Welcome to our new issue of View2. We’ve made a few changes and we’re not afraid to shout about it, which is why we have called this issue Amplify! I’m sure you, our savvy readers, have no doubt noticed that it’s on the shelves a full six weeks earlier than usual and, as you navigate through the issue, you’ll find the layout is quite a bit different to before. So, I thought I should take a moment to explain why.
The fact of the matter is the world of fashion is changing and, within this, so is the world of casualwear. Once the casual market was chino and denim dominated, but this world is broadening to embrace our new lifestyle choices – especially when it comes to activewear and the growth of athleisure blending comfort, high performance and function fabrics in everyday casual and even formal dressing! Just think back to over five years ago when we saw the emergence of the ‘onesie’ – a celebrity phenomenon at first, but an overnight sensation, a revelation in fact… Suddenly sportswear was not about doing sport, it was about being comfortable (and I bet most of you secretly have one tucked away at home, for those loungy weekend moments).
Casualwear now encompasses a much wider group of fabric bases: think warp knits, 360-degree stretch denim you can do yoga in and the development of technical performance finishing techniques that can be applied across a vast range of fabric bases. It’s all about fabrics that react to our daily needs and enhance our quality of life. Just think how, if we can now dress smartly in our finest tweeds and worsted wools without feeling itchy and overheating if the sun suddenly comes out, or smelling a bit like a soggy dog if caught in a rainstorm, this is a much better place to be! Similarly, we can now wear sportswear to the workplace or casualwear that offers the movement and technical attributes only possible in sportswear in the past.
Garment silhouettes and styling directions now question the need for gender diversity. As we know, gender neutrality is a serious topic of discussion. Already many UK schools have introduced a gender-neutral uniform policy, which allows boys to wear skirts and girls to wear trousers, in order to recognise the rights of students who feel they don’t fit into the binary genders. This is just part of a UK government funded drive to support LGBT+ children in schools.
In this changing world, we are all now involving product categories and combinations that we never thought likely before. And all these different product categories work to their own timetables. Footwear, hardware and active sportswear need earlier information than, say, the general r-t-w casual cotton market. Hence, our decision to move everything forward to try and find a common denominator, where we all work together to satisfy a new market demand.
Not only that, we are all living in a new world of “see now, buy now” which is creating divisions and earthquakes in the world of r-t-w designers and catwalk shows and raising demands for earlier and earlier information.
As a result of all this movement, we have decided not to run our features in their usual, season-to-season running order. Instead, we have divided the magazine into product groups. Our three main areas remain ‘Denim’, ‘Casual’ and ‘Sport’, so we stay true to our history, but, now, you can easily tab to one section and find current reports and future concepts all in one place.
But please do not be alarmed. We have not gone completely genderless and season-less, because, of course, this is not how many businesses are operating…yet! We have just moved to a common ground, if one exists, in terms of gender, where styling details, colours etc. shown in womenswear can translate to menswear and vice versa, while we are delivering information and inspiration that can translate into a season that works for your market and timetable.
It’s a new dynamic and we feel very passionately about it. We hope you do too! Plus, of course, we continue with our much-loved regular features. Enjoy!
View2 #21 – Content
SECTION 1: STREET & RETAIL
London/ Paris/ Tokyo/ New York/ Amsterdam/
Our trend watchers get out and about in some of our favourite cities to bring you a snapshot of the hottest looks being worn on the streets.
London/ Paris/ Tokyo/ New York/ Singapore
Our Hot Retail section highlights a select few of the freshest new shops to visit when travelling the globe.
SECTION 2: DENIM
Denim Most Wanted
Within these pages of indigo eye candy, our findings show that casual is king, the 501 is far from dead and over sizing is definitely not over! Stylish chino shapes, sporty jogger influences, relaxed slouchy pants and soft weaves all provide a casual approach. However, there is also a strong feminine presence.
The new developments in texture, colour, detailing, handle and finishing that we present here are inspiring. From 3D textures to cracked leather effects and from bold contrast two-tone blocking, to a host of sporty features and detailing, it’s clear denim is no longer just about a fabric with which to make a good-looking jean!
SECTION 3: CASUAL
We introduce five palettes that begin in monochrome and end in a riot of colour. They are not what they seem. One looks mechanical, but has a very human story to tell. Another looks feminine but explores a new masculinity. Leave your preconceptions at the door and look with fresh eyes!
We take you on a journey from a Neo Gothic mindset, to a Cyber world, to utopian utility, to a 1980s ‘Back in the Days’ block party, to 1970s theatrics, and then bring you back down to re-imagined natural landscapes for inspiration. The underlying message is that product, no matter how fashionable, should function and feel good.
Our fabrics sit harmoniously within each concept to show how to realise each look. We find super-future aesthetics that hold comfort at the fore, retro looks that have been adapted to perform, structural interest that challenges what we believe. In a nutshell, the weavers have been very busy creating, and it’s incredibly inspiring…
Trim designs are taken to the next level, with outspoken and impeccable stories. The desire for strident ornamentation is merged with a revived interest in natural elements, innovative technologies and exquisite details.
Here we provide a simple, illustrated range plan of the women’s and men’s silhouettes that we feel most strongly for moving forward.
Our final casual feature presents a forecast of more directional inspiration, for those of you wanting to plan further ahead. With so little changing around us right now, we are allowing the unruly world of art to be our main driver and source of inspiration. Let’s allow misbehaviour to be the lead and catalyst for a change!
SECTION 4: SPORT
Here, we take a look at the most directional ways sport product is emerging on the streets. We find urban runners, a hip hybrid rock/sports mash up, sporty East and West Coast US clashes, a fresh ‘OG’ attitude, plus a whole host of cool details – many of which are potentially bubbling-up mainstream looks.
Since functional coatings and finishing treatments can often be added to a range of fabric bases, we use this section to present key directions and aesthetics together with composition and weight, allowing you to imagine the final end-use, purpose and performance requirements you need.
A ‘New Wave’ attitude to technique and technical experimentation sees cross-seasonal sportswear rebooted for true cross-functional appeal. The latest fabric technologies deliver a contemporary outlook that promotes individual storytelling without sacrificing the user experience – a seamless integration of style, substance and surprise.
SECTION 5: FOOTWEAR & ACCESSORIES
The recent Chinese fashion, design and art fairs were so brimming with talent that we decided to dedicate this footwear forecast entirely to the Asian market, featuring mostly Asian brands. The themes are not so different from the global trends we see continuously, but they are less dystopian and more optimistic and dynamic – a reflection of the new found possibilities in this society.
Our concepts show a distinct contrast between a contemporary, functional aesthetic and richly textured, organic sources of inspiration. For the most part, trusted styles are updated in subtly oversized silhouettes, while our final theme injects a new level of utility through body-conscious statement pieces.
An interview with Jeff Griffin and our usual round up of all the best new websites and apps.