What was perhaps even more surprising was the influx of tweets, comments and memes generated online where the general consensus of the public was ‘who cares’. In a time where many of us are struggling to pay bills, are distrustful of the people in power and anxieties over the future of the planet increase, aliens don’t seem like our most immediate threat.
However, growing concerns about our future have led to many of us seeking wilder and more fantastical forms of escapism, evident in our increasing appetite for music festivals, gigs, and clubbing, especially within the Gen Z and Millennial market, with UK festival and music gig sales surpassing pre-Covid figures – revenue for 2019 reached £2.77 billion, increasing to £2.79 in 2023 with an estimated growth rate of 3.48% by 2027. With a cultural shift towards hedonism, S/S 24 swim and resort wear styles see an injection of vibrant colour and psychedelic prints not afraid to be adorned with flowing tassels or an abundance of sequins and beads as consumers take a maximalist approach to mixing style references.
With rave and clubbing culture rising in popularity, swim pieces are being worn more frequently out of the water than in. Cosmic Cowboys celebrates weird and wonderful festival fashion, fusing traditional summer style such as western and resort, with a new curiosity for what lies beyond the stars, all wrapped up in a bow of living in the moment.
FABRIC & PRODUCT
For S/S 2024, swimwear brands should embrace the modular approach that consumers are exploring with their products. Whilst their products should still be intelligently designed for the water, whether salt or chlorine-filled, they also need to create eye-catching and unique statement pieces that exude the warmth and fun of summer parties, blending the cosmic allure of space, the free-spirited vibes of festival culture, and the rugged charm of the western frontier. This trend is all about movement in and out of the water so fringe embellishments, holographic prints and sequins or beads that catch the light are the types of additions brands should consider adding. Bohemian tie-dye and bold retro pattern clashing are staples for festival wear, however, you can modernise this look for a younger demographic by combining the hippie vibe with cowboy-inspired embroidery, denim features such as straps, and suede accents to evoke the spirit of the frontier.
Swim pieces adorned with stars, planets, and nebulae motifs evoke the wonder of the night sky, while shiny iridescent materials create an otherworldly shimmer. Keep the cowboy theme with high-waisted bikini bottoms and tight bikini shorts that mimic the look of chaps whilst offering more coverup for modesty out of the pool. Cosmic Cowboys embraces the absurd and the weirdly wonderful as consumers try to make sense of what is happening in the world whilst finding an outlet for their anxieties.
Fashion brands can leverage Cosmic Cowboy branding to captivate Gen Z consumers, tapping into their desire for uniqueness and nostalgia while staying ahead of trends. Space Cowboy branding amalgamates futuristic aesthetics with elements of the Wild West, offering a compelling fusion of old and new. Brands have multiple avenues to explore when branding with this trend; they can look to the past or see into the future. Brands can draw inspiration from sci-fi movies and westerns from the 1950s and 60s by incorporating metallic fabrics, holographic accents, and classic cowboy elements with a futuristic twist that can create a distinctive look that appeals to this younger demographic.
Engaging Gen Z and Millenials on social media platforms with visually captivating space cowboy content is crucial. Utilising platforms like TikTok and Instagram with innovative 3D assets, AR filters and interactive challenges can generate buzz and virality. Don’t be afraid of mixing multimedia by incorporating modern, motion graphic elements with more retro illustrations to not only make your brand stand out but to demonstrate the wide range of escapism available for consumers.