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2022 digital trends in fashion

2021 represented a paradigm shift where our digital selves became ever more present, significant, and engaged. Many people began new working relationships with co-workers they had never met in the flesh. Millions of us were prevented from being close to our families and spent precious time learning to talk freely into cameras. In 2022, we will likely have a digital double to equal our real-world selves and our new digital behaviors will be seen as normal. In this bold new digital world consumers will be more open to the infinite possibilities, novelties and experiences. So how might this digitally remade world impact the fashion industry? We’ve explored some of the ways brands can provide new shopping experiences and engage, entertain and intrigue modern shoppers. From developing technologies, smart sustainability and the User Experience (UX), here are our digital trend predictions for fashion in the year ahead.

NFT fashions go mainstream

Many digital tools start as novelties, as early adopters play with the technology and the wider community looks on. In 2017 Snapchat launched 3000 augmented reality filters and as their popularity exploded, the rest of the social media platforms swiftly followed. By 2021, 120 Million Americans were engaging with AR every month. Mapped onto a moving face, these AR filters can ‘yassify’ skin, change eye colour, turn the user into a baby, apply ghoulish makeup and so much more. In 2022, platforms are looking to augment our wardrobes too. The same AR filter technology can allow users to virtually try on clothing and accessories before they buy. Apps such as Dress X go further and encourage users to try on virtual clothing and buy meta fashion from their digital-only fashion store. Using NFT technologies, users can build a virtual wardrobe of digital outfits just as they might have a digital music collection. Fashion no longer needs to be physical, and all of us could be virtually projected into an NFT Oscar de la Renta dress for our prom photo. While the exact way NFT fashions will be integrated into our lives is currently up for grabs, the idea of our digital selves owning digital apparel is now being normalized. 2022 is likely to be the year when owning an AR jumpsuit became as normal as downloading a novel to your Kindle.

AI can better manage stock and logistics

Pattern recognition and visual connections are some of the things that make humans truly remarkable. We can effortlessly discern patterns because we integrate what we see with information stored in our memories. In business, we can instinctually learn from past experiences to predict consumers’ shopping behaviours. In the environment, we can examine the weather today to predict the weather tomorrow. We are pattern recognition machines, but we are not at the top of the food chain.

The development and widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence has taken the top spot. Sophisticated machine learning can analyze billions of diverse data points and establish new connections that would take the human brain centuries to arrive at. These algorithms, when fed the right data, can offer more precise predictions in every area of human endeavor. And now they are available to companies to better manage their stock, inventory, production and supply chains. In 2022 more companies will be able to access the power of AI to anticipate demand, determine production and reduce waste. Not only is this a top priority for the fashion industry accused of ongoing environmental wastage, but it helps better manage overall costs. Companies like Mintsoft and Peak are offering AI services to retailers now.

Brands with personalized shopping experiences and fluid UX win big

The internet has evolved and is still evolving. We began with web 1.0 where the user passively consumed static content such as news and directories made by a select community with special coding skills. Web 2.0 introduced dynamic content and connectivity: video, music, blogs, podcasts and social networks were suddenly ubiquitous. Everyday users could now use tools to create that content without knowing how to code. We are entering into the era of web 3.0 where the internet understands the needs of the user and the information it presents. The internet experience will become more tailored to the user with search results no longer simply based on tags, but on the search engine assessing the content of a page and understanding it as a human would. With web 3.0 the internet understands context, content and demand. As more shoppers see intelligent recommendations as they browse online for clothes they become accustomed to the power of web 3.0 and expect their shopping UX to become better with every visit. Just as Netflix predicts what viewers might want to watch next based on their previous consumption, consumers now expect to visit an online store and see outfits picked out especially for them.

With digital body measuring solutions like Sizer , the essence of this personal shopping experience can extend to include a smart understanding of the customer’s measurement and sizing. Using just the camera of a mobile device, consumers can capture their body measurements to ensure a more perfect fit when they shop online. For businesses, this sizing data helps optimize their sales and by combining past shopping data, customer-specific sizing and AI, they create a personal UX that leaves their rivals in the dust.

…and the rest

In 2022 digital fashion will continue to challenge our norms, perceptions and habits. Digital-first clothing brands will continue to experiment with high street infrastructures creating novel in-store experiences. Brands will be under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability with consumers expecting verifiable digital assurances. Fashion is always evolving, and the fashion industry is well placed to adapt to radical change. In 2022, technology, culture and the consumer are aligned to see some of the biggest changes in decades. Brands that focus on developing technologies, manage their sustainability and stay focused on their UX will rise to the top.

Read also:

Six great tools to help grow your fashion business in 2022

Can digital tools help reduce the curse of post holiday season customer returns?

The Impact of Fast Fashion on Workers and the Environment

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