The Truth Behind Trends

As trends come and go, many of us don’t take the time to think just how those trends came to be. When did bicycle shorts and culottes become our off-duty uniform over denim ? And who decided newsboy (or baker boy, call it what you wish) caps circa the early 20th century would be the it-item for every Insta model on our feed?

We have the art of trend forecasting to thank for this as major retailers, designers and editors alike turn to industry leaders like Doneger and WGSN to translate our current societal climate into something digestible for the masses. Although, it’s so much more than simply deciding “fringe is in this season”. Forecasting takes into account our society’s economic status, technological innovations, societal uproars as well as the art, music and fashion that we find beautiful and inspiring at that moment in time.

Every company from retail giants to fashion magazines to homeware brands practice the art of trend forecasting. Quite honestly, it is the basis of the business operation. Companies analyze these macrotrends and apply them to their personal business models. Without it, editors would not know what to feature in fashion spreads and designers couldn’t produce pieces that are marketable to the consumer.

The key to successfully utilizing a forecast is in the analyzation and familiarity with your target market. They are called macrotrends for a reason; they’re broad. The key is to take these findings and transform them into something tangible. Every macrotrend can be interpreted in a thousand different ways depending on who this trend is being analyzed for. Do they take risks or do they like innovation in small doses? Are they looking for a comfortable or cutting-edge wardrobe? A Fashion Director at Barney’s would analyze the same trend very differently than a Director at Ross Stores as would the Director at Vogue versus Seventeen. Make sense?

As an example, I’ve taken Doneger’s macrotrends for Autumn Winter 2018/2019 and condensed their extensive report into a simple concept moodboard and streetstyle trend board.

Iconic:  This trend has a little bit of everything. Doneger literally uses “granny chic” to describe its whimsical florals and kitschy graphics. It is reminiscent on all things retro but with a modern twist. This prediction also shows us the oversized silhouettes and bright colors of the 90’s and 80’s aren’t going anywhere just yet. Think designers like Off-White, Moschino and Gucci as well as dad sneakers for a major key item.

Origins: Say hello to nature this season. Doneger describes this as “Medieval meets mountain living.” In this trend, you’ll find rich, earthy tones and dreary neutrals. Think thick fabrics, like wool, furs and a focus on sustainability (ie: Instagram’s favorite Teddy coats).

Revival: On the contrary to Origin’s Medieval essence, Revival is the new Renaissance. It’s the appreciation for art, beauty and innovation in a world that can seem so dark. Fashion romances with delicate and art inspired silhouettes as well as features intricacy in details. Think designers like Brock Collection and pre-Hedi Céline (cue eye-roll/tears).

Imperial: This trend is where luxury meets power. This is the time to embrace your ultra-fierce side to strut the streets in these bold tones, lavish fabrics and opulent prints. Think of a power-red suit or gorgeously draped, satin dress that hits in all the right places while adding little bit of a punch through dramatic details.