SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – The Samsung Fashion Institute announced Tuesday its selection of the top ten issues in Korea’s fashion industry this year. The list included several changes in the industry as well business and consumption trends, but it was marked by the stagnant industry’s struggle to survive instead of focusing on growth.
Disappointing economic growth and poor consumer sentiment led to an increasing number of shoppers looking for cost-effective products, and higher priced apparel like suits were introduced at much lower prices.
Clothing that can be worn in more than one season grew in popularity, particularly with the long summer and early arrival of winter this year.
The emergence of the consumer group composed of men in their 40s was especially notable.
This particular group, whose members grew up experiencing major cultural changes, became a key demographic marked by the active pursuit of personal grooming, sensitivity to latest trends, and high purchasing power, urging cosmetics, clothing, and interior design companies to develop products specifically targeting them.
The institute also pointed to the growth of “SoHo” brands, smaller clothing brands often popular on online markets, noting that consumers are increasingly seeking budget friendly designer brands that are not mainstream, unlike “SPA” or “fast fashion” brands (i.e. Zara or UNIQLO).
Other issues included the expansion of online-to-offline services, the emergence of region-specific fashion outlets, the growing popularity of K-fashion, largely among Chinese consumers, and “athleisure” products.
Meanwhile, the institute anticipated the clothing industry to see increasing demand for “differentiated content” in 2017, given the growing consumption of products highlighting individuality.
Personal concierge services, providing customers with personalized information and services, were also expected to increase in popularity next year.
“Fashion preferences will further be segmented in 2017,” said an SFI official. “Together with technological advancement in artificial intelligence, big data, and virtual reality, the industry will see a major paradigm shift in its business operations.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)