Trends are such an important part of the fashion industry, but do you really understand where they come from? How are they discovered and cultivated into the incredible presentations produced by fashion forecasting companies? We sat down with our partner the Fashion Snoops to see what a typical day is like for them, so we can gain a better understanding of how trends come to be and what forecasters look for to identify them.
Let's see what insights Ania and Nicole from Fashion Snoops have for us!
PLAYTIME: Please explain the process of discovering trends a bit for us.
FASHION SNOOPS: It’s all about possessing an innate curiosity and being immersed in the world: observing, reading, listening, touching, and asking questions. It’s not restricted to the world of fashion. It is everything. Films, technological advances, politics, novels, music, food, travel destinations. It is amazing how everything is interconnected and it is our goal to pinpoint these connections and analyze how it will impact our clients’ business.
P: How do you research future trends? Can you please give us some examples of the sources you use to research them?
FS: Instagram has been our most recent new source for researching trends. In fact, we recently launched INSTALIVE on the FS platform. It allows our clients to track trends and influencers on IG based on their market and/or interests. It also allows for them to easily search mood imagery. All the searchable IG accounts on INSTALIVE are curated by the FS editors, so clients are looking at the most inspiring and innovative accounts.
P: Do you think these sources will be the same in 5 years? How do you think the forecasting industry will evolve?
FS: Definitely not. One of the biggest shifts is moving away from seasons. Collections are becoming even more seasonless based on shoppers’ buying behavior. The pandemic has heightened this even more as people can no longer predict where they will be in two weeks and are very much living in a day-by-day mentality.
P: When you began forecasting, what was one part of the job that surprised you?
FS: Probably how trends can grow on you. There are some stories that are challenging to create but end up being our favorite and the ones with the most longevity. This is why it is very crucial as editors to remain objective and not let your personal taste always dictate your work.
P: How do you organize cultural sentiments and overall trends? Could you please explain cultural sentiments and narratives to us?
FS: Every season begins with Pitch Day in which all the editors get together and “pitch” whatever is speaking to them. There are no rules to what you present. From there, a small team led by our visionary director and creative director, formulates four overarching cultural sentiments that encompass the overall mood and feeling of the season. It is essentially a barometer for the wider emotional climate of the culture. From there, each market translates these sentiments into an aesthetic with specific, actionable design direction in terms of color, material, silhouette and pattern and graphics.
P: Do you find yourself being drawn to fashion items that follow the trends you predict?
F: It’s definitely fun to see things that we were predicting coming to life at trade shows and in retail. And it makes it so much more fun to cover the shows since you want to shop for your kid. The evolution of the kidswear market from the very cutesy pink for girls and blue for boys into a gender neutral, mini-me aesthetic also makes it more captivating to cover.
P: What makes Fashion Snoops a leader in the forecasting industry? What makes you unique?
FS: At Fashion Snoops, our approach to forecasting is very different to some of our competitors. We’ve created a tool that really empowers brands and businesses to act on trend-driven opportunities, and create smarter. Our clients enjoy a unique point of view that stems from cultural trends and a heart-led approach to forecasting, which is then seamlessly intertwined and supported by cutting-edge, Ai-Augmented tools.
We view trends as living, breathing things that we know are going to change, according to what’s happening around us in culture. Culture is the defining moment of every trend that we put out to clients, and it’s something that we feel needs to be continually addressed as we move from the point of calling out the forecasts all the way until the product hits the sales floors.
We believe in collaboration, and over 20 years we’ve built a strong, loyal, global community who believe in engaging, sharing and supporting each other as we navigate through challenges and changes within our industry. We know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to trends and that’s why we’re there for our clients, in person, every step of the way. This is something we really pride ourselves in; being able to offer that human touch.
P: What is your favorite kid's trend right now?
FS: It’s more a cultural shift in kidswear versus a trend, but I’m really standing behind the “humanswear” movement which speaks to offering inclusive design for all children including those who are differently-abled. It is an extension of the gender-neutral shift that has been happening for over a decade now, but this time the focus is on offering the same look, same price point and same accessibility of beautifully designed clothes to EVERY child.
Also the move of gender-neutral design away from just the monochromatic grayscale pieces that were really prevalent in the early 2010s during the nascence of this movement. I love seeing gender-neutral pieces that are in bold and bright colors with playful prints — I think Maison Tadaboum, a brand which we first met at Playtime Paris and is exhibiting this Season as well, does a beautiful job of playing with gender-neutral pieces in a way that is exciting and authentic.
P: What is something you recommend brands and buyers do to stay well-informed about the latest trends?
FS: It’s part intuition and a deep understanding of who your customer is and part staying well-informed of what is happening in the cultural spectrum and not just in the fashion realm. At FS, we synthesize all the information out there and curate it into easily digestible pockets of information to both inspire and also inform our clients on what is best for their business.
Come discover the key trends for AW22 with Fashion Snoops at Playtime Paris January 31st at 11:30am and Playtime & Kid's Hub New York February 14th at 2:30pm!