How fashion brands predict “what’s in vogue?”

Have you ever wondered how brands make it possible to understand and implement seasonal trends and establish new styles in the market?
The research that is carried out before introducing a new trend is called fashion forecast also known as trend forecast. Fashion Forecasting is crucial for a brand when it comes to deciding what majority prefers to wear at a certain time. It’s a process of researching and forming predictions on future consumer habits, which involves the intact monitoring of market trends to make effective decisions on how to move forward for designing a new collection.

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Fashion forecasting changes silhouettes, design details, colors, fabrics, and trims that are followed by people at a certain time. The forecasters study and evaluate how the social, cultural, or any environmental shifts are anticipated to influence future consumer behaviour and based on that they decide the trend they’re going to launch in the market. Consequently, the process assists in identifying products and services that consumers would be interested in buying.

With the evolution of the fashion industry, the way we look at trends has changed. Earlier days, fashion forecasters used to gather insights by traveling to fashion capitals around the world to discover fashion trends and then to come up with their unique style.

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However, such customs are still relevant but not to an extent they used to be decades back. Technical advancements and 24/7 access to the digital marketing in fashion industry has changed the demography of fashion forecasting entirely. As a consequence, the way to predict fashion and forecasting trends have also changed to a great extent if it’s not completely changed.

The process of fashion forecasting is different for different brands.

Let’s check some of the reliable ways brands forecast trends.

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By looking at other industries: Although big or renowned brands carry out their own forecasting ,small independent fashion designers are usually seen creating mood boards based on art, film, and nature to inspire their unique collections.

Hiring in-house trend forecasters: Large fast-fashion brands are often vertically integrated; hence their trend forecasting is done in-house. This allows them to work directly with product development teams to create new products.

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By observing popular fashion shows: Before the rise of the Internet and social media, trend forecasters did most of their research at fashion shows, where they would observe the most promising looks, and then bring that information from the catwalk to chain-store product. This is called “top-down” forecasting, and it has to do with the way fashion trends trickle down from haute couture runways to high street shops.

By following influencers: Now a days trend forecasters are more likely to look at influencers, street style, and blogs for information on the latest trends. This is called “bottom-up” forecasting, and it involves close monitoring of a target market to predict demand for future trends.

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Identifying a Fashion Trend entails pedantic observations. Besides “top-down” and “bottom-up” forecasting, an intimate understanding of fashion scenes and a keen interest in various subjects such as art, color and design make it possible for brands to predict future trend. With a precise understanding of consumer fashion behaviour, brands can avoid bad product choices and capture the market with their unique style.

Author: Abhishek