How Do Fashion Forecasters Do It?

Going back to last season’s Spring/Summer Collection, Fashion Week kicked off in New York and shows started pouring in one after the other. We realized that many, if not most, of the designers shared very similar components within their designs. Whether it was a color palette, an oversized accessory, a major decade throwback, the 90s are making a huge return from the catwalk to every fashionista’s #OOTD.

So the question is, how do they do it? Do designers have a secret underground meeting to brainstorm what they’ll be designing for the next season? Probably not, but our curiosity did drag us enough to go to the master of them all, Google, and lo and behold, we introduce you to ‘Fashion Forecasting’.

Fashion Forecasting is the process of foreseeing future trends based on extensive research – not psychic ability (we wish?!). A fashion forecaster relies on factors that include politics, subculture, technological advancements, music and film industry. All those factors work as a mood that affect the general public.

Photo: Getty Images

For example, the current political mess and Trump memes 2016 brought upon us as designers/creatives took a stand in their own way; Remember Maria Grazia Chiuri of Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists”, and Prabal Gurung’s “ Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights”? Or when the genius Christian Siriano sent down model Jasmine Poulton in a satin hot pink slit skirt paired with a black t-shirt signed ‘People Are People’, the reaction of both physical and digital audiences’ cheering and applauding was a great indication that we have not completely gone cray yet.

Photo: Twitter (@jerome_vnt)

The icing on our cake was Mexican-born designer Raul Solis sending down models in backless dresses with a “Fu*k Your Wall” statement, on underwear. Statement clothing – a forecasted trend affected by politics; The perfect combination of political madness and runway sanity.

Photo: Collage

Lidewij Edelkoort (let’s call her Li) is the name to remember when it comes to Fashion Forecasting. After moving to Paris in the mid 70s, Li started working as a trend consultant, sooner started her own consultancy firm ‘Trend Union’ which issued bi-annual forecasting books that featured trends, colors, and textiles. It has then adapted to the digital world as the firm launched their online forecasting website specifically catering to fashion designers, stylists, and design students.

Another leading forecasting company, Worth Global Style Network (WGSN), has around 7000 subscribed clients of major fashion designers with over 300 experts and researchers who analyze art, architecture, tourist spots, and food to determine upcoming trends in the next five or even ten years to come. Wonder if they’ve predicted how much actual denim will be left on ripped jeans by 2027? Our prediction: microkinis-worth – Then we can just all toss it anyway! Or keep it (we don’t judge, jk ofc we do).

Photo: Pantone

Pantone, the leading company of color intelligence, is what every industry relies on for announcing the colors of each year. The obvious dominating color of last year – and still remains – the rebirth of millenium pink to millennial pink. Blue also was a ruling color on the runway as we’ve seen on Elie Saab’s and Dior’s. For this year, Instagram bloggers’ iPhones are bedazzled with the Original Martinique Beverly Hills design cases. Why? Because 2017 is all about nature green.

Photo: Fashion Forward

Saudi-based premier luxury consultancy firm, Niche Arabia, leads the trend forecasting services in the GCC catering to emerging local designers and brands. With extensive experience in the international and local creative industry, Niche Arabia conducts market research and creative direction for their clients to articulate aesthetic goals and ensure all elements stay true to the brand’s DNA.

Beginning with the color palettes, then moving on to the textiles, and later on with the general mood/theme, each designer with a personal aesthetic, talent, and creativity, transform forecasters’ information into their own masterpieces that walk the runway season after season. So basically, trend forecasters give you the box, and you whether being a designer, stylist, blogger or simply a fashion enthusiast must think out of it.