Guest Blog | The growth of linen in womenswear
Nothing says summer than an Aperol spritz on hand and a white linen dress. Our attention has shifted from layered fabrics to light breathable goodness. But ?what can we expect for linen in Spring/Summer 2019 We take a closer look at its growth, as well as providing inspiration for how to incorporate the fabric into key merchandising stories.
With natural fabrics and finishes gaining traction over the past few seasons, linen is no longer limited to summer staples and is emerging as a more trend-led fabric. Q1 2019 has seen linen apparel arrivals increase by 51 percent and 43 percent YoY in both the US and UK.
Boilersuits in heavy utility fabrics are a hero piece this season, and linen jumpsuits can provide a lightweight alternative. While wide-leg silhouettes create a laid-back style and work well across trousers, shorts and jumpsuits.
Creating a stripped-back look, neutrals have emerged as a standout color story this season, with hues ranging from off-white to beige and camel. What looks like fashion’s favorite new shade, the muted hue slots into customers’ wardrobe seamlessly. Linen is an obvious fit here and can transition the already popular trend into the summer months ahead.
Tonal looks are key here for creating a statement look. Retailers should take note of linen's natural qualities and pair with similar colored basics. Alternatively, pair with darker hues to add dimension to outfits.Safari Style
From belted blazers to cargo dresses, the urban look takes a linen touch - adding a new twist on the utility story. A spin-off from the growing utility trend present on the runway, safari style stories are standing out particularly as attention turns to summer getaways. A theme typically associated with heavier cotton and denim fabrics, linen can work well as a lightweight and breathable alternative.
Styling is key here and provides a great opportunity to bring in other prominent trends. Animal prints are of particular note and can help create a more statement look. For strong vacation looks, promote linen pieces in darker earth, camel and khaki tones and pair with natural accessories.Sustainability & Craftmanship
With sustainability becoming increasingly high on the agenda, many retailers are turning to environmentally-friendly and ethical fabrics and linen can play a big role here. Retailers such as Theory are promoting their use of organic linen and highlighting its production in 'an environmentally-conscious mill in Italy'.
Meanwhile, it provides the opportunity to add value by focusing on the craftsmanship behind the fabric, a good example is Uniqlo’s March email newsletter, highlighting the step-by-step process used with its linen production.
Using EDITED’s visual merchandising tool, we found that only a few retailers are highlighting their sustainable fabric within product descriptions. For example, both Zara and Massimo Dutti highlight how their sustainably grown European linen is naturally irrigated and features no genetically modified seeds or defoliants.
Eco-conscious fabrics are becoming increasingly important for customers today and there is definitely room for growth in this area. For those yet to invest this is an opportunity to capitalize on moving forward.
This article was written for FashionUnited by EDITED. EDITED is the leader and industry-standard for real-time retail analytics, where the software leverages artificial intelligence to track and reveal insights on competitor product ranges, pricing, discounting and trends across the global retail landscape. The software is used by buyers, planners and trading teams to generate a huge competitive advantage.
Images: &Other stories newsletter UK (7 Apr 2019); Eileen Fisher Newsletter US (18 Mar 2019); Free People NEwsletter US (20 Feb 2019); Joseph Newsletter UK (6 Apr 2019); J. Crew Newsletter UK (20 Mar 2019); Monsoon Newsletter UK (22 Mar 2019); Oysho Newsletter UK (28 Mar 2019); Poetry Newsletter UK (18 Feb 2019); Peacocks Newsletter UK (31 Mar 2019); Uniqlo Newsletter US (13 Mar and 27 Mar 2019); Theory Newsletter (8 Apr 2019) - courtesy of Edited