2019: The Visual Predictions
Author: Jasmine Waters
And now, the end is near – of 2018 that is. As we are all well aware, the past year has been nothing short of straightforward, with many aspects of the fashion industry having nursed themselves through some rocky patches. In many of our posts, we have questioned and discussed the current state of the market and retail sector, and what consumers now want and need from them. But with 2019 comes a clean slate, and a brand new opportunity for re-invention – in the form of store and showroom visual merchandising.
What will physical spaces do in 2019?
One of the main trends for re-energising a physical space for the coming year is to disrupt a display as an antidote to the social media fuelled environment we find ourselves in on a daily basis. If a space adopts an intentionally unkempt approach, the customer or consumer base are then made to interact with a product in a completely different way to how they have been used to. Both streetwear and luxury brands can been seen to be embracing the idea – earlier this year saw Vetements collaborate with department giant Harrods, creating a window display addressing the problem of over-production. If you want to make a bold statement, this trend can easily be used to convey the powerful messages we’re seeing seep into the industry itself. And being effective doesn’t have to cost the earth – lo-fi fixtures and installations allow the trend to be both statement making and cost-effective. Materials such as construction concrete blocks can make a space change in an artfully DIY way, disrupting the consumer journey and creating a new tension between product and customer. Another way of doing this is to partially conceal a product, keeping it out of arm’s reach – giving a much-needed rejuvenation to the ‘in real life’ experience.
What other ways will we see our spaces change?
As store and showroom spaces look to create drastic change, the emotions of the attendee can also be manipulated in a completely juxtaposing way. Engaging with an audience now needs to be about more than just fun, and this can be achieved through changes in colour, texture, scent and sound. In contrast to the disruptive approach, another option will be to create a space of stillness, balancing both openness and seclusion. Making the consumer journey relaxed and restorative, the use of gentle illumination and warm colours can again alter the experience, but instead making it discovery led, with elements of escapism. In order to bring the consumer back to preferring the reality of buying and shopping, adding extra sensorial elements will help to reach beyond conventional restrictions and increase engagement.
Anything else to expect?
In partnership with these new visual trends for 2019, the key colours we will see throughout our spaces, products and collections also tell us a lot about what the year ahead has in store for us. The industry is becoming more confident in using sunny yellows, providing an inherent optimism that is desperately needed. We are also likely to see bold, unambiguous reds contrasting with calming, more muted blues, each making strong impacts and working well for the upcoming unisex markets. Lilac is looking to take over from the already overused pink, moving across the retail sector with ease.
While it may feel like a lot to take in, there is going to be a lot more to see next year than initially meets the eye. Strength, confidence and optimism are going to be key characteristics as the industry looks to change, fix, dust itself down and carry on in the face of the brand new year ahead.
Image Credit: standard.co.uk, Harrods X Vetements