Q&A with Yvonne de Bruyn, Fashion & Style Director for Consultancies at Peclers Paris
3 May 2021
How do you process trend forecasting?
It is like Archaeology, but instead of unravelling the past we collect pieces of a puzzle called the Future. Driven by never-ending curiosity and fine-tuned intuition, we gather every sign providing us emotion and inspiration. By careful composition, considering major shifts in consumer values, we achieve our vision. It’s an intuitive process that reflects Peclers’s collective intelligence.
What is your go-to source for trend spotting and inspiration?
We have an internal source called Fashion Living Lab. All members of the Peclers community, not just designers, come together on a regular basis to share their inspirations freely. It shows how incredibly eclectic trendspotting can be: ideas come from cultural exhibitions, social media, historical references, vintage findings, personal memories and so forth. The most fascinating is the very singular angle brought to the table by each individual.
For the FW21 season, based on the most recent collections which brand(s) do you think will thrive?
Our team has appreciated the fast & sharp attitudes of Coperni, Atlein, and Alyx that express an urge for freedom of movement combined with body conscious confidence.
At the very opposite, Bevza, Khaite and Ambush have shown soft columns with highly attractive protective appeal. “The hug” seemed to be a leitmotiv as well for the young designers of the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM Paris) that opened the Paris Fashion Week.
“When in doubt, overdress”. Vivienne Westwood’s quote covered the concept of indulging in poetic, festive playfulness. The joy of getting dressed up even if nowhere to go was contagiously celebrated by Ottolinger, Collina Strada, and Blumarine.
What’s in store for fashion and retail in 2021?
Everything that is comfortable, but with stronger aesthetics than the pre-pandemic athleisure codes we were accustomed to. Clearly, life occasion dress codes have blurred between day & night, home & office and even more festive occasions. Dresses and knits will be best-in-class categories. Denim is about to make a full come-back.
With the pandemic ongoing, how do you think digital fashion will avail?
Social distancing has highlighted the importance of digital channels more than ever and the lockdown has elevated digital as an urgent priority across the entire value chain.
Beyond the pragmatic aspect, it is a powerful tool to create immediate proximity and nourish the dialogue with the consumer. In the long term, the increasing part of sales through the digital channel will most certainly reshape dramatically the role of Retail from sales point to the physical incarnation of the Brand.
How do you think the impact of Covid-19 has affected the fashion industry creatively?
Creativity has generally gained consideration as a problem solver of today’s challenges. There is also an opportunity for the industry to reacknowledge the role of the Creative Director at the very heart of the brand: a curator composing singular aesthetic territories. Many designers have re-thought their creative process: aiming to bring sense and purpose to their creativity as well as to the industry, they express the need to break away from what they consider a hyperactive and anachronistic rhythm. A slower and more responsible tempo that will generate a leaner offer, lasting over traditional commercial cycles and remaining closer to “real” seasonality. A quest for authenticity that will resonate with consumer’s values if they are aligned with the brand’s values and actions.
In parallel with slowing pace and offer optimization, ever more initiatives are taken to offer surprise and enchantment. Whether across brands like IKEA x Off White or Dior and Air Jordan, or through collaborations with artists like Urt Fischer at Louis Vuitton, these joined forces fuel energy, and offer unexpected brand expressions.
Besides the homewear and eco-trend, which other two micro trends do you see occurring in the FW21 season?
It is interesting that you refer to homewear and eco-trend as micro trends, we regard them as the very opposite!
Homewear and intimates have now become the new fundamentals in our wardrobes. Besides their basic assets like comfort, they tap into deeper needs as the urge for protection, sensoriality, and self-care. On a completely different level, they can offer glamour and sensuality to our homely lifestyles, like the corset making a comeback in a playful retro version.
When it comes to sustainability, it is no secret that a more responsible approach to fashion will be the next normal. From rethinking ownership to re-claiming the product sourcing and brands’ collective actions, new values are humanizing the fashion industry in a more conscious system under the pressure of new generations. Each brand has to define its mission, priorities and long term goals. Both the Covid-19 crisis and the shifting consumer values will turn fashion into an even more “winner takes it all” industry, where the gap between “the best and the rest” will widen, in means of sales results but also customer adherence. This is relevant for all levels in the market: fast fashion giants as Inditex and H&M constantly improve on raw fabric sourcing and circularity, designer brands as Ganni or Atlein consider sustainability is a given, Chloé expresses its ambition by emphasizing the eco-responsible vision of new artistic director Gabriela Hearst…
Where do you think inspiration is coming from for fashion in FW21?
I would like to end our exchange with a quote from our Inspiration Trendbook FW22-23: “No creativity without a purpose!”.
In the past, creativity has been intimately connected with the search for desirable aesthetics in a frantic race for options and newness. Now, inspiration has become a part of a wider cultural conversation. Function and adaptability will be important sources. Our shifting relation to Nature as well, fueled by new found humility and the need for reconnection with its regenerating power. And of course the singularity of the creative mind, offering much needed spontaneity and enchantment.
We would be most happy to get you inspired, do not hesitate to reach out for a tour in our Trend Books and Consultancies Services!
Do you want to view FW21 clothing collections? Click here to explore the FashionUnited Marketplace.