Color Forecasting is one type of trend-spotting. Pantone has taken the art of color forecasting to the level of a Breaking News item, with their Color of the Year. We may well ask, what does the Color of the Year mean? Is it something that is selling well at retail right now, something that we'll see flooding the stores for the next year, or something designers should be putting in their next collection?
Well, it is all 3, depending on what industry, what price point, what area of the US (or the world!), and what age of the customer.... and a few other market variables. A trend that is hot in New York or Los Angeles now, can take 2 to 3 years to reach saturation in the Heartland... sometimes longer!
To illustrate my point, on the evolvement of trends over time and distance, I am going to tell you a story.
About 10 years ago when all the eyeglass designs were of small rectangle lenses, those of us who actually want to SEE out of our glasses, became very frustrated. (I've worn glasses since I was 10, and can't function without them.) Every eyeglass shop I went to had the same teeny frames. For the last 10 years I've bought stylish funky frames from France, because I didn't want to have glasses that looked like everyone else. In the meantime I hunkered down and waited for this small eyeglass trend to pass. Unfortunately it lasted for a very long time, and as I graduated to progressive lenses, I had even less space to see through because my lenses were divided into 3 zones of 3 different prescriptions. Ack!
Then while I was in New York last week, I saw the eyeglass frames of my dreams! I saw them worn by a young woman in a restaurant. She probably wondered why I kept staring at her. (I was committing the design to memory, but was too shy to go ask her where she got them.) I came back home and spent a week hassling my local hipster eyeglass stores, trying to figure out who makes these frames!
The closest thing I could find was on a blog in Europe. I went to my local eyeglass shop that carries this brand, and was told that style had not even been released in France yet, and it wasn't possible that I had actually seen them online, and they wouldn't be sold to the US market anyway. Sigh...
Meanwhile the market is saturated with tons of tiny rectangle frame glasses. Personally I like larger lenses - preferably in a Cats Eye or Retro style. I know this style is coming, and it may take 3 more years for it to filter down to the hippest eyeglass shop in Boulder. In the meantime versions of this design are in New York and Paris, probably Rome and Milan too, and I am determined to get my hands on a pair.
This is one way of spotting a trend.
So when you are wondering - what is the next big trend? - take this advice I got from my first boss as a young fashion designer:
"I'll know it when I see it!"
Speaking of which, if you are a Modern Quilter, be sure to snap up a copy of the new Modern Patchwork Magazine. After I saw the preview copy last week, we doubled our autoship!
May you finish your tax forms early this weekend, so you can have fun looking at all the new fabric trends on our website. *wink*