Trends in fashion are notoriously difficult to predict which is why fashion houses employ scouts to travel the world searching for ideas and inspirations in the hopes their designs will stand out from competitors. With that said, some of the most popular clothing items in recent years haven't been much different from what was already on the shelves, but because of a strong word-of-mouth buzz, a celebrity endorsement or even just good old-fashioned marketing techniques, these items became almost synonymous with every fashion conscious citizen.
Here are 10 popular items of clothing almost everyone now owns.
1. Canada Goose Parka Jackets
There's a high chance you've seen someone wealthy strolling down a road with a preppy red, blue and white logo attached to the sleeve of their jacket. However, Canada Goose never set out to be the darling jacket of choice for the well-heeled. While typically retailing at a whopping $600-800, their coats were initially geared to those living in areas where temperatures can reach as low as -20 degrees. In other words, people who aren't too fussed how they look in spine-chilling conditions.
So how did a brand specializing in arctic jackets turn into a global player? Hollywood, of course.
As is the case with most clothing brands, Canada Goose never had an official campaign with any of the celebrities pictured wearing their items. Indeed it was the stars themselves who took a liking to the product, which in Canada Goose's case was a jacket that had long been the unofficial jacket of film crews, so after a while, thanks in part to the eager-eyed paparazzi, consumers of magazines noticed a common theme: loads of the celebrities pictured on the set of their films were wearing a jacket with a distinctive red, white and blue logo. Cottoning onto this, Canada Goose decided to hand out free coats to Hollywood players at film festivals in places susceptible to freezing weather, with Sundance being a notable example.
Unsurprisingly, Entrepreneur Magazine estimated that sales for the jackets increased from a modest $3m in 2001 to an eye-watering $200 million by the end of 2014.
Until the mid-2000s, Vans were very much a brand of trainer that belonged to skateboard enthusiasts and beach-loving hippies. They always had a fresh and alternative vibe about them yet despite success in their native America; it wouldn't be until the company joined forces with VF Corporation in 2004 that the brand took off abroad.
As well as now being sported by nearly every celebrity going, Vans are worn by most fashion conscious youngsters, particularly teenage boys, something showcased to comic effect when a viral video of a teenage boy pointing at his friend's white Vans before remarking 'Damn Daniel' went viral.
3. All Brands of Skinny Jeans
Where do we start with these? For some, they are a right of passage, sported in teenhood then cast away in adulthood. For others, especially those who happen to be in boy bands, they are a must-have even if they make your footwear look like giant logs.
Nevertheless, skinny and slim fit jeans are ubiquitous in most parts of Europe and have seen a resurgence in recent years thanks to a revival in punk and the accompanying indie bands that entered the mainstream music charts, while gangster rappers like Lil Wayne haven't shied away from them either.
Whatever your opinions on these Australian sheepskin boots, there's no doubting their popularity among female consumers, though like with Canada Goose's jackets, their purpose was initially designed for practicality rather than fashion, with Australian farmers and those living in outback locations typically owning them.
Their rugged, casual style, however, became infused with fashionable clothing items once the brand's reputation grew, and by the time Western designers noticed their upward trend in the early 2000s, American media mogul Oprah Winfrey featured a pair she purchased on the Favourite Things section of her website and thus creating a global demand for them.
5. Herschel Backpacks
Another Canadian brand on this list, Herschel Supply Company has seen its backpacks converge onto the backs of almost every social glitterati, from hipster students, banking graduates fresh out of Harvard and the all-important fashion-conscious celebrity.
The diversity of the celebrities wearing them is quite incredible, with everyone from Zac Efron, Kanye West, Andrew Garfield, and Raekwon all pictured wearing one.
Speaking to The Guardian about the company, which was taken over by two brothers following their grandfather's death, Tego Sigel, editor of youth magazine RWD said, "Herschel is pretty cool. It's probably the top backpack brand. Very subtle minor detailing. Decent price points. Obviously branded, but not in an obvious way. It's a post- Kanye thing."
6. Levi's Jackets
While Levi's made their name in the jeans department, their jackets have become increasingly desirable in recent years, with the indie/boyband/hipster look a favorite among the teen and young 20s demographic (a demographic that isn't afraid to spend $100, either).
Not that we can't see the appeal. Levi's isn't only an iconic brand; it's cool and instantly elevates your profile, making you feel like a rockstar when in reality you're likely a well-dressed student with crippling debts.
7. Burberry Trench Coats
Burberry has experienced rapid sales in recent years thanks to the sage counsel and tutelage of the British designer Christopher Bailey. Arguably the most known British designer in the world today, Burberry is a favorite among wealthy Asian consumers and Americans, with their trench coats selling in their bucketloads.
Glamorous campaigns with the likes of British actors Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne helped with the coat's success, while their esteemed runway shows have made almost every Burberry item a must have for those who can afford their prices.
8. Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots go well with any outfit, so it's little wonder this type of shoe has experienced a massive boost in interest over the years. Worn best with slim and skinny fitted jeans, suede Chelsea boots are a favorite with celebrities, with One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles and hip-hop arriviste Kanye West big fans.
Brown and black appear to be the most attractive colors, but if you're interested in a pair, you can wear every day, avoid suede at all costs and opt for leather instead.
9. North Face Raincoats
North Face quickly established itself as the world leader in camping gear, though their coats, once ridiculed for being a favorite among geography teachers, are now donned across the globe,
The appeal of this half dome logo, which now stretches to the louche dwellings of hipster neighborhoods as well as the bucolic settings of middle-class camping enthusiasts, has to be one of the only brands in the world to have such crossover appeal.
In fact, North Face's advertising campaigns stick primarily to what their gear was intended for, though with collaborations with Supreme and other urban brands in recent years, the jackets became an unlikely hit with younger and more fashion conscious consumers. Dazed magazine went as far as theorizing that North Face's citified and more mainstream success may have been spawned from a 1993 music video by Wu-Tang Clan, which saw a North Face Tech Steep jacket being worn in the video for their hit single Method Man.
10. Calvin Klein Underwear
Posh underwear has always been a fascinating thing to observe. For starters, unless you happen to be familiar with potential partners or are in a monogamous relationship, no one is going to see your fancy underwear, but that hasn't stopped people wearing such garments. At least, that was the consensus among the people at Calvin Klein, who managed to capitalize on selling sexy underwear to men, as well as women.
Using the good old-fashioned method of advertising, Calvin Klein's underwear campaigns, which started in the early 1990s, first used a brash Mark Wahlberg and up-and-coming model by the name of Kate Moss to advertise their fresh new undies, and two decades on, the brand's campaigns are some of the most recognisable in the world, and thus encouraging men to deliberately wipe their face with their shirt so they can showcase their Calvins.
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