Luxury fashion hunts ‘hype beasts’ with high-end streetwear
Luxury fashion doesn’t always look like it used to. Designer denim, limited-edition sneakers and other high-end streetwear offerings can fetch price tags once reserved for modish foreign formalwear. Some traditional luxury department store retailers have begun to pick up on the trend, adding assortments that cater to the big-spending, fashion-obsessed young people sometimes known as “hype beasts.”
Nordstrom recently announced that it will be opening a store-within-a-store from streetwear sneaker consignment brand Stadium Goods at its forthcoming Manhattan men’s store, a move that Glossy reports as one of the big recent examples of the growing connection between luxury fashion and streetwear. Over the past few years, Bergdorf Goodman has begun stocking products from streetwear brand Kith and Barneys New York has partnered with streetwear fashion magazine Highsnobiety to curate collections.
Barneys has also begun to conduct “product drops” along the lines of what brands like Adidas and Nike have done to roll out limited-edition items with a maximum degree of excitement. Last year’s “Thedrop@barneys” event featured custom designer hats and Converse products. More than 80 designers took part, as well as celebrity tattoo artists, piercers and popular hip-hop artists.
High-end streetwear is having a significant impact on the global luxury market. Business of Fashion reported at the end of 2017 that streetwear boosted global luxury sales by five percent. In that article, a Bain & Co. analyst attributed the trend in part to lifestyle changes and the move to less formal work clothing in the past 10 to 15 years.
As members of the generations raised on online shopping become high earners interested in luxury goods, luxury retailers are also going digital. A 2017 report from Bain & Co stated that online sales will make up 25 percent of luxury sales by 2025.
Nordstrom, in particular, has taken steps to try to become an operation more geared to the digitally savvy. Last month the retailer acquired two digital startups, BevyUp and MessageYes, to enhance its e-commerce and omnichannel offerings.
- How luxury department stores are cashing in on streetwear – Glossy
- Streetwear Bringing Steady Growth to Global Luxury Market – Business of Fashion
- Can Barney’s tap into ‘drop’ culture? – RetailWire
- Luxury brands are racing to embrace e-commerce – RetailWire
- Will acquiring tech startups help Nordstrom boost its digital ops? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do luxury retailers run the risk of alienating their traditional customers if they focus on streetwear and other high-end fashions enjoyed by younger audiences? How do you see the luxury fashion market evolving to appeal to the digital generations?