Do you remember the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? Lockdowns had been implemented in every part of the world; traveling had halted. Whipping up delicious Dalgona coffees, subscribing to online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and playing online interactive games such as Pictionary and Among Us were some trends taking over the world in 2020.
In 2021, after the start of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trends shifted from online work to a hybrid approach. Public spaces opened up at half capacity with strict social distancing protocols. Now it is 2022, and everything has almost returned to normal. No longer can people sport comfy work clothes that involve formal blouses and blazers with pajamas underneath. What other changes in trends are the upcoming years going to bring us?
What are trends? How are trends set? How long do they last? These questions, along with many more, will be answered to find out all there is to know about trends.
1. What is a Trend?
From an educational point of view, trends can be calculated for data analytics, economics, etc. But we will explore trends in terms of “inclination towards style.” This can involve fields of fashion, design, entertainment, and culture.
Current affairs and clout define trends. It’s a direct correlation to whatever is going on in the world at the given moment and how popular it has become.
People often mistake something trending as being “viral.” But trends differ from “viral” sensations. Trends take time to be established and have a stronger hold on the public. Viral hits appear and disappear like a storm.
2. How do Trends Originate?
Various fads come and go as fast as a breeze. But what does it take for them to stick around for a while? The right place, the right time, and the right people.
For example, the trend of working from home. It came about during the pandemic when everyone was forced to stay home. Work and leave periods were unstable, so people adopted a more permanent approach, like working from home. The advancement in technology also made this trend possible. If the pandemic had happened at a different period, the trends would have also been different.
3. Fashion Trends
Fashion trends can be defined as the clothes and accessories that have gained popularity at a given time. This includes outfits, shoes, jewelry, handbags, belts, sunglasses, hairpins, and more.
Microtrends cycle in and out of vogue for a few months or years. For example, tiny sunglasses and high-waisted denim. Macro trends take longer to change in the market. Such changes are prone to variations in lifestyle and changes in demographic. Emerging fashion designs play no role.
4. Trend Forecasting
Trend forecasting refers to predicting the future demands of an industry depending on the field the industry is based on. Trend forecasters do this by analyzing data from previous sales to determine future trends. Trend forecasters used to be specialized people with extensive knowledge of a particular field. In the age of digital media, anyone can be a trend forecaster, starting with social media influencers and celebrities.
Fashion forecasters are specialists who predict about-to-come fashion trends, including styling techniques, fabric textures, colors, and more that will appeal to consumers. Fashion forecasters are responsible for trend research reports to help product development teams develop new accessories and outfits for brands.
4.1. Long-Term and Short-Term Trend Forecasting
The long-term trend forecasting process involves studying macro trends. They are major fashion trend changes that have been aimed to resonate for over two years. This includes elements defining the fashion industry, such as lifestyle, demographics, and the process of making and selling clothes.
Short-term trend forecasting involves micro trend analysis. These forecasts change within seasons. They include elements such as color and style combined to form colorful patterns. Short-term forecasts also keep in mind the latest happenings and pop culture trends.
4.2. How do Fashion Brands Predict Trends?
Different trend forecasting agencies are set up for different demographics. Forecasting for menswear and womenswear will differ from those of children’s clothes. Trend forecasters pay more attention to micro trends for womenswear brands because they bring out larger collections yearly than menswear brands.
Forecasting may also depend upon other factors, such as the brand’s reach, budget, and target buyers. Here are 5 ways through which brands predict trends.
4.2.1. In-house Trend Forecasters
Major fashion brands are vertically integrated. It means they have in-house trend forecasters who analyze past markets with current ones coinciding with the product type the brand wants. These in-house trend forecasters join the product development teams to invent new products.
4.2.2. Trend Forecasting Agency
Brands not huge in the market are not vertically integrated and have to turn to trend-forecasting agencies. These agencies present trend research data through paid contracts.
4.2.3. Fashion Shows
Before the booming internet industry, the trend forecasting process was conducted at fashion shows. They extracted the best looks and bought the designs from the runways to fashion magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, GQ, etc., and huge market brands. This is known as top-down forecasting, where fashion trends fresh from runways leak into high street-style stores.
In the current age, trend forecasters are accessible to influencers, street styles, and blogs to have an idea of the latest trends. This is known as bottom-up forecasting. It includes keeping a close eye on the contemporary market to estimate future styles demand.
4.2.5. Other Industries
Indie fashion designers may avoid trend forecasting and not use the information in their designs. Instead, they may develop their own unique designs through inspiration from artwork, a movie they watched, a book they read, or nature itself.
