Identifying a fashion trend is a continuous process of compiling observations, from our everyday lives. It requires passion and an interest in a huge range of subjects; travel, food, art, design, literature, science, technology, the list is endless.
What cannot be taught is personal intuition, creatives are born with an eye to enable them to see and link this information. Connecting a series of images and seeing a strong theme, or it might be just one object/image that can provoke a powerful thought.
Trend Forecasting is a billion-pound industry, by predicting fabrics, colours, silhouettes and styles that will be popular the following year our customers can plan and provide their clients with on-trend products in relevant colours and fashion forward styles.
As an experienced fashion and graphic designer, working for many years with high street/online retailers and brands, the speed at which I deliver trends is very important. The buyer must have the most up to date information allowing them to plan their range accordingly.
I have 6 simple steps which I follow each season;
Trend Forecasting Websites and Magazines
My first stop is to scan over the initial trends being reported from one of the biggest names, WGSN is my go to but there are many great sites – Womens Wear Daily, Trendstop.
Trend Magazines are also brilliant and very accessible, View is one of my personal favourites, buying a couple or even one a season with pay for itself, I promise!
Fashion week is always fun! Sitting for hours and hours scrolling through as many designers’ collections as possible. Every designer knows how important it is to do this, although time consuming it definitely is a worthwhile exercise enabling you to collate emerging trends and themes for yourself. I’ll always head over to vogue.co.uk, to see what’s going on!
Social Media / Instagram, Pinterest, etc
Growing more and more important every day, social media has introduced itself to us as a great source of trend information. Across a number of platforms from Instagram to Pinterest it’s so important to keep up to date with what’s going on and what your customers are looking at. Providing us with aspirational images of a beautiful life. Many retailers have tapped into this client base using influencers to push trends and their products to an ever-growing audience.
Fashion Bloggers / Street Style Blogs
Fashion bloggers are different to street style blogs, as they tend to keep us up to date with relevant trend driven brands and designers we should be aware of along with styling tips. Whereas street style blogs are compiled from hours trawling the streets over the world searching for the well-dressed general public. One of my all time favourites has to be thesartorialist.com
I have in the past attended many trade shows and taken the opportunity to capture myself some of the well dressed, from the fashion industry. Including this information into my trend research.
Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report
The mighty Pantone!
Every designer works with Pantone, being the number one source of colour referencing in many industries. Each season the team at Pantone collate a Fashion Colour Trend Report, highlighting the key colours for the upcoming season. In a readable format with a thought-provoking mood board. Also giving us the opportunity to buy coloured fabric swatches enabling designers to pull together colour palettes very easily.
Finally, perhaps one of the most important elements to the whole process, our personal intuition drives the entire trend. Over the years I have worked for many different companies in the fashion industry and along the way have met some incredibly inspiring creatives who I just have to look at in a certain way and its almost as if they can read my mind!
By using these 6 steps each season I am able to deliver the correct information that my clients require to further their product and provide their customers with what they want!
About Our Author: Amy Poole Design are a Suffolk based design agency, specialising in multi product garment and graphic design including trend forecasting and analysis. Amy has over 15 years experience of working with high street / online retailers, brands and suppliers specialising in women's, men’s and childrenswear with a sound understanding of market dynamics and consumer wants, meaning her designs meet the needs and aspirations of her clients’ target markets. You can find out more by visiting Amy's website HERE