Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fashion Trends How to Forecast

The word “fashion” is synonymous with the word “change”. Fashion begins with the fabrics and fabrics begin with colour. Each season colour must make a new statement for fashion to continue its natural evolution. Our eyes need refreshment. We may have disliked the way we looked in last season’s clothes, but this season offers the opportunity to wear new colours, groom differently and appear as new person. And if we are still dissatisfied, three months there is a new season. 

This quotation is from Ed Newman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute and it can just as easily be applied to other textile products. If we don’t like our surrounding, textiles can help us effect a transformation and if we do not like that, we can adopt the next trend to come along.

Consider the latest fashion trends that the fabrics and fashion that are in the shops now for the current season. Designers who styled garments are working on them 7-12 months ago, the fabric designers would have been working on their ranges 12-15 months ago, the yarn designers 18-20 months ago and the colourists approximately 24 months ago.

We not even know it perfectly that would be the rate of change in fashion trends 2009 and fall 2010 fashion trends. Similarly men fashion trends for 2010 can depend on different factor comparing teenage fashion trends or kids fashion trends. On the other hand if we compare summer fashion trends or winter fashion trends in different countries, it may have different rate or duration depending on the factors that are becoming cause of top fashion trends.

So Fashion trends 2011, How did the designers know what people would want? What is in fashion is constantly changing. How can designers predict what people will want? Where do they find directions and ideas for their new ranges?

The majority of designers work under quite considerable constraints. Certainly in the mass market they are often trying to produce designs which correspond to already identified trends. Ideas produced by designers undergo a ruthless process of selection by the designers themselves and with in the producing company. The aim is to identify those designs most likely to be successful, that is those that correspond most closely to the anticipated fashion, as well as working with in production and cost constraints.

The key for designers making trend decisions or making new fashion trends is to be as aware and as informed as possible. Knowledge of the market is important; those responsible must get out and about to see what is on offer. What is selling now? What has sold in the past? Can any trends be spotted from the data gathered; any conclusions drawn? Who are the competitors, what are they doing and how successful are they? Magazines can help here.

Designers must have access to sales figures. What colours / fabrics / styles are selling well or have sold well in the past? The sales team should constantly feed information back to design. Who exactly is the customer? What is their lifestyle?

An understanding of the factors that influence fashion is essential to help recognize those that are likely to influence future fashion. The media, television, radio and the press and theatre and cinema have a great influence on the buying public. In particular, television and cinema have a great deal to do with the acceptance of new styles by consumers. James Dean, in the film “Rebel Without a Cause” wore a white tee-shirt and denim jeans, setting a fashion that was to become a classic.

An awareness of what is happening in the world of cinema and television is also required. Who are the personalities in the news? In their time Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Jackie Kennedy have all had a tremendous influence on fashions. People love to emulate the personalities they admire.

What Exhibitions or events are happening? What artists are in the news? Art collections on world tour often have an influence on fashions. When the Matisse and Chagall exhibitions were on tour and in the media spotlight, many areas of design reflected the styles of these painters.

What new technologies are available? The 60’s fashion for easy care fabrics could  not have come about had the man-made fibres with the necessary properties not been developed.

Designers also influence fashion. What is happening in the world of design? Who are the leaders? Dior in 1947 gave the fashion world the New Look; Courreges in the 60s started the space-age look that become so popular, with his minis and white plastic boots; Vivienne westwood gave the fashion world the mini-crini.


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