Fashion trends are an ever changing dynamic. Working in the world of fashion is much more complex, than one would think. Figuring out what the next trend will be is extremely crucial,for anyone who would like to make it in this competitive industry. This is why a lot of thought is put into what is known as “fashion forecasting”, the prediction of what will be the the next big hit in the fashion world.
“Fashion anticipates, and elegance is a state of mind… a mirror of the time in which we live, a translation of the future, and should never be static.” Quotes Oleg Cassini, the American fashion designer.
“Trends are set by technology, economy, culture and social activities” said Sam Chapman,coordinator of Studio183 in Bikini Berlin.” In order to tell which trends are coming up next
you must be able to understand the consumers and the situations they’re in”.
What is considered appropriate wear, is mainly shaped by cultural and social influences. Due to the change of consumers, from one region to another, fashion is different around the world.
“fashionable” or “appropriate wear” in China for example, might not be counted the same in Germany, and the other way around.
Our surroundings and what is popular in our areaplay a big role in our fashion choices, since we do tend to imitate what is happening within our social circle in attempt to fit in, or to be considered “normal”.
Other parts of cultural and social influences include our friends and mainstream celebrities, we are very likely to mirror something, or find it “cool” if we see
someone that we admire or look up to doing it.
However due to technology, trends all over the world are becoming similar everyday that it won’t be any surprise if trends were to be the same all around the wold in the future. “The world is becoming more globalized by the second” said Axel Alwers Oacho, a marketing freelancer as well as marketing student in Berlin.
Technology is related to cultural and social influences, in the sense that we are being highly influenced by what we see in the media, especially within pop culture and social media.
Brands are willing to invest big amounts of money, so that Internet influencers would
advertise their products on their social media platforms. Internet influencers are people who are internet popular, having a minimum of at least ten thousand followers, on at least one social media platform, such as : Instagram, youtube, twitter and so on.
According to Axel, the globalization is not the only effect of technology in fashion. In today’s society machines are so advanced that “anything you would see on the runway, is easily copyable, with cheaper materials making it affordable”.
Our interest in trends and fashion week has been explained by a study done in 2006 by Drs.Nixo Bunzeck and Emrah Duzel showed that the substantial negra or ventral tegmental area of which are related to the reward circuitry in the brain is stimulated, when it came across new things. According to Psy.D. Jennifer Baumgartner in an article she wrote for psychology today “encountering new stimulus in the environment, is crucial, for our survival, we must attend it in order to assess the level of danger or benefit it may offer”. The study by Drs. Nixo Bunzeck and Emrah Duzel has also explained, that we look for novelty to be rewarded, which helps to enhance our learning skills. In other words the new trends and styles that are presented to us are healthy for our brains, as it positively effects our problem solving, visual
processing and working memory. Explained Psy.D. Jennifer Baumgartner.
The brains positive stimulations when it comes down to new things, is associated with how technology effects fashion, as the technology is allowing us to come up with new textiles, and they are used as new trends as the consumers tend to be very excited and can’t wait to get their hands on the new materials , especially nowadays with many materials being designed to fit the seasons all year round. The recent technology is opening doors for new designs and patterns that are making their way to the top of the fashion trends.
During times when the financial situation is tough, people start shopping for more basic and reusable pieces due to their lower budgets and need for survival. There is a tendency for shoppers not to care about looking fashionable but to keep it classy with items that can be dressed on everyday basis, as fashion statements are not considered by most as important as life necessities.
But for the times when the economy is up, the life of a fashionista is all about colors, textiles and different types of fabrics. Money is no longer an issue , and many would feel that making a new statement on daily basis is as necessary as breathing.
To be able to predict the upcoming trends, it must be clear wether, the goal of the items is to be sold fast and match the season, or to be the next trend to last. Therefore there are two different types of fashion forecasting. The first one being short term forecasting. It consists mainly of playing with colors and fabrics of classical styles, finding many information on the internet on what is currently trendy and making the clothes modern and fit for the current
season. This type of forecasting is mainly used by big mainstream brands who have new products on weekly basis and keep very cheap prices, such as H&M, Forever 21 and Primark.
Long term fashion forecasting, is very well thought out it’s usually forecasting in advance for trends that will be used from 18 months until two years, thanks
to the technology that allows designers to understand the upcoming trends in advance.This type of forecasting is used by brands that want to accomplish
high fashion and have long lasting pieces and strong pieces. These brands don’t tend to release new items as often as the brands that use short term forecasting.
In the present day, it is no surprise for fashion brands to pay as high as an annual one hundred thousand dollars, for high end fashion, and fifty thousand
dollars for the low end. To be a fashion forecaster you must have a lot of talent, until this day there are no specific courses in fashion forecasting, therefore the job requirements include ; having a degree in a related field, good knowledge of the fashion industry, such as old and present trends and willingness to do excessive research.
The dominance of new trends for brands is only increasing, which is making fashion
forecasting more essential everyday. So much that it wouldn’t be surprising if it became an offered subject at universities across the world. That is why everyone who plans to have any kind of career that regards fashion, should know the elements that go into forecasting; technology, cultural and social activities as well as economy. They should also be aware of the differences between long and short term fashion forecasting.