Dedicated followers of (80s and 90s) fashion and the festival season drives apparel search demand

Fashion of eras past are bouncing back in the search term ranks, while the summer hails more than the sun, as festival season means searches for the garb and gear to hit the fields.

Resurgence and revival – search demand is certainly harking back to both in the fashion sector. 

The resurgence of the summer festivals after a forced two-year hiatus has been met with demand for festival fashion, while glitter and sparkle spreads across fashion and beauty. Meanwhile the 80s and 90s are back with a bang according to both the fashion press and consumers, with searches for the ‘newest’ trends hitting soaring heights compared to a year ago.

Travel remains high on the search agenda however, with many major airlines seeing triple-digit percentage climbs. But ‘demand’ in this instance could mean as much for contact as it can for booking those summer getaways, as passengers grapple with their rights and options amid daily holiday cancellation notices and travel plans plunged into chaos as airports and airlines struggle to cope with Brits (and others) going back abroad.

Your regular digital demand update from Performance Marketing World - powered by MediaVision’s Digital Demand Tracker - tracks online search trends to determine what’s in demand. 

Here’s what the market demand data for various sectors shows for 22 May to 4 June 2022, compared to the same time in 2021.

Fashion’s up and down brands this fortnight

GymShark saw a 164% rise in demand year-on-year compared to May/June 2021, while fast-fashion retailer Shein continues to see an uptick at 118% compared to a year ago. Other search rises include Urban Outfitters (24%), Matalan (16%), Uniqlo (34%) and luxury fashion place Net-a-Porter (71%). 

Searches for casual footwear brand Converse were up 26%, while Pretty Green, founded by rock singer Liam Gallagher before its sale in 2019, saw a 59% rise in the run-up to his long-awaited gig at Hertfordhire’s Knebworth Park.

Missguided, the fashion brand that went bust last month, climbed in demand by 78%, partly due to consumers searching for how to get refunds and the news of its acquisition by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group. Meanwhile another Mike Ashley brand, Sports Direct, saw search demand drop 16% in the fortnight compared to 2021. 

Other ‘high street’ and online fashion retailers seeing drops in volume include New Look (14%),Very (13%), Nasty Gal (39%) and ASOS (4%). 

Airlines flying in search demand

Searches for specific major airlines and travel companies have climbed dramatically in May/June 2022 compared with a year ago. While this may not seem a surprise, given this year’s certainty compared to 2021 and 2020 that summer holidays can go ahead, the rises are perhaps masking the reasons people are searching, as it’s likely that it’s not all about booking the summer getaway. 

Travel operator Tui has seen a year-on-year rise in searches of 285%, while notable rises are apparent for many major airlines including Easyjet (261%), British Airways (126%) and Ryanair (151%). 

All have hit the UK headlines over the past month – with little sign of this slowing down – because of short notice flight or holiday cancellations, with reports of passengers being unable to contact their providers on the day about how to get compensation, alternatives or straight refunds for holidays that didn’t happen.  

Fashion through the years

Much has been made in the fashion pages (and blogs) of the resurgence of those milestone moments from decades ago. The 1980s is under the search microscope, with a 120% rise in searches for 80s fashion compared to the same period last year. 

Sparkle and glitter is ‘all the rage’ with sparkly dresses up 62% and glitter dresses up 136%, while within the beauty sector, ‘face glitter’ has risen 113%.

Of course the rise in the generic search term could be as much about an education of ‘the decade fashion forgot’ – meaning we may well see demand for acid jeans, oversized shirts, neon and the style of icons in the era in the near future. 90s fashion – the decade of Britpop, grunge and shellsuits, to name a few, has also shot up year-on-year - by 78%. 

Festival season drives demand

Travel-related searches within the fashion sector still reign, with swimwear upticking in demand year-on-year, including bikinis (88%), mens swim shorts (237%) and sarongs (393%).

But summer doesn’t just mean a beach holiday – for many it’s travel to (literally) further fields, both home and abroad, as the festival season gets well and truly underway. In the UK, Download and the Isle of Wight have just bounced back after a two-year COVID hiatus and Glastonbury-goers are defying national rail strikes in their droves this weekend.

Consumers have been searching in their droves to prepare, with ‘festival outfits’ jumping 350% year-on-year and ‘festival clothing’ up 168% in the period. Add to this the impressive 88% jump in searches for ‘bucket hats’ and 117% climb for ‘cargo pants’ – as much to do with the 90s trend as a useful sunblock for an unsheltered day in the sun – and searches for ‘festival makeup’ (up 141%) – and it seems that festival fever is hitting revellers after two years away.

Travel remains in demand – but chaos drives search

May to early June 2022 saw a more than 1000% jump in searches for hand luggage as the cabin bag fever bites with passengers trying to avoid check-in queues while airline and airport chaos remains out of control. 

Meanwhile, travel insurance searches continue to climb (up 324% on a year ago). The yearly increase can of course reflect demand as uncertainty in 2021 meant we questioned our ability to go anywhere abroad. But this year’s scenes at airports across the UK, coupled with the daily reports of double-digit short-notice flight cancellation numbers across many airlines, will undoubtedly be causing people to search for what they are covered for, or preparing for yet more unknowns as the holiday season gets fully underway. 

All data is sourced by MediaVision’s Digital Demand Tracker