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Why Trend Forecasting is essential and how to use it to succeed

How fashion trend insights open up new opportunities that bring commercial success

Freelance fashion designer, Fashion Trend Forecaster, Brand Stylist. Instant fashion trend reports. Award-winning consultant fashion designer

Fashion trend forecasting and reports

The process of curating and designing products for customers has been impacted by world economics, supply chain problems, and Brexit, amongst other things.

Even with added outside pressures, brand designers, fashion retailers, and design studios must give the consumer what they want to keep their brand alive and stay in business.

Products that match consumers' demands are more critical than ever. With the correct trend forecasting, brands get insights that strengthen their range of products creating the resilience needed to succeed in a challenging marketplace.

What is Trend Forecasting?

Trend forecasting is the research and composition of predictions on future purchasing trends. The process of trend forecasting involves the following considerations:

  • Recognising patterns in trends

  • Tracing the origins of trends

  • Studying the evolution of trends

Trend analysts use this information to give brands a broader perspective of their target market. Designers use this data to create products that will appeal to their customers now and in the future.

How can Fashion Brands use Trend Forecasting?

There are numerous ways fashion brands can utilise trend forecasting data:

  • To improve their product ranges

  • To understand their target market

  • To plan marketing and promotional campaigns

  • To stay ahead of fierce competition

Fashion is a fast-paced industry, and interpreting trends correctly is the key to keeping up with the competition. Fashion brands need to utilise trend forecasting.

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How to use trend forecasting to succeed as a fashion brand

Stay up to date with trends

Staying up to date may seem obvious, but fashion brands need to stay on top of current trends. One way to do this is by subscribing to industry-leading trend reports. This will ensure that you are always aware of the latest trends and can adapt your products accordingly.

Use multiple forecasting sources

It is essential to use data from various sources when trend forecasting. Data from more than one source will give you a well-rounded view of future trends and help you to make more informed decisions.

Be flexible

The reality is that trends can change at any time and what is popular today may be out of style in a few months. For this reason, fashion brands need to be flexible and adaptable.

By being open to change, brands can respond quickly to trends and ensure that their products are always saleable and they are not stuck with dead stock that won't sell.

Plan for the future

One of the most important aspects of trend forecasting is looking ahead to future trends. By planning for trends that are on the horizon, brands can ensure their products are always one step ahead of the competition.

Fashion trend forecasting is an essential tool for all fashion brands. By utilising trend data, brands can improve their product ranges, understand their target market and stay ahead even in troubling times.

Different types of trend forecasting and what they mean

Long-term forecasting: trying to identify the trends that will shape the future, 5-10 years ahead.

Long term forecasts are often done by looking at social trends and how they will impact fashion - for example, the rise of sustainable and ethical fashion resources.

Short-term forecasting: identifying trends that will be popular in the next season or two. The short-term analysis is often done by examining runway trends and street style.

Micro trend forecasting: identifying trends that are popular right now. Micro trending can be done by following influencers on social media and analysing what they are wearing.

All three forecasting techniques are taken into consideration by experienced forecasters. The ability to understand trend forecasting in all its forms makes fashion trend books so valuable.

How to predict what will happen next

There are a few vital things to keep in mind regarding fashion trends. Interpreting what will be fashionable is a highly developed skill that takes time and experience to master. Some valuable tips:

  • Trends don't happen in a vacuum, they are always influenced by what came before.

  • Trends often have a long gestation period: they may start as niche but then grow in popularity over time.

  • Trends change, and change is not the problem in some ways: It's a designer's dream. Being able to predict what's next keeps brands fresh, up-to-date and relevant.

By keeping these things to mind, brands can start to develop an understanding of how trends work and how to predict what will be effective for business in the future.

The benefits of trend forecasting in fashion retailing

There are many benefits that can be taken from fashion trend forecasting, but the most important ones are:

  • Anticipating customer needs and wants

  • Spotting opportunities for product and brand development

  • Helping businesses save money

  • Future-proofing brands

  • Taking advantage of trend predictions

The above might sound obvious to most, but it's surprising when you hear about well-established companies folding because they didn't see what was coming. Let's look at for instance.

