Before it lands on the runway, chances are Depop predicted it first. The digital marketplace is a breeding ground for trends, mostly owed to the many subcultures that exist on it, and because of this it's the perfect place to pick up on the temperature of fashion at the time. Basically, if you want to know what young people are wearing, spend twenty minutes on the app.
And when the runway doles out the next big ticket item, Depop is the first place people look for secondhand and vintage fashion that scratches the same itch, more often than not at a more affordable price. So what's on the cards for 2023? After a year of microtrends (see: the frazzled english woman, weird girl aesthetic, balletcore) which culminated in a realisation that Gen Z was in the midst of a fashion crisis, I can't be the only one curious as to what lies ahead fashion-wise. Will we keep regurgitating whatever trend TikTok deems worthy? Will we take a new approach entirely? To answer my questions, Depop's brand director, Steve Dool, has shared noteworthy insights with RUSSH about the themes expected to dominate in 2023, according to the resale app's in-house data.
“Fashion has always been reflective of our collective sentiments and emerging trends in wider pop culture," Dool says. "At Depop, it’s no surprise that we are seeing trends bubble up earlier and earlier each year."
"On Depop, these trend predictions are trackable via search and demand from existing users in-app, informed by key cultural moments like upcoming blockbuster film releases, a new class of cultural tastemakers and, to some degree, what we have seen fresh off the runway this season." Below, what we've learned.
An ongoing thread of seafaring sirens has been woven through fashion in the last year or two – from Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Blumarine to Jacquemus Le Splash and Chloé – and according to the data from Depop, the aesthetic isn't sailing away any time soon. A lot of it has to do with the silhouettes that dominate Y2K era trends, which we've witnessed an upswing of, with mermaid dresses and midi skirts, stacked flip-flops, crochet and delicately beaded accessories or chunky hand-blown glass pendants. Depop has witnessed an 88% increase in searches for Mermaidcore, along with a 500% increase in searches for other ocean-adjacent items like Pirate Boots. Pop cultural references to know are the 2006 film Aquamarine and Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, always.
By now you're well acquainted with Indie Sleaze, but have you heard of Grunge Sleaze? It's a trend Depop has coined after noting a 176% increase in searches for the term. Denim plays a big part here, but it's been reworked into the dirty, washed-out hues. Take Julia Fox's DIY and slashed outfits for inspiration or refer to longtime style muse Bella Hadid. Alongside denim, you'll find leather is just as prolific for its slickness. Think Diesel's micro mini or the clothes from Ludovic de Saint Sernin who was recently appointed creative director of Ann Demeulemeester.
Retro-leaning outfits never truly leave the zeitgeist, and with cheerleaders in the form of Harry Styles and Grace Wales Bonner, we're observing fresh interest in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Depop credits the success of Gucci HA HA HA, the collaboration with former creative designer, Alessandro Michele, and Harry Styles, as the force behind this phenomenon, with a 171% combined increase in searches for waistcoats and knitted vests.
Depop would also like us to know that Space Age is back for 2023, and as with all recycled trends it arrives with a twist. The focus is on shimmering, ethereal materials and textures, with Depop’s community searching for everything from Paco Rabanne-esque chain mail to Mugler-like bodysuits. Accessorise with big stompy boots and alien sunglasses to add futuristic, sci-fi touch to the celestial theme, and if you need a pop culture anchor simply look at the tour wardrobes of Dua Lipa and Rosalía for inspiration.