When we think of the fashion industry, we think of dresses, boots, shoes, and the latest trends reaching our shores from the leading designers in Europe. From the latest colours to the latest cuts, fashion is a constant driver across a whole range of industries around the world.
As consumers, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest trends. What’s in and what’s out this coming season? Vogue have sections dedicated to the four seasons, where you can find the latest fashion trends wherever you are in the world. They even recently wrote a piece about designer water bottles!
Whilst clothing and accessories are the things that drive people to shop, fashion brands are investing more time in the design and layout of their website, in a bid to match the latest seasonal trends with the experiences customers can expect when they visit their website.
If you are a leading fashion retailer, it’s important that your overall user experience, both in-store and online, matches the expectations customers have of your brand. That is why we have seen a growth in investment in digital within the fashion industry. In a 2020 report, The State of Fashion 2020, McKinsey reported, “Investors too have been pushing this shift — mentions of “digital” in leading brand earnings calls have risen 130 percent over the past four years. Against this background pure fashion-tech players have made hay, raising almost half the $3.7 billion total from initial public offerings (IPOs) in fashion in 2018 to 2019”.
The digital experience for fashion brands is becoming as important as the physical experience and there are some great examples of websites from around the world that have embraced their digital platforms as an extension of the latest fashion trends.
Boohoo is one of Australia’s leading fashion websites and they are constantly evolving the overall design and feel of their website. They try to match the tones of the website to the latest fashion trends as we can see from the above example - ‘warm tones only’ is not only a fashion trend but also a trend that runs through the website.
Long acclaimed for their innovation and embracing of new technology, Warby Parker is also a brand that focuses on design and matching the look and feel of their website with the latest fashion trends. Online, this is accomplished through the use of strong lines to promote structure and illustrated icons to remind the viewer that this company appreciates creativity.
Zara, like Boohoo, is another brand that incorporates the latest seasonal trends into their website design, especially on key landing pages such as the homepage or women’s clothing section of the website. Zara’s use of large scale images and minimal type allows the visitor to be instantly transported into a lifestyle for which their clothes are a cornerstone, placing the emphasis on the clothes and the latest fashion trends.
AYR’s use of a muted colour palette and minimalist design draws our attention to the clean photographs of their clothing as well as their subtle but unique use of animation throughout the site. The homepage is constantly changing the layout, especially around the change of seasons as can be seen in the example below.
Fashion websites like Lulus deliver an exceptional online experience to customers. Their website is filled with playful copy, colourful and large images, and a user-friendly website design experience. During seasonal events, there are collections added for women’s clothing for that event such as Holiday at Christmas. Seasonal campaigns like the one shown above help to showcase the seasonal colours through the website design and layout as well as in the clothes on display.
Looking beyond fashion websites
Of course, it’s not only fashion websites that are influenced by the latest fashion trends. The latest fashion trends can be seen far and wide in website designs across the web, with many of today’s leading websites taking inspiration from the world of fashion.
From entertainment to sport, online gaming to technology, the latest tones, the latest patterns and textures and on-trend colour palettes can all be seen throughout websites in a wide range of sectors.
The release of new cars is like the release of the latest clothing collection and car companies are matching the design of their website to the latest on-trend colours. Above, we see an example from the Ford site for the release of the new Puma with a clean, green colour palette.
Keeping it clean and simple
Whilst many leading fashion brands have embraced website designs that reflect the latest fashion trends, many have also elected to stick with clean and simple designs which have a strong online UX focus.
When we consider some of the leading websites in the world right now, sites like Netflix, Kayo, Amazon Prime - they all have very clean layouts with a black background contrasted with bright colours for navigation and highlighting areas of the site they want people to visit. Casino websites, like Betway, have followed suit, with a bright font colour on a dark background.
In the fashion industry, sites like Fabletics and Gym Shark have gone down this route, with clean white backgrounds and strong primary colours to bring focus to call to action buttons.
The latest fashion trends go much further than the catwalk. Website designs in both the fashion industry and further afield are impacted by the latest fashion trends. As Miranda Priestly famously pointed out in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, the colours we see on our websites are often filtered down from decisions made at the top of the fashion industry. Maybe cerulean was the colour of choice for websites around the world that year.