Going to great lengths

Temperatures are rising and hems are falling, but all with the press surrounding maxi skirts, telling consumers to ‘go long’ and ‘drop your hem and raise your style quotient’, what is the business behind the trend?

We tracked and charted the mentions of Maxi Skirts on blogs and Twitter since the SS11 shows last September and while the sentiment remained fairly steady, there is obvious growth in the amount of buzz online – click the graph to enlarge;

While maxi lengths have long been considered a summer staple, the style has undoubtedly kicked it up a gear recently, with neon hues proving some of the most popular styles. The fresh color palette ensures that the look steers well clear of the tired boho vibe and propels it into a new era.

September 2010 saw Raf Simons’ acclaimed collection for Jil Sander introduce a series of ankle skimming maxi’s in a range of colorful hues from hot coral to tangerine and super lemon. The skirts from the collection were an instant hit with the press and were featured on the cover of Elle UK and Zoo Magazine. Celebrity fans rocked the lemon look with Kate Bosworth donning it for the Hollywood Style Awards in September and Tilda Swinton for the Golden Globes in January. The effect on brand love was immediate, in the month following the catwalk show, the brand’s Facebook fanbase rose an impressive 11.2%.

Similar styles were spotted on the street at New York, Milan and London Fashion Weeks, earlier this year, before the collection hit stores. According to our tracking software, once the long awaited Jil Sander skirts landed in-store, they sold quickly. On Net-a-Porter, two weeks after the first drop, only one SKU remained in each the neon pink and neon orange style.

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Both Acne and Tibi featured bright maxi’s in their SS11 collections. Their versions are a more accessible $430 compared with the $900-$1400 Sander versions and have sold well online. On Net-a-Porter, the Acne ‘Pearl’ skirt sold out within a month and the Tibi pleated silk crepe de chine version is now only available in size 0 and 2, after less than a month.

Most high street retailers are still playing it safe with maxi’s in muted tones and black, but with the weather heating up, we expect it wont be long before the trend hits stores… particularly given ASOS’s founder Nick Robertson’s love of the maxi!

 

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