Direct to Closet: Every Apparel Marketer’s Dream
January 14, 2023
2 mins read

Direct to Closet: Every Apparel Marketer’s Dream

Wearing a new apparel gives you a boost of confidence that you own for a long period and as the apparel gets to fade, you repel wearing the same. Haven’t you felt this? If not, you should feel this.Most of the apparel brands out there are eyeing for that confidence boost in you and a direct place in your closet. We shall dwell into some of the strategies brands have taken to get into your closet. 

First, let us figure out what did folks buy into their closet in 2022? 

Pandemic has definitely rocketed eCommerce for all of us to sit at the comfort of our desks and buy what we like. We are taking a deep dive into the US market apparel consumer buying trends till date. 

What did men mostly buy in 2022 till now?

  • Trouser’s evidently has been the most bought product by men. Significant increase in revenue’s in this category has been due to the rise of product lines, relevance to every generation needs, have a trouser for every occasion and wear that confidence forward with style and comfort. We deep dive into “Bonobos” strategies to be a brand leader in this segment below. 
  • As pandemic has given a boost to the importance of “health” and “wellness” , men have started to look to dwell more in the outdoors and maintain an active lifestyle and have comfortable sportswear for that adrenaline pump. 
  • We might see the rise in revenue of Coats and Jackets , Suits and Ensembles as there is a wedding boom rising across USA. 

What did women mostly buy in 2022 till now? 

  • A lifestyle change of remote work, live on the go, relaxed life have influenced women to buy more swimwear, dresses and skirts and trousers from past one year. 
  • Women now find more options online than offline ever. They are more connected to brand’s mission and values than men do.
  • Night & Underwear market has definitely thrived because of women. 
  • Need of diversity , new products and fashionable trends’s tend to influence women’s needs everyday and becoming difficult for brand’s to catch up. 

What did anyone buy for kids in 2022 till now? 

  • Lot of DTC brand’s are currently are feeling the need to serve the youngsters as they are the future torch bearer’s of the market. 
  • DTC brand’s need to start answering questions a lot more about where parents are living, what’s the surrounding environment for kid’s growing up there, what are the activities kid’s mostly will end up doing in the neighbour hood and more to think about SKU’s for kids. 
  • Simplicity, customization and community impact on kid’s life will be a key positioning for DTC brand’s. 

Source data

2 brands that are killing it along with being trendy !! 

1. Bonobos

Bonobos began in 2007 as a solution to a problem: finding pants that actually fit. Bonobos want to give every guy the chance to feel good about his own fit, to feel as comfortable in his clothes as he is in his own skin, to have confidence in his place in the world, and to use that confidence to help others along the way. Because we believe in a world where all men fit. 

This year’s focus: Becoming relevant to Gen Z’s. 

Bonobos - Gen Z

Bonobos launched a new product line called “Bonobos” Fielder focussed on GenZ. Bonobos have been part of the Walmart family since 2017 when the DTC brand was purchased for $310 million. Yet, the apparel brand has operated without being incorporated into Walmart stores — until today’s introduction of the Bonobos Fielder label.

“Bonobos at its core is about celebrating self-expression and fueling it with confidence,” David Sasson, chief operating officer at Bonobos, said in a statement. 

Things to ponder 

  • Its mission from day one has been “Enabling men to feel confident and stylish”. 
  • Providing SKU’s for all occasions from casual wear, and sportswear to premium occasions wear. 
  • Tapped into the golf wear market with a strong full-fledged product line and premium pricing. This gave them a strong foothold into the GenX market, high network individuals, and had a pyramid effect on their families too. This is what I call a great “Long term strategy”. 
  • While they had a strong game in Millenials and Gen X, they started to feel a need for a strong play into GenZ with the pandemic increasing the number of creators on TikTok and Instagram flaunting new age wear. This year’s focus has been that with Fielder. They are going into partnerships with artists like Mike Perry who are designing these collections as if it’s straight from paintings. Definitely a creative boost for everyone. 
  • Designed with bright, bold hues and made with well-fabricated, functional materials, Bonobos fielder is meant to be moved in, and to inspire creativity and exploration. 
  • Walmart has also agreed to extend the Fielder’s line to 250 stores and want to focus on colorful and comfortable casual apparel eye balls from Gen Z’s. 

