Now is the time to reset our lives. It is a time for new beginnings and the moment to reflect, resolve, (re-)connect and dream. As we evolve, we explore past NEW HORIZONS that reach beyond our old ways and old ways of thinking. More radical reforms are being adapted now and reflections on ideals, norms and legacies are moving us towards more fertile and dynamic territories. Such fundamental societal shifts have been drastically accelerated through the pandemic. During this time, basic values are being re-clarified and uncoded and result in new attitudes to emerge. Regarding the overall mood of the world, it seems like the overarching anxiety of the past year has pivoted towards a more optimistic and vitalized attitude regarding our future. A regenerated strength is now pointing us towards new and exciting directions.
While the zeitgeist seems rather energized and positive, we are also moving into a time, defined by a plurality of emotions. For FW22 Livetrend has detected four big macro-sentiments. Each of those is sub-divided into even more specific outlays of each sentiment. The four main trends of the season are: the sensation of fatigue, refuge, hope and imagination. But as the multitude of feelings implies, those do not necessarily translate them into four separate consumer profiles. On the contrary, as mentioned above, they are split into different consumer directions with different understandings of the sentiments. Decoding those consumers into fashion-related trends, the new consumers also merge or cross to inspire trends and to capture the complex state of the wold, which is not easily grasped. It is important to understand and embrace this multitude of emotion and to translate it into new hybrid aesthetics that bridge ideas and incorporate opposing forces.
The first macro-sentiment for FW22 is the overwhelming FATIGUE, which stems from a frustration with the overall situation surrounding the crisis. The term fatigue describes a feeling of numbness and constraint, as the limitations to our private and social lives strongly decrease the possibility for action and decision-making. Being unable to decide, being deprived of freedom has made people question their place in society. This heightened focus on the self has lead to the sensation of being tired, whether that means physically, mentally or more metaphorically-spoken, tired of the situation. The first reaction to the sentiment surfaces consumers that are inconspicuously adapting to the new norm-core lifestyles. Through their accepting attitude, they try to generate minimum change and resistance and therefore limited potential for further issues to emerge. This consumer is called the SYNCHRONIZER. To him, the need for stability and caution are crucial. He puts renown elements of the past and minimal living approaches in focus and employs them as means to feel safe and cope with anxious feelings.<br /> The second, more resilient group will take action to cope with this sensation of fatigue. This consumer can be labelled as the DISRUPTOR. The Disruptor's activism stems from feelings of boredom and from being fed-up with the system. Taking action may even result in revolt here. To this consumer profile it is essential to be in charge of the own destiny and to be able to voice own opinions after being limited in such actions for a long time. Consequently, Post-Covid might spike protest and resistant action from this group.
HOPE was the feeling that has guided society through the pandemic. Hope accelerated important value shifts and advancements in technologies. Optimism made us understand that we are in charge of change and that progress can indeed happen. The capacities of hope have shown to be endless, which makes the Macro-sentiment a stable driver for FW22. The optimistic, hands-on approach to turn the world into a better place is transferred on to community and the self. Hopeful consumers with a focus on communities are called the SITUATIONISTS. This consumer adapts to its surroundings and embraces change. Heightened sensibility and sustainability-driven traits make him want to connect people and explore the planet and explore different feels of expertise to enrich their knowledge. Hopeful consumers, which mainly focus on celebrating their newly empowered identities are labelled as the LIBERATED. For the liberated client an emphasis is put on hedonistic lifestyles and the fulfillment of personal pleasures. However, their free-spirited mindset and appreciation of unique identity comes along heightened inclusivity regarding the interaction with others. A celebration of the self manifested in the sharing of this positivity and boosting energy.
The third big macro-sentiment of the season is the desire for REFUGE. This feeling is all about escaping and withstanding the pressures and anxieties of reality and drives the increased interest in habits of healing. Consumers are seeking to transform themselves, become the best-version of themselves and clear their minds. This need to detox is unsurprising after a period of crisis. To refuge-seeking consumers progress should not come at the cost of health, both physically and mentally. Some individuals will begin to focus on finding tech-driven solutions that simplify and better lives, this group is called the ZEN-SEEKERS. Their positive attitude towards innovation stems from the manifestation of its benefits along the lockdown periods. A Zen-Seeker is striving to live a well-balanced life within serene and peaceful settings on the edge of tech and nature. On the other hand, the are numerous consumers continuing to seek refuge within nature. By trying to find essence and meaning within their lives, the so-called HEALER, turns towards alchemist approaches. Trying to heal the self and create a fruitful symbiosis with nature, healers turn towards ancient knowledge and practices to generate mindfulness. Overall, their spirituality connects with a simpler, more holistic and natural way of life.
IMAGINATION will remain a key driver for consumers moving towards FW22. It is crucial to boost tomorrow’s innovation and to escape in order to cope with the upcoming recessionary time on an emotional level. The search for novelty and for escapes within digital spheres has become a new normality over the course of the pandemic. For FW22, this more future-driven imagination will continue to prevail. Consumers have gotten used to the possibilities of virtual spaces and are now trying to enhancing the real world. Exploring new dimensions and seeking to transform reality, the SCI-FI SELF consumer emerges. This client encourages the possibilities of new meta-verses and is pushing for the increased fusion of reality and virtuality. Creating alter-egos via otherworldly and dream-like aesthetics is crucial to this consumer.<br /> Contrarily, the idea of directing desires for imagination from the future to the past, is surfacing the NU-DREAMERS. Their need to escape and dream incorporates high levels of creativity. They are taking curated elements from the past and patchworks them into a new eclectic and romantic world. The use of various historic influences and cultural references its key to this client and constitutes his rather intellectual approach to creativity. Aesthetically, this consumer profile feeds into the increasingly popular dark-academia trend across Gen-Z.
While the broad spectrum of consumer sentiments shows how distinctly different people are feeling at the moment, do not mistake this challenge as a burden but take it as a stepping stone to unleash creative energies. Considering the key-words “dream”, “connect” and “explore” to guide your design approaches and try to diversify your range.
To learn more about the different consumer sentiments and get the first inspiration on how to translate certain sentiments into concepts check the four key-trend reports: FATIGUE, HOPE, REFUGE, IMAGINATION.
12 May 2021