Trends are a big part of the fashion industry and that’s why fashion trend forecasting is important. Trends determine, to a large extent, what brands fashion lovers gravitate towards to stay trendy and relevant. As a fashion entrepreneur, knowing how to forecast fashion trends means you are always on top of your game and you don’t have to play catch up when other brands release trending collections.
What is Trend Forecasting in Fashion?
Before we dive into what trend forecasting is, let’s first take a quick look at what fashion trends are. So, what are fashion trends? Fashion trends are the popular styles of clothing and accessories at a particular period. This period can last for as little as a few months to as long as a couple of years.
Now, trend forecasting is simply predicting the future of a market. It relies on research that analyses the market trends and buying habits of customers to draw conclusions. So, it uses data from past sales to predict future opportunities. Trend forecasters work in every industry.
Thus, fashion forecasting is the field in the fashion industry that deals with predicting future fashion trends that will catch the attention of fashion lovers. Through fashion forecasting reports, fashion entrepreneurs can determine how to move forward on designing new collections. Trend forecasting focuses on telling a story through colours, styling techniques, design details, fabrics, and more.
5 Ways to Forecast Fashion Trends for Your Fashion Brand
As a fashion entrepreneur, there are several ways you can forecast trends. Here are 5 ways you can use today;
1. Check Out Fashion Publications
Many major fashion publications come out monthly in form of magazines. These fashion magazines and newspapers are a great and affordable way to get a curated understanding of seasonal trends. Just by going through and studying these publications, you can pick out the next trends the fashion world is leaning into.
Asides from physical publications, online fashion magazines and blogs can be of great help to you too. Through their analysis, you can get a peek into fashion trends that might suit your brand.
Some great fashion publications to look out for are Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Thisday Style, Genevieve and Onobello.
2. Attend Fashion Shows
The fashion industry is laden with lots of fashion shows yearly. From major shows like the New York Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion Week to smaller shows like the Ibadan Urban Fashion Week. At all of these shows, fashion entrepreneurs can catch a glimpse of what styles and designs will become trends over the coming months or years.
You can look out for the most promising, and sometimes most repeated, looks to see what the upcoming trends will be. Although these styles and designs might be great, you do not have to copy them hook, line, and sinker. Look at your target and find ways to tailor the trends to suit them. You can adopt the silhouettes, themes, and details into your next ready-to-wear collection.
3. Do Your Market Research
Although it is great to look to fashion publications and shows to determine what to do with your next collections, sometimes you have to look within. Study your target market and get familiar with what they want and how the shop. This study should cover both your customers and other that fall into your ideal buyer persona.
Look at the habits that are popular in your area and what influences your buyers’ choices. Do they dress based on the season – rainy or dry seasons? Is there a time of the year where there are special events like office parties or weddings that influence what they buy? Understanding your customers and what influences their outfit choices can help you see trends you can use to make informed decisions for your brand.
4. Look to Influencers
Depending, once again, on who your target market is, you can look to influencers to predict future trends. This means monitoring closely those influencers that your target market follow most to see what fashion choices they make.
In studying and understanding what informs their fashion choices, you can begin to predict fashion trends. Since social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are popular now, they are great platforms to research on.
5. Use Trend Forecasting Agencies
Not every fashion entrepreneur is skilled with or has the time to do trend forecasting and that is fine. As a fashion entrepreneur, you can also turn to professional trend forecasters to help with your forecasting efforts. These individuals or agencies can provide you trend research reports for a fee.
Another option can be to hire an in-house trend forecaster. Their job will be to analyse the market and come up with future trends. They can work directly with your production team to create new products to interest your target market.
Which of these trend forecasting methods are you going to try out today? Remember that, as a fashion entrepreneur, you do not have to jump on every trend. By observing your target market properly, you can determine which trend will work for you and which wouldn’t.