London Fashion Week: the fashion frenzies and faux pas

Sep 25, 2017 | E-commerce and E-retailing

With London Fashion Week well underway, the eyes of the nation’s fashion gurus are cast on the latest and greatest trends. Where this used to feel untouchable to people outside the high-end fashion industry and price bracket, now it is a reality.

Analysing data which monitors the search behaviours of 3 million people across the UK, Hitwise reveals:

  • Ungendered clothing is set to be a huge trend this season
    • Searches for “cropped trousers” have seen a 254% increase in searches – 46% of which are driven by men
  • Faux is the new fur
    • Searches for “fur” have decreased 40% whilst searches for “faux fur” have risen 17%
  • Luxury collaborations are seeing an impact on increasing engagement with millennial audiences
    • 50% of traffic to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry are driven by millennials

Other key findings include:

  • 50% of website traffic to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry driven by affluent millennials
  • Ungendered clothing is the season’s top trend with millennials
  • 17% increase in searches for “faux fur” whilst searches for “fur” decrease 40%

Digitally driven fashion

According to Hitwise research, half (50%) of website traffic to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry is being driven by a new breed of digitally engaged millennials, particularly through the power of collaborations. For example, earlier this year[i] Hitwise data showed that Louis Vuitton saw a 23 per cent increase in searches, following the luxury retailer’s collaboration with Supreme – a key driver in reconnecting the brand with younger audiences.

Influencer collaborations are also a key driver for Fast Fashion brands, an industry which has grown 21 per cent over the past 3 years. For example, online-only retailer,, is the fastest growing brand amongst the industry, receiving an astounding 663 per cent increase in people visiting its site. Since the brand launched its ad campaign with American actress and model, Olivia Culpo, the brand has seen a huge 162 per cent increase in searches.

But what are the fashion trends millennials are searching for?

Gender neutral clothing has taken the fashion industry by storm in recent weeks, from John Lewis’ ungendered children’s clothing line, to H&M launching its unisex denim collection, British retailers are doing their bit to overthrow gender fashion stereotypes.

For example, at London Fashion Week we have seen many designers featuring cropped trousers for both sexes on many of their catwalk models and Hitwise reveals this trend is being readily accepted by Brits. In the past week alone, searches for “cropped trousers” has seen a staggering 254 per cent increase in searches[v], 46 per cent of which were driven by men. Luxury UK brands such as Paul Smith are also having a huge influence on the nations fashion searches. After the fashion brand featured models wearing gender neutral oversized blazers on many of his lines at Fashion Week, Brit’s searches for “oversized blazers” have also increased by nearly 71 per cent[vi].

Fashion faux pas

According to new research from Hitwise, British consumers are becoming more ethically conscious of what they wear, particularly with anti-fur demos outside the show venues this week. Searches for “fur” saw a 40 per cent decrease in searches for August year-on-year, whilst searches for “faux fur” have increased 17 per cent in the same period. Last week, in fact, searches for “faux fur” saw a staggering 57 per cent increase led by a nearly equal split of 18-24-year-old men (48.76%) and women (51.24%)[vii].

Nigel Wilson, managing director at Hitwise says, “At London Fashion Week 2017 we can expect to see brands relying on digital to build relationships with younger audiences. Creatively embarking on partnerships like Louis Vuitton and Supreme – and developing other creative content – will be crucial to shifting perception from being luxury and unattainable for the powerful millennial audience. The importance of influence for this audience demonstrates the power of partnerships and celebrity endorsements, proving fashion trends aren’t only made on the catwalk.”

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