Create a fashion brand or clothing collection. Fashion trends, trend prediction and forecasting is the key to more sales.

Being from London, my fashion life and work has been consumed by fashion trends. As a designer, 70% of my time is focused on what trends are being forecast and predicted all over the world. This is important because if the trend predictions are wrong, then the designs are wrong. If the designs are wrong, then there are no sales.

That’s not to say that in western culture there aren’t those who have their own style. Fashion Trends are the basis for the designs that are produced every season, where as the style is the way that a customer picks up that garment and wears it. It’s the way that a customer adds accessories, and chooses a bag, shoes, or jewellery.

Your Personal Trend

Imagine you’re shopping for an outfit for a special occasion. Do you buy everything from the same shop? I doubt it. If you’re like most people you probably shop around at different stores when you assemble an outfit. But what is it that your style has in common? There is a theme to your outfit that you may or may not have noticed. Maybe it’s a colour or type of fabric. Or perhaps you’re trying to emulate a style from a specific era. Regardless of the details, this is your personal trend. You’re creating a trend in your mind and shopping for it.

In order for a retailer to stay competitive, they have to constantly introduce new items. While retailers know that you won’t buy an entire outfit exclusively from their store, they also know that if they don’t keep up with current fashion trends then they will begin to loose customers to the competition. That’s why it’s so crucial for brands to have their finger on the pulse of current fashion trends.

Trends Around the World

Of course there are exceptions. Western countries base most of their sales and design on fashion trends. All of the major magazines show the current trends, celebrities have stylists who stylishly dress them, and both designers and consumers buy the trends because that is what is available in stores. However, sometimes you can even see trends that emerge outside of fashion.

ELLE-Beauty-Awards-2015-Hong-Kong. From

Since moving to Hong Kong, I’ve read Vogue and Harpers. The strangest thing to me is that most of the content is devoted to beauty. When you walk around the streets, you can’t help but notice how flawless and beautiful Asian girls are. Perfect skin, make up and hair, their looks are envious. It makes sense though that trends exist in any industry.

In Asia, even though beauty is the focus you can pick up on certain trends. When a new product comes out, all the magazines and blogs will use, review and comment on that product. This product is not random either, it comes from a certain inspiration. Perhaps technology or maybe a particular need of the consumer. Think about what happened to all the face creams when the “BB” technology was released. All of a sudden every cream is “BB”. But I’m not selling beauty products, I design, source and predict for fashion.

Trend Prediction in the Production Process

With most western retailers going online, it always amazes me that in Hong Kong it’s not the norm to keep up with trends as people become more exposed to other brands and media. In Hong Kong everyone has a style that is very much their own. But as the number of westerners in Hong Kong increases, surely many of these businesses must be catering to them?

You have to consider the fact that with the amount of factories and garment producers here, trends have to figure in somewhere. If factories in China actually understood the importance of the trend prediction to their customers they could significantly improve their bottom line. For example, factories could prepare for orders and offer customers alternative trims or fabrics. With this simple change, they could increase satisfaction and keep a steady supply of customers coming back for more. This focus on the market and customer should be part of the business plan of any shop or brand that wants to sell its products internationally.

Because of the lack of trend based shops here in Hong Kong, western brands who are fashion trend focused can do very well marketing and selling to western customers. Whether you are a factory at the top of the production line or a brand selling the items at the other end, consider the fact that whether you like trends or not they have a place in every society and can’t be ignored. After all, they dictate the colours of the fabrics available for production or the materials being produced by mills or factories…….

I’ve written about this in more detail in several other posts. Consider reading: The Trend Trickle which outlines how trends trickle down from an original idea into the high street brands that are bought by consumers. Also, read Trickle Down Theory which illustrates how trends move from high end outlets to bargain bins, using a scene from The Devil Wears Prada. You might be surprised to learn just how accurate this scene really is.

Ultimately the result of trend prediction is this……additional sales and revenue. Somewhere in your business you have to consider trends. It’s your choice whether you follow them to the letter or not, but you need to at least understand them. If you don’t then someone else will. You’ll end up being the one loosing sales because you’ve made a simple mistake, like producing the wrong colour.


[wc_fa icon=”cogs” margin_left=”” margin_right=””] Action Steps:

Do you know if your customers follow fashion trends? Regardless of your products or style….

  • Ask your social media fans, blog readers or customers if they like fashion trends.
  • Ask them how much they follow the trends.
  • Go back to your designs or products and see if they meet the needs of your customer.