2. Cupshe 

Cupshe is a California-inspired brand rooted in the simplicity of beach life and the love of traveling to exotic regions. Cupshe’s mission is to inspire confidence and beauty through refined and affordable fashion. Unlike some of the other brands who’ve explicitly branded themselves toward Gen Z. Cupshe tends to draw a more diverse audience of Millenials and Gen X.

“I love that Cupshe has such a wide variety of styles and that the pricing is really affordable,” said Lauren Imbriaco, founder of a fashion blog, Fit Mommy in Heels.
( source )

Latest focus: Expanding marketing investments and category offerings

Cupshe Offerings

Cupshe is moving away from its swimwear success into the athleisure space with a new line of leggings, shirts, and sweatshirts. At the same time, the brand is doubling down on marketing, investing more dollars across more channels. 

This is in totally in sync with the buying patterns we saw above . It is time for you to start thinking on your category pivot’s. 

3. Primary Clothing 

Primary Clothing 

Primary makes clothes for kids and builds a better experience for busy parents to shop for them. It aims to be the most inclusive kid's clothing brand, offering high-quality essentials at affordable prices. Rather than chasing the trend, Primary offers thoughtfully designed clothing without logos, slogans, or sequins. They take a gender neutral approach, with a broad range of colors available for babies and kids 0-12, without prescribing what is for girls or boys. 

“I love the quality of their clothes and that we can get pieces in our favorite colors — especially rainbow — whenever we want, no matter the season or trend,” Julie, Scary Mommy’s Head of Design, also shared.

What made them stand out?  

Primary is taking a different approach by focusing on timeless essentials in a rainbow of colors, rather than chasing trends. Their assortment is curated around the styles that babies and kids live in and that parents can re-buy as their kids grow. Their unique approach has become the basis of incredibly strong customer relationships.Following a value of simplicity and inclusivity is empowering them to resonate with the current generation of parents. 

What are they thinking next? 

Since going direct-to-consumer from day one along with having a compressed supply chain, they have hit a point with a lot of customer data and insights giving them opportunities and intelligence to think about physical retail as a great opportunity to introduce new customers to the brand. 

This is in-effect of rising acquisition costs online which is enabling DTC brands to start thinking of offline stores as a point of immersive experiences , strengthening brand connect with customers and building a community. 

Trends to look out for! 

Wedding boom

Wedding boom - Meme

This year, couples are expected to host roughly 2.5 million weddings, a 30% increase from the prior year and a number not seen in four decades, according to The Wedding Report. The amount that couples are spending to tie the knot keeps creeping up, too. In 2021, the average couple spent $27,063 on their wedding, according to The Wedding Report, up from about $24,700 per couple in 2019. An opportunity for apparel brands to gear up for this season with their offerings. Think of wedding couple’s needs, guest needs, family needs both in-city and destination. 

Source data

Diversity will remain top of mind 

Understanding customer data to predict product diversity, new categories, and shopping behaviors will be key. An example of this is how Bonobos have considered 40+ color categories for their Shirt, 5+ sizes available in all ranges, 3 types of fittings and length for this product line.

Bonobos - Product Selection
Bonobos - Fittings

Think of gender neutral products 

No one wants to feel left out. We should have the fundamental right to choose what we like to wear as it’s more about you than anything else. Brands are leveraging this to also have a great marketing strategy on being an inclusive brand attracting the younger generations. Some of them have also considered this as a strategy to ship products which can be used by anyone , hence reducing gender based acquisition costs. 

Eckhaus Latta

An example of a gender neutral DTC store -

Supply chain pressures will continue.

Supply Chain Stats

Source data

  • Find manufacturers closer to consumers and aim to shorten the length of the supply chain, reducing shipping costs. 
  • Strengthening relationships with their suppliers and providers, to build a more reliable network for when things go wrong. 
  • Focus on SKUs which is giving you the most margins and profit and aim to work with production partners to increase supply for the same. 
  • Create demand within your existing customers and focus on repeat purchase campaigns to keep up with it.

Hope you loved this drop and can find your way into the closet .

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