Is it a coincidence that all brands meet similar trends in every fashion show?
Or that oversized denim, big-bellied coat, totally black look and colorful leather have been repeated several times during f-w fashion week 2019? Or are people predicting these trends months before they hit the runways?
We all believe that trends are initiated by designers. This is shockingly far from the truth. There is a reason and a whole story behind the birth of trends.
Fashion Trend forecasters. Who are they? What if I told you that the trends you are currently carrying on had been predicted over 16 months ago?
Trend forecasts are the art and science of predicting the future direction of something.
It generally refers to the analysis of which colors, fabrics, textures, textiles, prints, graphics and other design elements will be most relevant to consumers in the coming seasons.
The fashion industry is working at an incredibly fast pace and it is about anticipating and leading what comes next. It is crucial to know the future trends in order to succeed and to adapt to the endless changes.
WGSN is one of the largest trend forecasting companies worldwide. As WGSN began to flourish in the fashion industry, other industries began to approach them. In turn, they now work in 20 other industries such as beauty companies, advertising agencies, fashion companies and many more.
They work with all kinds of aspects such as the product itself, market intelligence, consumer insights, retail, data & intelligence, mathematics and magic. But what they really focus on is inevitably consumer behavior.
Up to 16 months before, forecasters around the world visit after all kinds of influences: street fashion, food, cars, museums, It's girls, IT guys, movies, to know how fashion will evolve in the future.
The role of forecasters is to analyze changes in the market and educate customers about what consumers need in the future. It all starts with a consumer – they look for the big drivers that will influence.
Where does the customer go? Political, economic, social and industrial changes are studied and used to create large macro trends.
Whether we are talking about more comfortable clothes, working from home, 5G, durability, all of these factors affect companies and they should be ready for these changes to be able to adapt to customer needs.
Their goal is to help their clients grow their business – inspire and enable creativity – to help them find the right direction and save time.
Forecasting agencies determine the trends that make the word creativity a paradox.
Trend forecasts are a very difficult and challenging task. Thousands of companies rely on one to make everything better. But in reality, is it trend forecasting or trend dictating?
Many brands play it safe as they follow the trends because their creativity is limited by what is imposed. Their goal is to make money though – what if forecasting prevents brands from being creative and pushing them to uniformity?
Customers complain about how everyone wears the same clothes today because at the end of the day you are either a trendsetter or you are influenced by one. That's why we all take the same route in one way.
Nevertheless, designers can still express their creativity by retaining their brand image while following trends.
It will always be crucial for people to be aware of what consumers want in the future. Whether you follow, be with or against it, it is important for you to know about everything that is going on around you.
At the end of the day, it's a viscous circle: Consumers let forecasters know what trends they want indirectly, companies produce and deliver the desired products, and consumers follow the trend they first initiated without even being aware of it.
Therefore, you are your own forecasting maker.
Written by Gaelle Debahy