The “casualization” of fashion is transforming the global luxury industry, thanks in large part to the rise of athleisure and streetwear styles.
Particularly popular with millennial and Gen Z consumers, streetwear has become embedded in the Chinese fashion landscape. Streetwear brands, including the luxury Off-White and iconic Supreme, are experiencing double the growth in online search volume that traditional activewear and luxury fashion brands see according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. The Baidu Index for streetwear brands, on average, increased 12% year over year as of March 2019.
Digitally native luxury companies are recognizing the power of streetwear, as luxury e-tailer Farfetch recently acquired both sneaker reseller Stadium Goods and the parent company of Off-White. These acquisitions will likely resonate in China, where sneakers are one of Farfetch’s best-selling categories.
In order to adapt to this change, heritage luxury brands are updating both their styles and their digital strategies to reach younger Chinese consumers on the platforms where they are most active. As the “it sneaker” emerges as the definitive entry-level luxury product for younger generations, luxury brands are venturing into new categories, collaborating with streetwear brands sold through Chinese digital channels, adopting the streetwear-inspired “drop” model online and partnering with young celebrities