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Moda Operandi’s Top Sellers for Spring ’22: Y2K, Pink, Prep and Handmade Knits

·6-min read

Y2K fashion, pink, handmade knits and preppy looks are the top-selling trends for spring 2022, according to the spring 2022 runway report from Moda Operandi’s trunk show results.

Y2K style, reminiscent of the early 2000s, has made a triumphant return with club-ready minidresses, slinky bikini tops, low-slung bottoms, trippy prints and neon brights. Bold printed items are trending upward with sales increasing 75 percent this season versus spring 2021, according to Moda’s data.

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Specifically, club-ready minidresses are up 64 percent in units sold versus spring 2021, and slinky bikini tops are up 26 percent in units sold this season versus spring 2021.

According to Moda, Siedrés kaleidoscope pants are the number-one-selling pants of the season, with 25 percent of shoppers purchasing the full look. Other top-selling printed pieces include Brandon Maxwell’s Nouveau silk minidress, Des Phemmes’ poplin tie-dye shirt, Alexis’ vibe maxidress and Johanna Ortiz’s Ritmos Vivo midi dress.

In addition, Miu Miu “indecently short” miniskirts, which recall the hottest pop stars of the era, have sold well. Among Miu Miu’s top selling items are the low-rise exposed pocket pleated chino mini skirt, followed by the low-rise chino pant.

Moda noted that the bikini top by designers such as Tom Ford, Maxwell, LaQuan Smith and David Koma “is officially the new going-out top — far more suited to a night on a town than a trip to the beach.”

Among the top-performing minidresses that fit into the Y2K trend are Des Phemmes’ embroidered tie-dye corset minidress and embroidered satin minidress, Alex Perry’s Halsey stretch minidress and Mach & Mach’s bow embellished minidress.

Another hot trend for spring is coined “A Handmade’s Tale.” Woven fabrics and intricate embellishments dominated spring collections, and crochet styles experienced a 97 percent increase in the average cost.

According to Moda’s results, top crocheted pieces are from Gabriela Hearst, Etro, Giambattista Valli, Magda Butryn and emerging talent Alejandra Alonso Rojas. Moda noted that customers were also gravitating toward raffia for spring, with the material emerging in 10 percent of the top 50 dresses.

As for the season’s hot standout? Hearst’s kai raffia maxidress was Moda’s second bestselling dress by revenue for the spring 2022 season.

A bestseller from Gabriela Hearst. - Credit: Thomas Concordia
A bestseller from Gabriela Hearst. - Credit: Thomas Concordia

Thomas Concordia

A third hot trend for the season is pink. Aside from black and white, pink emerged as the top-selling color. Whether a raffia-trimmed cocktail dress or soft blush sequins — especially in pieces by Oscar de la Renta, Maxwell, Giambattista Valli, Carolina Herrera, Maticevski and Zimmermann — pink was a clear winner. In fact, pink saw a 120 percent increase in sales, compared to spring 2021.

Also high on Moda’s top trends list is what they’re calling “The New Prep.” Moda noted that preppy is poised for a comeback, but not in the way customers once knew it. Influenced by the rise in silhouettes resembling classic tennis uniforms and the resurgence of Princess Diana’s “off-duty” style, designers have started embracing modern spins on well-tailored collegiate dressing, focusing especially on blazers, polo tops and stripes. This season, striped items saw a 114 percent sales increase over last spring.

Specifically, cabana stripes are having a moment, especially at this trunk show season’s third bestselling label, Brandon Maxwell, whose most popular items included the striped romper, scoop-waist striped short and a beach towel with a matching satchel.

Moda also had strong results in gingham, which it said was elevated to new heights by Maxwell, as well as Herrera’s Wes Gordon, who reimagined it into a sequin-swathed party dress. According to Moda, the “fashion polo,” seen at Prada, Jonathan Simkhai, Victoria Beckham, Peter Do, Hearst and Maxwell, emerged as the season’s must-have top. Moda saw polo styles double in quantity sold season over season, with Maxwell’s liquid-sequined polo becoming the bestselling top for the entire spring 2022 season.

The blazer has also returned in full force for the spring. Top sellers were Johanna Ortiz’s Tierra Del Olvido linen blazer, Lena Hoschek’s Regina Blazer, Maxwell’s oversized double-breasted blazer, and Mach & Mach’s cutout blazer minidress.

Another big trend for spring-summer are beach looks. Customers appear to be planning trips to warm weather locales, as evidenced by pareo sales trending 1,060 percent over last year.

Overall, Moda found that their customers are looking to invest in higher quality items, and have adopted a more sustainable mindset to “buy less, but better.” They appear to be acquiring fewer high-quality investment pieces that will endure for many seasons over a greater number of lesser-quality items. The average unit retail cost of spring 2022 items sold increased by 58 percent over spring 2021. Moda noted that new customers are investing in high-value specialty items, especially in eveningwear, which saw a strong resurgence with the return to social events.

In fact, Moda saw the average unit retail cost for spring 2022 dresses increase 39 percent over spring 2021. According to their data, white dresses are trending up 41 percent in sales this season compared to last year. Brides are shopping for and investing heavily in dresses for all wedding-related events, with the average retail price up 52 percent from last year. The top-selling white dresses of spring 2022 include Valentino’s embroidered minidress, Zimmermann’s silk-linen gown, Valli’s embroidered organza mini dress, and Maticevski’s tulle minidress.

Further, gowns featuring capes, trains and extraordinary volume by key designers, such as de la Renta’s ombré raffia embroidered gown and Valli’s ruffled silk gown, along with Herrera’s V-neck ruffled gown and Valentino’s floral embroidered tulle gown, are on the rise.

Finally, after living in loose-fitting sweatpants for far too long, Moda’s clients are choosing body-conscious glamour and sex appeal. Customers are not afraid to show a little skin. Dresses with cutout details have seen a 97 percent increase in units sold year-over-year. Topping their list of bestsellers were Monot’s bow-detailed cutout maxidress and their spliced bodice cutout maxidress, Acler’s Melrose paillette cutout Maxi Dress, Mach & Mach’s cotton-blend mini dress, and Significant Other’s Jacy cutout midi dress.

The cities that spent the most on spring 2022 trunk shows in order of total revenue are Manhattan, Dubai, Beverly Hills, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Riyadh and Dallas. As for the top-selling items in two key cities: Manhattanites shopped intricate eveningwear, with Rodarte’s hand-beaded strapless maxi dress taking the most orders, while Dallas shoppers chose to invest in a timeless yet no less glamorous staple: Tom Ford’s leather blazer.

Moda found that runway still reigns as an important tool of engagement and conversion. This season, Moda introduced “Show in 30 Seconds,” a social-first video that gave its followers a virtual, all-access pass to Fashion Week’s most coveted shows. The featured brands, including Brandon Maxwell, Tom Ford, Peter Do, LaQuan Smith and Jonathan Simkhai, drove an increase of 122 percent in new customers year-over-year and a 115 percent increase in sales.

Moda also saw an 86 percent rise in new customers for trunk shows that featured shoppable runway video when compared to those brands in spring 2021. Those new clients spent 145 percent more on shopping these trunk shows, when compared to new clients of the same trunk shows during the spring 2021 season.

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