The Death of Minimalism Welcomes a New Technicolour Trend

The evolution of Instagram's competitive aesthetic-driven platform has forced brands to take a new approach at marketing. Here's a look at how social media has infiltrated the fashion scene, and what's really selling.

Words by Angie Jachniw
June 22nd, 2018

Scroll goodbye to the monochromatic flat lays that positioned Instagram as an aesthetic-driven boxing ring just years after its launch. Officially commenced by micro-bloggers with a premature lust for Kinfolk-minimalism, Tumblr and Instagram soon erupted with freelance work from artists capitalising on the understated palates later adopted by brands at the end of 2011.

Just one year later, it became evident that Instagram was no longer the platform for oversharing photos of lethargic cats and subjectively-cute toddlers; it was a business. But, as blogging took on a life of its own in the following five years, influencers noticed an underrepresentation of variety and range in their brand-sponsored work. The “underwhelming-is-the-new-black” foundation that once validated Kinfolk’s place in fashion began to shed its credibility in the eyes of more cultured macro-bloggers. Visually, the static arrangements atop marble counters did little justice for the bolder maximalist-wave striking artistic directors across the globe.


Both luxury and budget-friendly retail spaces have since been tasked with inventively manoeuvring the stylistic demand shift. With the rebirth of the Gucci-inspired “more-is-more” aesthetic came a subsequently new era for digital marketing; strategists had been granted limitless opportunity to unleash years of bridled campaign creativity. And that they have.

In a recent study done by EDITED’s analytics team, numbers show that brands are designing with Insta-feeds in mind. The emergence of rebellious patterns and vibrant colour-blocking proved more strategic than just experimentally fun. From the surge of polka-dots to rainbow clad anything, social media had become the primary platform to compete creatively. In today’s Instagram boxing ring, only the fearless survive.

With an unmistakable transfer in consumer attention emphasising digital detail, newsletters and collection names have since taken the colour-coded plunge. According to EDITED, 74% more brands than last year have implemented the phrase “colour crush” in one area of their seasonal campaign, in hopes to demand attention in an already saturated space.

So, what does this mean for colour? Did Pantone’s vision of Ultra Violet wreak havoc on the retail scene? Should we expect to step outside into a chirpy world painted entirely in lilac? Unfortunately, not quite. Pantone’s suggestion for colour of the year has missed the mark—and in a big way. In Q1 alone, the number of brands utilising purples in their Spring/Summer 2018 new-arrivals is down 1.2%; followed by a standstill presence in retail’s top performers since last year. But, the way brands have been investing in promoting Pantone’s Ultra Violet may lead consumers to believe otherwise. As Regina George would say: Stop trying to make purple happen, Karen! It’s never going to happen!”


To much surprise, there have been a couple of unexpected newcomers to this season’s V.I.C. (very important colour) Club. Falling right on trend with our current technicolour obsession, both orange and yellow have made a statement: goodbye to the confines of fall fashion–we’re here to stay and ready to play. Since Q3 of 2017, yellow has climbed in retail presence by over 65% with no signs of slowing. Best-selling products for women’s wear in this colour have doubled since last year, with the bold orange making a more modest debut at a 48% rise. Even the in-again-out-again pink movement has captured retail audiences’ eyes, climbing to an impressive 20% increase in retail performance this quarter.

What can we expect to see in stores this summer? A lot of colour, a lot of pattern, and a lot of denim…together. With the alternative rise of rainbow comes a humble 22.5% increase in demand for brighter jeans. Summer’s beloved oranges, reds and yellows reign victorious over the earthy palettes brought to popularity with the surge of military green two years back. Our advice? Say goodbye to your beloved khakis and make room for this summer’s hottest, and brightest, commodities!

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