Nov 22, 2021
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Occasion dressing interest spikes before Black Friday says Karen Millen analysis

Nov 22, 2021

Karen Millen is expecting occasion-focused pieces to see strong demand this Black Friday with the retailer analysing Google search data and saying fashion in general has seen a 13.6% increase in market demand year-on-year with surging interest in special occasion clothing and accessories.

Karen Millen

The biggest spike in interest has been for personalised handbags, festival outfits and black tie dresses — up 1,722%, 469% and 449%, respectively.

That comes as the end of lockdown restrictions sees festivals, parties, weddings and other social events back on the agenda. That can also be seen by the 356% rise in searches for wedding guest dresses.

Other popular searches include crossbody bags for women (+357%), tote bags for women (+324%), plus-size workwear (+219% and a sign of more people going back to their offices), and silver heels (+190%).

Further signs of just how much consumer interest has changed this year can be see from other expectations around Black Friday demand. 

Remembering that last November we were still in lockdown with speculation that Christmas events would have to be cancelled, Karen Millen said dresses have the biggest forecast search difference this year. Searches are expected to be up almost 75%. Searches for midi dresses specifically are forecast to rise nearly 105%.

And sequin dress searches should be up almost 140%. It was interesting last year that anything with a shimmer was much less in demand than usual for the time of year. But the return to normality seems to have revived sequins’ must-have status. And the interest in silver heels mentioned earlier also supports this.

Meanwhile, it’s not all about parties. Now that consumers are allowed out, puffer jackets have also returned to the fore with a 37% spike predicted here. And searches for boots were high last year but are still expected to rise almost 10% this time.

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