Earlier in 2019, Matrix designer, Gabie, took a 3-day trip to New York to report back on some key brands, destinations and gain cultural trend insight for next seasons trends. Gabie breaks down colour palettes, textures and messaging of her favourite stores and events that she visited while in New York.
A flower and house plant shop, providing custom installations, design and classes.
TACTILE FINISHES, VINTAGE, AUTHENTIC, COLOUR BLOCKING, SENSORIAL, CUSTOM EXPERTISE
There were so many vintage gardening books around the store for decoration, the type and colour pallets were great for inspo. The store is filled with flower/plant experts who can answer any of your house plant questions or even whip up a custom bouquet! Plants have been trendy for a long time now and don’t seem to be going anywhere. This shop was huge, offering, plants, planters, bouquets, books, crystals, seeds etc. They offer custom flower design services and also offer the same with plants – so if you want to deck out your new home/office with house plants, they will do it for you (and expertly place them where they will thrive!)
Selling items made by female artists & donating 10% of proceeds to Planned Parenthood NYC.
POLITICAL & PLAYFUL, INTERNET CULTURE, 00’S NOSTALGIA, INDEPENDENT BRANDS, GIFTABLE PRODUCTS
Since launching in 2015, Bulletin has helped hundreds of digitally-native brands access physical retail space for the very first time, unlocking one of the most powerful commerce channels at their disposal. And now, they’re helping premium retailers access vetted, foolproof products they can’t find anywhere else.
This charity led organisation have raised $79,000 for planned parenthood of NYC since May 2018.
One of my favourite brands in Bulletin was Doo Stuff, designs and illustrations by Erica Doo featuring lots of pop culture related pins and cards. I particularly liked the ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pin’; Ruth is a lawyer who has fought for female rights in the USA since the 60’s and has a new film coming out called ‘RBG’.
The first USA store from the Korean lifestyle brand, with hip Korean fashion and beauty.
STREET STYLE, K-CULTURE, BLOCK COLOURS, UNISEX
Korean street style and beauty have been rising in popularity for a few years. Aland was founded 13 years ago by two sisters in Seoul; they sell both basics and curated products by emerging independent Korean designers.
They also sell a large range of Korean cosmetics, such as: COSRX, Benton, Kocostar and Dear and Klairs. The store is laid out in a minimalist style on primary coloured shelving and most garments have a street style feel.
It stood out to me that online most of the brands ‘look-book’ imagery uses Caucasian models. The Korean Instagram account uses more photos of its staff’s #OOTD’s than those of influencers.
A cosmetic brand inspired by the people who use the products – beauty isn’t made in a boardroom.
LIGHTWEIGHT, FRESH, CAREFREE & PLAYFUL, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY, SIMPLE APPLICATION
Glossier has grown to be one of the biggest names in beauty in a short time period. Their mantra is ‘skin first. Makeup second.’ Championing a natural, dewy, anti –
Kardashian look for a busy modern-day woman. They grew from the Glossier blog into The Gloss, which already had a loyal audience. Emily Weiss remains their CEO & @lesliedavidstudio created their identity & custom type. This digitally native brand only has two showrooms which exemplify the idea of immersive brand experience and how that can increase online hype.
23 Howard St, New York, NY 10013, USA
A clothing line with a mission to make silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure.
SUSTAINABLE MESSAGES, FEMININE & SOFT, PARISIAN, NOSTALGIC, ROMANTIC FEEL, CLASSIC CUTS
This brand targets a new tribe of professional women, to whom looking feminine and embracing their softness does not signal being weak, but in fact makes them feel
empowered. The brand also speaks to the eco-concerns of this modern woman, offering more sustainably sourced products and promoting an anti-fast fashion message.
“We put sustainability at the core of everything we do. We invest in green building infrastructure to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprints… At Reformation we think about all the costs in creating fashion—not just the price tag.”
Reformation key business stats:
– Close to 15% of their products are made out of “deadstock” fabrics
– They use ECONYL, which is made out of 100% regenerated nylon
– They use alpaca wool, compared to conventional wool, it saves 400 lbs of CO2 and 1,500 gallonx of water per lb.
– Using Recycled cashmere
– Using Recover® yarns, made from old clothes and fabric waste.
35 Howard St New York, NY 10013
An outdoor clothing & equipment brand selling ‘Goods you will never let go of’.
LONG LASTING, VINTAGE OUTDOORS, PRACTICAL, UNISEX, SUSTAINABLE
Patagonia appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. They aim to use the resources they have—business, investments, voice and imaginations—to do something about it. Their values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers, and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach they take toward product design
demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility.
The store was covered in slogans and information about the good the company is doing to protect the environment including several books about how to create an ethical and sustainable business.
Worn Wear, repair is a radical act
“One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it. The Worn Wear program celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer and provides an easy way to recycle Patagonia garments when they’re beyond repair.”
You can find a full list of their values on the Patagonia website.
Five of the most prevalent ideas and messages pushed by the brands/spaces/products I encountered on my trip to New York included:
This message was pushed overwhelmingly in a lot of stores and included initiatives like supply chain transparency, mending clothing instead of replacing it, reducing fabric and water use in the manufacturing process. The most wide spread sustainable message was quality and anti-fast fashion; buy once, buy well and only consume what you actually need.
Internet Culture IRL (in real life)
The slogans and icons on products were almost all influenced by internet culture which is a sign of where people spend most of their time, and what the key marketplace is for the brands and products.
CBD and cannabis were everywhere and included in all different types of wellness products. In general, there seemed to be a push for holistic wellness, mental health education and alternative approaches to health in many stores.
Expressive men’s street style
Men’s concept stores were not full of boring basics, but were in-fact full of bright colours, patterns and experimental silhouettes.
Many digitally native brands have developed a different use for retail space. Even if these spaces do not make a lot of money from product sales, having just one conceptual space is an amazing PR tool that can be used as an immersive brand experience. The space, and any events held there get people talking online, and it becomes a physical hub for the brand community and is a great space to create online content.
Five prevalent patterns and texture categories I encountered and feel will influence next seasons trends included:
This print seemed to be everywhere but was used in
two different ways:
1 – Men’s streetwear, in dark, moody hues
2 – On wellness products
This was portrayed in muted, soft colour pallets but also in two distinct ways:
1 – Retro, ditsy, wholesome and floaty floral prints.
2 – Seductive, hypersexual textures and finishes. EG: feathers, sheer fabrics, PVC etc.
The unusual finishes on fabrics/packaging gave them a feeling of luxury, weight, originality, high fashion and futurism. Unusual textures on cosmetics gave a feeling of novelty, youth and interactivity.
Tie dye was starting to pop up a lot (as many of this season’s runways predicted) There was a lot of influence from a kind of ‘Woodstock hippy’ vibe, through retro interest books, outdoors/camping wear, gardening products etc.
Bold, Korean Influence
Clean and bold, block colour clashes, mostly primary shades put against neons. Korean street style is getting more and more influential in fashion. Also, influences from softer Korean-skincare led palettes/textures.