Updated: Feb 17
Fashion forecasting is the practice of predicting upcoming trends based on past and present style-related information, the interpretation and analysis of the motivation behind a trend, and an explanation of why the prediction is likely to occur.
By communicating the information to designers, retailers, product developers, manufacturers, and business professionals, they are able to produce products that consumers will want to purchase and profits can be made. Since fashion is constantly changing and evolving, forecasting has a pivotal role in the fashion process.
Focus must be continually directed forward, always looking for what will be in the future. Forecasting future trends is a complex process that involves a fusion of skills, some that are objective and scientific and others that are more subjective and artistic. The ideal method of fashion forecasting should include a mixture of methodical and creative means.
Scientific methods: Sourcing and data collection, analysis of data, and interpretation of facts
Artistic approaches are Awareness, observation, intuition, and memory
When developing a fashion forecast, one must understand the difference between a trend report and a fashion forecast.
A trend report is an account describing in detail something that already exists or has happened. Trend reports are often written based on observations from
o Runway collections
o Red carpet events,
o Street fashions.
For instance, a recent trend report confirmed the appearance of bows as a new detail on dresses for ladies, not only for children. Bows, large or small, appeared on the shoulders, backs and waistlines of fashionable dresses. The trend report showed images from the runways and the streets illustrating the commercial viability and consumer acceptance of the trend.
A fashion forecast, on the other hand is the combination of both past trend reports with present information and insight into the future to create the prediction of upcoming trends.
Most importantly, forecasts explain why new trends may occur.
Three questions that forecasters must undertake are:
o What has already happened in the past that influences fashion today?
o What is presently happening that will notably affect fashion in the near future?
o What is likely to occur in fashion in the distant future?
· Through a variety of methods, fashion forecasting is the practice of looking for clues that help in predicting the :
o and retail habits of consumers
· by focusing on their current wants and needs and then anticipating consumer’s future wishes. Successful forecasting depends on up-to-date information and sensitivity to the ever-changing desires of fashion consumers.
Fashion forecasters, through their understanding of the fundamentals of fashion and the fashion industry, often predict the shape of things to come with considerable accuracy. To assess the scene, forecasters use a combination of savvy, gut instinct, up-to-date market information, and fashion knowledge developed from years of watching fashions come and go.
Fashion forecasters or trend forecasters make predictions based on an array of observations, data, and fashion intuitions. Among the things that forecasters take into account are:
o Acquired knowledge of historical and contemporary fashion and ideas about future fashion.
o Observations of the movement and direction of change. Social and cultural shifts in society. Analysis of sales and consumer data.
o A broad understanding, honed by experience, of the inner workings of a trend.