Why Today’s Fashion Landscape is a Fertile ground for Single-category Accessories Brands?
Fashion is shifting focus. It is no longer only about huge brands making an assortment of items, but also smaller brands specializing in a particular category. In 2018, accessories items such as scarves, belts, hats excluding shoes and bags were the second biggest category in fashion, totalling up to 18% of the overall apparel market globally and beaten only by tops. Items like scarves, belts, hats are getting popular and are in demand. Jewelry, on the other hand, is moving slowly as compared to the other accessories. This huge rise in accessories has, in turn, lead to the birth of many emerging brands that are laser-focused on a single accessory. For example, Gentle Monster for glasses and Stance for socks.
Sneaker trend lead to a ‘BOOM’ in socks business
A brand like Stance has 13 retail stores with over 150 employees, launched with only socks but has now expanded to intimates, underwear, and T-shirts. They have categories like casual, lifestyle and performance with 3-4 sub-categories and dozens of socks in each sub-category. The sneaker trend has definitely played a major part in the brand’s success. With people spending hundreds of dollars on sneakers, it is natural that the socks market will benefit from it.
Stance’s collaboration with Rihanna sold more than 50 million pairs of “socks”.
With high fashion being so strongly influenced by street style, the wall between high-end & streetwear is vanishing as accessories have become a point of entry for luxury shoppers. Part of the reason is that Luxury accessories are more accessible as compared to other luxury items like apparel, bags or shoes. It is more affordable for someone to buy a pair of Dior sunglasses as compared to a Dior handbag. Similarly, Just Human, a sustainable high-end sunglass brand is relying on the desirability of luxury accessories to get off the ground. Hence, it makes accessories attainable for a larger group of people.
Needless to say, what makes accessories a great category for any brand to start, is that is least defined by gender or size and thus can attract a larger and more diverse audience.
Having that said, there can also be challenges when a brand is offering only one product category. It is important for the brand to keep up with new trends and demands of the consumer. There has to be a sense of freshness in the brand and it is important to make sure that the products are being made and marketed in the best way possible in order to retain the customer. Brands have to be open, take chances, and shouldn’t be afraid to push their limits. They will have to find new creative ways to engage with the consumer and provide a different experience altogether in order to stay relevant in the industry.
Hi! Shagun here. I am an Accessory Designer from NIFT, New Delhi and working as Brand Manager at ILoveFashionRetail. I am an avid traveler and love to explore new places every now and then.