fbpixel Fashion in focus: 2023 trend projections. - MG Empower
Stories_Fashion in focus
Written by - Dan Sutton

Fashion in focus: 2023 trend projections.


In fashion, life is often defined by the changing of the day, month, season and, most importantly, year. And as years go, 2022 was an interesting one to say the least. A former member of One Direction became the poster boy of a gender-norm-defying revolution (much to Billy Porter’s chagrin), Bella Hadid bore all and adorned a spray-on dress (gaining the attention of the fashion world despite the environmental impact of microplastics, eeeek) and Julia Fox made the fashion and cultural world gag (in a good way) with her low-rise jeans and Uncut Gehems. We saw the rise of trends like Gorpcore, where former streetwear kids bought hiking gear to explore their local Pret a Manger, and the explosion of Web 3.0 with everyone from Gucci to Burberry jumping into the space – with mixed results. And last but not least, every fashion intern’s favourite time of year – Fashion Week – came back in the flesh after an extended hiatus due to Covid-19, and a number of brands implemented never-seen-before engagement tactics.

With 2022 dead and buried alongside its many memes, let’s look at the factors we think will affect us most 2023: the ongoing global economic downturn, or as I’ve heard it affectionately called, Cozzie Livs, as well as environmental issues and the increasingly conscious consumer. 


Cozzie Livs & conscious consumers.

Cozzie Livs may be a tongue and cheek name, but the next year doesn’t look like it’s going to be much fun with the UK and most of the globe in a recession. Consumers are tightening their belts and bracing for a harsh one, meaning spending will likely decrease, but it’s not all doom and gloom – now perhaps more than ever, people will be looking to treat themselves by splashing out on items they love. To remain top of mind, brands will have to look at more sustainable and economical ways of selling products and building loyalty. Retailers like FarFetch have already invested heavily in C2C platforms that allow users to sell designer clothes second-hand. Similarly, Amazon has partnered with the marketplace What Goes Around Comes Around to sell pre-owned luxury bags, while Lululemon, Doc Martens and Patagonia are offering the resale of second-hand products on-site and in-store. To ease our wallets, brands have also included rental options within their services, such as FLANNELS and Selfridges leasing designer goods – see our MG Talents Scott and Brett promoting exactly this – for your special occasions. 


It’s not just luxury or high-end retailers that are pivoting their output to be more sustainable but also high street retailers. Household names like Zalando, H&M and Uniqlo are offering repair services that allow consumers to bring new life to their wardrobe staples. So for the year ahead, brands and retailers will need to diversify their output across spending scales, offering people an opportunity to save money and the environment without missing out on retail therapy.


Forgetting gender.

In recent years, marketers have seen a shift from static, generic binaries into more fluid states with identities becoming much more personal than hegemonic (i.e., by age, sex, geographical location etc). One of these shifts has been in gender identity and how individuals choose to style or purchase products. With younger generations beginning to explore their identities more fearlessly, brands are shifting focus from gendered lines towards operating on genderless or gender-neutral platforms. This is reflected not only on the runway and high street but also in how products are marketed, from mixed castings and gender-neutral terminology to a general erosion of traditionally gendered visual representation. 


It’s key to note that younger generations – as always – are leading the way, with around half of Gen-Z globally purchasing fashion outside of their gender identity, especially in territories such as North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea. As demographic binaries continue to dissolve, brands will likely focus less on strict gender categories when promoting their products and more on the stories behind their brand to engage the consumers who refuse to conform. 


A marketing renaissance.

With online becoming increasingly crowded, it will be critical in 2023 for brands to stand out more than ever against the noise. While brands will be less likely to take risks in the face of restricted budgets and will look to more commercial opportunities, it is actually time for brands to branch out and explore more high-concept creative opportunities – we’re on the precipice of a marketing renaissance, as we embrace no-holds-barred experimentation as seen in the likes of Mad Men. While we are unlikely to see the return of Pepsi’s ‘Own your own jet fighter’, we’ve already seen brands in different verticals take creative, not commercial, leaps. Creativity is inspiring, so it will be more crucial than ever to stand out from the crowd and embrace fun! Have you seen Mcdonalds’ collaboration with Edgar Wright on a new social and TV spot? More of that, please. 


Fighting brand fatigue.

Over time, consumers have become disillusioned with the brands they invest in. They are moving away from household names to more independent brands that they see as more creative and have a fresher take on the cultural environment. So how do brands combat this? Brands are already beginning to seek equity from younger creatives in multiple forms, so in the year ahead they’ll look to align more with up-and-coming talent to reposition themselves as arbiters of cultural taste and to re-establish relevance with young luxury consumers, whether that’s through designers or content creators. They’ll lean on these creatives to refresh their brand image and engage with those creators’ loyal audiences creating an alignment between brand and creator. 


Wrapping up.

With everything in the news at the moment, 2023 is beginning to feel like one long Blue Monday. But I believe one thing we shouldn’t feel is scared. 


We will see shifts like we have in years before but one shining outcome will be a return to cutting-edge creativity in a way that fits the current generation’s highly engaged sensibilities (and their propensity to be bored by most things). This generation is willing to break down barriers and push boundaries while being actively conscious of the world and their peers. They’re making this an exciting time to be alive, let alone to be in marketing. To stay relevant, brands will need to listen more closely than ever to their consumers and keep their fingers on the pulse of culture. 


At MG Empower, we keep our fingers on the pulse of all things fashion, social, tech and beyond – and we can help your brand connect the dots.


Connect with us here.

More stories.

Let’s get Pintentional: Unpacking the healthy relationship between brands and consumers on Pinterest.

Explore how Pinterest builds intentional relationships between brands and consumers.

Read now

Tropicália revived: Unraveling the threads of PatBO’s SS24 show at NYFW.

Recently, our US team worked with PatBo, one of Latin America's most prestigious haute couture brands...

Read now

Attitude has no age: This 10-year-old has designed her own metaverse platform.

A new metaverse is about to land on the scene, and this one’s been designed by Aayati Dash...

Read now

Four simple steps to building a thriving and effective brand community.

‘Brand community’ is the buzzword of the moment (and the last few years). I hate buzzwords. So let’s try and make it measurable and actionable, shall we?

Read now

Influencers breathe life into Fashion Week: Look inside Copenhagen with MG Talent, Elisa Zarzur.

“[At Copenhagen Fashion Week] the attitude is different...

Read now

Untitled design (9) (1)
Unlocking creativity: How we harness AI for Design at MG Empower.

Knowing how to use AI is a bit like having superpowers...

Read now

Untitled design (8)
Threads enters the chat: Everything you need to know about Meta’s Twitter contender.

As an integrated marketing agency passionate about social media and influencer marketing...

Read now

Inside the Barbie x Tangle Teezer campaign: Great hair starts with imagination.

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? To play with your toys – and your imagination...

Read now

Cannes Lions 2023: Connecting the dots between co-creation, data and storytelling.

Another Cannes Lions, another mind-altering experience...

Read now

Media Transformations and the Rise of Connected TV.

It’s now been over a week since we’ve returned back from Cannes Lions...

Read now

How can we empower your brand?


© MGEmpower 2023
Site by Deep
Get in Touch