WILL BOMBERS BOMB?

Bomber jackets are a trend which has been going strong for the last two years (a long time, in fashion terms). Currently, the bomber jackets are 12.8% of women's outerwear and a solid 17.5% of men's outerwear, which are pretty sizable portions - meaning designers and retailers are stocking a large amount of bombers to keep abreast of consumer demand. While many trend items stay on the peripheral - the bomber jacket has become a staple item, with a wide cross-section of consumers picking up on the trend. The trend has also spanned luxury and high-street brands, with everyone from ASOS to Gucci offering their own iteration of the trend.

While the trend grew steadily for a while, this has stagnated in recent quarters, with a dip in the amount of retailers stocking bomber jackets as well as an increase in the amount of discounts within the style which are not in keeping with the seasonal pattern of discounts. As designers and retailers have filled the market, bomber jackets became too popular, and we can now see that this is causing the trend to go into a slow decline. The UK market is leading the decline, with the US following approximately six months behind, so it is reasonable to assume that New Zealand and Australia to be a while behind the US, and significantly slower than the UK. This lag is good news for designers and retailers who are still proponents of bomber jackets, so stock will not devalue too quickly. The brands heavily affected will be those with the highest investment in bomber jackets - which are typically fast fashion brands in menswear.

So what is going to fill the bomber jacket position in consumer's wardrobes? The strongest contender seems to be the coach jacket - a 1960's inspired menswear jacket in a stiff but lightweight fabric, with a small collar, front buttons and a cut which ends at the hips. The shape was seen in many iterations across Cruise 2018 menswear collections and has already been adopted by ahead-of-the-curve stylish men.