Ac­ces­sories Drive Con­sumer Spend­ing for 2019

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From jew­ellery to bags to footwear – del­i­cate pearls are pop­ping up ev­ery­where! Pearl dot­ted de­tails were hot on both Fall/Win­ter 2018 and Spring/Sum­mer 2019 run­ways with big­wigs such as Chanel, Gucci, Dolce and Gab­bana, and Si­mone Rocha, un­leash­ing them over bags and Ni­cholas Kirk­wood and Miu Miu adorn­ing them over footwear.


Love them or hate them, they’re here to stay. Hyped by the ‘Úgly Fash­ion Move­ment’, these sporty styles are out­do­ing the broader cat­e­gory of footwear in gen­eral. Re­tail­ers are in­tro­duc­ing new takes on the chunky sneaker in or­der to lure thirsty shop­pers. Mar­ket lead­ers in this re­gard such as Ur­ban Out­fit­ters, which in­creased its sports footwear of­fer­ing by 41% in Q2 of 2018 as com­pared to last year, and JD Sports, Nord­storm and Bloom­ing­dales which went up by 39%, 26% and 24% re­spec­tively in the same quar­ter, sig­nal to­wards the wealth that lies in this mas­sive op­por­tu­nity area. Even re­tail­ers with no spe­cialised ex­pe­ri­ence in sports, such as Zara, For­ever New and H&M, were up in this quar­ter.

Lux­ury re­tail­ers, which ped­dle their prod­ucts with the en­tice­ment of lim­ited edi­tion pieces, are on a mas­sive sell­out spree. Top play­ers in this seg­ment in­clude mil­len­nial ap­proved brands such as Gucci, Ba­len­ci­aga and Prada.


With themes of es­capism leav­ing ev­ery­one in a per­pet­ual va­ca­tion mode, brands and de­sign­ers picked up on the sen­ti­ment and utilised it to ad­vance their of­fer­ings. Aquatic de­tails such as sea shells, se­quined and 3D ap­pliques, colour­ful stones and beads, ap­peared over footwear, jew­ellery and bags.

Pops of neon greens, or­anges and pinks swarmed the run­ways at Ver­sace, whilst bright nau­ti­cal colour block­ing pre­vailed at Thom Browne. Slip on san­dals, chic slides fea­tur­ing cork soles were the man­date at Chanel, whereas Her­mes in­tro­duced a new ver­sion of the strappy gla­di­a­tor.


Tech­niques such as cro­chet­ing, are big and trend­ing over wo­ven tote bags, neck­er­chiefs as well as footwear. Colour­ful zig-zag and crafty flo­ral pat­terns tap on the al­lure of spring whilst em­pha­sis­ing on the charm of sus­tain­abil­ity – a di­rec­tion the en­tire sup­ply chain is mov­ing to­wards.


The use of cords and ropes found their way onto var­i­ous ac­ces­sories on Van Noten’s run­way, lend­ing a util­i­tar­ian look to the prac­ti­cal col­lec­tion. Var­i­ous aquatic in­flu­ences have been preva­lent in many of the Spring col­lec­tions. Bag got a mod­ern twist with a rope han­dle that lets off a wrapped cord look, or a twisted knot­ted sling. Ropes also ap­peared as ties and straps over footwear.



Other styles such as last sum­mer’s favourite es­padrilles see a fall, whereas slides and plat­forms are split­ting the mar­ket, with lux­ury in­creas­ing its price points com­pared to two years ago and mass fall­ing. An­other thing to note here is that sea­son­al­ity is no longer a con­straint in the footwear seg­ment. Thanks to a gen­er­a­tion of jet-set­ting kids, sum­mer styles such as the ones men­tioned above and flip-flops and strappy glad­i­a­tors, sell all year long. Fur­ther proof of this is scream­ing from the lat­est footage from in­ter­na­tional run­ways, where the likes of Chanel, Sa­cai, and Marni, among oth­ers have in­cor­po­rated these styles in their

S/S ’19 of­fer­ings.


Af­ter gain­ing mo­men­tum dur­ing the run­way show­cases of Fall/Win­ter 2018, this wild print is back in a big­ger way for Spring/Sum­mer 2019 and this time, it has branched out into the ac­ces­sory cat­e­gory. Mix and match of tiger stripes, leop­ard spots, snake skins, cow hides and ze­bra stripes were a usual sight­ing dur­ing the re­cently con­cluded fash­ion weeks – not just on the run­ways, but on the streets as well. A unan­i­mous trend across fash­ion cap­i­tals, the an­i­mal print is be­ing jux­ta­posed with clash­ing print-on-print ap­par­elac­ces­sory pair­ings. Faux fur bags, blan­ket scarves, bold bags and even footwear, are pieces to con­sider.


The old school fanny pack is un­der­go­ing a re­vival of sorts.

This util­ity led ver­sa­tile bag is be­ing re­branded as a bum bag, or belt bag, or waist bag by ma­jor re­tail­ers and brands rang­ing from sporty names such as Nike to lux­ury play­ers such as Burberry and Dior. The sud­den surge of re­fined de­signs and ver­sions tap onto the con­sumers of to­day – the mil­len­ni­als and Gen Z sig­nal­ing a lift in new ar­rivals at 120% and a growth in sell­outs to 359% in Q2 of this year, as com­pared to that in Q2 of 2017. Prices vary from as low as US $ 25 at Adi­das to US $ 1000 at Gucci.

New trends sug­gest that the sell­out amongst gen­ders is equal, with the lat­est trend sug­gest­ing a new way to wear it – slung across the body/chest and over the shoul­der, rather than the tra­di­tional way of belt­ing it at the waist.

“Fanny packs, or ‘waist bags’ as we now call them, are the fastest­grow­ing seg­ment in the men’s ac­ces­sories mar­ket,” Mar­shal Co­hen, an an­a­lyst with mar­ket re­search firm NPD Group, said. Ac­cord­ing to data re­ported by NPD, from Septem­ber 2016 to Septem­ber 2017, sales of fanny packs or belt bags grew more than 10% and hit US $ 100 mil­lion.

The rise of streetwear might be partly re­spon­si­ble for the huge suc­cess be­ing en­joyed by this ac­ces­sory right now. Con­sumers are inkling to­wards ca­sual fash­ion that is easy and ful­fils all the three pa­ram­e­ters of com­fort, prac­ti­cal­ity and con­ve­nience.


Frayed de­tails are hot for Spring 2019 and in­clude feath­ers, fringes and frayed den­ims.

Apart from adding tex­ture and whimsy footwear and bags, these trims in­stantly up­date the prod­uct with a fun twist. Marabou-clad san­dals came with a spec­trum of colours at Dries van Noten and Valentino, whilst sum­mer-ap­proved raw straw fly-aways edged the bags at Jac­que­mus and Os­car de la Renta.

The ac­ces­sory route might as well prove to emerge as an in­dus­try hack for many brands and re­tail­ers who have strug­gled to lure con­sumers into their phys­i­cal and on-line stores. Ac­ces­sories serve as a bait to at­tract cus­tomers to your of­fer­ing – place such as­sort­ments on the ground floor of your store space and prefer­ably in an area that pro­motes di­rect eye­con­tact with win­dow shop­pers. The first im­pres­sion is usu­ally the last im­pres­sion, and in such a sce­nario, all that glit­ters may just be the path to re­tail suc­cess.


Comme Des Garçons






Thom Browne

Al­berta Fer­retti

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten


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