• JUST STYLE/ BY Michelle Russell

Ten trends set to shape fashion industry in 2020

Anxiety and concern is the prevailing mood across the fashion industry for 2020, with global fashion industry growth expected to slow further as economic growth shrinks and competition intensifies. A new report offers the ten trends set to shape the industry during the course of the year.

According to 'The State of Fashion 2020' report, fashion industry growth is forecast to slow to 3% to 4% in 2020 – slightly below that predicted for 2019 – according to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index (MGFI). This slowdown will stem from consumers being increasingly cautious amid wider macroeconomic uncertainty, political upheaval across the globe, and the continued threat of trade wars.

In North America, consumer sentiment is muted and tariffs – aided by the strengthening dollar – are impacting both imports and exports. Emerging Asia-Pacific markets are still relatively strong, although growth is slowing: retail sales in the region have been falling short of expectations, and will continue to disappoint in 2020 as consumer sentiment weakens, the report predicts.

On the other side of the world, mature Europe continues to suffer from the general global economic malaise and ongoing uncertainty around Brexit. Growth in emerging Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa is expected to remain stable overall with some brighter spots, such as Brazil and Nigeria – two of the most populous nations in the world that have rapidly expanding middle classes.

"The year ahead will open with the industry in a state of high nervousness and uncertainty, with most executives across fashion and the wider business world bracing for a slowdown in growth in the global economy," say report contributors Achim Berg and Imran Amed. "Because fashion is a global business with global supply chains, industry players are anxious about the impact of tariffs and trade disputes."

Asia optimism

The survey of 290 global fashion executives and interviews with thought leaders and pioneers, carried out by McKinsey & Company in partnership with Business of Fashion (BoF), found just 9% think conditions for the industry will improve next year, compared to 49% who said the same last year.

"Challenging," "uncertain" and "disruptive" were the most frequently used words, compared to last year's more neutral "changing," "digital" and "fast."

Further, regardless of region or segment, more than half of respondents predict a deteriorating environment. The most optimistic region is Asia, although even here only 14% of executives expect an improvement in conditions. And in luxury, where performance has been strong, there is still little hope of an upturn.

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