itself, but through gaming," said trend forecaster David Shah.

Futurologist Lucie Greene states that gaming will be very important in 2020. "For Gen Z, gaming is a form of social media. They make contact via Tinder and then meet each other on Fortnite. The world of gaming is interwoven with visual culture. We already had virtual influencers like Lil Miquela, but now there is a complete intersection of gaming and beauty of fashion. The platform Dazed Beauty brings unexpected, futuristic beauty reports with inspiration from cyberspace," says Greene.

Photo: Burberry ‘B Bounce’

Radical inclusiveness and diversity

What struck Flemish fashion expert Veerle Windels during the last fashion week season in September was the inclusiveness: many brands hired plus-size models and never before have so many dark girls walked on the catwalk. Or boys, because gender fluidity is also important in fashion.

Photo: Universal Standard campagne NYC metro

Diversity in all its forms will penetrate the world by 2020, Lucie Greene predicts. The futurologist calls Universal Standard, the American fashion brand that sells clothing from American sizes 00 to 40 (EU 34 to 70), a good example. Henning van Lauren Chan made formal clothing for work situations that flatters every type of body. Sainsbury's came up with an atypical pregnancy and breastfeeding line and Tommy Hilfiger, with Tommy Adaptive, focuses on consumers with a disability. In campaigns we also increasingly see models with real skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, cellulite or stretch marks, according to Greene.

The text in this article comes from previously published articles by editors Marjorie van Elven, Huw Hughes, Katrien Huysentruyt and Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez. Selection and processing: Esmee Blaazer. Originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited

Homepage image: Spinning Closet

Inclusive fashion
rental fashion
Second hand fashion
Trends 2019