Trend research is a tool that helps designers predict what colours, fabrics, and styles will be popular in the upcoming seasons.
Fashion forecasting allows designers to plan ahead. It assists in deciding what is going to provide the best profit and what will commercially sell. For emerging designers trend forecasting companies are not cheap, but it is possible for designers to do trend research themselves. Here are 5 tips for trend research in your market:
TIP 1: KNOW THY CUSTOMER
You need to know what age range and gender of customer you are targeting to incorporate an appropriate trend. Are your targeting sporty or business or both? Think about where the customer shops for clothing, groceries, hobbies and more. As you decide what kind of customer you are targeting you will get a better idea of what they will like. Look at what is selling in shops, talk to store managers, observe. As you work through this process, pull images that you find inspirational and pertain to the customer and attach them to your mood board. You have to understand your customer and what drives their purchasing decisions. Without knowing what your customer is buying now you will never be able to figure out what they will buy 12 months in the future.
TIP:2 MAKE TREND RESEARCH A DAILY ACTIVITY
Trend Forecasting is a lot of work. There are companies who make a living of trend forecasting alone. It requires a lot of curiosity and interest in a wide array of subjects ranging from art and design, reaching over to science and travel to name a few. To make trend forecasting less overwhelming allow yourself 30mins each day to do trend forecasting. This will help a lot.
Look at street style blogs and fashion blogs. Bloglovin is a great site to help you control blogs you follow for trend research. It allows you to keep all your favourite blogs in one place and save posts you like.
Vogue.com for latest catwalks and older trends
WGSN.com – some free info and have to subscribe for more. It is expensive if you a a small business starting out.
Look at Pinterest and Instagram.
TIP 3: CUSTOMER FILTER
It is very easy to get bogged down when researching trends. You will be sick of reading this but you need to know your target customer. Think in the mindset of your target customer. Think “will my customer like this?”, not do i like this. Using this filter will cut out a lot of trends and help you find a trend that shouts your customers style.
TIP 4: READ CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Read reviews on online stores, see what styles and colours resonates with them. Do take the reviews with a pinch of salt, but at the same time it is the most honest feedback you will hear. Depending on what trend you are looking for either relating to the cut, the pattern, the colour, take notes on comments relating to it and see if patterns begin to emerge.
TIP 5: THINK LIKE AN INFLUENCER NOT A FOLLOWER
Not all designers want to follow trends instead they want to set trends. To set trends, you need an understanding of what was popular, what is popular, and what could be popular. Therefore, you need to understand trend forecasting. It is important for every designer to be looking forward and backwards.
Lidewij Edelkoort, says “trend forecasting is much like archeology but to the future”.
So whilst you’re looking forward, you’re also taking into account past references. You will soon realize it’s one big creative loop that is constantly growing and updating itself. Once you choose your trend you need to make sure you’re not creating something that will be out before you get it in! It is important to incorporate the right trend into you design process, combining this with your theme and creativity to create something you customer will want.
As a designer, especially if you are still a student designer, one of your jobs is to create new and exciting designs and trends. It’s important to know what’s going on but it’s more important to follow your own vision. Trends change all the time and it’s so important to keep up with them when you work in the fashion and textiles industry. Fashion forecasting will help you in your design to provide your customers with beautiful, on-trend fabrics in relevant colours and fashion forward styles.