What happens when you ignore trends? is a UK based online furniture retailer that went into administration this month. The company, founded in 2010, grew rapidly and was valued at £500 million in 2018.

So, what went wrong? According to experts, the company should have anticipated the trend of customers wanting instant gratification. With, customers had to wait up to eight weeks for their furniture to be delivered, whereas competitors such as Ikea and Wayfair could deliver much more quickly.

But that wasn't the only factor, the company overestimated demand and invested a top-heavy inventory, which led them to racking up vast amounts of debt.

In 1999 Cosmopolitan, (a leading women's fashion and lifestyle magazine), decided to launch an exclusive line of dairy-based products (yoghurt to you and me). The foray into brand extension was an unmitigated disaster, and here's why.

Cosmo needed to understand it's market and couldn't predict the lack of interest. While brand extensions like these don't always fail, they are dangerous, particularly for introducing products into an untapped and cutthroat market.

The spin-off product and the lack of user knowledge in Cosmo's situation proved to be a lethal combination. The Cosmo yoghurt line was full of sugar and more expensive than its' dairy rivals.

Customers were thus left with an expensive product made by a company with little reputation in the food industry, much less in the yoghurt market. Cosmo appears to have omitted several of the most crucial design thinking stages.

Unwanted yoghurt is a perfect example of why trend forecasting is so important. If Cosmopolitan had predicted the trend for healthy eating, they could have avoided this costly mistake.

The moral of the story is that trend forecasting is essential for business in fashion retailing and other industries. It helps brands avoid costly mistakes and take advantage of new opportunities.

What's the next fashion trends?

September is a vital month in the fashion calendar, as it's when the industry descends on Fashion Week. In Paris, New York, Milan and London (of course).

Fashion Week is where designers showcase their collections for the upcoming season, giving us a glimpse into what trends will be prominent in the coming months.

From there, independent designers, small retailers and high street chains decide on their next season's design book.

What trends can we expect?

Valentino's head fashion designer Piepaolo Piccioli took a stand at this year's Milan Fashion Week, asking future designers to be responsible in the fashion world, particularly Haute Couture.

As a result, we are seeing a trend for sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton and recycled plastic.

While Haute Couture predicts a sustainable future, small designers and fashion retailers need a hand to commercialise their vision.

Fortunately, trend forecasting services like Tiffany Hill Studio can help.

Introducing Tiffany Hill Studio

Tiffany Hill Studio offers a novel and innovative approach to the essential fashion services required by creatives in the ever-evolving fashion business.

Their studio provides useful yet exciting materials and insights that significantly improve how clients operate and the success of their enterprises by fusing curiosity, craft and vision.

We provide a service specifically designed to match your needs, whether you need trend reports, forecasts, or analysis. Our experience allows you to concentrate on what you do best.

Tiffany Hill Studios provides the expertise you need for your brand thanks to its more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry's luxury and business sectors.

Rather than making an expensive mistake by guessing the trends, Get our free digital book, "Consumer Shopping and Lifestyle Trends," to learn how these shifting lifestyles will affect the fashion industry and how to adjust your company's outlook effectively.

Tiffany Hill Studio are the first to create product-specific, non-subscription fashion trend reports that inspire you to design and develop future collections with confidence.

Our trend books are essential tools for creating forward-thinking business and becoming industry influencers. Our extensive library includes colour, print & pattern, textiles, loungewear, activewear, sleepwear, jewellery, accessories, footwear, outerwear and denim trend books.

Get free insights with a mini AW23-24 Fashion Trend Book

Gain free instant insights into the future fashion trends for Autumn Winter 23-24. Get our free digital trend book and learn how the emerging seasonal trends will influence design development and how they will affect the key product categories in the womenswear space.

Our essential 23 page AW23-24 Trend Book shows how to capture and nurture a new, informed consumer, with the right products at the right time.

A link to your book will be sent via email when you subscribe to our trend newsletter.

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Future-proof your business by staying up to date on what's happening in the world of fashion.

Over two decades worth of experience within the luxury and commercial sectors of the fashion industry has given Tiffany the know-how you need for your brand.

With both her craft as a freelance fashion designer and curiosity and vision as a forecaster, she has built a reputation for accurate trend prediction and design development.


By Product Group

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