Atrend mostly refers to what is cool or popular among potential consumers. While a trend can be influenced by style, trends can also be started based on the weather, hot topics and other factors as simple as reigning jokes.
The power that trends wield affects not just the dress making section of the fashion industry but cuts across every other section including bags, shoes and accessories. It also goes beyond affecting designers and manufacturers down to those who sell directly to the final consumers.
It is important for large scale manufacturers and designers to learn how much influence trends have on brands that retail fashion items. Since they have a direct relationship with the consumers, seeing it through their eyes can help manufacturers make better decisions.
How do trends affect fashion retail brands?
Asakome Esther, the CEO of Laurie collections, affirms that trends affect her market. They sometimes affect how she buys and what she buys because she has to satisfy her costumers. Her customers more often than not have demands that are trend-influenced, so most times she buys based on their demands.
She gave an example of how trend affects her sales, she said, “ Sometimes. When I stock China products, for example; bags worth N4,000 to N5,000, they prefer to go for a Prada or Louis Vuitton of N10 to N15,000. In the end, the customers who can’t afford the higher-priced goods go for the others because of what they can afford.”
The choice of the consumer is usually influenced by what is cool or good to have which in turn determines what sells fast and what doesn’t.
Is following trends a necessity?
Ecwoman, a fashion retail brand that helps customers see that quality goods do not have to be necessarily expensive, does not need trends to decide how it stocks. The brand owner, Florence Michael Opaleye says, “We believe in the idea of trends a little but are more focused on creating individual styles / trends. In a nut shell we do not focus on trends so much”. She explains that trends doesn’t necessarily tamper with how the brands stocks goods because the brand essence and target audience doesn’t always accommodate trends.
The influence that trends have on retail brands can be limited by the target market of the brand, some consumers’ choices are influenced by the size of their pockets and not what’s cool.
What designers should Know
In producing fashion items, it will be a huge plus for designers if they take into consideration how consumers feel at certain times and what they want. Esther is of the opinion that “manufacturers should get creative and produce design that will keep customers coming” and make sure to also create Quality but affordable goods for the Nigerian market.
This is slightly different from Florence’s view who thinks that “there should be a little twist while adopting trends so that products do not go out of fashion when the trend is over”
In a nutshell, designers and manufacturers of fashion items have a lot to benefit from trends. A better way is to be careful not to copy but be creative with whatever trends offer.