Since the 1970’s trend forecasting for fashion & textiles has grown to become an essential tool for the textiles industry. As the pace of fashion change becomes faster & faster, learning how to observe, identify and project trends becomes more important.
As designers, its important to observe and experience the world around you to find the spark of inspiration for your next collection. You may already find that you instinctively pick up on emerging trends without realising you are doing so. You may not be conscious of being influenced by subtle shifts in lifestyle or culture or that your latest sketches are the result of some visual stimulus stored in your memory bank. Fashion forecasting in a more formalised way is widely used by companies to support the intuitive research that designers already do. FF is a tool to be used in conjunction with your own existing research
Global trends are launched simultaneously across different product categories & market levels . How does this occur? Responding to the same stimulus and the fact that the trend for metallics has been developing over the last couple of seasons . Many think by being able to spot a trend on the high street that this equates to trend prediction, however the clever bit is always being able to look at what has just been, what is on the horizon and then extrapolate what the future will be using a whole host of clues on a political, economical, social, technology and environmental level mixed with aesthetic artistic movements.
Using your gut instinct to design is very important, however, if you design for any of our high street brands you will be expected to be ‘on trend’ so that your products hit the spot for the consumer. It is also more of a science & necessity that the trends hit the stores at exactly the right moment, too early and the consumer won't be ready to adopt them and too late and they won't want them anymore, in business terms this is known as 'the right product, in the right place, at the right time' . This is where trend forecasting comes into its own. Trend agencies provide designers with the research to help them make the right decision about their ranges.
LIFESPAN The more visual & observable a trend is, the faster it moves. The speed is highly dependable on a number of factors; Eg: how easily is it observed? Ie is it in the public domain? Innovations are often only known about by specialists within that field initially If it can be listened to, copied, photographed in a way that makes it easy to show someone, then its likely to spread more quickly. On the other hand, if the trend has an emotional dimension, or one that is subjective in the way we understand or describe it- organic food or eco clothing for example, then the spread will be much slower and deeper.
Quite a number of different agencies now, many of them fashion product focussed although there is a shift towards forecasting which applies to a broad spectrum of different industries. After all, ethnographic changes and innovations in technology and science will have an impact on all products and services
This is very simplistic & there are lots of exceptions to this. In practice, designers are often working on several seasons at the same time, putting into work more complex developments very early (upto 2 years ahead) and working on short term seasonal injections of newness only a month or so ahead of being in store. In Trend forecasting, the macro trends ( the deep long term shifts in behaviour and culture) are always reported on first. Colour is always the first interpretation of the macro trends. As time goes on, the forecast becomes more specific and later will give direction for styling and detail
A relatively recent discipline, TF now underpins the short, medium & long term impact of new & emerging changes taking place in the culture around us. They can be large scale changes impacting on the world of science, technology or can be more subtle and difficult to identify shifts in how we live, the food we eat, what music we listen to, how we socialise. These in turn affect the multi discipline aesthetics of fashion, textiles, architecture, furniture, product design. Eg; from the serious downturn in the global economy a trend emerged called New Sobriety, New Austerity, New Modesty using a more sober colour palettes and restrained design aesthetic to project a mood more formal & controlled- the antithesis of ostentatious bling which was about conspicuous consumption & materialism. Trends are a fundamental part of our lives & mapping them to anticipate what’s coming next helps us better understand the ideas & priinciple which motivate us. For design led businesses that means creating products that are tuned into the consumer’s tastes & psyche
Ethnographics- tapping in to the human condition, mapping change Market- keynote & mintel facts & figures about sales & market share Art & culture- designers are inspired by contemporary film, music & art. Starting to see art crossing over more into fashion- concept stores which are part shop & part exhibition space Economic- more value concious & a move towards spending more on investments & less on impulse Societal- trend towards more community awareness & focus on local products rather than global Environment- defining issue of this decade Tecnological- instant communication technology, blogs Globalisation- ff must encompass local, national & global trends to be relevant to customers
Fashion Forecasting FTEL20094 ‘ The future is here, its just not very well distributed .’ William Gibson, science fiction writer
Fashion Forecasting <ul><li>Aims: </li></ul><ul><li>To provide you with an understanding </li></ul><ul><li>of what trend forecasting is and </li></ul><ul><li>how organisations use this information </li></ul><ul><li>To examine how trends evolve and </li></ul><ul><li>how they are tracked </li></ul>
Fashion Forecasting <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>To enable you to: </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake research & analysis by </li></ul><ul><li>identifying and tracking fashion trends </li></ul><ul><li>Apply knowledge of fashion forecasting </li></ul><ul><li>to understand how trends evolve and are </li></ul><ul><li>interpreted by industry </li></ul>
Synchronicity <ul><li>Common themes </li></ul><ul><li>shown on catwalks </li></ul><ul><li>around the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Coincidence? </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration? </li></ul>
Fashion Forecasting <ul><li>“ Trends are profits waiting to happen” </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Raymond 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Versace scarf prints for AW12 Nelly Rodi </li></ul><ul><li>For mainstream brands, </li></ul><ul><li>timing is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Right product, </li></ul><ul><li>Right place, Right time </li></ul>
Life of a trend Henrik Vejlgaard Diamond shape trend model Trend Followers Trend creators Trend Setters Early Mainstreamers Mainstreamers Late Mainstreamers Conservatives Anti-innovators Cosmetic trends 1-2 years Clothing trends 2-3 years Home design 5-7 years
Fashion Forecasting <ul><li>‘ archaelogy of the future’ Li Edelkoort </li></ul><ul><li>Stylesight </li></ul><ul><li>Nelly Rodi </li></ul><ul><li>WGSN </li></ul><ul><li>Peclers </li></ul><ul><li>Carlin </li></ul><ul><li>Promostyl </li></ul><ul><li>Trend Union </li></ul><ul><li>Textiles View </li></ul><ul><li>Stylus </li></ul><ul><li>Mudpie </li></ul><ul><li>LSN </li></ul><ul><li>Future Laboratory </li></ul><ul><li>Books cost over £1000 each & online subscription starts around £5000 pa </li></ul>
Design calendar <ul><li>Typical example of timescale for products in store for AW2011: </li></ul><ul><li>Trend forecasting May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Textile fairs Sept 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Design & dev. complete Feb 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Production complete August 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery Sept 1st 2011 </li></ul>
Trend forecasters= lifestyle detectives <ul><li>Constant vigilance </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring current trends & projecting forward </li></ul><ul><li>Observing evolution of trends </li></ul><ul><li>Detecting shifts in attitudes & mindsets </li></ul><ul><li>Spotting looks or lifestyles than run against the norm </li></ul>
What influences the trend forecasters? <ul><li>Ethnographic research </li></ul><ul><li>Market research </li></ul><ul><li>Art & culture </li></ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul><ul><li>Societal </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental </li></ul><ul><li>Technological </li></ul><ul><li>globalisation </li></ul>
Ethnographic research <ul><li>- ethnography- the study of every day life & practice </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographic research helps brands: </li></ul><ul><li>understand how their demographic is changing </li></ul><ul><li>Identify new customers </li></ul><ul><li>Enable brand strategies to remain aligned </li></ul><ul><li>with their philosophy </li></ul>