The world of wanderlust is showing up in more than just Instagram posts.
Escapists fueling the $2.3 trillion travel industry want fashion that reflects their taste for adventure — and companies are delivering on those demands. For spring ’19, Swarovski is serving up a crystal collection aptly named “Wanderlust.”
“Demand for luxurious materials and crystal embellishment in on-trend colors is gaining stronger traction as people grow tired of the streamlined styles of past seasons and look for products that evoke a sense of joy,” said Alexander Wellhoefer, SVP of operations for Swarovski Professional North America.
For the collection, Swarovski explored four reasons travelers hit the road today — culture, adventure, freedom and leisure — and each inspires new color, crystal and trim stories for fashion and footwear.
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Freedom captures millennials’ desire to reconnect with nature and all things nondigital. The trend is based on the carefree spirit of 1970s surf culture and the communal feeling of surf lodges. Washed-out tones such as lilac, denim blue and mint green are paired with retro pops of orange, yellow and light coral. Neoprene, water sport fabrics and zippers trickle into everyday fashion as designers add functionality to designs. And lightweight waterproof footwear like rubber slides adds practicality to a traveler’s wardrobe. The trend also calls for natural elements including raffia, shells and fauna-inspired crystal motifs.
The sculpture of places — from architecture to urban installations — inspires this colorful and graphic trend. Culture introduces three colors to Swarovski’s palette: buttercup yellow, lilac and majestic blue, which are complemented by bright pops of fuchsia, fern green, tangerine and light coral. Swarovski predicts that transparent colorful heels, recycled materials, optical-illusion line art and graffiti patterns will bring an art-school cool to footwear. Straps will become increasingly important on sleek shoe shapes, while heels will become more sculptural. Reflective and metallic materials highlight the desire for self-reflection and will be juxtaposed with interlocking patterns, stripes and color-blocking.
In Adventure, designs are focused on the craftsmanship and authenticity of various cultures, rather than a generic idea of travel. “It is characterized by a hard-wearing motorcycle style such as over-the-knee boots and sturdy leather with crystal embroidery and studs,” Wellhoefer said. Key colors for the trend include ivory cream, topaz, summer blue and majestic blue, with layered textures. “Western-inspired ankle boots, fringing with crystal detailing and haptic surfaces using the new Crystal Fine Rocks Tubes also echo the mood,” he added.
Most millennials can’t afford their own yachts, but thanks to the growing sharing economy, they can rent one with friends and live the glamorous life of leisure for less. For the Leisure trend, Swarovski’s dove gray pearl color — a shade requested by Chanel — makes its debut. “[This trend] captures the feel of an ocean adventure and the beauty of the sea in sandals encrusted with pearl embellishments in the new dove gray, nautical stripes created with crystal mesh in majestic blue, crystal monograms and customized embroidery,” Wellhoefer said.