The Biggest Retail Predictions for 2022 From Top Execs at Macy’s, Puma, Caleres, Crocs + More

2021 was a year full of twists and turns, especially in the retail industry. From the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation to unprecedented supply chain delays and inflation, there were plenty of challenges and lessons to be learned across the industry.

With the new year around the corner, FN has rounded up the critical lessons from yesteryear and the big predictions for 2022 from executives at Macy’s, Puma, Caleres, Crocs and more.

We asked them all what the biggest trends in fashion and retail will be in 2022. Here’s what they said:

Ashley Petrie, SVP of merchandising, Fred Segal

“The biggest trend will be a return to optimism through color print, proportions, all being a nod to a vibrant and bright year. I think everyone is ready to feel excited about the future, and express that through their style with bold colors that range from solar inspired hues to neons, wild prints, stacked platforms, and unique textures. We are going to continue to see functionality throughout, such as mid-low heels and sporty flats with chunky soles being dominant moments throughout the year. It’s the evolution of revenge shopping, the next phase will be revenge style.”

Michelle Poole, president, Crocs 

“Self-expression, optimism and creativity will be more important than ever: consumers are ready to live their best lives! For Crocs, that means more color, more comfort, more Jibbitz and more ways to Come As You Are. We have a lot of innovation in the pipeline!”

Diane Sullivan, chairman and CEO, Caleres

“For spring we’re seeing a retro flavor with clogs and wood sandals. The lace to toe sneaker trend evolves and a resurgence of the sparkling shoe that will make any outfit feel luxurious. Over-the-knee, modern takes on equestrian and western-influenced boots will join classic loafers and mid-height boots will dominate in fall. For retail, omnichannel is an expectation now and convenience is table stakes. You must find her where she is shopping and that might be in store or on social media. We are also looking at the emergence of the metaverse and what that means for fashion. And for everyone, advancements of environmentally preferred materials allow for greater choice than ever in footwear.”

Nata Dvir, chief merchandising officer, Macy’s

“The biggest trend will be all year-round sparkle!”

David Kahan, CEO, Birkenstock

“At Birkenstock we NEVER use the word ‘trend.’ We believe our brand transcends what many call “trends” and therefore what WE do, is in fact what drives our fans to fall in love with us and go with us all along the way as we introduce new styles and new categories. We have said it before when designers use us in their runway shows and photo shoots and the biggest A list celebrities (some who other brands pay millions) wear Birkenstocks on the cover of magazines — ‘we don’t go to fashion, fashion comes to us.’ It’s not meant to be cocky in any way — it’s a truth that is distinct to very few product and brands in the world — you exist at a level above ‘trends’ and instead you are the creator and your brand fans enjoy where you may take them style wise. As a most succinct answer though, the biggest trend will be consumers seeking the few brands that they identify as the REAL THING. In a world of uncertainty, people want the few things that give them true certainty. And nothing is more real than a Birkenstock.”

Bianca Gates, co-founder, Birdies

“The biggest trend in 2022 will be using our platforms to help make the world a better place.”

Oliver Mak, founding partner, Bodega

“The biggest trend in fashion and retail in 2022 will be continued efforts in taking social responsibility and giving back to the community. There’s so many gigantic problems we face — it will take all of us as business leaders to use our networks & efforts to make positive change so that there will be opportunities for the next generation.”

Bob Philion, president of Puma North America

“One of the biggest trends we’ll see continue into 2022 is this ‘casualization of America.’ Even before the pandemic, there was a growing interest in sportswear and athletic apparel, which has only increased over the last 20 or so months. Generally, people want clothes that fit their lifestyle and can be transferable to different situations as they go about their day: whether that’s performance athletic wear, or casual, everyday loungewear like hoodies and sneakers. This trend is already driving a strong demand for the PUMA brand, because we can fill all those unique needs, and we’ll see this spike among other retail/fashion brands as ‘athleisure’ continues trending.”

Bill Jordan, president, Designer Brands

“Welcome back to the 70s and 90s! Loafer looks with platform bottoms will be the rage. Additionally, look for a greater return of dress and causal styles as people return to work and social occasions.”

Danny Ewoldsen, president, Johnston & Murphy

“Looking forward, I think that comfort will remain king. After spending a year in joggers and sneakers, it’s hard to imagine we’ll revert to formality. That said, our consumer knows that they can be comfortable and look great at the same time. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, closets will be updated across multiple classifications. I think we’ll see the continued success of versatile silhouettes and cleaned-up comfort.”

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