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Fashion, fashion, fashion… forever a popular topic of conversation but what trends do the experts think your retail business needs to be watching in 2016?

With fashion news and emerging trends essentially available at the touch of our fingertips through social media, numerous fashion news websites, and blogs, it’s important to keep up to date with the things that will have an affect on your fashion business.

In the recent years we’ve seen so much change in the fashion retail industry, from the increase in social media shopping, the advances in fashion technology, the rise of ecommerce and the changing pace of the fashion calendar.

With both London and New York Fashion Week both hot topics of conversation currently we thought we’d take a look at what the movers and the shakers in the fashion industry are saying. From designers to bloggers, and journalists to fashion business owners, we’ve picked our top 5 fashion influencers and found out their views on the ever-changing fashion industry.

1. Roksanda Illincic

Serbian designer, Roksanda Illincic, has rose to fame with her brand ‘Roksanda’ with many notable high-points in her career so-far including dressing the Duchess of Cambridge and Cate Blanchett, making her second catwalk-show appearance at London Fashion week, opening their first physical store in London’s Mayfair in 2014, and being displayed at the Women Fashion Power exhibit at the Design Museum.

Roksanda is stocked by some of the biggest names in the retail industry including Harrods, Browns, Harvey Nichols, Net-A-Porter and Selfridges, to name a few. Roksanda Illincic can definitely be named as a big fashion influencer as she turns heads in the fashion industry!

 

 
Trend: Faster Fashion

In a recent interview with Harpers Bazaar, Roksanda Illincic talked about how she believes there should be a discussion around the struggle for designers to keep up with the fast pace of the fashion calendar. Roksanda said, “I recently heard that Diane von Furstenberg is planning to hold a meeting for the CFDA to address the issue of the ever-quickening pace of the fashion calendar, and whether there is something that can be done to address the issue of top designers feeling the strain to keep up while trying to retain their creative integrity. I think it's definitely a subject that warrants discussion.”

She mentions fellow fashion influencer and designer, Diane von Furstenberg, who is famous for creating the wrap dress and founding her self-named business in 1970. Diane is also a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). If an influencer who’s been in the business that long thinks it warrants discussion, then it most likely does!

Fun fact: Roksanda are running their business with Brightpearl!

Follow @RoksandaIllincic on Twitter! 

 

2. Dame Natalie Massenet

Another notable influencer in the fashion industry is the British Fashion Council’s Chairman and founder and former executive chairman of Net-a-Porter, Dame Natalie Massenet. Highly involved in London Fashion Week and famous for growing the largest luxury ecommerce site, Natalie definitely deserves her place in the top fashion influencers.

Natalie Massenet recently became a dame, notably on the first day of London Fashion Week 2016, for her services to the retail industry. She also was named one of Time’s 100 most influential peoplein 2014 and sits comfortably in the top half of ‘The Top 100 2015’ by Drapers at number 41.

 

 
Trend: FashTech

Dame Natalie recently spoke to The Standard about how important it is for fashion and technology to work together and how the British Fashion Council have been championing it. She said, “We were the first capital to live-stream our shows from our central venue in 2009, making London now a capital for fashion and technology.”

“As an organisation we are fiercely proud of that reputation — FashTech is essential to growth in our sector and it keeps us well ahead of the competition.” Dame Natalie added: “Living and breathing in the digital world informs everything that we do. As an organisation we amplify our events to a global audience through live streaming, social media and content distribution.”

3. Eva Chen

As Head of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram, Eva Chen is an influencer in her own right. With over 548,000 Instagram followers and 137,000 Twitter followers, Eva Chen is certainly influential and arguably one of the most powerful influencers when it comes to social media and fashion.

Before embarking on her journey at Instagram, Eva Chen came from an editorial background and was editor-in-chief at the now-closed magazine, Lucky. Previously, she was beauty editor of Teen Vogue.

 

 
Trend: The Power of Instagram

Of course the trend Eva Chen has something to say about is Instagram-related. In an interview with Vogue, Eva Chen talked about the power of Instagram for the fashion industry. "The thing about Instagram and fashion is that is has absolutely taken down the sense of the velvet rope and has pulled the curtain aside on the entire experience that used to be for a select 100 people in the world. Now it is there for millions of people to consume", she said.

"There are different ways to show and tell through Instagram," she adds. "What's right for one designer will be very different for another designer and everyone's going to be figuring things out, but it's a great opportunity to use it for feedback. For these brands to ask their millions of followers what they think, I believe that's the new frontier of Instagram. It sounds basic, but it's literally as simple as asking a question."

Eva talks about how powerful visual content can be in fashion, "There's Boomerang, Hyperlapse, slow-motion video and pictures as well as words. People love it and get mesmerised and lost in certain motions. Using videos is especially fun right now, especially with fashion - it's good to see sequins twinkle as they swish past you."

4. Rachel Arthur

Our next influencer is Rachel Arthur, a business journalist and the founder of Fashion & Mash, “the leading daily news website for those interested in the crossroads of fashion & technology”. Rachel has written for huge titles including Forbes, Fashionista, The Daily Telegraph and has worked for WGSN.

Rachel’s Twitter, @rachel_arthur, is definitely one to follow. I’m sure her 6,600+ followers would agree. With great live tweets from London Fashion Week and interesting statistics tweeted regularly.

 

Trend: Programmatic Commerce

As a journalist focused on fashion and technology, Rachel is often writing about the latest trends in the industry. Recently writing for Forbes about how ‘Programmatic Commerce’ could be the next big thing in retail.

She writes, “Imagine this: you wake up in the morning and your coffee machine, as it pours you your first cup, tells you it’s almost out of your favourite blend. Rather than making a mental note to yourself to remember to buy some more on your next store visit, your machine instantly does the ordering for you – adding it to your shopping basket, along with the detergent that needs replacing, the toothpaste you’re running low on, and the mascara that is just about to dry out.”

The article highlights how your repeat purchases could become automated in the near future. Instead of me continuing to ramble on about the article, you can read the rest of it here. Do you see programmatic commerce in the future of retail?

5. Emma Hill

Our fifth and final influencer is ex-Mulberry creative director, Emma Hill, who launched her debut range of Hill & Friends handbags at London Fashion Week in 2015 and has since taken the last year by storm. Hill & Friends returned to London Fashion Week last week and presented a creative film of their new collection.

 

Trend: Want it now, Have it now

Emma’s fresh outlook on how luxury brand should be readily-available online without a time-lag. In this interview with the Standard, Emma Hill said “This has never been all about opening a bricks-and-mortar store. We want to be digitally advanced. Luxury brands have been slow with online shopping. But it’s so important to give your customers what they want.”

She added, “The idea of going to a show and then waiting six months to buy it is old - when we launched we chose a small selection of bags that were available straight away.”

Do you think shoppers should be able to get their hands on fashion straight away?

Fun fact: Brightpearl powers Hill & Friends’ business!

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.