Talk about the very seed of the fashion industry that paves way for it to run successfully. It’s the art of fashion forecasting, the very basis of everything fashionable under the sun. Only when a certain trend is predicted, does it inspire the many designers to build a collection on that. And, the market only lives on what the designers manufacture. Eventually, we all end up donning the trend. It all begins with fashion forecasting.
SO, WHAT IS FASHION FORECASTING EXACTLY?
A detailed prediction of the future fashion trends is what’s fashion forecasting in simple terms. Not just confined to what cut, colour or accessory will be ruling the runway, the term fashion forecasting goes beyond that realm. The current season, mood, demands, behavior of the consumers, the impact of the past trends on them and a rough prediction of the future fashion turns; a lot more than simply predicting a trend goes into fashion forecasting.
DOES IT TAKE SOMETHING TO BE A FASHION FORECASTER?
Out of everything that being a fashion forecaster takes, it certainly doesn’t take a full-fledged training. It’s more about possessing the right amount of curiosity, interest, creativity, an eye for detail and a pinch of personal intuition. A trend can’t be predicted successfully within your four walls, eyes rooted on the computer screen. As important a role as the Internet and social media play, having a direct insight into the ever-changing, fast-paced world outside is crucial too. That being said, it also takes some traveling, observing and an understanding of the various spheres other than fashion. A trend can be picked off of anything and everything. The distinct way a local lady at a remote area wraps her saree might tick that trend prompt. Or, a simple fashion blogger might give you a piece of prompt or two. Given that, inspiration can be drawn from your surroundings or even from an industry that’s not fashion oriented. And, it’s definitely not something that can’t be taught. One can definitely take Lidewij Edelkoort as an inspiration here. Building her career on the basis of her job at an Amsterdam department store as a fashion coordinator, today Lidewij owns several trend based companies and is one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters. The key to her flourishing career had been and is till date her intuitive thinking, her flair for traveling the world and studying the evolution of various socio-cultural trends.
Although fashion forecasting is an archaic term, it certainly is not a well-established career path in this country. Which is just another reason for aspiring individuals to take that route. There’s plenty of space to introduce and sustain fashion forecasting as a profession in India and hence, there’s tremendous scope.
LET’S COME DOWN TO THE FACTORS LEADING UP TO FASHION FORECASTING
Since, now you have a fair background of the workings of the trend industry, let’s discuss a rundown of all that needs to be considered in order to predict an upcoming trend.
Every season asks for different colour tones, shapes and patterns. One cannot slip on black glitz on a summer noon and call it trendy. New season, new weather, new clothing needs, new mood and hence new trends distinct to each. That’s exactly why; a fashion forecaster needs to consider the coming season to forecast the future trend. However, fashion is just as much looking back in the past as it is in the future. A coming trend is usually a compound of one or more past trend elements and probably your past trends have been a follow up of the old age trends. As for fashion forecasting, that pattern of the past is an existing norm in the industry and the fashion professionals.
Who will you be eventually selling the trend to, is supremely important for you to know if you’re determining a future trend. The kind of people, their general preferences, their social customs, culture, their budget and other features about the target crowd or city plays a massive role in the process. Moreover, consumer behavior and research is important since preferences change just as much as the trends. Knowing what are the consumers’ current choices and styles is definitely a catalyst to fashion forecasting.
You need to have a sharp eye for the colours and their tones on the runway. If you see pastel pinks in a few shows, in the next season you’ll spot every show donning bright pink hues. And the next thing you know, that pink tint is hanging outside every store. When a colour trend is determined, it’s usually a move on from the previous season. You can merge the seasonal themes with a reflection of the past colours to forecast a colour trend. However, the process of predicting a colour turns smoother with the announcement of the colour of the year by Pantone. Naturally, once that privileged shade name is out, it shows its influence on the fashion industry. The chosen colour then reflects on the runway and then to the street. Certainly, the Pantone colour of the year is something a trend forecasters lives by.
A particular fabric, a certain mood or a pattern, a reference from the past or a colour scheme; anything can be considered as a theme. Again, themes rely on the changing seasons and could be picked off an old trend or by combining two.
PEAK WORKING PERIOD FOR FASHION FORECASTERS
Fashion forecasting professionals work all round the year. However, they reach the peak of their work schedule in the months leading up to the fashion weeks. The fads you see adorning the runway at the fashion weeks are determined months before the shows. The trend reports, the analytics, the basis for the forthcoming fashion releases in advance. These forecasting trends then reflect in the fabrics and the core of the fashion market. Perhaps, trend elements for the anticipated S/S 2019 are already out and about now. To conclude, fashion forecasters run ahead of the fashion weeks, drawing inspiration and blending in their intuitive perception to propose an accurate fashion report for the industry. Certainly, it’s not an easy profession but is definitely a revered one with practice and dedication.
COUNTRY’S BEST IN THE SPHERE
F-trend – one of the most leading global trend forecasting agencies in India with a modern yet peculiar approach to fashion helps retailers, designers, marketers and innovators create products that align with the consumers. With offices in the US, UK and Paris, the agency is equipped with all the facilities and appropriate knowledge to run the core of the fashion industry.
We say, if you are on the lookout for an unconventional yet totally awe-inspiring career in fashion, take the plunge and take up the fashion forecasting space.