It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Fletcher Knight as we reflect on 2019 and look forward to what 2020 will bring. We are filled with anticipation as we turn to thought leaders and forecast the coming trends for the new year. For the FK team, keeping track of trends across different industries allows us to create the future for our clients. It allows us to be aware of what is going on around the globe, keeping us agile in a fast-paced world. We are excited for what is to come, and even more thrilled to live in a city where we can experience these firsthand. Although New York is an inspiring city, we continue to focus our attention on global research markets and towards another hub for trends across the globe—Asia. In the health and fashion worlds, we are currently following streetwear inspired by Asian culture and wellness centers located in South-East Asia.
Takashi Murakami is one of the world’s most famous contemporary artists. Likewise, he produces some of the most coveted Japanese art-inspired streetwear designs. In early November at ComplexCon in LA, Murakami’s famed Kaikai Kiki flower in the form of $50K bejeweled pendants created by Ben Baller, sold out in four minutes by the likes of Kid Cudi and Lil Yachty. A forthcoming subculture of Asian streetwear is taking on a feminist approach to style. Gundi, which in Hindi is an expression used for women who are outspoken and believe in women’s liberation, is now the name for an empowering feminist streetwear brand, Gundi Studios, created by New York art director, Natasha Sumant. What started out as “Gundi” printed on pins and sold with vintage jackets is now a collection of aari, zari and cutdana decorative techniques in a modern streetwear form, handmade in India and filling the void of the lack of representation of South Asian women in streetwear. Although his prices may be high for the average person considering a purchase of his merchandise, Murakami draws his ingenuity from Superflat, so we see his inspiration everywhere.
The excitement surrounded by snatching a desired limited item creates a buzz. The idea that simple-looking pieces can hold value based on the amounts available, is what puts the hype in hypebeasts. Posting your purchase to Instagram amplifies your status, regardless if it’s the newest Kiks Tyo drop or a luxurious retreat to Six Senses Qing Cheng in Chengdu, Sichuan. So, if your daydreams are otherwise filled with travelling to beautiful destinations in order to gain peace and serenity rather than saving images on Instagram of streetwear inspo, consider planning your next vacation in the Asia-Pacific.
Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing inbound travel market, currently ranking second to Europe.2 As the fastest growing wellness tourism market, wellness trips in the Asia-Pacific region has jumped 33 percent in the last two years and isn’t slowing. Vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, Beth McGroarty, says the market is projected to nearly double from 2017–2022: from $137 billion to $252 billion.3 This growth is due to both inbound and internal tourism. In recent Fletcher Knight consumer research, young managerial office workers have talked about their reluctance to take vacations, especially during their early career, but this is starting to shift. Tourism from white collars tired of bustling outbound tourism are a driving force for their local wellness retreats; the young Chinese population favor and value travelling for health preservation.4 With an overall rising aspiration of wellness destinations for successful Chinese consumers, it will be interesting to see how this translates to mainstream attitudes and behaviors.
Often ahead of the trend curve, looking to Asia can be telling for what’s on the rise in other regions of the world, whether in fashion and health, or even food or beauty. Gaining insight with an open mind from another portion of the world allows us to grow and expand by being influenced by other cultures. These two areas, wellness centers and streetwear, are the tip of the iceberg. Trends are always evolving and growing, you never know what will gain popularity in the future. The anticipation of what’s next is what keeps us going.
To learn more about Fletcher Knight’s trend outlooks, click here.