View Two #25

Brands have realised that their consumer market has changed. It’s no longer about elitism: it’s about relevance. It’s no longer about boomers, but about reaching Generations Y and Z – consumers that would never usually take an interest in high-end fashion or tailoring and see the business models of many traditional luxury brands as uncool. Hence luxury’s sudden love affair with rappers, hip-hop, sneakers and streetwear.
The most talked-about collaboration of the moment is the appointment of Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear sensation Off-White, as men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton. This encapsulates the massive change taking place in fashion at the moment and shows how luxury brands are looking to the cultural energy and business model of streetwear to stay relevant.
The question everyone is asking is whether all this truly heralds a new age of luxury streetwear, permanently changing our understanding of clothes. Certainly a ‘Millennial mindset’ is taking hold across the luxury market. Generations Y and Z are now the main growth engine of that market, driving 85% of luxury expansion last year, according to Bain & Company. By 2025, they are expected to account for 45% of total luxury goods spending.
What’s more, these generations were brought up on the internet; they live a socially networked life which streetwear, with its graphic visual approach and irony, can so much better reflect than formal fashion. We are also living in the age of drop marketing, with its constant flow of new product releases: street and athleisure are much better at providing a stream of novelty at Instagram speed than traditional luxury fashion. Most important of all, streetwear exists within a culture of collaboration, and collaboration models are one of the biggest factors driving innovation at the moment.
Big Ideas
We continue to explore the concept of ‘belonging’, examining the interconnecting themes that surround this idea through key cultural drivers, to build a series of colour palettes and harmonies that epitomise each statement and envelop the season.
Authenticity and originality drive newness as themes that reference denim heritage are re-spun for a modern audience. Western, worker and grunge influences are each revisited this season. Vintage-look washes in mid to light blues remain key, while cleaner dark rinses and washed blacks, greys and green-tinted blues offer more seasonally adapted looks.
Themes of resilience, originality and simplicity are echoed here, taking direction from the big ideas for the season, realised through fabric choice, explorative styling and the emerging move towards finding luxury within simplicity.


As the boundary between casual and active wardrobes continues to blur, we highlight the key crossover statements emerging for the AW19/20 season. Head-to-toe dark urban looks are reworked in high-tech performance fabrics for an updated ath-tility aesthetic. Everyday basics including hoodies, T-shirts and sweats are updated and reworked through asymmetric cut-about panelling, high-contrast top stitching and lacing detail inserts.

Drawing on the continued desire for escapism and the need to retreat, which we have highlighted as a key theme for the previous two seasons, the latest developments are designed to calm and re-centre the wearer, both in body and mind.
The desire for adventure and experience over physical possession remains a key consumer trend, and functionality, durability and hybrid styling remain the strongest selling points within the performancewear category.
The mood of the season is iconoclastic but thoughtful, embracing change as a positive force for current needs and future communities. Conventional thinking loses relevance as a radical new attitude comes to the fore; one that gleefully mixes ancient and futuristic, global and local, technological and spiritual.