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After two years of post-lockdown recession, economic challenges finally hit luxury brands and consumers this year. But it’s not all doom and gloom: affluent shoppers continued to purchase ultra high-end goods while the quiet luxury trend swept the world, spurred on by new brand launches from the likes of Phoebe Philo. Elsewhere, consumers have been inspired by new entry points to luxury, like food and unexpected tastemakers from the world of sport.
Vogue Business breaks down the top consumer trends for 2023.
Food is in fashion
Two weeks ago, Balenciaga presented its collaboration with LA health food café Erewhon during its Spring 2024 show: a see-now-buy-now collection of co-branded hoodies, T-shirts and accessories. The brand also released a limited-edition Balenciaga x Erewhon juice, for a cool $14, the week of the show. It’s the latest in a long string of fashion and food collaborations this year, cementing the idea that food is the new luxury and has become a status symbol for young consumers.
During the pandemic, Gen Z began romanticising their daily lives, placing added value on simple pleasures like grabbing a takeaway coffee or smoothie, and turning it into content. And as budgets tightened in 2023, young people continued to prioritise these more affordable luxuries, sharing their Joe and the Juice sandwiches or Erewhon hauls as part of their “day in the life” TikToks.
Luxury and beauty brands have leaned into the trend. In addition to Balenciaga, brands including Sky High Farm Workwear, Hailey Bieber’s Rhode and skincare label Agent Nateur, have collaborated on food products with Erewhon this year. Burberry took over London café Norman’s in line with its Spring/Summer 2024 show in September. In Paris, business is booming for luxury culinary provider Balbosté, which creates themed food concepts for brands from Chanel to Loewe, including VIC (very important client) dinners. The company grew 250 per cent this year, buoyed by increasing interest in Instagrammable food concepts from fashion houses.
Fashion and sports: Playing each other
From Travis Kelce to David Beckham, sports stars have had a big year in popular culture, representing half of the top 10 most Googled people of 2023. At men’s SS24 fashion week in June, sports stars took over the front row. From surfing, to the NFL or Formula One, fashion brands are tapping all kinds of sports stars as attendees and brand ambassadors, alongside existing talents like NBA players or the occasional footballer. Looking ahead to 2024, expect the relationship between sport and fashion to intensify in anticipation of the Paris Olympics.
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