These days, trend forecasters depend on both top-down and bottom-up approaches. They use their extensive knowledge in the fashion field and personal judgments to make forecasting decisions.
5. How does a Fashion Trend Emerge?
A fashion trend cannot be set by one person alone. A trend becomes a trend when a large group of people collectively like an idea and adopt it as their own. The start of a fashion trend may be a business tactic by large fast fashion brands, or it could be born out of styles inspiring to the masses. Here are 5 ways fashion trends begin.
5.1. Inspired by the Runway
Fashion Week events in New York, Milan, and Paris are eagerly awaited by fashion enthusiasts yearly. Every season brings novel ideas from fashion designers that shake the fashion industry and help create trends.
Runways serve as a great opportunity for people in the fashion world to get inspired and create their own trends. Most of the pieces displayed on runways are meant for mass production, but some pieces during Fashion Week are presented that are couture; that is, they are custom-made. They are design trends for a specific person or body type in mind.
5.2. Street Style
Street style is a fairly new label in the fashion industry. It refers to clothing and style seen every day on the streets. People may wear it while getting groceries or just for a stroll in the park.
Trendsetters are everywhere when it comes to street fashion. They may even inspire passers-by to come up with their own certain ideas through their fashion. People are inspired by street style for mainly two reasons; they look easier to recreate and are more believable to pull off when it comes from someone they saw on the street rather than a runway.
It is no mystery that celebrities are highly influential people. Because of their celebrity status and huge fan base, high-end brands turn to them for their product endorsements. They rule the online world through social media. They are role models.
Celebrities have a wider reach over audiences than magazines or runways. They are always in the spotlight of fans eager to mimic what they see. Many celebrities have set trends and inspired new ones. Some famed fashion icons are David Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Harry Styles, Blake Lively, and many more.
5.4. Fashion Bloggers
Fashion bloggers don’t follow trends; they create them. Fashion designers may also reach out to fashion influencers to promote their designs because of their power over everyone invested in the fashion world. While people look up to celebrities because they like to, they turn to fashion bloggers to go directly to the source of a trend.
Fashion bloggers buy the latest fashion designs and style them with accessories in their own ways to create new trends. They are masters of their niche. Not only do they help in setting trends, but they also help in showcasing different ways to follow one. They share their thoughts and ideas on the latest design trends. They find ways to communicate better with people about their style.
5.5. Fashion Hotspots of the World
Fashion is diverse throughout the world. Every country has its traditions and customs when it comes to fashion. But because of the wide variety, people often want to condense their options by turning toward the world’s fashion capitals – Paris, New York, Milan, and London to adopt trends.
People in the fashion industry are gathered in these cities because of these cultures’ global outreach. Fashion trends come here to be observed through different eyes and mindsets.
6. How do Trends Fade?
Trends fade because of changes in time. Time may refer to seasons or a time period.
For example, summer trends such as hot pink garments and accessories, meshes, and slip dresses will go out of fashion during winter, inviting weather-appropriate styles such as turtlenecks, suits, maxi dresses, etc.
The pandemic inspired comfy clothes that were a mix between home clothes and formal. The 2000s were inspired by cargo pants, platform sandals, knit hats, capris, etc., some of which have stood the test of time and people wear even today. These are examples of fashion trends defined by a period.
Trends may also fade because they have lived out their lifespan. People quickly adopt a trend and jump to another once they find something more appealing.
7. What are Some Upcoming Fashion Trends?
Trend forecasters have predicted fashion trends to blow up in the year 2023. These have been presented at the New York and Paris Fashion Week this year.
- The colors expected to dominate the year are purple hues, sunshine yellow, blushes of pink, and shades of blue. These colors will be splashed on party dresses, tonal ensembles, sports styles, occasional dresses, evening wear, and florals.
- Outfits are expected to have the tassel, fringe, lace, frothy and feathery, bubble hem, ruffle, and bow detailing next year. These designs have been created to enhance shoulder lines and body structures.
- Leather is never out of fashion. Designers have invented new ways to incorporate leather into daily wear, from jackets to skirts.
- Stripes will make a statement again next year through summer dresses and trousers. These stripes will be thicker and bolder than ever before.
- Crop tops took over this year’s fashion. Next year, designers have decided to take it further and introduce crop cardigans in pastel shades for a fall look.
People follow fashion trends because it creates unity among diversity. People want to show their individuality by styling the same pieces in their own ways, but they also want to feel a part of a like-minded community.
Or you don’t have to follow trends at all. Trends are just a measurement of what’s popular in the world. You can develop your style that might gather traction and start a new trend. You may discover yourself and find something beautiful while being indie and straying away from the crowd.