This season, sweaters are high in trend currency with magazine editors, street style bloggers and celebrities declaring, or wearing, their support. From high street retailers, to luxury brands, the simple jumper shape has taken hold, becoming a focus for Fall 2013 knit collections. What a fickle fiend the fashion world is! It wasn't so long ago we were all crazy for cardigans, was it? The cardigan used to be the default knitwear, ideal for throwing over tees and worn with skinny jeans. So when, and why, did the switch occur? And is the sweater here to stay? Enter the data.


There's little doubt the sweater is a mammoth trend currently, having received 134,200 online mentions from fashion's influencers in the last three months. That's 112% more than cardigans in the same time frame. Consumers are clearly dotty for the jumper shape, but why has the sportswear basic leapt to fashion status?


The love affair with the sweater began when super-luxury brand Givenchy playfully included a Rottweiler print jumper in their Fall 2011 collection. Street style bloggers and celebs (including Kanye, Rihanna and Liv Tyler) went crazy for the sweater, hyping the product so that its arrival into stores were a swift men's and women's ear success. In fact, it continues to be reworked by the brand, with Barney's taking pre-orders on a $2,995 sheer-sleeved version of the sweater due to arrive in February 2014! It worked so well because the most luxe of high-fashion brands referenced the grimiest of street culture. The timing too was impeccable; just as the frippery of the high-end seemed reckless in the face of global recession. Uniform dressing and street wear influences rocketed.


From there the style gained pace, bolstered further by Kenzo's tiger-faced sweater for Fall 2012. The brand, undergoing an uber-cool overhaul from Opening Ceremony, reached out to an entirely new consumer, spiraling to cult status amongst bloggers. Its appeal was too tempting for retailers to avoid (in fact, there are still 80 'tiger sweaters' on the market), and the sweater floodgates were opened.


The current commercial status of the sweater is strong; with 16,646 women's wear sweaters (and 6,991 for men) on the market at time of writing, compared to 9,418 cardigans (3,015 for men). The garments' respective size of offering is reflected in our latest knitwear Top Mover report too, which looks at the fastest online selling products, which received no discounting, during the past month. There are twice as many sweaters in the Top Mover report as there are cardigans. Successful lines last month included ASOS's 30 skeleton print sweater, DKNY's 170 colour-block sweater and Topshop's 38 hexagonal quilt sweater.


Topshop have given greater emphasis to their current range of sweaters, with near double garment styles currently offered by them: 37 sweater styles to cardigan's 19. Isabel Marant, or Queen of the Trends as some refer to her, agrees with that product ratio too. Her much-lauded collection for H&M, which launches today, includes 2 cardigans and 4 sweaters.