22/03/2016
Hang onto your LBD a little longer.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

We’ve just come off VAMFF and we’ve seen a lot of vibrant colour on the runway. Think saffron yellow on Alex Perry’s floor length dresses, Yeojin Bae’s neon fuchsia and Dion Lee’s deep wine pieces.

But there’s a pretty good chance most of those garments won’t make it into your wardrobe.

Edited has just released data on this year’s colour trends. And unsurprisingly (especially for us Melburnians), black takes the cake when it comes to consumer purchases.

Between March 2015 and February 2016, black pieces covered a huge 35.2% of the market share. Greys (14%) and whites (13.3%) were the next closest shades, because let’s be honest, they aren’t colours at all.

We kind of expected this, you just need to glance across the front row of any fashion show to see it.

The most-sold colours in the same period (that are actually colours) were browns (6.3%), pinks (5.3%) and navy (5.2%). And men’s trends are not too far off.

These statistics seem to tell a very different story to what you see on the runway and in commercial magazines. That’s because mags and the wider fashion market need to capitalise on trends that seem exciting and new. Senior retail and fashion analyst at Edited, Kate Smith, told WWD this is because people don’t want to look at things they already own. Having little splashes of the lesser-selling colours “makes the store look inseason, without moving the consumer way out of their comfort zone.”

This also accounts for sales at the end of the season, which tend to lack those blacks and greys. “Retailers will likely have to discount at the end of the season,” explained Smith. This comes through clearly in data which showed stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, H&M, Zara and Topshop selling only 57% of their maroon-coloured products at full price. The other 43% had to be sold in sales.

The disconnect isn’t just to do with colour either, with patterned pieces proving even more difficult to move in stock.

When you compare these colour trends to last year, the results are almost perfectly in line. What does that tell us for trends going forward? Stick to your black. It may be boring but it will outlast every season.