Microtrends and Movements

SOURCE: by Katherine Bondy
Mar 19, 2024

In an era where social media platforms evolve rapidly and act as search engines for billions of people, it’s no surprise that we see trends accelerate and escalate to new heights within a short period.

Known as microtrends, each one may or may not surface on your feeds, since algorithms are designed to bring the most relevant content to you based on several factors. Microtrends are fun and easy to resonate with, but they also create a sense of urgency within consumers. This in turn spikes demand for products, allowing you to be a part of the movement.

In 2023, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski trial and the final season of Succession gave birth to the “quiet luxury” trend, and catapulted brands like Loro Piana into the spotlight. Today, The Row’s “Margaux” bag is the loudest, quietest luxury item on the market, having been touted as the new Birkin by numerous fashion publications.

This year, as a direct result of the “clean girl” trend becoming oversaturated, TikTok began to spotlight the “mob wife” aesthetic. Seemingly overnight, celebrities were wearing fur coats - a quintessential item if you want to be a part of this microtrend. The designers that resonated with the trend, like Dolce & Gabbana or the leopard-print ensembles at the Jacquemus SS24 show, started to gain media traction.

These micro-movements can completely redefine what surfaces from Fashion Week and change in-season targets. While it can be difficult to anticipate these types of trends and when they will surface, we know, in general, fashion is cyclical by nature, and whenever there is too much of one thing, consumers will eventually start to want the opposite.

As a brand, you want to understand how you can be a part of these societal shifts so that you can stay relevant with a younger generation of customers. Maybe by nature, you are not a quiet luxury brand, but your product can still highlight the quiet luxury concept of investing in timeless, quality pieces. Maybe you can cross-sell your line of oversized coats to pair with the micro-mini skirts that have trickled across the industry.

Real-time data is essential to determine how your brand will take part in an emerging trend. While weekly sales are key to spot trends, you should also look at the rate of sell-throughs to see when product performance spikes and understand when you’re going to run out of stock.

It’s important to explore the data that you have access to and run a qualitative analysis of the numbers before making any immediate business decisions. As quickly as these trends populate, they can just as quickly disappear as consumers move on to the next. Over-investing in a trend can overstock products and lead to unnecessary end-of-season markdowns and unsustainable waste. Current granular data with deeper insights, will help you understand how to consciously capitalize on microtrends while still protecting your brand image and meeting your business goals.