The Trendhouse team has conducted in-depth consumer, cultural, design and colour research to inform directions across the casual and athleisure markets for spring summer 2021. The five themes – Cultural Exchange, Additive Free, Alt-life, New Age Wellness and Hyper Nature – explore the fundamental aspects and trend evolutions of the relaxed leisure wardrobe for the season ahead, each connected by the three big ideas for the season – Off Centre, Future Acclimatise and Purposeful.
Cultural Exchange explores local traditions blending with global pop culture, as the world opens up to new centres of creativity in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. European street culture blends with the traditions of unique communities to create an iconoclastic aesthetic. Symbolism is key, adorning sportswear with embroideries and meaningful motifs, while patchwork quilting is lent an urban edge with denim or utility pieces. Cement grey, inky black and warm navy ground a palette of intriguing tones, from dusty pink, wine red and burnt orange to zingy chartreuse and clean ocean blue.
Additive Free looks at slowing down the pace of life, of consumption, of production. We are rediscovering simple pleasures and forgotten skills via pared-back separates and authentically tactile materials. A sincere but laidback look, with a colour palette inspired by vegetable dyes. Mellow yet positive, colour ranges from earthy midtones to deep brown and forest green, invigorated by pumpkin orange, sky blue and amber. Denim is clean in tone, made into simple, practical shapes. Lightweight linen and cotton in ecru and straw shades are enlivened with gently colourful stripes or madras checks. There’s an easy vibe in draped pieces paired with casual classics and faded prints.
A counter-cultural mood emerges in Alt-life, harking back to the laidback style of skaters and surfers. Fabrics and silhouettes are as relaxed as the mood, with faded denims and washed-out tones interspersed with bold graphics and placement prints. Checks and stripes mix with oversized jersey, corduroy and twill. Layering is key, mixing pattern, print and texture to create a look that epitomises casualness. Colour is both soft and intense: light tones of stone white, pale blue, yellow and peach have unusual depth, while saturated shades of lilac, pinktoned red and deep green provide energy in contrast.
New Age Wellness explores a holistic combination of spiritual practices and tech tools. Open-minded attitudes to sex, ageing and the body emerge, while intuitive wellbeing and cosmic guidance are increasingly valued. A thoughtful direction creates a sense of wellbeing through colour, texture and mood. Technical fabrics are gently draped or cocooned around the body in roomy, translucent layers. There’s an effortless feel to styling, with simple monochrome outfits in pastel shades and gently contrasted technical trims. Open-weave knits and handdyed patterns are natural but modern when paired with clean mid-toned basics. Key colours include a trio of soft blue-toned greys, deep purple and glowing peach alongside complex pink, aqua and citrus tones.
In Hyper Nature, our surroundings are viewed through a high-tech lens, as a way to safeguard and celebrate our environment. Functionality, creativity and unusual phenomena inspire a positive future. Technical sportswear balances innovation and practicality. Wet-look fabrics and utility-inspired straps and trims hint at aquatic exploration, while sheer outerwear provides lightweight protection. Simple pieces gain new urgency from contrasting colours and fabrics. Bright shades of lime, deep pink and cyan blue seem to glow against deep teal, midnight purple, burgundy and anthracite. Metallic grey-blue has a hightech glint. For spring summer 2021, each of the five different themes provide specific directions for the casual and athleisure lifestyle sectors, but combined, they give a comprehensive view of consumer’s evolving lives. Dig into our wide-ranging global research to inspire and inform your season.