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How fashion brands cash in on Valentine's Day

By Robyn Turk

1 Feb 2019


Americans spend 19.6 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day, according to insights on last year’s spending gathered by Edited. Unsurprisingly, men spend almost twice as much as women on the romantic holiday.

With the average man spending around 196 dollars on gifts for V-day, gone are the days when a simple card and heart-shaped box of chocolates do the trick. Jewelry and lingerie aren’t the only categories outside of that range, either. Retailers now market everything from books to food items to skincare items as Valentine’s gift suggestions - KFC even tried a gravy-scented candle this year.

On a more realistic note, fashion brands, too, are realizing that Valentine’s Day spending is an important retail trend to cash in on. From heart-shaped sunglasses to love-themed slogans, brands are trying to determine which Valentine’s trends fare best with consumers.


Heart-shaped sunglasses have been popping up since December, typically in red and pink frames. Alongside this, retailers including Asos and Express have presented pajama sets angled around themes of love with text and heart prints.


Another simple apparel offering some brands have tried is socks - especially in menswear. Boohooman, American Eagle and Topman have each included patterned socks in their Valentine’s Day edits. Designs include emoji patterns, slogans and simple hearts.


Brands are looking into childrenswear to sell the love-themed holiday, as well. In the U.S. market, 25 percent of Valentine’s apparel offering is targeted to boys. Designs here bring a Valentine’s message to pop culture trends like superheroes.

Womenswear has an opportunity

Edited noted that there has been a 58 percent year-over-year increase in communication strategies promoting Galentine’s Day - a made-up Valentine’s Day alternative from the television show Parks and Recreation that focuses on celebrating female friends rather than romantic love.

Retailers, especially in the UK, have been promoting Galentine’s Day celebrations to make sales during this season. In the U.S., there was a 13 percent increase of Galentine’s messaging from 2017 and 2018, and this year retailers such as Lane Bryant, Journelle and Francesca’s have been turning towards this theme.

Examples of apparel in this trend include T-shirts with printed slogans like “Clothes Before Bros” and “Valentine’s Day for the BFF.” The Galentine’s trend could bring the women’s spending up from the 99 dollar average Edited reported from 2018 results.

Photo: Pexels

Valentine's Day