Industry Guide: Fashion & Apparel


Associations for apparel and fashion often require membership. I did not find any that provide easily accessible (free or for-fee) industry data options. For a list of the associations that I reviewed, please check the Library of Congress guide linked down below.

Consulting Firm Coverage:

  • McKinsey – The State of Fashion is a free (and lengthy) annual report that outlines issues and trends related to the economy, industry, and consumer.

Reports and rankings:

  • Top 100 Retailers ranking includes sections for Mass Apparel, Jewelry/Accessories, Premium Apparel, and Luxury Apparel (includes retail sales, sales per store, comp-store sales change, and the number of stores by company).
    *Source is Kantar Retail and is published freely via NRF.

Government Sources:

Trade Press & newsletters:

  • Business of Fashion – news and analysis, jobs, podcasts, newsletters, and online learning.
  • Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) – news and analysis of the fashion industry. There is a free weekly email with fashion industry news, however, most articles require a subscription for access.
  • – news, insight, and research for the apparel and textile industry. Newsletters are available for daily, weekly news, or research updates. The re:source platform provides sourcing intelligence (requires subscription).

Research vendors:

  • Euromonitor – country and region reports providing sales and forecasts for apparel and footwear, accessories, childrenswear, hosiery, jeans, menswear, womenswear, and sportswear.
    *Cost: country-level reports for one category such as ‘Apparel’ starting at $2,100.
  • NPD Group – product level sales for apparel categories including topics, intimates, socks, outwear, tailored clothing, swimwear, etc.
    *Cost: $$$
  • Vogue Business – free industry news and data-supported perspectives. Their newsletter provides global news on a weekly basis.
  • – Apparel Research section lists global reports by topic, region, company, or research source (includes for-fee reports from GlobalData, MarketLine, Textiles Intelligence, and ISA World plus more)
  • Stylus – subscription trend and analysis site with a focus on fashion and industry. You can sign up for a free weekly email called “The Brief.”
  • WGSN – subscription trend site focused on fashion and other industries, with analytic products and consulting options. Their site provides access to more free content than Stylus, including blog posts, youtube channel, and a monthly newsletter.
  • Berg Fashion Central – a leading resource for students and researchers of fashion studies. Appears to require and institutional account license for access.
  • FIT Fashion History Timeline – open-access source for fashion history knowledge.

Additional tools:


I haven’t done much apparel research in the past and there seems to be a LOT of sources for doing design-focused research vs. industry and market research (I included what appeared to be best of both worlds).

If you have more experience in this area, please comment with your favorite apparel-related resources along with any information you can provide on methodology, tips & tricks and/or cost. 
Thank you!

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