International Trends in Clothing, Footwear, and Fashion in 2024

International Trends in Clothing, Footwear, and Fashion in 2024

What’s happening in fashion? The trends of 2024

As we’re halfway through the year now, it’s a good time to reflect and acknowledge what’s going on in the world around us. The fashion industry is a big part of our daily lives and the global marketplace, with new trends emerging regularly. Trends can often dictate and redefine the way we dress and express ourselves, so it’s essential to stay updated on the different fads and styles that are influencing the global fashion industry.

As trends come and go, let’s look at the ones that have made their mark so far, and some that will likely continue for the remainder of the year.

1. Conscious Consumption

In 2024, sustainability continues to be a driving force in the fashion industry. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their clothing choices, as well as being aware of the environmental impact from the companies they purchase from. This has led to a surge in sustainable fashion practices, such as upcycling, the come-back of second-hand op shopping, ethically sourced materials, and environmentally friendly production methods.

Sustainable efforts also align with global moves to combat climate change, seeing fast fashion on a fast decline. Clothing and footwear brands across the world are embracing sustainability more than ever, making huge efforts to minimise their environmental footprint.

Years ago you could purchase an item of clothing and have it last a decade or longer, but now the fast fashion industry produces garments based on short-lived trends, using predominantly plastic-derived materials to do so. Such products generate incredible amounts of textile waste, something that the industry is increasingly becoming aware of.

With two children I know I am always trying to shop for products that will stand the test of time. I am incredibly conscious of what can be worn and then handed down to younger cousins or family members. Conscious consumption is the best form of sustainability and a way to practise what we preach in looking out for the environment, with products living a second, or even third life.

As we continue through 2024, we can expect to see an increase in eco-conscious designs and consumption, and a focus on transparency throughout the supply chain.

2. Making a Statement through Colour

After years of a focus on neutral palettes and the concept of a ‘capsule wardrobe’, 2024 has seen a resurgent embrace of vibrant colours and eye-catching patterns. The movement towards more bold and striking looks can be defined as ‘dopamine dressing’, showing consumers seeking joy through self-expression and individuality through dress. Pantone’s chosen colour for 2024 is Viva Magenta, a deep, pinkish-red shade – think strawberry-coloured. It’s been described as “audacious” or “powerful and empowering”, demonstrating motifs of strength and energy in fashion this year. Be sure to look out for a lot of mixing and matching of contrasting colours and patterns this year as well, which is set to be a key styling technique to create striking and memorable looks.

3. Gender-Fluid Fashion

The movement for inclusivity has been prominent for years now, and in 2024, continues to redefine the fashion landscape. Even the most famous brands and designers are challenging traditional gender norms this year, with a surge of gender-neutral collections at this year’s fashion weeks in Sydney, New York, London, Milan and Paris. Collections that blur the lines between menswear and womenswear are taking centre stage. Not only is prevalent in the fashion industry, but we’re also seeing changes in the labour force too, with Qantas recently announcing a gender-fluid uniform line, and relaxed dress policies for employees onboard. We can expect to see gender-fluid silhouettes and other unisex styles of clothing continuing to be released and worn throughout the year. The breaking of traditional boundaries is yet another way people are expressing their authentic selves through fashion this year, proving 2024 to be the year of expression and individuality.

4. Fashion Meets Tech

As technology continues to advance, it manages to seep its way into every other industry, the fashion industry being one of them. Innovative and futuristic designs is becoming another trend surfacing in 2024, with the incorporation of smart textiles, wearable technology and 3D printing in clothing and footwear. The use of technology as an accessory, seen through smartwatches and AR-enhanced eyewear, further shows how fashion-tech collaborations are revolutionising the industry. While this isn’t as popular in daily wear as it is on the runway yet, designers are experimenting with fabrics like never before. As consumers see the benefits of combining style with functionality, you can expect this to be a continuing trend throughout this year and the years to come.

5. Nostalgia Reinvented

A continuing trend from last year, we see the embrace and revival of vintage and retro styles again in 2024. Nostalgia returning to take centre stage in the world of fashion, designers are increasingly drawing inspiration from past decades, and reinventing iconic fashion trends to fit the modern taste. The fusion of nostalgia and modernity looks like it’s here to stay, so keep your eye out for 70s, 80s, and 90s inspired looks.

The funny thing about fashion trends is that oftentimes people adapt and begin to adhere to them without taking explicit notice. You might find yourself swapping your old navy tie for a bright pink one, or suddenly decide to wear that old dress that once was squashed at the back of your cupboard.

What do you think of the fashion trends this year, and what it says about the future of the fashion industry?

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