As we turn our attention to a new year there are several brands I’ll be keeping a close eye on in 2017. From fast fashion and beauty to athleisure and accessories, these companies are leveraging digital with a mobile focus to reach their fans wherever they are.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that fast fashion is here to stay. Speaking of fast fashion, boohoo is quickly becoming an industry leader. The UK-based retailer has grown quite rapidly and is giving its competitors a run for their money by offering affordable yet quality fashion. Boohoo clearly understands its consumer, and continues to push boundaries by adding additional brands to its portfolio, offering targeted promotions, expanding internationally and engaging with its customers on a daily basis via social media. Per recent news, boohoo is also expected to acquire Nasty Gal for $20 million. In a world where most retailers are shuttering stores and filing for bankruptcy, boohoo has been on an upward trend and reported a 47% increase in total sales. Its strong digital presence and consumer app has contributed to their extremely loyal customer base - a whopping 5.1 million active users!
Makeup and Beauty
Mobile has caused an explosion of reach for beauty brands that embrace social. Powerhouse makeup and beauty brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Tarte, NYX, and IT Cosmetics continue to wow me with their innovation and creative marketing strategies. Meanwhile, newbies such as Ouai, Glossier and ColourPop are making their mark in the beauty world.
Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin launched Ouai in 2016 and has leveraged her strong network of celebrities and beauty influencers to market her styling products. I’ve been following Jen for a while now and am continually impressed by her work ethic, product line and girl boss attitude.
Despite my extensive makeup collection, these brands keep me coming back for more. Thanks to brand-influencer collaborations, ColourPop has sucked me in with their highly pigmented eyeshadows and liquid lipsticks. Did I mention that their makeup is budget-friendly? Score!
The Denim market saw quite the resurgence in 2016, but Athleisure’s form and functional appeal seems to be unparalleled. With comfort and fashion finally comingling, nobody’s rushing to end this trend. Brands like Bandier, APL and Sweaty Betty have all jumped on board and by doing new and innovative things to make their brands attractive, whether it be collaborations, special events or offering exclusives that their competitors aren't.
I first learned about Bandier through fashion blogger Something Navy. The boutique activewear company carries over 60 brands (including its own) and offers alternatives to Lululemon and Athleta. Labels include ALO, Koral, Mackage, Onzie, Phat Buddha and APL.
You’d better get to know UK retailer Sweaty Betty. They recently leaped over ‘the pond’ with their well-known flattering leggings and eye-catching prints.
Dry land activewear hasn’t been the only beneficiary of the exploding Athleisure market. The global swimwear market is expected to exceed $20 Billion by 2020.
Others may agree to disagree, but I find the cost of designer bathing suits to be out of control. I’ve always believed in quality over quantity but $300-$400 for a suit seems a bit excessive. One brand that I’ve taken a liking to is Solid & Striped. Its timeless, chic swimsuits are elegant yet simple and won’t break the bank.
If you’re looking for super adorable swimwear, you must also check out Show Me Your MuMu. (Side note: SMYM just launched an impressive wedding collection with a wide assortment of color ways and styles. If you’re looking for some bridal inspo and beautiful imagery, be sure to check out their hashtag #mumuweddings on Instagram.)
Now that we’ve covered the basics, time to complete the look for 2017! Anyone else obsessed with sunglasses and accessories? Although my all-time favorite sunnies are from Karen Walker, brands like Quay, Le Specs, DIFF and Gentle Monster are making big moves in the eyewear space.
Like Quay, DIFF Eyewear has also leveraged the power of Instagram and social media to grow its brand. Most recently, the company has teamed up with several ex-Bachelor contestants like JoJo Fletcher and Becca Tilley. Now here’s the kicker…for every pair of sunglasses sold, DIFF donates a pair of reading glasses to an organization called Eyes on Africa, so you can look good and feel good about your purchase at the same time.
Speaking of Africa, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to travel more. While I’m sure my 3-year-old suitcase is sufficient, a Genius Pack is currently on my wish list. According to reviews, the Genius Pack carry-on suitcase fits a week’s worth of belongings with ease. Additionally, the luggage is known for its Laundry Compression Technology, an Organizational Engineered Interior Panel and an integrated mobile charger for your smartphone. I can’t wait to purchase one of these babies and report back.