Trend Forecasting

If you love the fashion world you have probably stumbled upon the term “trend forecasting” a few times, but what does that mean?

It is the matter that studies what consumers love now and what they will desire and want in the future. In other words, trend forecasters analyze what people are doing and wearing right now and what they might want to do and wear in the future.

This is a crucial subject to the fashion industry, since it predicts the products consumers will desire. By guiding brands into sell what their audience will crave, it helps companies to produce the right goods and, consequently, the appropriate stock of each product, avoiding losses and minimizing risks.

How can one predict what consumers will desire a year or two from now?

It is obvious that being a creative person is essential, but that skill, even when combined with instinct, is not enough in a fast paced industry as fashion.

To that we need to add hours of content analysis, for example, what is our target audience wearing, which music are they listening to, what movies they watch and which experiences they are loving, plus lifestyle and economic factors.

Last but not the least, data analysis. In a world like today, where everything spreads at high speed, we must look deep into data.

What jobs exist in trend forecasting?

There is a variety of roles to play in this area: from color and material forecasters, to buyers, merchandisers and consumer analysts.

Bonus curiosities:

  • Trend forecasting began in 1915, when american manufacturers and retailers researched which colors were being produced in french mills.
  • Later, in the 60’s, emerged the first books with design orientations to inspire manufactures to produce certain products.
  • In 1998, in London, appeared WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) the first online trend library.

Main source: Holland, Gwyneth and Rae Jones, Fashion Trend Forecasting, London, Laurence King Publishing, 2017

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