How is it that some people seem to have a sixth sense about being able to see what the next big trend in fashion is, long before it hits the runways and the shops?
Spotting fashion trends is not always easy, but with practice and a keen eye you can learn how to discover the clues to an important new trend. The best place to start is to focus on the audience that you want to cater to. Once you have a clear idea who you want to reach, you can predict what their interests are likely to be by paying close attention to the following indicators.
1. Be well aware of today’s current trends.
Quite often there will be one or two macro trends that will carry on to the next year, updated with a slight variation. Familiarize yourself with what’s on trend today, and you can usually predict what has staying power, especially combined with other indicators outlined below.
2. Monitor the runway shows.
Keep a close eye on what designers feature in their latest shows. Watch for similar themes across several shows, such as unique colour stories, prints and fabrications.
3. Be aware of major events in the upcoming season and beyond.
Major events such as a presidential election, a royal marriage, the Olympics or a national celebration can have a strong influence on fashion. Public figures often start trends as well: Michelle Obama influenced fashion trends for working women simply by swapping a jacket for a cardigan.
4. Use social media to find trending topics.
One of the great things about the Internet is its ability to reflect a wide variety of interests. Ideas and even images are shared among millions of viewers, instantaneously – you can’t get more current than that! Tumblr and Instagram are great sources for trending images, while Twitter exposes trending topics that reflect popular interests.
5. Discover new lifestyles and personal habits that are on the rise.
A great example of this is the influence yoga played out in sportswear in recent years. Lately, weight training is on the rise as a lifestyle choice that was not so popular only a short time ago. These kinds of influencers create a need that designers must attend to, and often indicate the start of an important fashion trend.
6. Learn about the newest technology.
Our generation is constantly coming up with new gadgets, and technologies. High-tech fabrics can influence sportswear design, while new gadgets can inspire new fashion accessories. Think about how quickly the success of Apple products lead to all kinds of accessories specifically designed just for iPhones and tablets.
7. Know the popular TV shows and movies of the year.
Artists and designers are constantly inspiring each other, so whenever a major show or movie becomes a hit, you can be sure a trend will follow. Costumes or sets from a hit TV show can inspire designers to capture their mood or details into a ready-to-wear or home furnishing collection.
No one can predict with 100% accuracy what the next major fashion trend will be every time, but by following these indicators, you’ll soon learn what is most likely to be a hit with your own customers, even before they know!
Let us know how you spot trends, please write your thoughts in the “Comments box” below.
CONTRIBUTOR-Christelle Sofonkine Born and raised in France, residing in Canada- Christelle helps creatives individuals and organizations stay ahead of emerging design curves by providing trend forecasting & design services for Fashion, Interior & Lifestyle. She has enjoyed a successful track record forecasting, developing colours, trends, concept development, and creative design for over 100 of North America’s major retail and apparel brands.