Buyers in the sector speak about elegance almost as much as they do about informality. A relaxed attitude will be conveyed via simple-looking fabrics enriched by small visual details and handles that make a difference. Texture is curbed: buyers’ choices lean more to micro fancy weaves or plays on fancy yarns.
The casual sector is where we see the strongest growth in eco-responsible criteria, for fundamentally kinder fashions.
Softness with body
Extreme softness without any limpness is a must for jackets and pants. Softness on the surface but firmness at heart. Impeccable velvets, emerised matt satins and fine moleskins constitute the bulk of requests. Corduroys have to be softer. Washed and faded looks are never dirty, and combine a soft look and feel.
The casual universe borrows from suiting patterns with a very sober, restrained approach: low-contrast mini two-tones, tone-on-tone tweed and thrown effects. Often, it’s the yarn that brings a little something different to semi-plains. A notable success for Prince of Wales tempered by washings, and even houndstooths! Yarn-dyed fantasies are on the rise in this sector, favoured over mini-prints and jacquards.
For the first time since the survey was started, cotton / elastane blends take first place in the Premium Relax sector! For AW1819 they outperform pure cottons by 5%. Yet what’s wanted isn’t anything form fitting. Above all, buyers are looking for perfectly dense and absolutely comfortable fabrics.
Increased demand for plains enriched with complex, refined weaves. Micro-piqués and dobbies rise 2 points in the surveys and climb to 2nd and 3rd place in the most requested structures. Tried and true twills and diagonals are still leading, but sharply declining for the past several seasons.