What is a trend exactly? All trends share a set of conspicuous, universal features:

  • A trend is driven by a basic human need, one that is catalyzed by new technology
  • A trend is timely, but it persists
  • A trend evolves as it emerges
  • A trend can materialise as a series of unconnectable dots which begin out on the fringe and move to mainstream

To map what the future holds, seek out early adopters of new ideas, waves, behaviour, until it converges and evolves.

Fashion trends are influenced by several factors including political, economical, social and technological. Examining these factors is called a PEST analysis. Fashion forecasters can use this information to help determine growth or decline of a particular trend.

PEST analysis (political, economic, social and technological) describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management. It is part of an external analysis when conducting a strategic analysis or doing market research, and gives an overview of the different macro-environmental factors to be taken into consideration. It is a strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations.

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Fashion brands propose new collections every season according to what seasonal trends will be.

Trends must last just a season, or even less named as a FAD, or last many years, becoming classic. Usually for every trend that gets acceptance there is an opposite trend in the following seasons.

From straightforward dresses of the early 1940s to the feminine shapes of Diors post war new look; from the bold colors, jewelry, and exaggerated shapes of the 1980s, to minimalistic 1990s…


Trends in the Past

The textile industry was used to envision fashion trends almost three years before the fashion collection entered the store.

For decades there has been a consensus in the fashion pipeline among :

  • trend forecasters
  • textile producers (yarns, fabrics)
  • fashion designers
  • opinion makers (fashion editors)
  • retailers
  • about trends in term of colors, shapes, materials (research Pantone)

The Color Intelligence

Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics.

Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year.

For example, the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012.The color purportedly connects with the zeitgeist (The Zeitgeistspirit of the age or spirit of the time, is the dominant set of ideals and beliefs that motivate the actions of the members of a society in a particular period in time).

For example, the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.” The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View ($750), which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.

Pantone asserts that their lists of color numbers and pigment values are the intellectual property of Pantone and free use of the list is not allowed.

Trends today

Social media has opened up fashion to other influencers, bloggers first.

Speed, combined with cheap prices and 24-hour accessibility of online shopping, makes it easy for todays consumers to scout and also create new trends.

Instead of a Trickle-down process from the textile pipeline and fashion designers to the street, a bottom up process: from the street up to the catwalk and a trickle across phenomenon, a trend spreads horizontally within different socioeconomic groups at the same time.

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