Fashion 2019: A year of awakening

Fashion 2019: A year of awakening

The industry as a whole is embracing new opportunities, even as dangers lurk.

Times change. A few years ago, when you visited a clothing store, you checked the material, the color, and the size. Now, millennials pay more attention to the sustainability of the brand or that the main components won’t be dangerous to the planet.

New companies arrived and want to seize the market. To do so, they need to take an active stance on social issues, satisfy consumer demands for radical transparency and sustainability, and, most important, have the courage to “self-disrupt” their own identity and the sources of their old success to realize these changes and win new generations of customers.

They also need to invest in enhancing their productivity and resilience, as the outlook is uncertain. External shocks to the system continue to lurk, and growth cannot be taken for granted.

For fashion players, 2019 will be a year of awakening. External shocks to the system continue to lurk around the corner, and growth most certainly cannot be taken for granted: the McKinsey Global Fashion Index forecasts growth of just 3.5 to 4.5 percent, slightly below 2018 figures.

By geography, the most optimistic in the industry regarding the coming year are executives in North America. By segment, the most positive are executives from luxury brands, reflecting their strong growth trajectory in 2018. In all other regions and segments, executives are notably pessimistic before the potential challenges ahead.

It comes against the backdrop of a fashion industry that was widely viewed to have turned a corner in 2018, with increased growth justifying the optimism expressed in last year’s global fashion survey.

The renewed sense of caution is also reflected in the BoF–McKinsey State of Fashion Survey, with 42% of respondents expecting conditions for the fashion industry to become worse in 2019.

The report includes the third readout of our industry benchmark, the McKinsey Global Fashion Index. This database of more than 500 companies allows those interested to analyze and compare the performance of individual companies with their peers, by category, segment, or region.


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Oso Oseguera
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