Top Trends to Hit this Season’s Runway

September 07, 2022USA

From Barbiecore to metaverse-inspired fashion, find out what the 6 highly-anticipated SS22 trends will be from the multi-year presenting partner of NYFW. 

Fashionistas and trendsetters consistently turn to Afterpay to responsibly budget and shop for the latest trends, especially in the designer category. In 2022 so far, the number of merchants featured as designer on Afterpay’s shopping app have grown 85% YoY as consumers look to invest in luxury items. As the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ leader heads into its third season as the presenting partner of NYFW, Afterpay has translated data from its strong global network of merchant partners to sum up the six most prominent trends that will walk down the runway this season.

The Subversive Basic Evolution

The comfort dressing era may be transitioning out as we enter the world of “subversive basics” – items that have been twisted subtly from their original design. Recently seen at Couture Week, Giambattista Valli and Schiaparelli used straps in a bold and sexy new way to add texture. Sexy dressing has steadily been on the rise, with sales of cut out items up 34% YoY in Afterpay’s recent spring/summer trend report. Expect buckles, belts, straps, and more to create a multi-layered look this runway season as sales for “buckles” and “straps” were up 21% and 43% YoY, respectively, as more consumers seek these items. 

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The SKIMS Effect

Following the success of Kim Kardashian’s multi-million dollar shapewear company, SKIMS, and the public’s desire to shed their bulky layers, bodycon styles are back in and up 25% YoY. Fendi and Jean-Paul Gaultier highlighted the figure-hugging trend throughout Couture Week, and top fashion houses including Valentino and Balenciaga (who frequently dresses Kim) showcased shapewear as outerwear throughout Paris Fashion Week. As the SKIMS effect continues to take hold amongst designers, consumer will also try to emulate these looks with sales for “shapewear” up 63% YoY.

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Pretty In Pink

After seeing #Barbiecore roller skating its way into consumers’ hearts, it’s clear that bold colors, especially hot pink, are here to stay.  Sales for “coral” clothing items were up 89% YoY, while “fluorescent” clothing items were up 46% YoY. Afterpay’s Spring/Summer trend report noted that pink was already trickling down to the mass market in April, and it continued to be one of the hottest colors of the summer as models and celebrities dazzled in bright shades of pink throughout the summer, most notably at the Valentino show. As the color continues to take over runways, clothing racks, and TikToks, expect to see more shades of pinks all over this upcoming runway season.

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Genderfluid Fashion For All

Creating fashion that’s truly genderless continues to be top of mind for designers, such as Joseph Altuzarra’s genderfluid line ALTU, who see gender-fluid fashion as a way to affirm and express identity in clothing that’s both fashionable and practical. Earlier this year, Afterpay’s spring/summer trend report indicated searches for “unisex” were already up 154% YoY. On the runway, designers like Zadig & Voltaire and Celine have leaned heavily into oversized suiting that can be worn by anyone, and this reflects in shopper’s desires as sales for oversized clothing rose 29% YoY. Anticipate wide leg trousers to make a heavy appearance through this SS23 runway season as an alternative and more relaxed version of the suit as sales for these items were up 75% YoY.

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Designers are giving us a taste into the future with metaverse-inspired dressing this season. Valentino and Fendi have started leaning into the trend by showing metallic fabrics and exaggerated silhouettes in body-contouring shapes. The runway shows will be sure to embody the theme heavily, especially as more leading designers play into the world of NFTs. Instead of waiting for the SS23 collections to drop, consumers are trying to keep up with the high-fashion world by incorporating metallic and vinyl fabrics up 30% and 42% YoY, respectively. 

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Western Meets Euro

Influences from the wild wild west have appeared on more runways this past year, with signs pointing to a merging of both Americana and European fashion for this upcoming season. Elie Saab first sported fringy feathers on the runway, while Chanel showed looks with definitively western elements, including ruffles and feathers. So far, sales of cowboy boots are up 112% YoY and fringe up 58% YoY. Expect designers to elevate these product trends with more luxury fabrics like silk layered on top. 

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For inquiries into Afterpay’s consumer shopping data, reach out to

Methodology: Data analyzed is based on Afterpay US sales from August 14, 2022 – September 4, 2022


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