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| 2 minutes read

New report predicts what lies ahead for the fashion industry in 2022

McKinsey and The Business of Fashion yesterday released their report on The State of Fashion 2022 and it certainly makes for interesting reading. Viewing it through a trade mark lens, the main takeaways seem to be the following:

  • Changes to lifestyles mean that certain categories of clothing have been more popular than others over the last two years ie. sportswear and casualwear. However, certain categories of goods, such as nightwear and activewear are starting to drop back in popularity now, with formalwear and workwear making a comeback as events are reinstated. The report suggests that brands should take a data-driven approach to product development in 2022 to ensure that they tailor their inventory to their customers’ new lifestyles. This may also present a good opportunity for brands to check the scope of their trade mark protection. If they have been focussing on comfy casualwear and have good coverage for clothing in class 25, but are now moving into more formalwear with accessories such as jewellery taking a front seat, then now may be the time to check your protection in class 14.
  • The report predicts that 2022 will see a greater rise of the metaverse, with more brands exploring NFTs, gaming and virtual fashion as possible revenue streams. These are likely to become more common in trade mark specifications in 2022.
  • The impact of the pandemic on retail recovery and change - some countries will be better equipped than others to recover following the pandemic, with those countries offering government fiscal support or having mature digital economies faring better. The report argues that “fashion companies operating international businesses will likely need to tailor strategies to local conditions, as well as to take steps to mitigate risks and boost their supply chain resilience”. This may factor in to decisions around IP protection too. As the report says, market specific strategies are going to be key in 2022. China is expected to continue to be a growth market in 2022 and this may mean the territory becomes a higher priority for fashion brands, with a greater need to put in place and/or bolster trade mark protection for this market.
  • The outcome of COP26 and the importance of putting sustainability aims into practice – this is a key topic in the report, with a focus on circularity and sourcing of fabrics, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and brands coming together to invest in research to bring about change in the sector at a faster rate. The growing interest in product passports also features in the report as a method to assist with the traceability and transparency of materials, to facilitate easier recycling, and also as one of the ways in which brands are increasingly looking to combat counterfeiting activity. Product passports seem set to become a key part of anti-counterfeiting strategy for fashion brands in 2022. 
As fashion leaders consider their options, they will need to reflect on the many lessons they have learned during the pandemic, keeping their companies aligned with an ever-shifting playing field, enhancing their strategies for managing turbulence and balancing the needs of various stakeholders to create value for their customers, their shareholders and society at large.


fashion & retail, brands & trade marks
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