4 Fashion design and branding trends you need to know about in 2021

2021 fashion design trends

In the last year, we all experienced the true meaning of what it means to be an online business in the 21st century. Where it may have previously taken us around five to seven years to get to the point we are today, COVID-19 has drastically accelerated the growth of the ecommerce industry. To illustrate just how much the retail landscape has changed, it’s suggested that the ecommerce market is not only thriving, but it’s expected that more than 95% of all purchases to be conducted online by 2040.

Household names such as Debenhams are reportedly being bought by ecommerce giants Boohoo, having only been around for 15 years in comparison to the 208 year long reign of Debenhams. Similarly, brands like Topshop whose inability to keep up with the shifting attitudes of consumers and lack of importance on their online experiences meant their downfall has also been on the horizon.

What does this mean for branding and packaging?

Quite simply, everything. With more companies elevating and increasing their online shopping options, this means that your brand is less likely to be competing on a shelf with 6-10 other items, or 15-20 storefronts. Rather it is competing across a worldwide platform where established brands are doing everything and anything to be at the forefront. Whether that be with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or delivering unforgettable brand experiences, it is up to you and your creative team to stand out.

Your next question might be, well how can I do that? In this blog post we have brought together expert advice from our in house team on everything trending in the wild world of fashion.

1.Sustainable and eco-friendly packaging

If you have been following the news in any capacity over the last few years, you will know that the biggest design trend lies in eco-friendly sustainable packaging.

Whether that be recycled hang tags or dust bags made from cornstarch, sustainability is one trend that is here to stay forever. Key report findings from the Boston Consulting Group tell us that a majority of consumers identify as environmentally aware, with more than two out of three consumers citing environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging as important. And of the 74% who said they would pay more for sustainable packaging, nearly a quarter are willing to pay for an increased cost of 10% or more.

Gen Z and Millennials are socially and environmentally conscious – and that is filtering into their shopping habits. High street retailer H&M continues to embed sustainable practices throughout its operations and recently announced the introduction of a new multi-brand paper packaging system that’s reusable and recyclable.

h&m sustainable packaging

2. Story-driven branding

If 2020 has done anything, it has shown us just how invested people are with stories, shared experiences and emotions..

Story-telling is an effective and important marketing strategy and some brands are delivering highly animated stories and bringing them to life in tangible ways.

Maison Kitsuné’s co-founders Messrs Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki change the form of their fox mascot every collection or so, just like the shape-shifting mythical creature from Japanese folklore that inspired it. AMI PARIS‘ heart-shaped logo represents not just the brand, but friendship and love – founder Mr Alexandre Mattiussi originally used it to sign off personal letters as a child. These luxury fashion brands use appliqués and embellishments to tell their unique brand stories and add retail value to everyday essentials.

ami paris applique
Source: Mr Porter
maison kitsune applique
Source: Mr Porter

Equally, print finishing techniques can be used to communicate brand values on packaging. For example, incorporating a die-cut shows the customer a sneak peek into the product using transparent film.

It is also a very common method for hang tags or swing tickets, where elements are artistically cut to reflect the brand. Fun shapes that work with the rest of the design on the packaging will be something more and more brands incorporate in the coming year.

3. Vintage and nostalgia are big design trends

With a strong sense of nostalgia and reminiscing of the ‘good old days’ throughout 2020, brands have used vintage designs and retro colours to evoke a sense of the past. When done tastefully and you strike the right balance, it can be a really fun way to capture the past and introduce new concepts and designs to a more contemporary audience.

4. Colour, colour, colour!

While design trends were focused on that “brown moment” and neutral tones last season, most consumers are moving towards an immersive, rich colour experience that they haven’t seen before. Test the boundaries of colour and take your traditional blue and turn it into a teal. Pick apart your basic primary colour wheel and don’t be afraid to go against the norm here. It is after all, what sets you apart.

Bold colours and prints on clothing labels might not be something you see everyday but are a great way to create a memorable identity.

If you are looking to transform your brand this year, our tips are a sure fire way to ensuring that you stand out. Our in house expert team will be able to guide you on all things packaging, branding and labelling. From clothing appliqués to all the print-finishing techniques you could ever dream of, we are here to give your brand a unique edge. Contact our team today for a free consultation.