Throughout the pandemic this year, many brands and retailers struggled to maintain their position in such a rapidly changing fashion landscape. But Rue 21, the American-based retailer best known for its fashionable basics, served as an exception, exceeding their pre-pandemic sales by adapting to the situation at hand. John Fleming, the brand’s interim CEO back in the Summer, affirmed their vision for the seasons to come: “Trends are changing faster than ever before and we’re determined to consistently meet our loyal customers’ demands.”
For Rue21 to build on their recent success and continue their momentum, therefore, it’s important to develop on-trend seasonal product assortments to stay in the game. Trend forecasting can provide the key to creating better collections that are sure to appeal to the brand’s US female audience, providing data-driven insights drawn from social media on market trends and demand this Spring 2021.
Forecasting key trends for Rue21’s Spring 2021 collections
This article compares a few key styles taken from Rue21’s social media with data-driven insights to demonstrate how trend forecasting can provide foresight into how these trends will behave next Spring in the American market. With this knowledge, Rue21 could refine their product assortment to better capture market demand and avoid overstock and excessive promotions.
Some of the key trends among teenagers on social media are tie dye, plaid shirts, and slim denim pants. These garments are wardrobe staples for the average American teen, but they behave very differently depending on the season: data-based trend forecasting reveals which trends should be included in Rue21’s Spring 2021 womenswear collection, and which should be avoided.
1. Tie Dye Tops
Tie dye seems to have defined 2020 — we’ve seen the pattern everywhere, likely as a result of the DIY fashion movement that appeared during lockdown all around the world. In the US, tie dye is predicted to rise +14% among women this SS21, so it’s no surprise that tie dye tops are considered a fashion bet for Rue21’s next Spring collection. The garment is predicted to rise by a whopping +21% among American women this upcoming season.
Matching its psychedelic feel, tie dye tops will appeal most to the trendy and edgy consumer segments, who style the garment with oversized pants, statement jewelry, and experimental makeup. TikTok fashion is largely responsible for this trend and the way it’s been styled by US teenagers through the year. So to keep their customers on-trend, Rue21 would do best to launch tie dye tops during its high seasons of Summer and Fall to capture the garment’s big potential market demand.
2. Casual Plaid Tops
Oversized flannels have been around for many seasons, and they’ve been styled in even more ways. From being tied loosely around one’s waist, to being layered over a monochromatic outfit, casual plaid tops are a truly versatile item of clothing. But this Spring, it seems the garment will live at the back of young consumers’ closets for the time being.
Given their -12% growth rate, casual plaid tops are indeed a last call for Spring 2021. And while the trend holds quite a universal appeal as we’ve established, its high season of Winter won’t prove very useful for Rue21’s Spring collection planning.
Find out how SS21 trends are adopted in the US vs Europe
3. Slim Denim Pants
Slim denim pants fit into the category of safe apparel, like everyone’s favorite old t-shirt or sneakers. And this Spring, slim jeans will stay true to their identity as a safe bet for Rue21’s next womenswear collection. The garment naturally appeals to all consumer segments, so Rue21 will have some creative liberty with the garment to attract the attention of its various style subcultures among its American female audience.
Slim denim pants have a growth rate of -6% next Spring, which is considered flat, so they remain a garment to include in upcoming womenswear collections. Rue21 should launch the garment during its high seasons of Spring and Winter to best capture the trend’s massive market demand next year.
Social media-based trend forecasting to understand Rue21’s young audience
These trends are merely a sneak peek from Rue21’s Instagram account, compared with data to reveal varying trend behavior for the upcoming Spring season in the US. During Spring 2021 in the US, tie dye tops and slim denim pants have the green light, while casual plaid shirts will be in low demand.
Teenagers are those who adopt and drop trends more rapidly than any other consumer group, which is why it’s so important for Rue21 to maintain a constant ear to the ground when planning upcoming collections. Because this age group often expresses fashion tastes and desires via social media, trend forecasting based on social media analysis is an essential approach to staying ahead of changing trends. Fleming confirms the temperament of Rue21’s young American audience: “Our customers [are] anxious to purchase affordable, fashion-forward pieces that fit into their new way of life.”