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Resortwear: The Resurgence of Vacation Dressing

Resortwear: The Resurgence of Vacation Dressing
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As our world keeps changing around us, so does the fashion calendar. There was a time when bi-annual shows were the norm, with one Spring/Summer collection and one for Fall/Winter, but those days are long gone. In contemporary times, the trans-seasonal Pre-Fall has attracted more and more attention and become an expectation of designers. Another season that has also become increasingly relevant, so much so that it has started to reshape the fashion industry’s focus and become a key category for luxury fashion houses, is resort.

Resort collections (also called Cruise or Pre-Spring) present an opportunity for brands and designers to attract attention and drive sales outside of the traditional seasons, and also to engage consumers while they are traveling and dressing with a destination in mind. After so many resort shows being canceled during the pandemic, the world is finally expecting a post-pandemic travel surge this summer: global international tourist arrivals more than doubled (+130%) in January 2022 compared to 2021, and The World Travel & Tourism Council projects that U.S. Travel & Tourism could reach almost $2 trillion in U.S. GDP contribution and will exceed pre-pandemic levels by 6.2%. Undoubtedly, vacation dressing is re-surging.

Resortwear: Brand Highlights

Consumers are looking to resortwear to enhance their travel experience and set a vacation state of mind. A current holiday wardrobe is no longer solely consisting of swimwear and a cover-up, but encompasses a head-to-toe ensemble. What’s more, shoppers are looking to resortwear that can tell a story - about a brand, a place, or its creators. Altogether, this means that as demand for the evolving resort category grows, it is critical for brands and designers to adjust their assortments in order to cater to consumers' new expectations of the category. To that end, StyleSage has insights on which brands are leading the way.

Loewe, at the creative direction of Jonathan Anderson, is a brand at the forefront of fine leather goods and unique designs. In 2017, the brand unveiled a capsule collection with Paula’s Ibiza that focused on prints and designs that celebrated the fun and glamorous "Ibizian" way of life. What started as a seasonal marketing activation has today turned into a full line offering all summer staples needed -from sunglasses and ready-to-wear to perfume. Loewe’s Paula Ibiza collection is a true celebration of escapism, filled with summer essentials like handcrafted bags with ombré effects, playful fruit motifs and kaftan dresses. Trending with consumers? Their sunglasses. StyleSage Trend Radar shows that searches for ‘Loewe Sunglasses’ are up 215% since April 2020.  

Curious to know more about this diffusion line?  Check out our case study on the brand, which shows that there’s a compelling pricing and assortment strategy in play here - specifically that while resort collections began as a way for designers to cater to wealthy clients traveling around the globe, they now represent much more. As Loewe’s Paula Ibiza perfectly illustrates, resortwear is now an entry point for younger aspirational shoppers to tap into a luxury brand, as the price points normally are set significantly below the regular collections. At times when designer it-bags are seeing sky-high inflation, vacation line accessories provide a welcome alternative. Judging from the development and growth of the line since its original launch, it’s clear that the pricing strategy is working.

Turkish brand Siedrés describes itself as catering to the contemporary wardrobe with soul, and with collections bursting with color and textures, it is easy to see why. Named after an imaginary Mediterranean town, Siedrés’s kaleidoscopic printed dresses, metallic minis and floral embroidery do nothing short of sparking an immediate wanderlust to a sunny beachside location. Whether it is for a relaxed summer lunch or a morning swim, Siedrés makes sure to have apparel for all vacation moments, with appeal even outside the holiday calendar. The line is relaxed yet ultra-refined, and perfectly embodies modern resortwear for the stylish jet-setter.

With print and texture being key players in resortwear fashion, designers who have mastered the merging of the two are set to succeed in the category. One brand who has truly done just that is Anim Living - a transcontinental lifestyle brand that combines the designer Mina Dilber Temo’s Turkish heritage with her love of West Coast culture. Being born and raised in Istanbul, and later moving to Los Angeles, she seems to have combined the best of both worlds - a rich textile heritage with urban ease. The result? Apparel that channels a nomadic spirit and speaks of true playful ready-to-wear. The prints are bold and bright, and it’s clear that design elements are inspired from around the world. Apart from palm tree embroidered pants and floral printed sets that serve as some highlights of the apparel line, Anim also offers homeware. It’s a true lifestyle brand that sets the vacation bar high, and if their embroidered beach towels (also with their signature palm motif) and floral coaster sets don’t inspire you to buy a tropical vacation home, nothing will.

If you gravitate towards coastal vibes, relaxed silhouettes and breezy button-ups, look no further than the Coastal Grandma trend. The aesthetic that channels the affluent summertime lifestyle of a mature woman is one of the hottest trends of the summer, and it is a welcome addition in the sometimes flashy resortwear category. A big bucket hat to keep the sun out of one’s eyes, styled with a linen set in a variation of ecru, ivory or any other earthy shade and you are there. To perfectly finish off the look for full coastal mode, add a raffia basket bag.

StyleSage Data: Sold Out Rates

StyleSaga data shows that both materials at the center stage of this trend are shining this holiday season, as sold out rates are reaching peak levels. Over the past 30 days, sold out rates for linen pants and shirts are 34% and 31%, respectively, and raffia bags are 34% (compared to 10% a year ago).

Resortwear: Escapism Activations

To further illustrate just how important resortwear has become for the fashion industry, one has to look no further than the evolution of events surrounding the category. More than ever, brands are trying to build buzz with Instagram-friendly events and activations on the theme of resort and vacation.

For Camille Miceli's debut collection for Emilio Pucci, she did just that. She presented the line during an idyllic experience in Capri, where attendees were greeted by rows of models in Pucci swimsuits and were invited to “how to style a scarf” lessons. Everything in the ambience also spoke of Pucci resort, from giant branded pillows floating in water, to speedboats fully decorated with the brand’s kaleidoscopic prints. The Pucci lifestyle precisely and strategically shone through, and delivered a solid social media buzz for the brand.

Chanel is another brand that is investing heavily in this event category. Their St. Tropez pop-up has become a staple in the pretty peninsula famous for its exclusive beach clubs and luxury yachts, but in recent times the house has expanded even further on resort themed pop-ups and shows. The brand’s Cruise ‘23 show was presented on Hotel Monte-Carlo Beach on a runway full of sand, where the Mediterranean waters served as a perfect backdrop to inspire resort shopping. As of late, they have also re-opened their seasonal boutique at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the seaside resort of Bodrum, and the location is picturesque as few others can be. The giant interlocking C-logo all over the rooftop is reason enough to book a plane ticket and visit the boutique. Resortwear and the events surrounding it boost social mentions and can help in activating new key consumer demographics.

Interested in more insights on resort trends? StyleSage clients can check out our in-depth trend reports on raffia and linen in the platform.

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