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Retail: A look back on the top trends of 2021

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Yahoo Finance Live reviews some of the year's top style trends by looking back on interviews with retail fashion executives from 2021, including Levi's, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Foot Locker.

Video transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Our resident retail maven, of course, is Brian Sozzi. And you're looking back at some of the trends that we saw in the past year, Sozz.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. It's been a fun year in the apparel space, Julie. A lot of these companies-- of course, not Gap-- have put up some really good earnings and sales results, in large part because there are a lot of new trends out there. Here's what a bunch of the industry's top executives told us.

- Casualization is here to stay. The denim cycle is gathering momentum. In fact, the denim category has grown faster than the apparel category over the last two quarters. We set the trend by launching baggier, looser fits. 50% of our bottoms now are baggy or loser. Men are buying it. Women are buying it. High rises are really in.

- The '90s is the biggest influence that's happening out there for our consumer today. They're taking a lot of their style cues from TikTok. TikTok has really been the most influential social platform that's out there. And when our customers are seeing something on TikTok, they're adopting earlier than they ever had before.

- Nike brings the best heat in the industry. We've seen a great run on Ultraboost from Adidas. Our relationships with Puma, the RSX continues to be a great model for us here in North America. We've got a new brand by the name of [INAUDIBLE] out of Switzerland. They just went public not long ago. They've had a great run as that brand takes hold in the US.

- I think we are absolutely seeing our customer base anxious to get out and celebrate and look good while they're doing it.

BRIAN SOZZI: And I should note Tim Baxter there, who you just saw, really, that segment inspired me to go out there and buy my first turtleneck in some 15 or 20 years. Very excited about that purchase. But look, the styles have changed throughout this year, Julie, within female and men fashion, ultimately spurring a lot of people to go back to the malls and buy these things.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, is that your favorite trend that came out of the last year?

BRIAN SOZZI: The turtleneck? No.

JULIE HYMAN: The turtleneck?

BRIAN SOZZI: No, but there's been other things-- the return of the chunky boot for females. That's pretty cool. Crop tops are back in vogue, taking back to those late '90s high school days. And there's you, Julie Hyman, maybe rocking JNCO jeans.

JULIE HYMAN: You will not-- Brian Sozzi, I promise you this. You will not catch me in a crop top.

BRIAN SOZZI: Oh. OK. Well, I will not--

JULIE HYMAN: Especially [INAUDIBLE].

BRIAN SOZZI: But that does look like-- that does look like you in a pair of JNCO jeans, which I should note are back in style. Some chunky boots-- very cool. So there we go.

JULIE HYMAN: Maybe. The crop top is a hard pass for me. All right. Oh, wait. There's men's trends. Look at you.

BRIAN SOZZI: There I am. The one thing I don't like--

JULIE HYMAN: Fashion trouser, what is that? What are fashion trousers?

BRIAN SOZZI: I don't agree. Yeah, there's a lot of-- skinny jeans and skinny silhouettes are still in style. I can't believe I remember that word, "silhouette," from my analyst days. But nonetheless, bootcut jeans for men are coming back. And I just don't approve of that.

I think it's a terrible look. I rocked that back in the day along with really chunky Skechers boots, and it was a dark time in my life. And I just don't want to see those trends come back. I want happy trends, Julie, happy trends.

JULIE HYMAN: So I'm a hard pass on the crop top. You're a hard pass on the bootcut jeans, which I 1,000% agree with you on. So I'm glad we're on the same page. I am a big fan of tie dye hoodies, however. I do have several of those.

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