What is Trend Forecasting & The Importance of Trend Forecasting in the Fashion Industry
What is Trend Forecasting?
The definition of trend forecasting is exactly what it says in the name. It is a process of predicting the upcoming trends and how the market is going to behave in the future with respect to various trends.
I think it is safe to say that trend forecasting is similar to weather forecasting. It is all about making predictions by analyzing various data points, recognizing customer behavior patterns, previous sales, etc. The process of Trend forecasting is not confined to any one field. Almost every brand in every industry uses trend forecasts to plan their productions and marketing processes.
I believe that Trend forecasting is where the magic happens. The process of trend forecasting is a juxtaposition of data, analysis, statistics, math, general psychology, psychology of colors, clothing & fashion, and creativity. The combination of all of this is what makes it a beautiful process to be involved in.
Trend Forecasting in Fashion is nothing different, per se.
Trend Forecasting in Fashion or Fashion Forecasting is a field within the Fashion Industry that deals with the aspect of predicting future trends & consumer behavior. The process of Fashion Forecasting provides brands and fashion designers a vision of the future and what would entice the customer base so that they can plan their work and designs accordingly. It gives a direction to the brands and designers.
There are two kinds of Trend Forecasting which are Long Term Tren Forecasting or Macro Trends and Short-Term Trend forecasting.
Long-Term trend forecasting provides insights on paradigm shifts in trends that might last for 2 years or even more than that. Long-term trend forecasting provides insights on things like lifestyle changes in the consumers, demographical changes, etc.
On the other hand, short-term trend forecasting is all about predicting the seasonal trends that change every season. This type of trend is mainly involved in aspects such as colors, pop culture, the influence of current events, and style. The trends are short-lived-in micro trend reports and more often than not, they will change with the changing seasons.
What are Fashion Trends?
To put it in simple terms, Fashion Trends is a set of popular options that consumers lean towards in terms of style of clothes, colors, choice of fabrics, apparel, accessories, etc at a particular time and place. Fashion trends might differ from place to place. What is trending in one place can be outdated in another. The fashion trends include but are not limited to Colours, fabrics, style techniques.
You might wonder what exactly influences these trends. Well, I am glad you asked but there is no way to point at just one thing. Several factors influence fashion trends that range from cinemas, celebrity styles, climate, etc.
Here is a note for you, I might mention just designs in the rest of the post, which does not mean that fashion forecasting is limited to dress designs, it covers every aspect of fashion design from clothing to apparel to sunglasses and everything in between. It is just easier for me and you to understand if I use the term designs instead of clothes, apparel, sunglasses, and everything else in between throughout the post. I am assuming you get the point.
Why is trend forecasting important in Fashion Industry?
Let me explain this to you with an example. Let us assume that you are an accomplished fashion designer (You can check out these fashion designer courses offered by IIFT in case you want to become a fashion designer). You work hard on a design that you are proud of. But your designs are not being bought by Customers just because they are not in the trend and there was no one to tell you what will be trending in the fashion industry in the future.
Now, let us consider another scenario where you approach a fashion forecaster before you start working on your design. You get all the inputs from this fashion forecaster and understand the reports She or He has provided you. You work on the design based on the forecast and the next thing you know, the dresses you designed are selling like hotcakes.
I hope you have understood why trend forecasting in Fashion is so important. Without a trend forecast report, you will be shooting in the dark with your designs. As I mentioned earlier, Fashion Forecasts provide a direction for fashion designers and major brands to create & produce relevant products. It gives them an idea of what their customers want. Let us face it, No one likes a brand that shoves their designs and ideas down your throat without understanding what exactly you want.
How brands predict new styles:
Data rules today’s world and brands love data. There are multiple ways that a brand predicts the upcoming trends in fashion. While most brands have an in-house team of fashion forecasters, several companies provide brands with fashion trend forecasts. These companies have teams of skilled fashion forecasters, data analysts & even fashion designers. A brand can consult them to understand the upcoming fashion trends. Fashion forecasting can also play a very important role in branding strategies as well.
I might be contradicting myself here, but it's not all data that fashion forecasters turn to when they want to predict future trends. Here are some of the other things that they look at and analyze.
One of the ways is observing the responses that fashion shows get. This gives them an insight into what people are liking and what they are rejecting. Interestingly, before there was the internet and all this fuss about data, Fashion Forecasters used to study fashion shows to predict future trends. This is called top-down forecasting.
Another way is to look at influencers, celebrities & fashion blogs to understand how people are reacting to different styles and this helps them understand consumer behavior. Fashion Forecasters closely analyze the responses the blogs, influencers, and celebrities are getting and create a trend report based on that. This process is called Bottom-Up forecasting.
Most if not all fashion forecasters believe in a mix of Top-Down and Bottom-Up forecasting along with data analysis. There are so many things that come to play before a forecaster forecasts a trend. As I told you earlier in this post, it is a beautiful process.
By this time, you already know why fashion forecasting is important. Every step a brand or a business takes is a precisely calculated step. For this kind of planning, they need to understand and have an idea of what might and might not work in the future (both long term and short term). Fashion forecasting helps them with this, they provide all the information a brand needs on the upcoming trends and the brands use this data to plan out their next designs.
If you are interested in learning more about Fashion Forecasting, we are hosting a seminar that will be conducted by Dhruva Tripathi on the 12th of June 2021. Dhruva Tripathi is the CEO and Head of Trend in F-Trend. He poses 11 years of experience in trend and design with the internationally recognized figure as his views were published in a US big publishing house lead by Hillary Clinton ( The Daily Beast).
The seminar video will be posted on our blog. We might also post the google meet link to join the seminar as well. , so keep a lookout on our blog page and bookmark this post as well.
For those of you who want to dive deeper into the field of fashion and make a career in fashion designing, IIFT has some great courses to offer you. IIFT is regarded as one of the best fashion designing colleges in Bangalore because of its knowledgeable faculty and excellent placement records. You can check out all the courses offered by us by visiting our Fashion Designer courses page.
Thank you for reading, If you have anything to add to the post or have anything to say, please feel free to voice your opinions in the comments section below or on our social media pages.