Trend Bite: Summer Camp

Summer is officially upon us and yet we are still in the throes of a global pandemic where budget, safety and practicality are our new priorities; a far cry from those frivolous trips to Disneyland or far-flung destinations of the past. As infection rates in America increase and news coverage again becomes grim, hotels, flights and long-distance travel feel out of our comfort zones, yet planning a future getaway offers a much-needed serotonin boost and gives us some sense of normality in an otherwise out-of-control climate.

As so many of us have been cooped up for months, local excursions, RV rentals, road trips and camping have become the preferred ways to “escape”, tapping our renewed focus on sustainability and wellness and a new-found love of all things practical and outdoors. The concept of eco escapism caters to travelers who are put off and priced out of manufactured experiences, and in need of an adventure while maintaining social distance from others. 

Our need to travel, combined with a concern for health and safety are pushing travellers further off the beaten path, and deeper into nature. The Washington Post has reported:

“U.S. airlines are grounded, idle in storage, and air travel is down more than 90 percent compared with pre-pandemic numbers, while vehicle travel will be the travel of choice for a summer vacation, there will be more regional travel by vehicle, but less overall travel in general.” 

Traditional vacation destinations like tropical beach resorts will be replaced by campgrounds, amusement parks with hiking trails and airplanes with camper vans. The post-pandemic vacation will be driven by the ability to control just how much interaction you want to have with others. One Los Angeles company, Texino, who rents and customizes camping vans has reported a record number of bookings this season. 

“I think people want to avoid airports and they want to get away from cities, and camping is a way to do both,” said Nick Devane, Texino’s founder and chief executive.

So how will this impact our clothing? As we make our way out of cozy, stay-at-home silhouettes, a new focus on practicality and performance takes over.

According to global fashion search platform Lyst, searches for ‘summer escapism’ have risen 27 percent since lockdown began. “Data indicates that stay-at-home shoppers are moving on from comfortable loungewear and starting to think about a world post-coronavirus,” explains Lyst’s fashion insights reporter, Morgane Le Caer.

Upcycled, built-to-last basics from military and workwear styles formed the basis of our Peacenik story in our recent forecast, where durable fabrics, practical silhouettes and age-old utility come to the fore. This post-covid survivalist mentality has inspired expedition-grade practicality and multi-functional and dual-purpose design details. Post-pandemic shoppers will be valuing longevity in their apparel as well as buying with a focus on their new-found love for the great outdoors.

Fabric is a key focus point to offer consumers the dual-purpose functionality they are looking for right now. Comfort remains paramount after all those months indoors but technical benefits such as moisture wicking, durable fiber technology and, of course, antibacterial properties are important. As people consider their choices more deeply, the consumer will gravitate towards denim that will serve more than one purpose in their wardrobe before making a commitment.As we all come to terms with an uncertain and disruptive future, it is clothing that can offer us the reliability and stability we crave.

Kingpins’ Trend Bites are created by Denim Dudes to give you a small taste of the full denim trend report they have prepared for the season. Interested in purchasing the full report? Visit Kingpins Trend page.

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